Placebo is an English alternative rock band that emerged from the ’90s Britpop scene before exploring a more experimental sound in the 2000s.
∙ Frontman Brian Molko has said that the name Placebo was inspired by the Latin meaning, “I shall please,” and that it also poked fun at the ’90s trend of naming bands after drugs.
∙ They landed their first Top 10 hit in 1997 with the grungy single “Nancy Boy,” beginning a career-spanning exploration of LGBTQ themes.
∙ In 1998, they scored their first and only Top 20 hit in the US, “Pure Morning,” which also reached the Top 10 in the UK.
∙ Placebo appeared in Todd Haynes’ 1998 glam-rock film, Velvet Goldmine, and covered T. Rex’s iconic “20th Century Boy” for its soundtrack.
∙ The band has collaborated with Michael Stipe, Alison Mosshart, and David Bowie, and Bowie sang on the title track of their best-selling 1998 album, Without You I’m Nothing.
∙ All of their seven studio albums have reached the Top 20 in the UK, with their first two eventually going Platinum.