LCD Soundsystem

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This article is about the band. For the album, see LCD Soundsystem (album).
LCD Soundsystem
The band performing onstage
LCD Soundsystem performing at Roskilde Festival 2010 in Denmark.
Background information
Origin New York, New York, United States
Years active
  • 2001–2011
  • 2015–present
Associated acts
Members James Murphy
(see band members)

LCD Soundsystem is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 2001. It is fronted by singer-songwriter and producer James Murphy, co-founder of record label DFA Records. The band began by recording and releasing multiple singles from 2002 to 2004 leading up to their eponymous debut studio album, which was released in 2005 and garnered critical acclaim as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album. Their single "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" also received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording. In the following year, LCD Soundsystem recorded and released the composition "45:33", a forty-six minute-long composition that was made as a "workout track" especially for Nike as part of their Nike+ Original Run series. In 2007, the band released their second studio album, Sound of Silver, to critical acclaim and another Grammy nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album. Three years later, LCD Soundsystem released their third studio album, This Is Happening, which became their first top-ten album in their home country of the United States.

On February 5, 2011, a statement was posted on the band's website that announced its disbandment following a farewell concert, which took place on April 2, 2011, at Madison Square Garden.[1] The farewell concert is chronicled in the documentary film Shut Up and Play the Hits and was also made available as a live album, titled The Long Goodbye, in April 2014. In December 2015, LCD Soundsystem released the single "Christmas Will Break Your Heart", making it their first single since "Throw" in 2010. LCD Soundsystem will be releasing a new studio album in 2016 and have indicated an expanded tour, including a headline appearance at the 2016 Coachella Festival.


Early singles and self-titled album (2002–2005)[edit]

LCD Soundsystem gained attention with its first single, "Losing My Edge". Described as "an eight-minute, laugh-out-loud funny dissection of cool over a dirty electronic beat";[2] the single became an underground dance favorite. This was followed by other well received singles "Give It Up" and "Yeah".

LCD Soundsystem released a double disc set simply titled LCD Soundsystem in February 2005 to critical acclaim. The first disc contains the album and the second contains re-releases of previous singles. The opening track "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" quickly gained popularity and entered the UK Top 40 in March 2005. The band toured with M.I.A.[3]

In June 2005, the band covered a Siouxsie and the Banshees song, "Slowdive" for the B-side of "Disco Infiltrator".[4]

On December 8, 2005, the group received nominations for two Grammy awards in the Electronica category for their self-titled album and in the Dance category for "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House."[5] This album was also chosen as No. 94 of's "Top 100 Editor's Picks" of 2005.[6]

"45:33" and Sound of Silver (2006–2008)[edit]

In October 2006, James Murphy released a track entitled "45:33" as part of a promotion with Nike for download from iTunes.[7] Despite its name, the track is 45 minutes and 58 seconds long—the number of seconds a reference to John Cage's 4'33[7]—and was claimed to "reward and push at good intervals of a run".[8] However, it was later revealed that this was not the case, but that Murphy merely wanted the opportunity to create a long piece of music, akin to E2-E4 by Manuel Göttsching.[9]

LCD Soundsystem's second album, Sound of Silver, was released on March 20, 2007, to near universal critical acclaim.[10] Praise included Mixmag awarding it the title Album of the Month, a 9.2 score from Pitchfork Media[11] and a 5-star review from The Guardian.[12] The album release was preceded by the single "North American Scum".

LCD Soundsystem's subsequent single "All My Friends" included covers of the song by both Franz Ferdinand and former Velvet Underground member John Cale.[13] The digital download "All My Friends" EP also includes a cover of the early Joy Division song "No Love Lost". In September 2007, the "A Bunch of Stuff" EP was released[14] and the band went on tour with Arcade Fire.[15] Late in 2007, the band released "Someone Great" as the third single from Sound of Silver and re-released 45:33 on CD and vinyl through DFA Records.[16] In December 2007, there was a release of a 12-inch record containing b-sides from European singles for the North American market entitled "Confuse the Marketplace".[17]

Also in December 2007, the band received a nomination for the Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album.[18] The album was also named the best album of 2007 by publications such as The Guardian,[19] Uncut[20] and Drowned in Sound.[21]

Time magazine named "All My Friends" one of The 10 Best Songs of 2007, ranking it at No. 4. Writer Josh Tyrangiel praised the "magic" in the song, saying that the song's "straightforward repetition of the same guitar, keyboard and bass lines, combined with lyrics about life without regret, and life with all kinds of regrets pays off with a punch about what we lose as we get older."[22][23] The track was later named the second best song of the 2000s by Pitchfork Media.[24] The album was also nominated for the 2007 Shortlist Prize, where it lost out to The Reminder by Feist.[25]

After finishing touring for Sound of Silver the band recorded and released a song entitled "Big Ideas" on the soundtrack of the film 21.[26] This song was ranked number 63 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008.[27]

This Is Happening, final concert, and split (2009–2011)[edit]

LCD Soundsystem's concert at Zénith de Paris

On November 18, 2008 Al Doyle seemed to suggest in an interview with 6 Music that the band would soon be discontinued.[28] However the following day both Doyle and James Murphy quashed this rumor, with Murphy indicating a new LCD Soundsystem album was on the way.[29][30] Murphy began recording in the summer of 2009 in Los Angeles. Possible song titles mentioned at that time included "Why Do You Hate Music?" and "Love in LA."[31] For the 2009 Record Store Day the band released a cover of Suicide member Alan Vega's song "Bye Bye Bayou".[32]

On February 23, 2010, the official LCD Soundsystem website announced that the album had been completed. The first single was set to be "Drunk Girls" and on March 25, a stream of the song was put on music site One Thirty BPM.[33] The title of the album and the cover were revealed on the DFA site on March 30.[34] The album, titled This Is Happening, was released in the UK on May 17, 2010 and in the US on May 18, 2010. Prior to the release Murphy promised that it will be "definitely better than the other two."[35] Murphy also stated that it was likely to be the last LCD Soundsystem album.[36]

The band performed two secret gigs in New York on April 9 and April 12, 2010, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and Webster Hall in New York respectively. James Murphy made an impassioned plea with fans and industry attendees at the New York gig not to leak the album to the internet in advance of the May 17 release date.[37] It was reported in the NME that Murphy went down on his knees onstage and stated:

"If you got a copy of the record early and you feel like sharing it with the rest of the world, then please don't ... We spent two years making this record and we want to put it out when we want to put it out. I don't care about money – after it comes out, give it to whoever you want for free but until then, keep it to yourself."

For the 2010 edition of Record Store Day, the band released 1000 copies of a single-sided 12" single of This Is Happening track "Pow Pow."[38] When speaking to The Quietus in August, Murphy insisted that LCD Soundsystem would continue to record music, stating: "We’ll do some 12”s and things like that. I just need to get away from it being a big thing."[39]

The first single released from This Is Happening was "Drunk Girls" featuring a video co-directed by Murphy and acclaimed director Spike Jonze.[40] This was followed later in the year by "I Can Change". On November 8, 2010 the band released a "live-in-studio" album called The London Sessions, designed to invoke the spirit of Peel Sessions. In addition to this they released a vinyl single of longtime live cover "Throw" by Paperclip People on Carl Craig's Planet E label.[41]

On February 8, 2011, LCD Soundsystem announced on its website that it would be playing its last show ever on April 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. When tickets went on pre-sale and official sale, there were widespread problems with availability and online ordering, and the show became sold-out suddenly.[42] Murphy pointed the finger at scalpers, writing on his Twitter account: "i will try to figure a way out to fuck these fuckers. NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, IT IS NOT WORTH THAT KIND OF MONEY TO SEE US!" and "1500 for a single ticket? Fuck you, scalpers. You are parasites. I HATE you."[42] Following the immediate sale of all available tickets, LCD Soundsystem announced that they would be playing four warm-up shows at New York's Terminal 5. The setlists at those shows were nearly identical to the setlist of the final show at Madison Square Garden. The final song performed by LCD Soundsystem at the farewell show was "New York, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down". The show lasted almost four hours with appearances by Arcade Fire, Reggie Watts and others.

Post break-up (2011–2014)[edit]

On April 16, 2011 Franz Ferdinand released Covers E.P., which featured various covers of their songs by different artists. One of the tracks was "Live Alone" covered by LCD Soundsystem.

On April 12, 2011, Murphy confirmed, via LCD Soundsystem's Facebook page, the release of the final show on DVD, with a better quality than the stream offered by Pitchfork.[43][44] In addition, a documentary called Shut Up and Play the Hits, chronicling James Murphy during the 48 hours before and after the final show, screened at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and later given limited release in select theaters.

On March 5, 2013, LCD Soundsystem was named one of Rolling Stone’s New Immortals—"currently active (or relatively recently defunct) artists who [they] think will stand the test of time." [45]

On April 19, 2014, the definitive live recording of the farewell show, The Long Goodbye: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden, was released in a 5-box vinyl edition.

Reunion and new album (2015–present)[edit]

In October 2015, a Consequence of Sound article reported that "multiple sources" confirmed that LCD Soundsystem would be reuniting in 2016 and headlining "high-profile music festivals in the US and UK". This report was eventually confirmed by Billboard, but later that day, DFA Records label manager Kris Petersen confirmed that LCD Soundsystem would not be reuniting. DFA co-founder Jonathan Galkin also confirmed in a Pitchfork article that the band would not be reuniting.[46][47]

On December 24, 2015, LCD Soundsystem released the Christmas-themed track "Christmas Will Break Your Heart", acting as the band's first single in five years. Regarded as a "depressing Christmas song" that James Murphy had been singing to himself for years, the song was recorded during 2015 after Murphy had gotten past band members Al Doyle, Pat Mahoney, Nancy Whang, and Tyler Pope to come to DFA Studios in New York City to record the track.[48][49] It was released as both a digital download[50] and 7-inch vinyl.[51] Both Consequence of Sound and Billboard again stated, after the release of the song, that "multiple sources" can confirm that LCD Soundsystem will reunite in 2016.[52][53] It was announced on January 4, 2016 that LCD Soundsystem would be headlining the 2016 Coachella Festival.[54][55] The following day, the band announced that they would be releasing a new studio album some time in 2016.[56]

Band members[edit]

Principal member James Murphy at Route De Rock in August 2007
  • James Murphy – vocals, drums, bass, percussion, claps, organ, programming, drum machine, synths, guitar, effects, keyboards, piano, clavinet, wurlitzer piano, snaps, omnichord, vocoder

Murphy played the majority of the instrumental parts on LCD Soundsystem's albums himself. However when performing live, Murphy often called upon a wide variety of musicians depending on their availability. People who played live with LCD Soundsystem include:

  • Nancy Whang – vocals, keyboards, synths
  • Pat Mahoney – drums, percussion, drum machine, claps, synths, vocals
  • Tyler Pope – bass, guitar, synths, claps, drum machine
  • David Scott Stone – guitar, percussion, synths
  • Matt Thornley – guitar, percussion, piano, synth, drum machine
  • Gavin Russom – synths, vocals
  • Al Doyle – guitar, percussion, synths, bass
  • Phil Skarich – bass
  • Jerry Fuchs - drums, percussion
  • Phil Mossman – guitar, percussion
  • J.D. Mark - guitar
  • Eamonn O'Keeffe - piccolo


For a more comprehensive list, see LCD Soundsystem discography.
Studio albums

Award nominations[edit]

Grammys 2006[edit]

Grammys 2008[edit]


  1. ^ "lcd’s last show! at madison square garden! « lcd soundsystem". February 5, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  2. ^ "'I speak as a lifetime failure'". Guardian. January 17, 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  3. ^ M.I.A. announces Headlining Tour Archived December 24, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Snell, Herman (February 27, 2006). "LCD Soundsystem covered a Siouxsie and the Banshees song on this CD". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  5. ^ "EMI Music earns 54 Grammy nominations including honors in key categories "Album of the Year", "Record of the Year", "Song of the Year" and "Producer of the Year"". EMI Group. December 8, 2005. Archived from the original on December 8, 2005. 
  6. ^ "Message: Top 100 Editors' Picks". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  7. ^ a b "LCD Soundsystem records track for Nike". September 16, 2007. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived February 12, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Murphy, James (February 10, 2007). "Is this it?". The Guide. Guardian. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  10. ^ "Metacritic – Sound of Silver". March 20, 2007. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  11. ^ Pytlik, Mark (March 20, 2007). "Pitchfork Media Review". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  12. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (March 9, 2007). "LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  13. ^ "LCD Soundsystem covered by Franz Ferdinand and John Cale for new single". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  14. ^ "Arcade Fire, LCD Team for Seven-Inch; Vedder, Malkmus, Tweedy Cover Dylan". August 14, 2007. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ [3][dead link]
  17. ^ [4] Archived August 9, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "50th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominations List" for Sound of Silver
  19. ^ "2007's Best Albums" The Guardian, December 7, 2007.
  20. ^ [5] Archived December 3, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Diver, Mike (December 23, 2007). "DiS's albums of 2007". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  22. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh; "The Best Top 10 Lists of the Year"; "The 10 Best Songs"; Time magazine; December 24, 2007; Page 39.
  23. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh (December 9, 2007). "''Time'' magazine's Top 10 Songs of 2007". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  24. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 20-1". Pitchfork. August 21, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  25. ^ Kharas, Kev (February 5, 2008). "Feist wins Shortlist Prize 2008". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  26. ^ "New LCD Soundsystem – "Big Ideas" (Stereogum Premiere) – Stereogum". February 25, 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  27. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2008". Rolling Stone (December 25, 2008). Retrieved 2009-01-12
  28. ^ Rogers, Georgie (November 18, 2008). "LCD Soundsystem reach end of road". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  29. ^ "LCD Soundsystem not splitting – new album on the way". November 19, 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  30. ^ "Hot Chip's Al Doyle: 'LCD Soundsystem haven't disbanded'". November 19, 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  31. ^ "James Murphy reveals details of new LCD Soundsystem album". September 1, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  32. ^ "LCD Soundsystem Cover Suicide's Alan Vega on New Single". Pitchfork. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  33. ^ "Listen to the new LCD Soundsystem single "Drunk Girls"". One Thirty BPM. March 25, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  34. ^ "Untitled no longer « dfa records". March 30, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  35. ^ "LCD Soundsystem – New Album in April". [dead link]
  36. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (March 3, 2010). "James Murphy Opens Up About "Crazy" May LCD Soundsystem LP". Rolling Stone. 
  37. ^ "LCD Soundsystem beg crowd not to leak album at New York show". April 13, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  38. ^ "FACT MAgazine: The A-Z of Record Store Day". April 12, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  39. ^ Hewitt, Ben (August 26, 2010). "News | LCD To Record Again". The Quietus. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  40. ^ "Video: LCD Soundsystem: "Drunk Girls"". Pitchfork. April 19, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  41. ^ Breihan, Tom (November 4, 2010). "LCD Soundsystem Prep Live-in-Studio Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  42. ^ a b O'Neal, Sean (February 11, 2011). "No one got tickets to LCD Soundsystem's farewell show and now everyone is pissed". 
  43. ^ Photos by Max Blau (April 13, 2011). "LCD Soundsystem to Release DVD of Final Madison Square Garden Show :: News :: Paste". Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  44. ^ "oh-and quick thing...". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  45. ^ Menconi, David. "Phish - The New Immortals". Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  46. ^ "LCD Soundsystem will reunite in 2016". Consequence of Sound. October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  47. ^ Grow, Kory (October 8, 2015). "LCD Soundsystem Label Rep Shoots Down Reunion Rumors". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  48. ^ Strauss, Matthew (December 24, 2015). "LCD Soundsystem Share New Song "Christmas Will Break Your Heart"". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  49. ^ Daniel, Kreps. "LCD Soundsystem Release First New Song in Five Years". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  50. ^ "Christmas Will Break Your Heart - Single by LCD Soundsystem". iTunes United States. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  51. ^ "LCD Soundsystem - Christmas Will Break Your Heart (7" Single)". DFA Records. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  52. ^ Young, Alex (December 24, 2015). "LCD Soundsystem share Christmas song ahead of 2016 reunion tour". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 28, 2015. 
  53. ^ Medved, Matt (December 24, 2015). "LCD Soundsystem Release First New Song in Five Years; Band is 'Getting Back Together,' Say Sources". Billboard. Retrieved December 28, 2015. 
  54. ^ Minsker, Evan (January 4, 2016). "Coachella 2016 Lineup Announced". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 5, 2016. 
  55. ^ "Coachella lineup announced: LCD Soundsystem, Guns N'Roses, Calvin Harris headline". Entertainment Weekly. January 4, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016. 
  56. ^ Hendicott, James (January 5, 2016). "LCD Soundsystem release comeback statement: 'We’re not just touring. We’re releasing a record'". NME. Retrieved January 5, 2016. 

External links[edit]