London, ENGLAND-based, Alternative-Rock trio Placebo was formed in 1994 by American-born singer + guitarist Brian Molko and Swedish bassist Stefan Olsdal; later, that year, drummer Robert Schultzberg was drafted in to complete the line-up.
The threesome made their debut in late 1995 with an independent single entitled "Bruise Pristine". It was followed the next year by the first full-length disc, a self-titled album which climbed into the British top 5 and also gained them a high-profile support slots for U2 and Weezer. The album's lead single, "Nancy Boy", soared to #4 on The Official U.K. chart.
In 1997 Steve Hewitt replaced Schultzberg on drums; not long after David
Bowie invited the group to play at his 50th birthday bash at New York's
Madison Square Garden.
At the beginning of 1998 Placebo started to work on its second album; "Without You I'm Nothing" was finally issued in October on Virgin Records. The first single, "Pure Morning", peaked at #4 in U.K. and broke the top 20 of The Modern Rock Tracks in the United States where the album cracked the top 20 of the Billboard's Top Heatseekers list; the second single off the CD, "You Don't Care About Us", also enjoyed chart success in Britain peaking at #5.
Two years later the trio issued "Black Market Music", it was preceded by the moderate hit single "Taste In Men", but the album didn't gain the praise compared to the band's previous effort.
The three-piece band resurfaced in the spring of 2003 with "Sleeping With Ghosts", their fourth album rose to the #11 spot on the U.K. Pop Albums chart; the main single track "The Bitter End" was a huge hit all over Europe and on the British chart peaked at #10, it was followed by two more U.K. top 30 hits: "Special Needs" and "This Picture". The album eventually hit #18 on the American Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart.
In late 2004, Placebo assembled a collection titled "Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004" which went to #8 in Britain and featured two previously unreleased songs; "Twenty Years", released as a single, climbed into the top 10 of the U.K. Official Pop chart.
In March 2006, the internationally acclaimed alt-Rock trio released its fifth album of new material, "Meds"; it became their first U.S. Billboard Top 200 entry at #180, while "Infra-Red" reached the #34 position on The Hot Modern Rock chart. The British single, "Because I Want You", helped vault the album into the U.K. top 10 rapidly; the first worldwide single, excluding U.K., was "Song To Say Goodbye".
In March 2007 Placebo released an exclusive iTunes only download album
of covers, entitled "Covers"; this release followed the huge
digital download demand for their cover of Kate
Bush's "Running Up That Hill".
That fall Steve Hewitt left Placebo due to personal and musical differences, after playing with the band for over ten years; he was replaced by the Californian drummer Steve Forrest.
Featuring the British top 40 single "For What It's Worth", the trio's next studio album, "Battle For The Sun", arrived in June 2009; it went into the U.K. top 10 and reached #51 on The Billboard 200.
Placebo will release their seventh album, "Loud Like Love", on September 16, 2013; "Too Many Friends" is the first single to be released off the record.