Every morning, my eyes will open wide
I gotta get high, before I go outside.
Roll another, for breakfast
Burning clouds around, and in my solar plexus... AB - Ancienne Belgique... amazing performance to a beautiful song @placeboworld @stefanolsdal #wyin #wyin20 #placeboworld #placebofans #placebo20 #brianmolko #stefanolsdal
The year 1998 was an important year for Placebo. In parallel with the release of Without You I'm Nothing, Velvet Goldmine by Todd Haynes came out. Movie in which Placebo played a cover of the glam-rock band T-Rex, 20th Century Boy.
Theatrical, supersexual, provocative, the glam preached excess while cultivating elegance, pushed refinement to the frontiers of bad taste by its excesses and audacity. Velvet Goldmine (name of a David Bowie song) describes this. This is the third movie of Todd Haynes.
In the 60s and 70s, the singer Brian Slade was at the height of his glory. He revolutionized the world of music by popularizing glam-rock, and provoked with his sulphurous lifestyle until his murder, during one of his shows. However, the public quickly understands this murder was just another staging. Several decades later, a young journalist decided to investigate the life and supposed death of Brian Slade.
Velvet Goldmine's original soundtrack is made up of cult songs and cult artists like Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, T-Rex and many more, all sprinkled with glitter and unbridled sexuality. Todd Haynes gave a role to Brian Molko and to Placebo members, who covered the T-Rex song 20th Century Boy. " In rock, some of the best things were built with gay imagery. Heterosexual aesthetics doesn't interest us. It's too restrictive.[...] People described me as the devil himself, while I am a real kitten. " Brian Molko, Lib. 1998
Brian Molko had the role of Malcolm, singer of Flaming Creatures. Role which suited him very well. At that time, he was in a provocative and ambiguous attitude, speaking in interviews about drugs, alcohol and sex. He showed his androgyny and evoked his bisexuality, playing provocation with a seduction towards Stefan, for the delight of the public. This increased a little more the sulphurous image of the band, but a glamorous image. • Katy • 💜 ● Photo by Adrian Green
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Let's talk about Once More with Feeling.
2004 was the opportunity for the band to release a collection of singles entitled Once More with Feeling, after having released its first concert on DVD in 2003, Soulmates Never Die in Paris.
In only four albums, the trio managed to become a real musical phenomenon.
To make the audience wait, the band came out with Once More With Feeling, bringing together all Placebo singles since its debut, plus two new songs: I Do and Twenty Years.
The DVD version contains the Placebo video clips. The successor of Sleeping With Ghosts was already written, but Placebo prefered to delay: " I need sun and beaches. That's why I live in London. " joked Brian Molko. " But, seriously, I'll live in India a few months. I think it will not affect the album because it has already been written. In fact, we could enter the studio tomorrow but we don't want to. It's time to live a little bit. "
From the song full of rage Teenage Angst, through the register of the electronic ballad I Do, the experimentations of a young DJ with English Summer Rain or the latest single Twenty Years not very happy, Placebo brought with this compilation its listeners in a world full of emotions. I really love it.
Joy, sadness, pain in sum the delusions of human psychology, everything is in fact very finely transcribed. We're not bored, we listen carefully, and finally we can say that keeping for 10 years the most uncompromising fans wasn't an easy thing. ● Photo : credit unknown
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True globetrotter, Brian was born in 1972 in Brussels, the father traveled to Lebanon, Liberia to finally take up residence in Luxembourg.
Brian Molko had a Christian education.
At the age of puberty, he entered a period of rebellion, rejecting all this religious antecedent. He focused on his new passion: music.
Also attracted by the theater, but clashing with the stubborn refusal of his parents to let him perpetrate in this way, learning as a self-taught guitar, Brian left his family to settle in London. There, he enrolled in drama classes at the end of which he graduated, invested a time in modeling, and of course reported his passion for music by performing in various bars and London clubs.
With Steve Hewitt and Stefan Olsdal, they came together to create Placebo, which was a huge hit.
Brian Molko has become in the space of twenty years, a key figure in contemporary music.
Atypical by his "rock'n'roll" past (alcohol, drugs), Brian also becomes a libertarian icon unashamedly displaying an androgyny and bisexuality, far from the smooth image of successful pop-rock bands.
Dark and almost gothic, Brian conveys this imagery and fascination with the instability and fragility of adolescence, allowing a whole generation to recognize themselves in this character then out of the ordinary.
Even if this characteristic of marginality is now somewhat outdated for Brian Molko, the first albums of Placebo will remain "gothic" pearls of dark rock.
Placebo's music has evolved over the years, its wealth is exponential and leaves us hopeful for the future. • Katy • ● Photo by Kevin Westenberg
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Two words often come to my mind when I think about Serge Gainsbourg: glamour and trashy. These two words could also be suitable for this covers album of Gainsbourg songs, Mr. Gainsbourg Revisited, concept album released in 2006. The musicians have probably (re)composed the most beautiful homage paid to Gainsbourg since his death.
The beauty of the album shows the delicacy of the adaptations of Boris Bergman and Paul Ives. The poetry of the lyrics of Gainsbourg seemed however untranslatable ... But this album testified of the influence of Serge Gainsbourg music beyond the borders of France, a posthumous love story between Gainsbourg and the British and American musicians. " I discovered Gainsbourg, like most English people, with Je T'aime Moi Non Plus. He was the one who made Jane Birkin say daring words. I didn't understand the lyrics very well. " Jarvis Cocker (singer of the band Pulp), Le Figaro 2006.
Placebo loves Gainsbourg. The trio proved it with The Ballad Of Melody Nelson and Brian Molko, with Faultine and Francoise Hardy, with Requiem For A Jerk.
The Ballad Of Melody Nelson, covered by Placebo, was already in the album Covers, from their album Sleeping With My Ghosts. The Anglo-Saxon legacy of Gainsbourg owes much to one album in particular, released in 1971: L'Histoire de Melody Nelson with its arrangements signed Jean-Claude Vannier, this throbbing rhythm and the voice of Jane Birkin. My opinion and for many people, it's the best Gainsbourg album. Brian Molko himself said it and explained:
Brian Molko : " There is this strange music with a lot of strings and then this very perverse story. It's quite amazing this record is considered a masterpiece today, respected by everyone.
Interviewer : Why are Anglo-Saxons fascinated by his music without understanding his lyrics?
Brian Molko : I believe, quite simply, it gives off a deep melancholy which goes beyond the barriers of language. " Le Parisien 2006
📸 Scarlet Page
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Black Market Music moved away from its predecessor and the first album as much as it managed to build a synthesis of both. However in Black Market Music,
the band remained the spiritual son of Bowie and Sonic Youth. Their noisy sounds are easily found in Black Eyed for example, and their melancholy songs with Passive Agressive or Narcoleptic.Black Market Music is an album particularly enjoyable. It holds a major place in the hearts of those who love Placebo.
This was also the direction in which most songs of the B-sides go. This compilation saved remixes and showed masterpieces " With B-sides we do alot of experimental music, a lot of covers, instrumental and stuff like that and it is fun for us, but the stuff that we play live it's kinda our favorites. There is a certain instruction of what works better live and especially in a festival situation and usually it is a powerful rock song with lyrics. You are not gonna play like a ten minute instrumental. "
BM - Rockwave, Festival, 22 juin 2004
Little Mo never go in an album for an unexplainable reason.
The story of Elvis dying in the bathroom, his guardian angel, Little Mo is a good song. " We had a B-side a while ago called "Little Mo" that never really had proper lyrics. It was a collection of gobbledygook, like sounds that changed every night when we played it live. I find it interesting going onto the internet and reading peoples' interpretations of what was going on. And it put a smile on my face because of the fact that there weren't ever real lyrics." Brian Molko, The Sentimentalist - Issue XII, 2003
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Placebo spared no effort in this year 98 and released a second album very worked, researched and better produced. It gave to the band an international career.
Without You I'm Nothing is a high quality album both enjoyable and powerful.
Indeed, Placebo offered us a noisy rock, dark but effective and very melodic album. It's a mature and calm album with songs full of emotions, whose spleen made me cry many times. There is also a bit of rage, similar to the first album.
Placebo gave us an excellent second album. Without You I'm Nothing will be forever the best record of the band for many fans. This album became a rock jewel of late-century.
That's what Brian Molko said about it in 1998: " When I started writing lyrics, my professional life had never been so flourishing. On the other hand, my private life had never been so catastrophic. I hated myself for getting there, for letting my heart break into small pieces, to have abused so many dear people ...
I was at the lowest before we went to isolate ourselves in the countryside, where we recorded the album. Before we started, we knew that the album was going to be called Without You I'm Nothing. Because it summed up perfectly our state of mind, which went through a few weeks of recording from romanticism to melancholy. In all songs, love stories end badly." Brian Molko - Les Inrockuptibles 1998 ● Photo by François Rousseau
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Impossible to talk about Placebo without evoking the absolute masterpiece Without You I'm Nothing.
Placebo's second album is a musical odyssey, its considerable influence on Music has been recognized. Moreover, the title track, which an incredible version was recorded with David Bowie, is one of the best rock songs written, one of the best songs simply. That's what Brian Molko said about this album: " Most of the stuff here is self-analytical really. I really made myself very vulnerable with this record and placed myself on the firing line. But that's okay, 'cause it makes you incredibly honest. The more personal you get, the more universal things become. When you're honest and tell it like it is, you become more attached with real things that every other person out there faces and can understand. "
Brian Molko - JAM! 1998.
Placebo knew how to take back and reinject intelligently the energy of the first album to make this second album more varied, more mature and sometimes calmer. This album has plaintive songs full of emotions like The Crawl or Burger Queen and energetic songs resolutely rock.
We find this provocative side of Placebo in Allergic (To Thoughts Of Mother Earth) with its nervous and heavy guitars, which made the charm of the band, thanks to a pushed work with the distortion of the guitar, and a chorus as simple as very committed : The light divining
The light defining
Stefan: " [...] the song arrives perfectly on the album and I love the symbiosis between the guitar and the bass as well as the way the voice of Brian arises. The rhythm of the voice more precisely.
Brian: It's a really unique song !! (he sings) "
Without You I'm Nothing is a jewel of music. For me, it's a beautiful album, forever iconic. This masterpiece has a very important place in my heart. Allergic (To Thoughts Of Mother Earth) is an energetic song with refined sounds that I really love. ● Photo by Renaud Monfourny
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Placebo proposed us to relive its 2 decades of career with a live to celebrate its 20 years, the 𝗨𝗻𝗽𝗹𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝗱 show organized by 𝗠𝗧𝗩 recorded the August 19, 2015 at the London Studios, in the heart of the city in which Placebo had played their first concerts, and released with a bonus DVD the November 27, 2015.
The band experimented new instruments and completely reworked seventeen songs, carefully chosen. Accompanied by classical instruments, the intense rock of Placebo turned into an enchanting pop magic. Brian 's voice brought tenderness and made endearing these seventeen melodies. This 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗯𝗼 𝗠𝗧𝗩 𝗨𝗻𝗽𝗹𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝗱 was a great success and gave us great moments. " We wanted to do something extraordinary, something which challenged us. "
𝑩𝒓𝒊𝒂𝒏 𝑴𝒐𝒍𝒌𝒐, BM, Rtbf 2015
I love this sweet and bitter side which emerges from the 𝗨𝗻𝗽𝗹𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝗱, an impression of hope wiped out by melancholy like 𝑩𝒐𝒔𝒄𝒐. This song arouses a lot of emotions and the first time I listened to it, I was in tears.
Feelings are the theme of Loud Like Love but Brian Molko spoke about it to us differently this time, with a more humble way. Humility we find in 𝑩𝒐𝒔𝒄𝒐 in a very cold universe, very special.
The 𝗨𝗻𝗽𝗹𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝗱 reached its peak with this song, with its piano and its orchestrated sad violins, 𝑩𝒐𝒔𝒄𝒐 gave us and still gives us a lot of shivers. " It's about a tragic love relationship torn apart by addictions. It also speaks of seeking redemption, and asking for forgiveness. "
𝑩𝒓𝒊𝒂𝒏 𝑴𝒐𝒍𝒌𝒐, BM, R.F 2013
The 𝗨𝗻𝗽𝗹𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝗱 exercise was terrifying for a band more accustomed to filling the stadiums, declared Placebo. Despite this, it's nice to hear Brian Molko talking, introducing his featuring-guests and even joking with Stefan. Listening to this album, for me Placebo had succeeded this concept. The members had grown and evolved: the rage, the androgyny worked in the past had now given way to a greater sobriety and the track listing clearly showed this maturity. 🎞 𝐏𝐇𝐎𝐓𝐎 : Screenshots i did + editing from Placebo - MTV Unplugged, 2015
Placebo offered us with the first album crazy music, uneven and incredibly enjoyable. The band was a paradox, a glamorous, handsome and beautiful band that invented a wild music. Brian Molko's androgynous voice and charisma disturbed. The lyrics, essentially articulated around love, sex and torments of the soul, between despair and melancholy, themes which will be recurrent in the band's discography, were also really loved. " Well, my lyrics reveal the truth about how I feel, and experiences I've had. I don't see why I should be shy and coy and hide behind macho rock posturing. That's not what I'm about. "
𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘔𝘰𝘭𝘬𝘰, BM, What's On 1997
𝗡𝗮𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗕𝗼𝘆 is a slow song in the tempo although the instruments are nervous behind Brian Molko's amazing voice.
We find the sharp guitar with that particular sound and the drums, which just before the chorus made a welcome break. Brian's guitar playing - inspired by Sonic Youth - knew how to be very incisive. " We were reacting very strongly against the machismo, terrace chants and revisionism of Britpop,” says Molko, “and the nationalism that we interpreted as xenophobia of the musical kind. We were trying to make a strong political statement about the fluidity of sexuality with the dresses and make-up that we wore. We set out to confuse, and I guess Nancy Boy was the perfect soundtrack to that. "
𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘔𝘰𝘭𝘬𝘰, BM, LS 2016 True and excellent hymn of the fans of the first hour, 𝗡𝗮𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗕𝗼𝘆 left traces. I love this song and all it represents, at the time I was far to imagine the huge impact it would have. 📸 Cummins, 1997
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Live Angkor Wat album is a semi-acoustic album, released the 12.12.2008 exclusively on iTunes. Placebo participated in a historic concert the 12.07.2008 at the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. The live contains 9 songs including a part played acoustic but also a booklet of ten pages with unpublished photos of the Brian Molko's collection.
The event was historic. Indeed, Placebo was the first rock band to play in this prestigious 12th century site (protected by UNESCO), a true cultural landmark which hosted various cultural activities, opera performances, also serving as a backdrop for cinema. That evening, Placebo and seven other Cambodian and international artists had responded to MTV EXIT's call to participate at a special concert for the benefit of the victims of human trafficking. " We are in the twenty-first century and it's inconceivable that slavery and human trafficking can still exist, and in such heavy proportions, in some countries ...’’ Brian Molko - CM 2008
This live with the illuminated Angkor Wat temple in the background was intimate and the performance of the band was very neat. Placebo used particular instruments, such as the violin accentuating the beauty of the music. The band had also worked on the arrangements and made new orchestrations. It was a success.
And, Placebo didn't resist to play a single from his first album, because, as Brian Molko said, the good thing about rock is it doesn't get old. In Ankgor Wat, Teenage Angst became a nocturnal ballad serving Brian Molko's voice, with Stefan Olsdal at the piano.
This live provoked passions. I find it incredibly beautiful and the 9 songs chosen, these 38 minutes are for me a marvel. There emerged a kind of fullness, osmosis, the beauty of music going hand in hand with the place. ● Photos Montage i did :
Brian Molko by Joseph Llanes, Cambodia, 2008.
Screenshots of Live At Angkor Wat & Booklet
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Loud Like Love has been described by Placebo as "a series of love stories that have not worked". Back on an album positioned between a subtle return to the sources and a new approach more sought after. Most of this last album is in a nostalgic atmosphere, this characteristic throbbing melancholy.
Between nervous songs like Scene of the Crime or Rob the Bank, we find what Placebo knows how to do the best, ballads, slower and more intense over the minutes. Among them, A Million Little Pieces is a very interesting song with its aerial rhythm and introduction with the melodic piano, giving to this song a formidable efficiency. The chorus is also supported by some synth notes for a final result whose melancholy is 100% Placebo. The song is also a goodbye letter: « But I’m leaving this worry town, please, no grieving, my love, understand. »
A Million Little Pieces is among the surprises of the album. It's a song about a sentimental rupture, with a chorus with a rare emotion.
In spite of a maturity logically acquired with the years, the sensitivity of Brian Molko hadn't changed. A sentimentally dark and defeatist song. " I always have this failure to imagine ending a relationship even before it starts. "
Brian Molko - RUF 2013
Placebo remained half depressive. We love them like that, after all.
Despite some clarifications, we must recognize that the album bears well its title ... as loud as it sounds despair.
A Million Little Pieces is one of my favorites songs of the album. A song with an instrumentation worked and out of time.This passage where Brian almost whispered: "Understand ..." followed by a shifted voice is so beautiful. A spleen song that brought me back to the days of Without You I'm Nothing. ● Montage Photo i did : Screenshots from Placebo - A Million Little Pieces (Live at RAK Studios) vidéo.
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A psychedelic cover, a first song with the same name, Loud Like Love, full of promise, rhythmic, high in color which promises to this album of Placebo, joy and happiness..the song of a siren to bait you in the abyssal and dark depths of the melancholy ocean.
Indeed, Loud Like Love had taken the total counterpart of what was expected of Placebo by returning to a melancholy close to the beginning and its content proved to be quite successful.
A panel of melodies more worked and complex than the others, the voice of sweet Brian Molko pouring a flood of obscure words. More thoughtful compositions exploiting the instruments differently. The production of Adam Noble is rigorous and subtle.
If Molko's guitar is clearly less present, we note however that Stefan Olsdal's bass is now in a prominent place, providing captivating lines (Purify). Forrest seemed both capable of rhythm speed (Loud Like Love) and sad delicacy (A Million Little Pieces).
But the unexpected was revealed especially with the lyrics. Brian's writing now knew how to be scathing and critical about the world around him, like Too Many Friends or Rob The Bank or being even more melancholic like Bosco or Begin The End, which evokes a breakup sent directly to the listener's face.
I like this bitter sweet side that emerges from this seventh album, as an impression of hope pulled down by melancholy. Each song brings a lot of emotions and discoveries as the music is worked, and I am overwhelmed by tears listening to the album. " It's the most emotionally vulnerable record we've made and the most direct. We didn't want to be intellectual and veer off into a cooler, hipper direction. "
Brian Molko - TSMH 2013 ● Picture by Joseph Llanes
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