EMI Records Group UK & Eire
Release date
16 Jul 1996
Running length
10 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Come Home 5:09 189,821
2 Teenage Angst 2:40 309,638
3 Bionic 5:00 180,897
4 36 Degrees 3:05 293,584
5 Hang on to Your IQ 5:35 156,552
6 Nancy Boy 3:18 357,549
7 I Know 4:43 217,780
8 Bruise Pristine 3:35 250,872
9 Lady of the Flowers 4:45 158,392
10 Swallow 22:25 115,253

About this album

Placebo is the self-titled debut album by the alternative rock band Placebo, released on the Virgin Records label on 16 July 1996. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted it the 87th greatest album of all time. Virgin placed the album 154th best album of all times on their 1000 greatest albums list.

The album combines a heavy punk pop sound (Come Home, 36 Degrees) with a softer, more lyrical sound (“I Know”, “Lady of the Flowers”). It contains influences from such bands as PJ Harvey and Sonic Youth.

Placebo was remastered and reissued on 18 September 2006 for its tenth anniversary.

The album set the tone for Placebo’s trademark angst-ridden style. This is the only album recorded with drummer Robert Schultzberg before his departure from the group. He also plays didgeridoo on “I Know”. In recent years, only a few songs from the album were still being played live. Since 2006, “Come Home” and “I Know” were often included in live setlists. “Bionic” was regularly present on set lists until 2005. “Nancy Boy” is occasionally played as an encore.

Placebo is considered to be one of the most influential records of 1990s alternative rock scene, being often compared with Radiohead’s The Bends. The uniqueness of Schultzberg’s drumming arguably differentiates this album from all subsequent Placebo records, leaving some fans disappointed.

It was recorded in the unusual tuning of F-A#-D#-G#-C-C (now referred to as standard Placebo tuning). “Swallow” was recorded in G#-G#-G#-g#-b-d# (Stefan Olsdal tuning) and features Molko on bass and Olsdal on guitar.

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