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Arcade Fire began as a duo in Boston in 2001 when Win Butler and Josh Deu used the moniker Arcade Fire at local gigs. Eventually moving to Montreal, the band added several more band members to their repertoire and gave birth to what is now one of indie rock's most acclaimed bands. Following a series of line-up changes and infighting, the band finally released their self-titled EP in 2003. Arcade Fire tour dates were booked at local clubs and venues in an effort to generate buzz and attention from labels. The efforts proved successful and they were signed to indie label, Merge Records, hitting the studio almost immediately to record their first LP, Funeral.
Their highly anticipated debut LP was finally released in September 2004 to instant critical and commercial success. MTV2 awarded Arcade Fire's debut with Album of the Year, as did Filter Magazine. The album achieved gold certifications in the UK and Canada, and sold over half a million copies, becoming Merge Records' first Billboard 200 chart entry and their most commercially successful album to date. Prior to the release of the album, Arcade Fire tour dates had been booked at small venues, which became problematic when demand for the band exceeded venue capacity. The 2005 Arcade Fire concert schedule had the band playing shows right across the country as well as at international festivals such as SummerSonic in Japan, Lollapalooza, and the Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands. Their banner year was topped off when Arcade Fire graced the cover of Time magazine (Canada Edition) and were nominated for two Grammy Awards for their song "Cold Wind."
For their sophomore release, the band purchased and converted a dilapidated church in rural Canada and turned it into a recording studio. What the band produced there evolved into, Neon Bible, and was released in 2007. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and immediately met with critical acclaim. In support of the album, Arcade Fire tour dates were scheduled across North America and Europe at the end of 2007. Additional Arcade Fire tour dates were booked in Australia and New Zealand, marking the band's first time down under. The Arcade Fire Neon Bible Tour finally culminated after 122 shows in 75 cities and nineteen countries in February 2008. The band didn't waste any time and immediately hit the studio to record the follow-up.
The final product, The Suburbs, was released in August, 2010 while the band was on another tour. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 156k copies in its maiden week. Arcade Fire was nominated for three Grammy awards and in February,2011, they won the coveted Album of the Year award. The band then dove into the world of film scoring, writing all the music for Spike Jonze's film Her. Shortly after, Arcade Fire released their fourth album, Reflektor, influenced by Haitian rara music. Predictably, the album received nearly universal acclaim, with sales improving even more than Suburbs.
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