Placebo is a rock band founded in 1994 by schoolmates Brian Molko and
Stefan Olsdal. They enjoyed early success in Britain due to the high
interest in British rock music at the time that was sparked in particular by
Oasis and Blur.
Placebo's singles "Nancy Boy", from Placebo (1996), and "Pure Morning", from Without You I'm Nothing (1998), were the peak of their British success, both charting in the top ten. Since their Without You I'm Nothing album, the band have fallen out with the British music press but have retained a huge commerical and critical following in continental Europe.
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Placebo's style altered little from their first album through to their 2000 release Black Market Music. The album was based around fairly straightforward guitar playing, often influenced by the style of 1970s British and American rock and Molko's high-pitched vocals. In 1997, the band was asked to play at David Bowie's fiftieth birthday party at Madison Square Garden.
In the autumn of 2004, Placebo released the singles collection Once More With Feeling and played a one-night-only gig at Wembley Arena. Robert Smith of The Cure guested with them on 2 tracks, "Without You I'm Nothing" and a cover of The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry". This performance was to be their last UK gig until 2006. After the Wembley gig, Placebo went on a short Once More With Feeling tour in South America. On July 2nd 2005, the group performed "Twenty Years" and "The Bitter End" at the Live 8 concert, at the Palais de Versailles in France. Their 2006 tour of the UK sold out in one weekend, and certainly lived up to expectations, as their single London date at Alexandra Palace had fans queuing up from 8pm, ready for the doors to be opened at 6pm the next day.
Placebo's latest album, Meds, was released in early 2006. The band is touring throughout the year to promote the album.