Placebo: Brian Molko (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, keytar, bass); Stefan Olsdal (acoustic & electric guitars, piano, Rhodes electric piano, bass); Robert Schultzberg (drums, percussion, didgeridoo).
Recorded at Westland Studios, Dublin, Ireland in spring 1996.
Personnel: Brian Molko (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Stefan Olsdal (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Moog synthesizer); Robert Schultzberg (didjeridu, drums, percussion).
Recording information: Marcadet Studios, Paris, France (11/1996); Westland Studios, Dublin, Republic Of Ireland (11/1996); Marcadet Studios, Paris, France (1996); Westland Studios, Dublin, Republic Of Ireland (1996).
Photographer: Saul Fletcher.
Placebo was an intriguing combination of a Swede, a Swiss, and an American, who formed in Luxembourg and ended up sounding very British, in a post-punk sort of way. Signed for a reputed large advance (partly owing to their marketable, androgynous singer, Brian Molko), the quality of their songwriting was demonstrated on their excellent debut. "Nancy Boy," a surprising hit single, is in fact one of the lesser tracks on the album, with much more depth to be found in songs like "Bionic," "Come Home," and "I Know," the latter coming complete with didgeridoo. This tenth anniversary reissue includes five additional tracks and a bonus DVD, containing rare footage of seven live appearances, as well as promotional videos.
Q (8/96, p.126) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Their mostly uptempo, mainly downbeat debut...does not fall neatly on modern indie's map....Brian Molko...drapes a stab of punksome adrenaline....the effect is uneasily sharp and tuneful....this energising, square-peg stuff..."
Uncut (p.123) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The best of the clutch of rarities among the additional tracks is the ultra-percussive punk-funk banshee wail of 'Paycheck'..."
Option (11-12/96, p.122) - "The shifty melodic swirl of Placebo goes down as easy as a sugar pill, though its sweet pop hooks hide dark humor in a musical masquerade that recalls the dynamic tenion of Pond...and the distortion-tinged waves of the Pumpkins..."
Melody Maker (12/21-28/96, pp.66-67) - Ranked #21 on Melody Maker's list of 1996's 'Albums Of The Year.'
Melody Maker (6/15/96, p.42) - Recommended - "...Even if you weren't looking, Placebo stand up and scream for your attention....if post-punk/grunge is going anywhere meaningful at all, it's down their dark road."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.55) - "[T]hey've always had a knack for finding glitter in London's seedy underbelly."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.53) - "[A]n alt-rock must have....Set to sublimely snotty but irresistibly catchy tunes."
NME (Magazine) (6/15/96, p.48) - 8 (out of 10) - "...pure teenage angst....indecently catchy pop songs....an all too rare pop record with intentions far beyond the drab recreation of vintage '60s moments..."