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Creed

During the late '90s, Creed emerged from a sea of post-grunge contenders to become one of the decade's biggest-sellingrock bands. At a time when many other Seattle disciples were lapsing into inactivity or experimenting with less commercialsounds, Creed carried the torch of straightforward, grungy hard rock without apology -- and they were amply rewarded,selling millions upon millions of albums in just a few years' time. That success didn't translate into critical acclaim, however.Many reviewers slammed the band's music as derivative, and frontman Scott Stapp was lambasted by publications ...read more

During the late '90s, Creed emerged from a sea of post-grunge contenders to become one of the decade's biggest-sellingrock bands. At a time when many other Seattle disciples were lapsing into inactivity or experimenting with less commercialsounds, Creed carried the torch of straightforward, grungy hard rock without apology -- and they were amply rewarded,selling millions upon millions of albums in just a few years' time. That success didn't translate into critical acclaim, however.Many reviewers slammed the band's music as derivative, and frontman Scott Stapp was lambasted by publications like RollingStone for being "irony-deficient, Jesus-haired and often shirtless in a way that reminded people of the guy from Lord of theDance." Based on their frequently spiritual lyrics, some observers deemed Creed part of a new breed of alternative-styledChristian bands, an affiliation that Creed actively tried to downplay. Neither critical jabs nor a potential secular backlash couldderail the band, though, and they went into the new millennium as a seemingly unstoppable commercial juggernaut.Ultimately, it was Stapp's substance abuse and increasingly erratic behavior that brought an end to Creed's heyday in 2004.The remaining members partnered with vocalist Myles Kennedy to form Alter Bridge, while Stapp briefly pursued a solo careerbefore reconvening with Creed in late 2008.Creed took root in 1995 in Tallahassee, FL. Founding members Scott Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti had been classmatesin high school and both attended Florida State University, where Stapp studied law before dropping out to pursue music (adecision that led to conflict with his anti-rock & roll parents, as his father was a Pentecostal minister). Stapp and Tremontibegan writing songs together, many of which obliquely addressed themes of Christian spirituality, and added a rhythm sectionconsisting of bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips. As an alternative to the band's original moniker (NakedToddler), Marshall suggested the name Creed, having previously played in another band dubbed Mattox Creed.

Now boasting a new name and a muscled, modern rock sound, Creed went on to form their own label, Blue Collar, beforeentering the recording studio in 1997 with producer John Kurzweg. Recorded on a shoestring budget of $6,000 and initiallyself-released in a limited run, the debut album My Own Prison was soon picked up by Wind-Up Records -- a fledgling imprintwith distribution through Sony -- and treated to a beefy remix that gave it a heavier, radio-friendly punch. The trick worked,as My Own Prison subsequently spun off no less than four number one singles -- "My Own Prison," "Torn," "What's This LifeFor," and "One" -- on Billboard's mainstream rock radio charts, making Creed the first band to accomplish the feat with itsdebut album. My Own Prison proved to be extremely popular, moving over five million copies over several years' time despitelittle MTV exposure or media coverage.

Although Creed saw a good deal of competition from their post-grunge contemporaries, the band's sophomore albumdemonstrated their staying power. Released in the fall of 1999 (when tracks from My Own Prison were still peppering theBillboard charts and radio playlists), Human Clay turned out to be a blockbuster, entering the charts at number one and sellinga whopping ten million copies over the next two years. The album's leadoff single, "Higher," spent a record-breaking 17 weeksat number one on rock radio, and the follow-up singles "What If" and "With Arms Wide Open" topped the chart as well. Thisgave the band seven consecutive chart-topping hits on rock radio. "With Arms Wide Open" also gave Creed their first numberone pop hit; several months later, the song won a Grammy for Best Rock Song.During the summer of 2000, bassist Brian Marshall made headlines for criticizing Pearl Jam's recent songwriting style during aradio interview; he later apologized, and Stapp distanced the rest of the band from Marshall's comments on Creed's website.Months later, as the band readied itself for an American tour, it was announced that Marshall was no longer a member ofCreed. He was quickly replaced by touring bassist Brett Hestla (also of Virgos Merlot) and later formed a new band, GrandLuxx, with his old bandmates from Mattox Creed. That same summer, Stapp was goaded into a brief media feud with LimpBizkit frontman Fred Durst, who launched into a profane tirade against Stapp at a summer festival that both bands wereplaying. Although Stapp later blasted Durst's business tactics (as senior VP at Interscope), claiming they stemmed from a"mobster mentality," things soon reverted to normal as the band returned to the studio.

Creed worked on their new album for much of 2001; although Hestla remained in the touring lineup, Tremonti chose to handlethe bass parts himself, preserving the band's initial core. Weathered was then released in November 2001, entering the chartsat number one and tying a record (among other number one debuts) by remaining there for eight straight weeks; during thattwo-month time, it also sold a staggering five million copies. The first single, "My Sacrifice," was a Top Five pop hit that spentnine weeks atop the rock radio charts. "One Last Breath" also demonstrated the band's crossover appeal by faring well onboth charts.Stapp was involved in a car accident in April 2002 and suffered both a concussion and vertebrae damage. Creed initiallycanceled the rest of their tour, but Stapp recovered quickly, allowing the band to reschedule most of their show dates duringthe summer. Stapp's health was slipping in other ways, however, as he developed an addiction to Percocet and began takinga host of other medications on the road, including Xanax and throat steroids. The tour concluded with an infamousperformance in Chicago, during which an obviously intoxicated Stapp performed one song while lying on his back. Suchproblems quickly led to the band's unraveling.

Wind-Up Records officially announced the breakup of Creed in June 2004. Over the course of ten years, the band had soldover 30 million albums worldwide and became one of the biggest touring draws of the '90s. Founding members Mark Tremonti,Scott Phillips, and Brian Marshall went on to form Alter Bridge with ex-Mayfield Four frontman Myles Kennedy. Scott Stappwent on to issue a solo record, 2005's The Great Divide, which included a collection of rock songs inspired by Mel Gibson'sPassion of the Christ.Three years later, Stapp and Tremonti reconvened at the Hard Rock Hotel in Florida, where they began to reconcile pastdifferences. Shortly thereafter, the two persuaded Scott Phillips and original bassist Brian Marshall to band together onceagain, thus cementing Creed's reunion. The band booked a series of shows for the summer of 2009 in support of the albumFull Circle, which was released later that year. « hide

Similar Bands: Pearl Jam, Alter Bridge, Scott Stapp, Alice in Chains, Nickelback

LPs
Full Circle
2009

2.5
319 Votes
Weathered
2001

2.7
569 Votes
Human Clay
1999

2.7
674 Votes
My Own Prison
1997

3
517 Votes
Compilations
Greatest Hits
2004

3.1
220 Votes

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