Placebo band

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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 (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 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.

The band gained somewhat of a following among skateboarders when the song "Every You Every Me" (also used on the Cruel Intentions soundtrack) was used by Mark Appleyard for his part in the skate video Sorry.

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, half of the trio were gay (Olsdal is gay, Hewitt is straight and Molko is bisexual) 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).

In the fall of 2004, Placebo released the Singles Collection "Once More With Feeling" and played a one-night-only gig at Wembley Arena. This performance is 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 at the Live 8 concert, at the Palais de Versailles in France.

In September 2005, the band finished the recording phase of their new album, which is due for release in January or February 2006. The new album, of which the name is yet unknown, is rumoured to be getting back to the band's roots, with a Without You I'm Nothing meets Sleeping With Ghosts vibe. The band will be working with Timo Maas for some songs as Brian has also worked with Timo for his new album, with his vocals featuring on the single "First Day", which was released in May 2005.

In November 2005, Molko revealed in an interview that they had been working on 15 new songs since the June of 2004 in the South of France, and had been in the studio recording since August of 2005, working with French Producer Dimitri Tokovoi, who is a friend of the band and has produced the songs "Ballad Of Melody Nelson" and "Running Up That Hill" for the band in the past. Molko said that the new songs are sounding more guitar based, like "The Bitter End" off their lastest album and like many of the songs on their first album. Most of the tracks are based on 2 guitars, drums and a piano. Recording has been finished and they have been mixing since October 29th 2005. 2 duets with American singers were also confirmed, but who these singers are is still unknown. Finally, Molko said they should be playing gigs soon with the White Stripes and a gig in Bangkok.

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
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
  • "Protège 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.


Full Recording History


  • Dark Globe (R.E.M.)
  • Been Smoking Too Long (Nick Drake)
  • Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
  • Where Is My Mind (The Pixies)
  • Bigmouth Strikes Again (The Smiths)
  • Johnny And Mary (Robert Palmer)
  • 20th Century Boy (T-Rex)
  • The Ballad Of Melody Nelson (Serge Gainsbourg)
  • Holocaust (Alex Chilton)
  • I Feel You (Depeche Mode)
  • Daddy Cool (Boney M)
  • Jackie (Sinead O' Connor)


  • Aardvark
  • Drink You Pretty
  • Bubblegun
  • Drowning By Numbers
  • Eyesight To The Blind
  • Flesh Mechanic
  • Hare Krishna
  • Jesus Loves Me
  • Johnny & Mary
  • Kitsch Object
  • Little Mo
  • Mars Landing Party
  • Miss Moneypenny
  • Paycheck
  • Slackerbitch
  • Soulmates
  • Then The Clouds Will Open For Me
  • The Innocence Of Sleep
  • Ion
  • Evalia
  • Hug Bubble
  • Oxygen Thief
  • Paycheck
  • Leni
  • Needledick
  • Waiting For The Son Of Man
  • Theme From Funky Reverend


  • Twenty Years (Osymyso's Birthday Mix)
  • Passive aggressive (Brothers In Rhythm remix)
  • Slave to the wage (I can't believe it's a remix)
  • I Do (Material Mix)
  • English Summer Rain (Sussie 4 Mix)
  • This Picture (The Mexican Institute of Sound - I Love My Rocker Mix)
  • Special Needs (Blackpulke Mix)
  • I Do Wop Remake
  • This Picture (Blackpulke Mix)
  • English Summer Rain (Glitte R.MX)
  • Special Needs (Chuck y Los Ollvidados - Respect the Coda Mix)
  • This Picture (Isaac Junkie Mix)
  • Swallow (Designer/U-Sheen mix)
  • Nancy Boy (Sex Mix)
  • Hug Bubble (Brad Wood mix)
  • Bruise Pristine (1" Punch Mix)
  • Bruise Pristine (Lionrock mix)
  • Pure Morning - Les Rythmes mix
  • Pure Morning - Howie B mix
  • Every You Every Me - Sneaker mix
  • Every You Every Me - BIR mix
  • Every You Every Me - Single mix
  • Nancy Boy - Blue Amazon mix
  • Every You Every Me - Scourge mix
  • Without You I'm Nothing UNKLE mix
  • Without You I'm Nothing Flexirol mix
  • Without You I'm Nothing BIR mix
  • Taste In Men - Go go dub mix
  • Taste In Men - Alpinestars mix
  • Special K - Timo Dub mix
  • Special K - Timo Maas mix
  • Passive Aggressive - BIR mix
  • Pure Morning (MBV Remix)
  • Black-Eyed (Le Vibrator Mix)
  • The Bitter End - Junior Sanchez Mix
  • English Summer Rain – Freelance Hellraiser Mix
  • Protage Moi - M83 Mix


  • Placebo vs. Kosheen - Hide The Bitter End
  • Placebo vs. Beastie Boys - Every Root
  • Running up that Hill (Placebo vs. Kate Bush)

Live Tracks

  • Jesus Loves Me
  • All Apologies
  • Besame Mucho (Spanish Live acapella)
  • Plaisir d'amour (French Acapella Live)
  • Long Division
  • Feel Good Hit of the Summer (QOTSA cover)
  • Hurt (NIN cover)
  • Mercedez Benz (cover)


  • Hang on to your IQ
  • BulletProof Cupid
  • 36 degrees
  • Bruise Pristine
  • Come Home (2 Versions)
  • I know
  • Nancy Boy (2 Versions)
  • Teenage Angst
  • Kangaroo Died
  • Stardate 1804
  • 2468
  • Eyesight to the Blind
  • Teenage Angst (2 Versions)
  • Flesh Mechanic
  • Paycheck (2 Versions)


  • 36 Degress
  • Leni (with extended lyrics)
  • Haemoglobin (Acoustic)
  • Every You Every Me (Acoustic)
  • Plasticine (Lounge Version)
  • This picture (acoustic)
  • Special K (acoustic)
  • Teenage Angst (Piano Version)
  • Teenage Angst (Acoustic Version)
  • Nancy Boy (acoustic)
  • Burger Queen (Français)
  • Protège Moi
  • Taste In Men (Jazz version)
  • Commercial for Levi (acoustic)
  • Peeping Tom (acoustic)
  • Blue american (acoustic)
  • Slave to the wage (acoustic)
  • Allergic (To Thoughts of Mom)
  • Without You I'm Nothing (different lyrics)
  • Twenty Years (instrumental)
  • Come Home (faster)

Featuring & Solo

Brian (Vocal)

  • First Day - Timo Maas feat Brian Molko
  • Pictures - Timo Maas & Brian Molko
  • Like Siamese - Timo Maas & Brian Molko
  • Some - Dream City Film Club feat. Brian Molko
  • Carbon Kid - Alpine Stars
  • Chelsea Hotel - Brian Molko
  • Crush - AC Acoustics & Brian Molko
  • The Metric System - Trash Palace & Brian Molko
  • Je T'aime Moi Non Plus - Trash Palace, Asia Argento & Brian Molko
  • No Other God - Kristeen Young & Brian Molko
  • Without You I'm Nothing - Placebo & David Bowie
  • Kristeen Young & Brian Molko - No Other God
  • Five Years - Brian Molko
  • Smile - Brian Molko & Jane Birkin

Steve (Drums)

Breed - Wonderful Blade

  • Wonderful Blade
  • Violent Sentimental
  • Sea of Wine
  • Feverish
  • Splinter
  • Perfect Hangover
  • Pendulum
  • Hard Cash

The Boo Radleys - Ichabod and I

  • Eleanor Everything
  • Bodenheim JR
  • Catweazle
  • Sweet Salad Birth
  • Hip Clown Rag
  • Walking 5th Carnival
  • Kalliedoscope
  • Happens To Us All


  • Stefan & Family - Beep Beep


External links

cs:Placebo (skupina) de:Placebo (Band) el:Placebo es:Placebo (banda) fr:Placebo (groupe) nl:Placebo (band) pl:Placebo_(grupa muzyczna) sv:Placebo (musikgrupp) sk:Placebo (skupina)