Distinctly unique for their use of a large number of musical instruments and enthralling live performances, Montreal-based Arcade Fire initially emerged from an idea invented by Win Butler (born Edwin Farnham Butler III in Texas) as he made up his mind to play music in a band. His first attempt to assemble a solid lineup, however, disappointingly failed, and so was the second one, with only a member named Regine Chassagne who eventually became his wife.
Still eager to try once again, the pair later managed to construct a new formation consisting of Win's younger brother William Butler, Richard Reed Parry and his New International Standards bandmate Tim Kingsburry by summer 2003. After adding one more member named Howard Bilerman on drums following a meeting at Hotel 2 Tango studio, Arcade Fire immediately embarked on recording process for their first effort with the older Butler as lead vocalist and the other four handling multi instruments.
The result was a full-length album entitled "Funeral" that was released on September 14, 2004 in the States under indie company Merge Records. Much to their delight, the LP instantly soared to the top five of both Billboard's Top Heatseekers and Top Independent Album, going Gold in both Canada and the U.K. by November 2005 while also selling over half million copies worldwide, a considerably fantastic number for an indie release.
In the middle of this initial attainment, however, Bilerman sadly concluded to leave the band to do other projects yet thankfully it did not take long for the troupe to find his replacement in Jeremy Gara, the former drummer of Kepler. Despite the changes, their popularity meter kept increasing with David Bowie introducing them to bigger labels plus EMI offering a short term contract in May 2005.
"Funeral" success continued along the way as it gloriously landed a Grammy nomination in Best Alternative Rock Album category alongside single "Cold Wind" which was nominated in Best Song Written for Television, Film, or Other Media in 2006. By this time, the group had already taken another member, violinist Sarah Neufeld, as well as Owen Pallet, Pietro Amato, and Marika Anthony-Shaw to be the additional players for their live gigs.
Determined to strike harder in their next move, Arcade Fire spent most of the following year to work on their sophomore effort, "Neon Bible". The self-produced album gained the second spot on Billboards Hot 200 in the first week of its release. Not only did it earn commercial success, but it also gained recognition from critics. It was named Album of the Year by numerous music magazines including Billboard and Rolling Stone.
Arcade Fire scored bigger with their third set "The Suburbs" released in 2010. They bowed at No. 1 on Hot 200, marking their first ever taking the top spot. On top of that, it gave them a Grammy for winning Album of the Year. They were also nominated for Best Alternative Album and Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group for single "Ready to Start".
In 2012, the group recorded a soundtrack for "The Hunger Games" called "Abraham's Daughter" and contributed to the film's score by crafting the ominous Panem national anthem, entitled "Horn of Plenty". Once again, their works in the flick were lauded by critics.
Three years in the making, "Reflektor" is due October 28 as their fourth studio offering. They made a good start with the title track climbing up to No. 14 on U.S. Rock Songs chart. Debuting at the top 10 would be an easy task for them, if their previous three albums were any indication of how well they performed on the album chart.