Placebo arrived back in 1996 with their self-titled debut into a British rock world dominated by lager fuelled Britpop, seen in bands like Blur and Oasis, and made huge impact with their unique brand of grunge-ridden alternative rock that landed in the charts at number 5.
The London three-piece have released seven internationally successful records over their 20 year career, and are now celebrating with ‘A Place For Us To Dream’ – a collection of their singles over the last two decades in their various versions, whether that be radio edits, album variations, or live renditions.
The anniversary compilation includes everything from big hitters ‘Pure Morning’, ‘Nancy Boy’, and ‘Every You Every Me’, to their cover of Kate Bush‘s ‘Running Up That Hill’ and ‘Without You I’m Nothing’, featuring the late David Bowie.
Revisiting the career of Placebo over the 2 disc set shows how Brian Molko and the band have paved their own way in the rock world with a sound so different to every band that came before them or followed, and can still headline 8 nights at UK arenas in 2016. Although there isn’t a record to support the tour, ‘A Place For Us To Dream’ includes new track and, although it has a less original feel to it, it still shows the estranged melody in the choruses that Placebo have produced consistently since day one.
Although the album is a great collectors item for the die-hard fans and a good starting point for any new fans that have somehow managed to miss the band completely for the past 20 years, greatest hits compilations or singles collections in this case have little relevance in 2016 apart from the fact they are good old money spinner for the record label, band, et al. There’s no reason why you can’t make a playlist of these singles from your Placebo record collections or on whatever your choice of streaming platform is – in fact, it’s probably not too dissimilar to listening to their most listened section.
Alas, ‘A Place For Us To Dream’ is great. Of course it is. But, it’s all previously heard material, and there isn’t too much point to it. Besides that, enjoy the landmark celebration; here’s to Placebo and 20 years of greatness.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)