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A historical account of the band Placebo
written by deementia
very early Placebo .... Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal went to the same school during their youth in Luxembourg but never really socialized with each other because Stefan was basketball jock and Brian was "drama loser". Years later, they happened to bump into each other at a South Kensington subway station, two years after Brian had arrived in London to study drama. Brian, who played guitar and sang, invited Stef to see he & his band play live and to Brian's surprise, Stef went.
.... He and Stefan (who played bass) ended up forming a band called Ashtray Heart together. The pair, along with Brian's friend, a drummer called Steve Hewitt went into the studio to record several demos. Steve was in another band, Breed, so he couldn't continue to play with the band so Stefan introduced Brian to a fellow Swede, Robert Schultzberg, who played drums. Sometime around then they changed their name to Placebo. After playing only 5 gigs around London record companies began showing an interest and Fierce Panda released "Bruise Pristine" as a split single (with the band Soup) at the end of 1995.
.... In January 1996 they were signed to Hut records, releasing their self-titled debut later that year. It was produced by Brad Wood (of the band Tortoise) and spawned the single "Nancy Boy", which hit #4 on the UK charts.
.... Due to internal conflicts, Robert left the band in mid-1996. He was quickly replaced by the very same Steve who played on Placebo's original demos and was since been released from his commitments with Breed.
.... The trio spent the latter part of 1996 and a lot of 1997 touring, playing select dates with U2 on their Popmart tour and being invited to play at David Bowie's 50th birthday party in New York City. In the early summer of 1997, a new version of "Bruise Pristine" was released on Hut.
early Placebo
early mid Placebo .... In the spring of 1997 all three members of Placebo were given minor parts in the film Velvet Goldmine (released in 1998), which was directed by Todd Haynes and produced by Michael Stipe of REM. For the soundtrack the band performed a cover of T. Rex's "Twentieth Century Boy". Their second album, Without You I'm Nothing, was released in October 1998 to much critical acclaim. The album's third single, "Every You Every Me", was also released on the soundtrack for Cruel Intentions, which greatly broadened their exposure in the USA.
.... In 1999 the video for "Pure Morning" received a Brit nomination and so the band performed "Twentieth Century Boy" with David Bowie at the award ceremony. Later that year, the limited edition "Without You I'm Nothing" single featuring a Brian/Bowie duet was put out.
.... Black Market Music, their 3rd full-length, was released in autumn of 2000 to a mixed reaction. In support of it, the band spent most of the next year and a half touring the world, playing many festival dates, some as headliners. "Black-Eyed" was used for the German movie, Engel & Joe, of which pieces were used in the video for the song and of which the band attended the premier. The tour concluded in October of 2001 and the band took a much needed break.
.... The last part of 2001 and the first half of 2002 were fairly quiet in the Placebo camp. Brian did a few extracurricular projects, like DJ'ing and the Alpinestars and Trash Palace songs. Aside from those, the trio released no new songs and only played one gig, a 4-song set at the 4Scott show in honor of the late Scott Piering.
late mid Placebo
Placebo in 2003 .... In June/July of 2002 work with the producer, Jim Abbiss, was begun on full-length number 4, entitled Sleeping With Ghosts. Recording finished in winter and "The Bitter End" single was put out on March 10th, 2003. After they played a handful of warm-up gigs, the completed album was released on March 24th in the UK, and April 1st in the USA.
.... Placebo began their UK tour in April of 2003. They spent the summer and autumn on tour across the world, releasing their next singles, "This Picture" and "Special Needs" on June 16th and September 15th respectively. In addition to the regular version of Sleeping With Ghosts, the band released a special edition in September that included a disc of covers, containing a pair of songs ("Running Up That Hill" and "The Ballad Of Melody Nelson") that were previously unreleased.
.... Soulmates Never Die - Live In Paris, Placebo's first ever official full-length DVD, was released in the spring of 2004. This DVD was alive recording of their October 18th 2003 Paris gig played in front of 16,000 fans. For their final encore, "Where is My Mind?", the band was joined on stage by Frank Black. Even more touring followed, including several festivals.
.... Then, on October 25th 2004, Placebo released their first collection of singles on an album called Once More with Feeling : 1996-2004. Released at the same time was a DVD of the same name containing all their promo videos and several other extra features. Once More With Feeling included two new songs, "I Do" and "Twenty Years", the latter of which was released on October 18th as a single with a video. The band's last gig of 2004 was at Wembley Arena on November 5th where the legendary Robert Smith of The Cure joined them on stage for duets of "Without You I'm Nothing" and The Cure's song "Boys Don't Cry".
Placebo in 2004
really recent Placebo .... Even though they were supposed to be taking a break, the band took time in April of 2005 to play several dates in South America, a continent which had been completely passed over during their previous tour. In late spring/early summer of 2005 the band went to France with producer Dimitri Tikovoi, who had previously remixed Placebo and who Brian had worked with when he did the Trash Palace songs, to record their fifth studio album.
.... Recording was completed within only eight weeks. During recording the band took time out to play "The Bitter End" and "Twenty Years" at the Live 8 concert in Paris that took place on July 2nd.
.... March 2006 saw the release of Meds, Placebo's fifth studio full length. Only a week before the album came not one but two singles, Because I Want You for the UK, and Song To Say Goodbye for the rest of the world. Meds had the start of any of Placebo's albums, reaching number one on the charts in seven countries, and made it into the top ten in fourteen countries. On March 23rd Placebo performed on the MTV Fashionable Loud fashion/gig show in Singapore. The event kicked off Singapore Fashion Week and was subsequently re-aired in at least 5 other Asian countries.
.... Placebo, the band's first full-length album, was re-released in September 2006 as a special edition which included some b-sides, demos, new liner notes, and a DVD.
most really recent Placebo

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see my Placebo timeline for even more details

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