[[caption-width-right:350:Left - Stefan Olsdal. Right - Brian Molko.]]
->''"A friend in needs a friend indeed,\\
A friend with weed is better,\\
A friend with breasts and all the rest,\\
A friend who's dressed in leather."''
-->"Pure Morning"

Placebo are an AlternativeRock band formed in London in 1994, currently made up of Scottish-American Brian Molko on guitar/vocals and Swedish Stefan Olsdal on bass. Molko remarked on one occasion that the name of the band was, as opposed to its English meaning, a Latin word for "I will please."
+''Music/DavidBowie, Music/TheSmashingPumpkins, Music/NineInchNails, Music/TRex, Music/JanisJoplin, Music/BillieHoliday, Music/PattiSmith, Music/DepecheMode, Music/JoyDivision, Music/SonicYouth, Music/{{REM}}, Music/ThePixies''

Brian and Stefan attended the same high school but didn't meet formally until 1994, when they met in a tube station in London. Noticing Stefan had a guitar strapped to his back, Brian invited him to come see his own local gig. Stefan loved his performance so much that they wound up collaborating on the band Ashtray Heart, which quickly became Placebo. Originally, they had Robert Schultzberg (an old school friend of Stefan's) behind the kit, but after recording the self-titled debut with him, the disagreements soon became so intense that (after some false starts) they soon cut ties with him and settled on Steven Hewitt. With him, they recorded perhaps their most famous album, ''Without You I'm Nothing''. The album contained their only top 20 single in America, "Pure Morning."

Their style began as a glam-influenced alternative rock style full of raw guitar riffs, but, starting with 2000s ''Black Market Music,'' they began to experiment more with synthesizers and new instruments. Much of their notoriety also stems from the androgynous appearance of Molko, alternative rock's reigning king of ViewerGenderConfusion. While the band never really hit the big time in the Western world, they've developed a huge cult following, [[LGBTFanbase particularly in the LGBTQ community]].

After the tour for ''Meds'' proved to be dysfunctional for the band, Molko and Olsdal fired Steve Hewitt and replaced him with Steve Forrest. Forrest played with Brian and Stefan during the ''Battle For The Sun'' and ''Loud Like Love'' tours. With the recent departure of Forrest, ColourOfFire alumni Matt Lunn has taken over drum duties for 2015.

Studio discography:

* ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Placebo (1996)]]''
* ''Without You I'm Nothing'' (1998)
* ''Black Market Music'' (2000)
* ''Sleeping With Ghosts'' (2003)
* ''Meds'' (2006)
* ''Battle For The Sun'' (2009)
* ''[=B3 EP=]'' (2012)
* ''Loud Like Love'' (2013)


* ''Covers'' (2003)
* ''Once More With Feeling'' (2004)
* ''[[BSide B-Sides: 19962006]]'' (2009)

Live Albums:

* ''Live at La Cigale'' (2006)
* ''iTunes Live: London Festival '09'' (2009)
* ''Live At Angkor Wat'' (2011) ([=iTunes=] only release)
* ''MTV Unplugged'' (2015)
!!Tropes used by this band include:
* AntiChristmasSong: "Allergic (To Thoughts Of Mother Earth)" is this, according to WordOfGod.
* {{B Side}}s: A smorgasbord. Double-disc compilation ''B-Sides: 19962006'' had to omit all the remixes just to get the better part of them.
* {{Bishonen}}: Brian Molko.
* BiTheWay: Brian. And the bassist is gay, while every drummer so far is straight.
* BreakupSong: "Song To Say Goodbye" averts this trope. Brian wrote the song as a letter to himself, trying to get away from the destructive lifestyle he was leading at the time. That said, "The Bitter End" is a straight, and really ''angry,'' example.
* ClusterFBomb: The chorus to b-side "Slackerbitch."
* ConceptAlbum: ''Sleeping with Ghosts'' is about relationships of many kinds.
** ''Meds'' gets a little darker with its theme of alcoholism and drug addiction.
* CoverVersion: Have covered two signature [[TheEighties eighties]] songs, Music/KateBush's "Running Up That Hill" and Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good".
** They've released a whole album of covers, actually, including the aforementioned "Running Up That Hill".
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Black Market Music'' attempted this. ''Meds'' was '''definitely''' this.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: What most early interviews and media snippets seem to have focused on. Often leads to ViewerGenderConfusion on music videos and forums as well.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: You'd better believe Brian fits this.
* EpicRocking: The HiddenTrack on ''Without You I'm Nothing,'' "Evil Dildo," is an eight-minute nightmare of a song.
* FanService: "Fanservice" may not be a strong enough term for it, but the music video for "Protège Moi" (see below) features a woman walking through (and [[GirlOnGirlIsHot participating in]]) a full-blown [[APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy bisexual orgy]], with completely explicit and uncensored nudity and sexual acts.
* GratuitousFrench: Brian has re-recorded vocals for a few songs entirely in French, such as "Protect Me From What I Want" -- or rather, "Protège Moi."
* {{Guyliner}}
* GreatestHitsAlbum: ''Once More With Feeling.''
* HiddenTrack: For the first few albums the band made a habit of these, ranging from a pleasant, almost easy listening ballad ("HK Farewell" from the debut) to a heavily overdubbed & distorted rocker ("Evil Dildo" from ''Without You I'm Nothing'').
* InTheStyleOf: The band tried their hand at RapRock, which of course was booming around the time ''Black Market Music'' came out. "Spice & Malice" features rap verses from musical journeyman Justin Warfield.[[note]]Some of you may know him now as a member of Music/SheWantsRevenge.[[/note]]
* LimitedLyricsSong: "Bionic" from the self-titled debut, "English Summer Rain" from ''Sleeping With Ghosts.''
* LongRunnerLineUp: The band remained stable for 13 years, marking the tenure of drummer Steve Hewitt (which would have been longer had Hewitt been able to leave the band he was once Brian formed Placebo).
* LoveHurts: Averages a few of these songs an album. Placebo aren't exactly the most uplifting band in the world.
* LoveIsADrug: "Special K". It can be interpreted as a song about the drug, or about falling head over heels for someone.
* LyricalDissonance: "Commercial for Levi" has a rather upbeat melody and naïve percussion in the background while the singer is pleading for the life of a self-destructive friend. (Yet again confirmed by Word of God that it was basically singing to a mirror.)
* MeaningfulName: While all kinds of stuff have been read about [[AltumVidetur the Latin meaning]] ("I will please"), [[https://web.archive.org/web/20081202070634/http://yourhereblog.mtv.com/2007/08/18/girls-gone-punk-placebo-the-sex-and-the-drugs-and-the-complications/ it's mostly a parody of]] [[OdeToIntoxication drug-named bands]] that would be good to shout for fans at concerts.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: They generally don't go much harder than a 5, although there are exceptions ("Brick Shithouse" and "Evil Dildo" spring to mind, reaching an 8).
** MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness: In contrast to the music, the lyrics are hardly below a 4 in that scale, often dealing with sadness, anger and drugs.
* NoiseRock: The sound of "Taste In Men" was inspired by Music/NineInchNails' ''Broken'' EP; Brian wanted a song to approach that level of harshness.
* ObsessionSong: "Centrefolds" certainly fits.
* PerishingAltRockVoice: Moreso in earlier songs.
* PrecisionFStrike: Only one F word on ''Without You I'm Nothing,'' from "My Sweet Prince," and Brian leans right into it: "Never thought you'd '''fuck''' with my brain." Not that Brian's above some colorful language sometimes; there's another song on the record called "Brick Shithouse."
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: ''"WE! ARE! LOUD! LIKE! LOVE!"''
** The entire chorus of "Pure Morning," essentially.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: ''Meds'', written while Brian and Stefan were trying to get clean.
* RearrangeTheSong: Here's a fun one for Placebo completists. The band have a particular love of this trope, usually in the form of slowing down a song for maximum moodiness. Slower versions of "Every You Every Me," "36 Degrees," "Teenage Angst," "I'll Be Yours," "Plasticine," "Meds" and "Breathe Underwater" are out there, usually as {{B Side}}s, and ''Live At Angkor Wat'' is a live album almost wholly devoted to this trope, slowing down songs like "Because I Want You," "Drag" and more.
** On the other side of the coin, "Sleeping With Ghosts" was originally a power ballad, but it was revised as a more upbeat rock number and retitled "Soulmates."
** "English Summer Rain" and "Every You Every Me" were slightly remixed for their respective single releases.
* RefrainFromAssuming: "Every You, Every Me". Most people think the song is called "Every Me and Every You", because that's how the chorus seems to go. If you read the back of the CD case, it is quite clearly called "Every You, Every Me" and if you listen to the chorus ''more'' carefully, you'll hear the end of the chorus goes "every me and ''every you, every me.''"
** And a lot people think it's called "Sucker Love" after the first two words of each verse.
* RockTrio: They were one until Steve Forrest left (even if there are always extra touring members), making Brian and Stefan decide they would be the only official members from then on.
* {{Sampling}}: "Slave To The Wage" samples an old Music/{{Pavement}} song, "Texas Never Whispers."
* SelfTitledAlbum: The debut.
* SpecialGuest: Music/DavidBowie duets with Brian in the single version of "Without You I'm Nothing".
* TextlessAlbumCover: ''Sleeping With Ghosts.''
* TickTockTune: Done on "Without You I'm Nothing".
* TitleOnlyChorus: "Come Home," "You Don't Care About Us."
* UnpluggedVersion: As mentioned in RearrangeTheSong, they've done quite a few stripped down renditions of their songs, so as a result there's unplugged versions of "Teenage Angst" and "Every You Every Me."
** Obviously, for ''MTV Unplugged''.