LCD Soundsystem

  • Dance/Electronica band formed in 2002 from Brooklyn New York. The members of the band are James Murphy (frontman, vocals, various instruments, songwriting), Nancy Whang (keyboards, vocals), Pat Mahoney (drums), Tyler Pope (bass guitar, guitar, synthesizers), Al Doyle (guitars, synthesizers, percussion), Matt Thornley (guitars, synthesizers, percussion) and Korey Richey (keyboards, percussion). Murphy is the principal songwriter, with co-writing credit by the others on many songs. Murphy also handles all instruments on many of the studio recordings.
  • Murphy graduated from high school in 1988 and decided to try a career in music, playing in obscure indie/punk rock bands for ten years. He also was a DJ, using the name Death From Above while working. At the same time, he built a recording studio and started to produce and engineer for other artists. He began a relationship with another programmer and producer, and the partnership led to a record label in 2001 called DFA Records (DFA = Death From Above). The following year, Murphy founded LCD Soundsystem, with Whang and Mahoney part of the group. The name came from an early performance by the band at a Christmas party, where they were covering songs from early 80s punk-dance band Liquid Liquid – the acronym LCD stands for Liquid Christmas Display. Their music was a unique blend of electronic/dance/punk rock.
  • The group began to release singles through DFA Records in July 2002. The first was Losing My Edge. Its nearly eight minute length and electronic punk sound kept it off the radio, but critics loved it – in 2009, Pitchfork ranked it at #13 on its list of the top songs of the 2000s, and in 2018 Rolling Stone published its list of the “Greatest Songs of the Century – So Far,” placing it at #77. Several other singles followed in 2003 and 2004, and in early 2005, their self-titled debut studio album was released. The album was lauded by critics, and it was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Electronic/Dance Album. Its most popular song was Daft Punk Is Playing at My House (with Murphy playing all instruments and vocals) – the song was nominated for a Grammy award, and it managed to chart in Europe, reaching #1 on the UK Dance chart.
  • In 2006, Murphy was contracted by Nike to produce a song aimed at joggers. The final product was titled 45:33 – though the piece actually ran 45 minutes and 58 seconds. Designed “to reward and push at good intervals of a run,” nearly all of the song was produced by Murphy. It included several musical genres, including synth pop, progressive rock, disco and jazz. It charted on the US Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart, peaking at #7.
  • Their Sound of Silver studio album was released in 2007. Again, its unique sound appealed to dance clubs but the songs were not radio friendly. Critics raved, with Pitchfork ranking the album at #17 on their list of the Best Albums of the 2000s decade. Pitchfork also ranked the song All My Friends as the second-best song of the decade. Rolling Stone ranked the album at #433 on its list of the Greatest Albums of All Time. They earned their third Grammy nomination for the album.
  • In 2010, LCD Soundsystem released their third studio album, This Is Happening. It reached #10 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Four singles were released, and in early 2011 Murphy announced that the band would break up. They played a final show at Madison Square Garden in New York City in April that year.
  • In late 2015, Murphy convinced his former bandmates to come to his studio to record a Christmas song titled Christmas Will Break Your Heart. In early 2016, it was announced that the band had reformed, and that they would headline the 2016 Coachella Festival. They performed at several other festivals, and later that year they began to record a new album. In 2017, American Dream was released. The album topped the Billboard 200 album chart, and the single Tonite won a Grammy award for Best Dance Recording.
  • A live album titled Electric Lady Sessions was released in 2019, and then they went on hiatus again as the COVID pandemic hit. By late November 2021, they were performing again at a Brooklyn venue, but the concert series was derailed by rising COVID cases in New York. In February 2022, they performed on Saturday Night Live. 
  • LCD Soundsystem will never be known for pop music. Instead, they continue to innovate in the electronica and dance genres. For a relatively unknown band, they have earned plenty of credibility by headlining tours and winning awards. Here’s the video to their acclaimed single All My Friends.

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