Silent Running (4:10)

Cover of Hits

From Hits and 11 other releases

“Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)” is a pop rock song performed by Mike + The Mechanics.

Written by Mike Rutherford and B. A. Robertson, it was the first track from their 1985 self-titled debut album. It was also released as the band’s first single, reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, where it stayed for five weeks.[1] It reached number 21 in the band’s native United Kingdom.[2]

Paul Carrack provided lead vocals on the song.[3] The song’s original title was simply “Silent Running”; the name extension was given when the song was chosen to appear in the 1986 movie On Dangerous Ground, which was titled Choke Canyon in the US.[4] The longer title for the song has proved confusing, not only because of the film’s different title in the US, but because the song’s lyrics have nothing to do with the film. Possibly because of this, the song is listed as “Silent Running” on many later releases, such as the Hits album.

The song has been banned by the BBC since the Gulf War due to its address of war, nationalism and religion, as well as a direct reference to weaponry in the line, “There’s a gun and ammunition just inside the doorway.”[5]

“Silent Running” was one of the first songs to come from the Rutherford/​Robertson songwriting partnership. It was, in fact, one of a series of songs that the two wrote simply to test how effective collaboration between them would be. When producer Christopher Neil heard it on a demo tape that Rutherford played for him, however, he recommended that it be used for the album.[6]


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Albums featuring this track (12)

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  • eaglekeeper50

    Take a toke and zoooom!

    11 May 9:50am Reply
  • gotgore101

    Tapping my foot to the beat and grooving to beat.

    26 Jan 9:17pm Reply
  • endlesscrimson

    Second fave Mike + the Mechanics track

    30 Nov 2013 Reply
  • bAzTNM

    From the film "Choke Canyon". Film was called "On Dangerous Ground" in the UK.

    2 Nov 2013 Reply
  • radio_face

    Reminds me of a freshly tapped keg.

    30 Oct 2013 Reply
  • radio_face


    30 Oct 2013 Reply
  • rockandrolljoe


    27 Oct 2013 Reply
  • herbfarts

    YES, " Living Years " absolutely the best.

    18 Feb 2013 Reply
  • FCA19795

    I heard this again last week for the first time since... a long time, last century I am sure. One of the best of the 80's. They just don't make music like this any more.

    3 Feb 2013 Reply
  • thomas2112

    the living years still my favorite. xlent album

    10 Dec 2012 Reply
  • britanny3

    I love songs that make ya feel odd things. Like this 1. makes me feel like i am watching a sci-fi movie. I think that's genius in my book right up there with Mozart.

    9 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Derek_f

    I enjoyed the BBC 4 profile on Paul Carrack - what a star!

    31 Oct 2012 Reply
  • holboxlegs

    Off to Ipswich to see Paul Carrack - can't wait

    26 Oct 2012 Reply
  • lynnbookworm_91

    "can you hear me runnin'/can you hear me callin' you?" plays on repeat in my head for days when I hear this song! fantastic lyrics

    4 Oct 2012 Reply
  • reagan0

    One of the best songs from its era. Chilling lyrics remind me of a dystopian science fiction film.

    18 Aug 2012 Reply
  • DodgerKnight

    LOL: "Believe in me...I'm with the high command"

    15 Aug 2012 Reply
  • sl8221958

    Don't believe the church and state, And everything they tell you. Swear allegiance to the flag, Whatever flag they offer. Never hint at what you really feel.

    16 Jul 2012 Reply
  • cork725

    Good song

    21 Jun 2012 Reply
  • cladycestlavie

    Amazing one !

    15 Apr 2012 Reply
  • caligula-minus

    One of the best songs ever!!!

    15 Apr 2012 Reply
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