Artist Flashback: Garbage

This month we are dedicated to bringing you the best in emerging new talent here on Buzznet. Some of your favorite bands were once considered to be “emerging artists” back in the day. It’s great to look back and reflect upon where you came from and how you got to the place you are today.

For the next three weeks we are going to take a trip down memory lane with some of your favorite artists to see what it was like for them when they were considered to be up-and-comers.

This week’s flashback is dedicated to four of my favorite people in the world, who also happen to be in my favorite band, Garbage!


A sense of ‘nirvana’…

Singer Shirley Manson was the front-woman of another band, Angelfish. While looking for a female lead singer for Garbage, guitarist Steve Marker discovered Manson while watching MTV’s 120 Minutes when he saw the music video for Angelfish’s “Suffocate Me”. He showed the video to fellow band members Duke Erikson and Butch Vig and they decided they wanted her as their singer.


On April 8, 1994, Manson met Erikson, Marker, and Vig for the first time in London. Later that evening Vig was informed of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Vig produced Nirvana’s Nevermind.


Manson was invited to Madison, WI to audition for the band at Smart Studios. The audition did not go well, but Manson socialized with the men while there and found they had a similar taste in music. Angelfish soon disbanded but left us with one lovely album.

1995 – 1997

Debuts and new beginnings…

In March 1995, “Vow” was released on a limited vinyl format to launch Garbage into the world. By May, commercial alternative radio in the U.S. had picked up on the track, and it began to receive heavy rotation nationwide.


In August 1995, their self-titled debut, Garbage, was released. It debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 193.


Their debut spawned off 5 chart-topping singles, “Vow,” “Only Happy When It Rains,” “Stupid Girl,” and “Milk.”


In 1996, “#1 Crush” was used on the soundtrack to Romeo + Juliet starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.


In 1997, Garbage was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, while “Stupid Girl” received two nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group.

1998 – 2000

Make the beats go harder…

In May 1998, Garbage released their sophomore album, Version 2.0.


“I Think I’m Paranoid” was released worldwide while the music video for “Push It” received eight nominations at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.

—-By October, “Special” was released and Garbage was nominated for three MTV Europe Music Awards: “Best Group”, “Best Rock Act” and “Best Video” for “Push It.”


In early 1999, Version 2.0 received two Grammy Award nominations for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album and “Special” was the No. 1 most added single at Top 40 radio.

—-“When I Grow Up” was featured in the movie Big Daddy starring Adam Sandler.


In August 2000, Garbage performed the theme for the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.


Beautiful garbage…

Released three weeks after the September 11 attacks, the band’s third album, Beautiful Garbage, suffered from lack of promotion amd mixed reaction from critics and fans alike. Despite faltering in major markets, Beautiful Garbage debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Electronic Albums chart where it stayed for 8 weeks.


In October, Beautiful Garbage achieved a No. 13 debut on the Billboard 200.


2005 – 2008

Blood, terminators and greatest hits…

In April 2005, the band’s fourth album, Bleed Like Me was released to an eager audience.


Lead single, “Why Do You Love Me,” became the band’s most successful single in six years. Bleed Like Me entered the Top 10 in the U.S.


In August 2005 Garbage cancelled their scheduled tour dates in France, Belgium and United Kingdom and released a statement that the band had “somewhat overextended themselves” and had decided to conclude their tour. The band confirmed that they were going “on indefinite hiatus” to dispel reports of a band split. (Imagine my horror….)


Garbage ended their 18-month hiatus in January 2007 at a benefit show.


In July 2007, Garbage released a greatest hits album, Absolute Garbage.


In May 2008, Manson joined the cast of FOX TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as Catherine Weaver.

2012 – Present

Stronger. Wiser. Braver…in this big bright world…

In May 2012, Garbage released their long-awaited fifth studio album, Not Your Kind Of People after a seven year hiatus.


Not Your Kind Of People was released independently on their own label, Stunvolume.


NYKOP reached number 13 on the Billboard 200 and number 10 on the UK Albums Chart.


The band went on a year long tour to support NYKOP. The tour started in New York in May 2012. I went. I cried. I healed. I almost died but came out alive. ♥ 😀

We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Related: Artist Flashback: Paramore

What era was your favorite on the Garbage timeline?

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