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The Chemical Brothers Biography

The Chemical Brothers are a British electronic duo, formed by Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, in 1989. They are among the pioneers of big beat, in the mid-90s. Six of their eight albums have topped the UK albums chart. Their songs are considered energetic musical journeys.


Both members grew up listening to diverse artists, from the Smiths to Public Enemy. Tom and Ed met at university and began exploring the nightclub scene. In the early 90s, the Balearic DJ’ing style was ruling in the UK.  Balearic was actually a mix of numerous influences, from early house to jazz, to hip-hop. That represented The Chemical Brothers’ starting point. They began performing at the Manchester club Naked Under Leather and gained popularity due to their vast musical culture. Furthermore, they released their first single, Song to the Siren, producing 500 copies. It created exposure and brought new opportunities.

Breakthrough & Success

After creating a strong base of clients for remixing, the duo released their breakthrough single, in 1996. Setting Sun, a collaboration with Oasis’ vocalist, topped the UK and led to the Chemical Brothers performing as an opening act for Oasis. Furthermore, the duo’s second album Dig Your Own Hole, started the string of 5 consecutive number 1 albums. Two years later, they released their third album, Surrender, which spawned the successful single Hey Boy Hey Girl.

In 2001, the single It Began in Afrika topped the US Dance chart, but overall, the album Come with Us didn’t reach the huge recognition of the previous two. After a 3-year break, Rowlands and Simons returned to glory with the release of Push the Button, which generated the iconic hit Galvanize. In 2011, the duo created the soundtrack for Hanna. Moreover, two years later they recorded a song for Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1. In the summer of 2015, The Chemical Brothers released, Born in the Echoes, which became their sixth number 1 album.


Photo source: Discogs