Silent Alarm is the debut studio album by British indie rock band Bloc Party. Released on 14 February 2005 in the UK and on 22 March 2005 in the US, it was producer Paul Epworth's third album project; he would go on to produce other platinum selling albums like A Certain Trigger and Made of Bricks.
The albums tracks were written primarily by lead singer Kele Okereke and guitarist Russell Lissack. The album includes some songs that had previously appeared on EPs released before Silent Alarm; for example, "She's Hearing Voices" appeared on Bloc Party before being selected for their debut album. Five singles were released from the album: "So Here We Are", "Banquet", "Helicopter" " Pioneers" and "Two More Years", the last of which was on the album's reissue.
The album charted well for the band in most European countries, including a peak of #3 in the Official UK Charts. It was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize, and was named NME's album of the year for 2005. The album went on to be certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.
The album was remixed as Silent Alarm Remixed later in 2005.
Bloc Party had released two EPs prior to their debut album's release in 2005: Bloc Party
and Little Thoughts
. Both of these were released by V2 Records
, although the second was released only in Japan
as a compilation of UK-only releases. After the release of their first single, "Banquet
", they signed to Wichita Recordings
and began work on Silent Alarm
Bloc Party recorded Silent Alarm at the Deltalab Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark, although portions of the recording took place at Miloco, in the Hoxton area of London. The entire album was recorded in two months, in June and July, 2004. The cover art for the album was based on a photograph by freelance photographer, Ness Sherry.
Okereke has said in interviews that the album "takes a look at people's lives", and agrees that the album is "not telling people how to vote, but how they should live.
In an interview with MTV Canada, Okereke has also said that due to their "four album deal" with their record company, they made it so that each member of the band gets to put their own influences into the album (besides Okereke's lyrical content). This album features more of Gordon Moakes's influences.
- "Like Eating Glass" – 4:20
- "Helicopter" – 3:40
- "Positive Tension" – 3:54
- "Banquet" – 3:22
- "Blue Light" – 2:47
- "She's Hearing Voices" – 3:29
- "This Modern Love" – 4:25
- "Pioneers" – 3:35
- "Price of Gas" – 4:19
- "So Here We Are" – 3:53
- "Luno" – 3:57
- "Plans" – 4:10
- "Compliments" – 4:43
The track "Every Time Is the Last Time" is a hidden track after track 13 on the UK edition, after track 16 on the Japanese edition, and in the pregap on the US edition and the re-release.
The vinyl release also includes an instrumental intro prior to Track 1 on Side A, as well as the track "Little Thoughts" on Side C. Also in the US Edition, the Track "Little Thoughts" is Track 10, making for a total of 14 tracks.
Re-release bonus tracks
- "Little Thoughts" – 3:30
- "Two More Years" - 4:27
US and Mexican edition bonus track
- "Little Thoughts" – 3:30
Japanese edition bonus tracks
- "So Here We Are" (Four Tet remix) – 5:59
- "Plans" (Mogwai remix) – 3:39
- "Pioneers" (M83 remix) - 14:09
A. US Tour Documentary "God Bless Bloc Party"
B. Bloc Party Live at the Eurockéennes
- 1 July 2005
- Like Eating Glass
- Blue Light
- Little Thoughts
C. The Videos
- Banquet (2004)
- Little Thoughts
- So Here We Are
- Banquet (2005)
- Two More Years
- Banquet (The Streets mix)
A limited edition CD/DVD, which contained an extra DVD with approximately 100 minutes of footage of the band and the singles "Two More Years" and "Little Thoughts" was also released.
There are two vinyl copies of Silent Alarm; one the standard black vinyl copy, the other a picture disc LP which had the album cover on side A and the track listings on side B. There were only 500 copies of the picture disc LP.
- The song "Like Eating Glass" was featured in Tony Hawk's American Wasteland and on the soundtrack for Cry Wolf. It was also used in the BBC programme, Countryfile.
- A portion of "Helicopter" was used in an episode of the TV show Malcolm In The Middle, in the film Grandma's Boy, and in a Fantasy football preview on CBS. Full versions of the song features on the playlists for FIFA 06, Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, Project Gotham Racing 3, Burnout Revenge, and as a playable track in both Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero: On Tour. The song was also used in a Burton Snowboards video titled Share the Air. Instrumental portions of the song are used in some Irish Channel 6 advertisements.
- The song "Positive Tension" was used in a season two episode of The O.C., an episode of CSI: NY, an episode of the British E4 drama Skins, a commercial for Google on cell phones in Israel, and the video game Forza Motorsport 2.
- The song "Banquet" is featured on the playlist for the video games SSX on Tour, SingStar Rocks! and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix. It can also be heard on The 4400 (during a second season episode), Entourage (in Season 3, episode 3), The O.C., Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno III (episode 12) and an episode of CSI: NY. "Banquet" was used in the Blind skateboards video "What If?" in Corey Sheppard's opening part, in the Popwar skateboards promo video, Video Hype, and in the ski movie Booter Crunk. The song has been used (from early 2006) as the theme for Vodafone advertisements in some European countries (Portugal being one such country) and is often used on MTV and VH1 as a background to a video or picture montage. The beginning of the song is also used as the intro to the "Soccer Elite" section of Sky Sports's Soccer AM's All-Sports Show.
- "This Modern Love" is featured in the soundtrack for the movie Wedding Crashers and in DVS shoe company's skateboarding video Skate More. A portion of the song was used in the first season finale of the TV show How I Met Your Mother.
- "Pioneers" (both the original and a cover version by the band, Tunng) were used in episodes from the third season of The O.C..
- The song "So Here We Are" was used in the BBC's 2005 Wimbledon coverage and in ad campaigns of Saturn, Deutsche Telekom and EMusic.