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

Missing image
thumb, Garbage



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. According to Butch Vig, Garbage got its name even before Shirley joined the band. While they were making some sound which included guitar riffs and electronics (later used in the song Vow) one of the guests in their studio called that music "garbage" several times. The name was later used as a band and album title. 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 Scottish 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. Their second 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 newest album, Bleed Like Me, was released on April 11, 2005 (April 12 in North America). It topped the charts in many countries, including a #4 peak in the United States and a radio rock hit single, Why Do You Love Me?. It originally had the working title Hands on a Hard Body, but Shirley Manson 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. 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 (Almo Sounds in North America) #6 UK, #20 US
1998 Version 2.0 Mushroom (Almo Sounds in North America) #1 UK, #13 US, #2 Canada
2001 beautifulgarbage Mushroom (Interscope in North America) #6 UK, #13 US, #6 Canada, #1 Australia (Platinum X 3)
2005 Bleed Like Me Warner Bros (Geffen in North America) #4 UK, #4 US, #4 Australia

Hit singles

Year Title Chart positions
UK US Hot 100 US Modern Rock Aus.
1995 "Vow" #138 #97 #26 #31
1995 "Subhuman" #50 - - -
1995 "Only Happy When It Rains" #29 #55 #16 -
1995 "Queer" #13 #57A #12 -
1996 "Stupid Girl" #4 #24 #2 -
1996 "Milk" (featuring Tricky) #10 - - -
1996 "#1 Crush" - #29A #1 -
1998 "Push It" #9 #52 #5 #31
1998 "I Think I'm Paranoid" #9 #70A #6 -
1998 "Special" #15 #52 #11 -
1999 "The Trick Is to Keep Breathing" - - - -
1999 "When I Grow Up" #9 - #23 #25
1999 "You Look So Fine" #19 - - -
1999 "The World Is Not Enough" #11 - - -
2001 "Androgyny" #24 - - #21
2002 "Cherry Lips" #22 - - #7
2002 "Breaking Up the Girl" #27 - - #16
2002 "Shut Your Mouth" #20 - - -
2005 "Why Do You Love Me" #7 #94 #8 #19
2005 "Bleed Like Me" - - #29 -
2005 "Sex Is Not the Enemy" #24 - - -
2005 "Run Baby Run" - - - -

A - The Hot 100 airplay chart

Garbage's B-Sides & Rare Tracks

Garbage's single tracks have become extremely sought after, due in no small part to the fact that fans consider many of their B-sides are equal to, if not better than, the quality of their actual album tracks. In fact, in an ironic twist, two of the band's album tracks, "Silence Is Golden" and "Til The Day I Die", were originally written as B-sides before ending up on the beautifulgarbage album.

Many of their B-sides have not been released in the US, leading the band to keep planning a special package release. The idea has been on the drawing board since early 1999, with likely releases in 2000 and 2002 falling through. However the band are confident that such a compilation will see the light of day at some point.

In a poll taken on their website in 2002, it was revealed that "Soldier Through This" was the band's most popular B-side, and eventually the band included it in their live set by the end of that year.

A list of B-Sides follows:

  • Garbage era B-sides 1995-1996

"Subhuman" "#1 Crush" "Girl Don't Come" "Sleep" "Trip My Wire" "Butterfly Collector" "Driving Lesson" "Alien Sex Fiend" "Kick My Ass"

  • Version 2.0 era B-sides 1998-1999

"Lick The Pavement" "Thirteen" "Deadwood" "Afterglow" "13xForever" "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" "Tornado" "Get Busy With The Fizzy" "Soldier Through This"

  • BeautifulGarbage era B-sides 2001-2002

"Begging Bone" "Enough Is Never Enough" "Use Me" "Candy Says" "Happiness Pt.2" "Confidence" "Sex Never Goes Out Of Fashion" "April Tenth" "I'm Really Into Techno" "Wild Horses"

  • Bleed Like Me era B-sides 2005

"I Just Wanna Have Something To Do" "Space Can Come Through Anyone" "Nobody Can Win" "Honeybee" "Never Be Free" "Badass (October 2003 Ruff Demo)"

Garbage's live show covers and ad-libs

Garbage frequently feature cover songs as part of their live sets, and have become quite known for doing faithful and honest renditions of past tunes.

On their first tour in 1996 it was just as common for them to cover Vic Chestnutt's 'Supernatural' as it was for them to do 'Kick My Ass' which they'd covered for his tribute album.

For 1998's Version 2.0 tour, the band were including The Beatles' 'Day Tripper' and 'Black Sabbath' by Black Sabbath in their set. In 1999 the band even played traditional Scottish poem 'John Anderson' by Robert Burns, and The Beatles' 'Don't Let Me Down' as part of a special Edinburgh show to celebrate the opening of the Scottish Parliament in July 1999.

By the time of the 'beautifulgarbage', the band were actively asking the audience for their requests, and this led them to attempt Shirley Manson's previous band Angelfish's 'Suffocate Me' but also ABBA's 'Dancing Queen', as well as throwing in a cover of 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' by Kylie Minogue at a few shows. By the end of the tour cycle, the band also joined with No Doubt and The Distillers in performing Blondie's 'Call Me' as a closer for their joint-headline arena tour.

The band played U2's 'Pride In The Name Of Love' for Bono at a special MusiCares award night in 2003, and also played 'I Fall To Pieces' by Patsy Cline at a few shows at the beginning of 2005's Bleed Like Me tour.

Shirley has been known to throw in a few ad-libs onstage during certain performances of certain songs - some examples are listed here -

  • Not My Idea - ad-libs from Talking Heads 'Once In A Lifetime', Bob Marley's 'No Woman No Cry' and New Order's 'Temptation'.
  • Vow - ad-libs from Pattis Smith's 'Revenge', Marianne Faithfull's 'Why D'Ya Do It?', The Beatles 'Why Don't We Do It In The Road', Carly Simon's 'You're So vain', Cole Porter's 'Let's Do It', Bright Eyes' 'Lover I Don't Have To Love' and Yeh Yeh Yeh's 'Mystery Girl' and 'Maps'.
  • Special - ad-lib from Pretenders 'Kid' and 'Talk Of The Town'.
  • Trip My Wire - ad-libs from Elvis Presley's 'Mystery train' and Little Richard's 'Good Golly Miss Molly'.
  • Stupid Girl - ad-libs from Spice Girls 'Wannabe' and Britney Spears 'Baby... One More Time'.
  • Parade - ad-libs from Missy Elliot's 'Get Ur Freak On'.

Songs A Stroke Of Luck, Queer and You Look So Fine also regularly featured ad-libs but so far, no-one has worked out what they were. Indeed for one 1999 YLSF ad-lib, many fans argue over what the words were, never mind where they came from!

See also


  • Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Garbage (". All Music Guide. Retrieved June 13, 2005.

External links

de:Garbage fr:Garbage nl:Garbage pl:Garbage es:Garbage


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