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During the late '90s, Creed emerged from a sea of post-grunge contenders to become one of the decade's biggest-selling rock bands. At a time when many other Seattle disciples were lapsing into inactivity or experimenting with less commercial sounds, 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 Rolling Stone for being "irony-deficient, Jesus-haired and often shirtless in a way that reminded people of the guy from Lord of the Dance." Based on their frequently spiritual lyrics, some observers deemed Creed part of a new breed of alternative-styled Christian bands, an affiliation that Creed actively tried to downplay. Neither critical jabs nor a potential secular backlash could derail 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 career before reconvening with Creed in late 2008. Creed took root in 1995 in Tallahassee, FL. Founding members Scott Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti had been classmates in high school and both attended Florida State University, where Stapp studied law before dropping out to pursue music (a decision that led to conflict with his anti-rock & roll parents, as his father was a Pentecostal minister). Stapp and Tremonti began writing songs together, many of which obliquely addressed themes of Christian spirituality, and added a rhythm section consisting of bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips. As an alternative to the band's original moniker (Naked Toddler), 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, before entering the recording studio in 1997 with producer John Kurzweg. Recorded on a shoestring budget of $6,000 and initially self-released in a limited run, the debut album My Own Prison was soon picked up by Wind-Up Records -- a fledgling imprint with 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 Life For," and "One" -- on Billboard's mainstream rock radio charts, making Creed the first band to accomplish the feat with its debut album. My Own Prison proved to be extremely popular, moving over five million copies over several years' time despite little MTV exposure or media coverage. Although Creed saw a good deal of competition from their post-grunge contemporaries, the band's sophomore album demonstrated their staying power. Released in the fall of 1999 (when tracks from My Own Prison were still peppering the Billboard charts and radio playlists), Human Clay turned out to be a blockbuster, entering the charts at number one and selling a whopping ten million copies over the next two years. The album's leadoff single, "Higher," spent a record-breaking 17 weeks at number one on rock radio, and the follow-up singles "What If" and "With Arms Wide Open" topped the chart as well. This gave the band seven consecutive chart-topping hits on rock radio. "With Arms Wide Open" also gave Creed their first number one 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 a radio 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 of Creed. He was quickly replaced by touring bassist Brett Hestla (also of Virgos Merlot) and later formed a new band, Grand Luxx, with his old bandmates from Mattox Creed. That same summer, Stapp was goaded into a brief media feud with Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, who launched into a profane tirade against Stapp at a summer festival that both bands were playing. 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 handle the bass parts himself, preserving the band's initial core. Weathered was then released in November 2001, entering the charts at number one and tying a record (among other number one debuts) by remaining there for eight straight weeks; during that two-month time, it also sold a staggering five million copies. The first single, "My Sacrifice," was a Top Five pop hit that spent nine weeks atop the rock radio charts. "One Last Breath" also demonstrated the band's crossover appeal by faring well on both charts. Stapp was involved in a car accident in April 2002 and suffered both a concussion and vertebrae damage. Creed initially canceled the rest of their tour, but Stapp recovered quickly, allowing the band to reschedule most of their show dates during the summer. Stapp's health was slipping in other ways, however, as he developed an addiction to Percocet and began taking a host of other medications on the road, including Xanax and throat steroids. The tour concluded with an infamous performance in Chicago, during which an obviously intoxicated Stapp performed one song while lying on his back. Such problems 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 sold over 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 Stapp went on to issue a solo record, 2005's The Great Divide, which included a collection of rock songs inspired by Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. Three years later, Stapp and Tremonti reconvened at the Hard Rock Hotel in Florida, where they began to reconcile past differences. Shortly thereafter, the two persuaded Scott Phillips and original bassist Brian Marshall to band together once again, thus cementing Creed's reunion. The band booked a series of shows for the summer of 2009 in support of the album Full Circle, which was released later that year. ~ Andrew Leahey & Steve Huey
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Stations Featuring

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    '90s Pop

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Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   With Arms Wide Open [Alternate Version]
  3.   My Sacrifice
  4.   Higher
  5.   One Last Breath
  6.   My Own Prison
  7.   One
  8.   Torn
  9.   What If
  10.   What's This Life For
  11.   Weathered
  12.   Are You Ready?
  13.   Overcome
  14.   Bullets
  15.   Don't Stop Dancing
  16.   A Thousand Faces
  17.   On My Sleeve
  18.   Faceless Man
  19.   Wash Away Those Years
  20.   Beautiful
  21.   Inside Us All
  22.   Away in Silence
  23.   Ode
  24.   Lullaby
  25.   Time
  26.   Say I
  27.   Pity For A Dime
  28.   In America
  29.   Good Fight
  30.   Full Circle
  31.   Stand Here With Me
  32.   Who's Got My Back?
  33.   Signs
  34.   The Song You Sing
  35.   Freedom Fighter
  36.   Suddenly
  37.   Wrong Way
  38.   Sister
  39.   Never Die
  40.   Is This the End
  41.   Bread of Shame
  42.   Hide
  43.   Unforgiven
  44.   Illusion
  45.   Rain
  46.   Fear
  47.   Young Grow Old
  48.   I'm Eighteen
  49.   Roadhouse Blues
  50.   Bound and Tied
  51.   An Inner Spirituality
  52.   Religious Dogma
  53.   Faith in Creed
  54.   Record Breakers
  55.   Higher and Higher
  56.   Shining Stars
  57.   The Christianity Issue
  58.   From There to Here
  59.   Who Are Creed
  60.   Living For the Future
  61.   To Whom It May Concern
  62.   Wash Away the Years
  63.   Riders on the Storm
  64.   Into the Grain
  65.   Last Breath
  66.   Photo Gallery/Documentary/Exclusive Interviews
  67.   [Untitled]
  68.   [Untitled]
  69.   Are You Raedy
  70.   Arms Wide Open
  71.   Waht If
  72.   [Untitled]
  73.   [Untitled]
  74.   Radio Version
  75.   Video
  76.   [Untitled]
  77.   Silent Teacher
  78.   Blistered
  79.   More Than This
  80.   Why

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