15 years of LCD Soundsystem

A look into the rock band's swirl of success

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Somewhere in the heart of Brooklyn, James Murphy created his rock music baby, LCD Soundsystem. The band is a melting pot of indie rock, dance, pop, electronic, and also includes aspects of Murphy's DJing past. From breakups to Grammy nominations, here's a look at the past 15 years of LCD Soundsystem's ups and downs.

Debut Album

"LCD Soundsystem," the band's first self-titled album released in 2005, was a huge leap from their random singles that started from 2002. From the cheeky dance music of "Losing My Edge" and "Yeah" came "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" — a more confident version of their past singles. With its lively beat and cymbal crashes, the single managed to get a nomination for Best Dance Recording at the Grammy's.

Although Murphy received criticism for the predictability and lack of cohesiveness in his first album, it was clearly an illustration of his music style. LCD Soundsystem's sound meshes together electronic, dance and rock — the result is something that sounds like it shouldn't belong together but does anyways. Kind of like Kim and Kanye or apples with peanut butter.


Calling everyone with way too much time on their hands and a motivation that can't be crushed — I invite you to make a (almost) 46 minute song. In 2006, LCD Soundsystem was commissioned by Nike to make a workout track for their Nike+ Original Run series. I don't know about y'all but I'm sure Murphy's electronic work out would be the last thing I hear before I passed out from running for almost an hour. It starts off a bit slower, but slowly builds up and adds various elements like the drums, synthesizer, percussion and others.

Personally, I think it's too slow for a run until you get to about the 30 minute mark, but I also don't think Murphy fully intended it to be a workout track as he stated that he's always wanted to make a longer record. However, it is a nice record to just chill out or dance to — and many hipsters have rediscovered the track due to one of Dylan Sprouse's tweets.

Sound of Silver

2007 was another great year for the band as they released their second album — "Sound of Silver" which brought in yet another Grammy nomination. Murphy drifted from his earlier cheeky songs to a more thoughtful and provoking sound — perhaps he was listening to earlier criticisms of unoriginality. Although his beats and consistent piano playing can get tedious, the message of songs like "All My Friends" lives on — just take a look at all the personal anecdotes left on the track's YouTube comments.

Third Album and Break Up

It's not us, it's them! LCD Soundsystem disbanded early in 2011 following the release of their aptly named third album, "This Is Happening." Although it did amazingly well as the top ten album in the United States, it did not follow the new, widely loved style Murphy introduced in their previous album. A personal favorite of mine is "Dance Yrself Clean" which helped me get through a lot of turmoil during my middle and high school years. Its sound variations and calming yet intense vocals were perfect for me — and a lot of others who were sad to see them go.

LCD Soundsystem played a farewell concert at Madison Square Garden and then packed up shop. Nobody knows why the band left at the peak of their musical careers, but according to their documentary "Shut Up and Play the Hits," it was a relatively calm and natural decision. Murphy simply felt like putting a stop to this period of his life.


Whaaaaat? So...this is happening. LCD Soundsystem released "Christmas Will Break Your Heart" in late 2015 and then released statements of reunion and announcements of tour dates. A new album will also be coming out this year! Murphy somehow convinced his band members to all congregate at his studio and record another song — artful persuasion perhaps? Nostalgia? We may never know.

What we do know is that there is so much more to expect from LCD Soundsystem. They've released several singles and played live many venues such as "Saturday Night Live." And because they've yet to release their new album — all we can do is wait.

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