Placebo (band)

From Academic Kids

Placebo is a rock band founded in 1994. They enjoyed early success in Britain thanks to the high interest in British rock music at the time, sparked in particular by Oasis and Blur.


Band history

Placebo was founded when former Luxembourg schoolmates Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal met by accident at South Kensington tube station in 1994 and decided to form a band. While briefly known as Ashtray Heart, the band quickly settled on the name Placebo. The band could not decide on a drummer at first with Steve Hewitt and Robert Schultzberg alternating on the spot. While Hewitt was the preferred choice, he also had other commitments as drummer for London band Breed, leading to Schultzberg being the drummer when the band signed its contract with Caroline Records. This said, the band offically say that "family commitments" was the reason for his absence. As the other band members were having difficulty getting on with Robert Schultzberg, they persuaded Hewitt to rejoin the band in 1997.

The singles "Nancy Boy", from Placebo (1995), and "Pure Morning", from Without You I'm Nothing (1998), were the peak of their British success, both charting in the top ten. Since Without You I'm Nothing the band have fallen out of fashion particularly with the British music press, who regularly mock the personality and pretensions of its lead member, Brian Molko. However, the band retained a huge popular and critical following in continental Europe. Their style altered little from Placebo through Black Market Music (2000), based around fairly straightforward guitar playing, often influenced by the style of 1970s British and American rock, and Molko's high-pitched, nasal vocals.

The band was asked to play at David Bowie's fiftieth birthday party at Madison Square Garden. The band's glam connections continued in 1998 when it recorded a version of "20th Century Boy" by T. Rex for the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack. Members of the band also appear in the movie.

Sleeping With Ghosts (2003) was more adventurous, experimenting with dance influences and a less polished guitar sound, though keeping the traditional sound for several songs, including the first single "The Bitter End". The band gained some measure of notoriety for the sexualities of its members (Molko is bisexual, Olsdal is gay, and Hewitt is straight) and their excessive lifestyles, often chronicled in their songs (the title of the track "Special K" from Black Market Music, for instance, is a reference to the drug ketamine).

Placebo have now released the Singles Collection "Once More With Feeling" and played a 1 night only gig at Wembley Arena. This was there last UK gig untill 2006. They then did a short tour for Once More With Feeling in South America. Placebo are currently in the studio recording a new album. They will be working with Timo Mass for some songs since Brian has worked with them for their new album.

Missing image
Placebo. From left to right, Steve Hewitt, Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal.


As of 2005, the band consisted of:

Brian Molko 
Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Synthesizer and Percussion instrument
Stefan Olsdal 
Bass guitar, Musical keyboard and Vocals
Steven Hewitt 

And live had the addition of

William (Bill) Lloyd 
Bass guitar and Musical keyboard
Xavior Roide (from 2003
Musical keyboard and Additional Vocals

Robert Schultzberg was also a member of the band between 1994 and 1997.





  • "Come Home" (1996) #103
  • "36 Degrees" (1996) #83
  • "Teenage Angst" (1996) #30
  • "Nancy Boy" (1997) #4
  • "Bruise Pristine" (1997) #14
  • "Pure Morning" (1998) #4
  • "You Don't Care About Us" (1998) #5
  • "Every You Every Me" (1999) #11
  • "Without You I'm Nothing" (1999)
  • "Taste In Men" (2000) #16
  • "Slave To The Wage" (2000) #19
  • "Special K" (2000)
  • "Black Eyed" (2001)
  • "The Bitter End" (2003) #12
  • "This Picture" (2003) #23
  • "Special Needs" (2003) #27
  • "English Summer Rain" (2004) #23
  • "Protege Moi" (2004)
  • "Twenty Years" (2004) #18

Chart positions are for the UK, they did not chart in the US. However, "Pure Morning" reached #19 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and #40 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.


External links

de:Placebo (Band) el:Placebo es:Placebo (banda) fr:Placebo (groupe) nl:Placebo (band) sv:Placebo (musikgrupp)


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