In January 2009, Placebo confirmed that they had finished working on the follow-up to 2006’s Meds and planned to release it in June 2009. The full track list was announced on the band’s website in March 2009. The album, Battle for the Sun, is the first to feature new drummer Steve Forrest. It was released on 8 June 2009, through the PIAS Entertainment Group.The album was recorded in Toronto, Canada, with producer David Bottrill.
The album’s title track “Battle for the Sun” debuted on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show on 17 March 2009. Subsequently, it became available for free download on the band’s official website. On the same day, they played a secret concert in London, performing some of the material from the album, including the tracks ‘Ashtray Heart’, ‘Julien’, ‘Kitty Litter’, ‘Speak in Tongues’ and ‘Devil in the Details’. In their review for the gig, Rock Sound wrote that the new album is a heavier-sounding record compared to its predecessor Meds, and recalls the atmosphere of ‘Without You I’m Nothing’. There are also string arrangements present on the new tracks.
The first single, “For What It’s Worth”, made its radio debut on 20 April 2009. It became available for download on iTunes and emusic from 12:00am GMT on 21 April 2009, and the video for the single premiered on Myspace at the same time.It was physically released on 1 June 2009.
In May 2009, Placebo went on to perform three concerts in the United Kingdom, at relatively intimate venues in Sheffield, Bournemouth and London, before departing to the 2009 summer festival season in Europe and Asia. Unveiling the new album with a full track-by-track rundown, Molko told the Scottish News of the World’s A-Listed magazine: “It feels like a new beginning…we’re reinvigorated, refreshed and ready to take on the world.”
On 13 May 2009, the band’s official website, “Placeboworld”, was launched in a revamped version with more interactive features and an online shop. From 29 to 31 May 2009, Placebo streamed the new album on their official website. Fans signed up for the official mailing list received an unique code for logging in to 5 listenings of the album in its entirety.
In July 2009, Placebo – “Every You Every Me” was voted #83 in Triple J Hottest 100 of all time, voted by the Australian public.
On 5 November 2009, Placebo won the MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Alternative.
In December 2009, Placebo released iTunes Live: London Festival ’09, a live album recorded at the iTunes Festival at The Roundhouse, Camden, on 14 July 2009. The album contains 19 live songs and a digital booklet. It is only currently available through the iTunes Store.
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