Although Wire wore a punk overcoat, sonically speaking, on their first three albums, there is no doubt that theirs was a creativity that would have surfaced whatever the current vogue, as their relevance today shows. Chairs Missing was their Harvest follow up to the arty 21-track debut, Pink Flag, but boasting a mere 15 tracks, which ranged from just over a minute long, to an epic 5.45 for Mercy. The lyrics, printed prose fashion in the booklet, make an interesting and stimulating read even divorced from the musical settings contained in the grooves. Producer Mike Thorne adds extra coloration and texture with his synths and keyboards and Kate Lukas adds flute to one tune.
Chairs Missing included the single I Am The Fly, although as it had been released 7 months earlier than the album and had a B-side from Pink Flag, it may be older than the rest of the album. Outdoor Miner was extracted as a single along with its flipside, Practice Makes Perfect, in January 1979. A longer version of Outdoor Miner is included as a bonus track, along with both sides of a non-album single that was released in June 1979.
The appearance of Chairs Missing on CD in 1990 proved influential on indie and Britpop bands such as Elastica and Blur, and still sounds fresh and vital today