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Studio album by
Released 31 March 2017
Recorded 2016 at Rockfield Studios outside Rockfield, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK; Swim studio, London, England, UK
Genre Post-punk, art punk, alternative rock
Length 36:09
Label Pinkflag PF24CD / PF24LP / PF24SE
Producer Colin Newman
Wire chronology
Nocturnal Koreans

Silver/Lead is the sixteenth studio album by British post-punk band Wire. It was released on 31 March 2017.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
The A.V. Club C+[1]
The Arts Desk 4/5 stars[2]
DIY Magazine 4/5 stars[3]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[4]
Lincoln Journal Star 8.5/10 stars[5]
Paste 8.9/10[6]
Pitchfork 7.1/10[7]
PopMatters 8/10 stars[8]
The Quietus 4/5 stars[9]
The Times 3/5 stars[10]


Silver/Lead was conceived to arrive in conjunction with the fortieth anniversary of Wire's first gig as a four-piece band on 1 April 1977 at The Roxy in London (there had been three previous gigs with a fifth member, George Gill, earlier that year).[11] In recalling the occasion, singer-guitarist Colin Newman remarked, "It struck me in 2013 that the first of April, 2017, was going to be the 40th anniversary of the first proper Wire gig. And I thought, 'Well, should we do something about it or should we not?' But – and this partly comes from fine art, partly from pop culture – there's this idea of a narrative. People like a story. They like to connect the dots somehow."[12] The album was recorded both at Newman's own home studio and at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, a studio Newman claims is well-suited for Wire because "there is not much else to do there."[13]

Wire announced the impending release of Silver/Lead on their website on 17 January 2017, describing the music on the album as "a uniquely addictive 21st century psychedelic post-punk" that was "about as far from nostalgia as you could get." The album was released in four different form factors: a standard CD, a digital download, a vinyl version, and a special limited-edition CD/hard-backed book box featuring text by Graham Duff, interviews, and exclusive color photographs.[14]

The band released two streaming singles off of the album prior to the full release. The first single, "Short Elevated Period", was released on 23 January 2017 on NPR Music. Bob Boilen, writing for NPR, describes the track as "music that looks at the present and forward to the future, still with its artful guitar driven snap, all the more surprising for a band that didn't look like it would make it past the three-year mark."[15] The second single, “Diamonds In Cups”, was released for streaming on Stereogum on 28 February 2017. Stereogum’s Kim Ilkowski wrote that the song "[features] some exceptional guitar work that takes you up and down on a blissful, bouncing ride."[16]

Track listing

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Playing Harp for the Fishes" Graham Lewis Colin Newman, Lewis, Wire (song) / Wire (music) 3:44
2. "Short Elevated Period" Lewis Newman (song) / Wire (music) 2:54
3. "Diamonds in Cups" Lewis Newman (song) / Wire (music) 4:09
4. "Forever & a Day" Lewis Lewis, Wire (song) / Wire (music) 4:07
5. "An Alibi" Lewis Newman (song) / Wire (music) 3:10
6. "Sonic Lens" Lewis Newman (song) / Wire (music) 4:31
7. "This Time" Lewis Lewis, Wire (song) / Wire (music) 4:17
8. "Brio" Lewis Newman (song) / Wire (music) 3:37
9. "Sleep on the Wing" Lewis Newman (song) / Wire (music) 3:00
10. "Silver/Lead" Lewis Newman (song) / Wire (music) 2:40





  1. ^ Zaleski, Annie (31 March 2017). "Wire - Silver/Lead".
  2. ^ Fedrick, Javi (27 March 2017). "'Wire - Silver/Lead: A contemplative Wire proves to be a beautiful thing'". The Arts Desk.
  3. ^ Jeakins, Dan (31 March 2017). "'Wire - Silver/Lead'".
  4. ^ Simpson, Dave (30 March 2017). "'Wire: Silver/Lead review – post-punk veterans at their most melodic and enigmatic'". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media.
  5. ^ Wolgamott, L. Kent (31 March 2017). "Review: Wire, 'Silver/Lead".
  6. ^ Hayden, Mack (31 March 2017). "Wire: Silver/Lead Review". Paste.
  7. ^ Masters, Marc (4 April 2017). "Wire - Silver/Lead".
  8. ^ Bergstrom, John (29 March 2017). "Wire - Silver/Lead".
  9. ^ Coney, Brian (31 March 2017). "'Wire: Silver/Lead'".
  10. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (31 March 2017). "Pop: Wire: Silver/Lead".
  11. ^ Neate, Wilson (2000). Read and Burn: A Book About Wire. London: Jawbone. pp. 44–51. ISBN 978-1-908279-33-0.
  12. ^ Tom Lanham (3 April 2017). "Colin Newman, Wire play 'non-retrospective' gigs". San Francisco Examiner.
  13. ^ Tom Reardon (23 March 2017). "Which Version of Wire Will Show Up at Crescent Ballroom?". Phoenix New Times.
  14. ^ "official webpage for Silver/Lead". 1 January 2017.
  15. ^ Bob Boilen (23 January 2017). "Wire Set To Release New Album; Hear 'Short Elevated Period".
  16. ^ Kim Ilkowski (28 February 2017). "Wire – "Diamonds In Cups"".
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