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Garbage is an international rock group formed in 1993 by Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Steve Marker , and Duke Erikson .



Vig, the producer of such influential albums as Nirvana's Nevermind and the Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream decided he wanted to play in a band and asked fellow producers Marker and Erikson to join him. After the group saw Shirley Manson on MTV (from her careers with Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie and Angelfish), they asked her to join the band. The band may have derived its name from their insertion of seemingly unusable noise in their songs. Another anecdotal origin for their name, was that Butch Vig contributed a remix to Nine Inch Nails' album Fixed, which Trent Reznor labeled "garbage".

Garbage's angry, emotional lyrics contrasted with their catchy, pop alternative rock music. This made the band particularly popular with disaffected youths. Garbage utilizes samples, electronic loops, grungy guitars, and various other effects to produce haunting and melodic tracks, made distinctive by Scots singer Shirley Manson's sultry vocals. The fact that Garbage is composed of three music producers is made obvious by the high production quality, with many layers and a "wall of sound" production aesthetic.


Garbage released a string of increasingly-successful singles over the year 1995, culminating in the massive hit "Stupid Girl". They released their debut album, Garbage, later that year. It went top 20 in the US and top 10 in the United Kingdom.

Garbage spent two years working on their follow-up album, during which time Shirley Manson became well-known by the technologically savvy by being one of the first artists to maintain a blog. "Push It" was released and became a summer hit in 1998, reaching #9 in the UK and #52 in the US. The sophomore album Version 2.0 topped the charts in the UK and hit #13 in the US. In 1999, they performed the theme song to the James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.

After again retreating into the studio for several years, Garbage released beautifulgarbage in 2001. While it represented the band's most eclectic and mature sound to date, it contained no standout commercial singles. Hence, no songs charted in the US, and the four singles released charted in the 20s in the UK. Still, the album managed to reach #6 in the UK and #13 in the US, though it quickly slid down the charts. Garbage followed the album up with a successful tour of the US and Europe.

Garbage's next album is expected in April 2005. It originally had the working title Hands on a Hard Body, but Shirley Manson recently announced that the band had come up with a new title, Bleed Like Me, that better fits the band's improved dynamic following a period of tension and crisis in October 2003. Shirley has also said BLM will comprise more hard rock and be a return to Garbage's roots after the eclectic experiment of beautifulgarbage, an announcement that has resonated with most fans. The band put the final touches on the album in October 2004, and it should be released in April of 2005.

A compilation of b-sides and non-album tracks by the band, which had been planned by them prior to even beautifulgarbage, is also reported to be in the works.


Year Title Label Chart positions
1995 Garbage Mushroom (UK); Almo Sounds (USA) #6 UK, #20 US
1998 Version 2.0 Mushroom (UK); Almo Sounds (USA) #1 UK, #13 US
2001 beautifulgarbage Mushroom (UK); Interscope (USA) #6 UK, #13 US
2005 Bleed Like Me East West (UK); Interscope (USA)

Hit singles

  • 1995 "Vow" #138 UK, #97 US
  • 1995 "Subhuman" #50 UK
  • 1995 "Only Happy When It Rains" #29 UK, #55 US
  • 1995 "Queer" #13 UK
  • 1996 "Stupid Girl" #4 UK, #24 US
  • 1996 "Milk" (feat. Tricky) #10 UK
  • 1998 "Push It" #9 UK, #52 US
  • 1998 "I Think I'm Paranoid" #9 UK
  • 1998 "Special" #15 UK, #52 US
  • 1999 "When I Grow Up" #9 UK
  • 1999 "You Look So Fine" #19 UK
  • 1999 "The World is Not Enough" #11 UK
  • 2001 "Androgyny" #24 UK
  • 2002 "Cherry Lips" #22 UK
  • 2002 "Breaking Up the Girl" #27 UK
  • 2002 "Shut Your Mouth" #20 UK

See also

External links

  • Garbage's official web site
  • Garbage News
  • All Music Guide entry for Garbage

Last updated: 02-07-2005 05:02:52
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55