Creed were one of the most popular bands of the late 1990s, combining earnest vocals with lumbering power chords to create songs that aimed for a sweeping, inspirational tone.Creed emerged from a good-sized pack of post-grunge contenders to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands in America during the late '90s. 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; most reviewers slammed their music as derivative and formulaic, and their outlook as relentlessly, stiflingly serious (which got at the very qualities that made the band so popular).
Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti met in high school at Lake Highland Preparatory School and became friends at Florida State University and decided to form a band when they discovered a mutual love for writing music. After recruiting bassist Brian Marshall, drummer Scott Phillips, and rhythm guitarist Brian Basher to complete the band, Creed originally came together in 1993 as Naked Toddler,although Basher left the band in 1995, after which Marshall later suggested the name Creed after the band he played in named Maddox Creed. The four members had already written and collaborated four of the songs that would go on to become tracks on their chart-topping debut album My Own Prison. The songs were "One," "Sister," "My Own Prison," and "What's This Life For." Creed was discovered by manager Jeff Hanson when the band played a show at a bar he owns in Tallahassee, Florida.
My Own Prison their debut Album came out in 1997 on Blue Collar before being re-released in a remixed version on Wind-Up Records. My Own Prison was indeed blue-collar rock–a condensing of grunge’s bellowing angst into everyman laments and straightforward song structures. Frontman Scott Stapp had the same deep baritone as Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder or Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, and Mark Tremonti’s guitar echoed the Seattle sound’s soft-verse/loud-chorus template. The album capitalized on grunge’s popularity, going double-platinum within about a year.
My Own Prison had been successful, but it wasn’t nearly as huge as Creed’s next album. 1999’s Human Clay was a more demonstrative musical and emotional experience, turning every song into a full-throttled exploration of love and lost. The band’s vaguely religious sentiments may have turned off some, but hits like “With Arms Wide Open” and “Higher” were simply everywhere on the radio. Human Clay has gone on to be certified platinum 11 times over, becoming one of the 60 biggest-selling albums of all time.
Creed had a great deal of competition in the post-grunge sweepstakes at the time, and it remained to be seen whether they had any staying power, or were simply fortunate one-album wonders (like some of their peers turned out to be). When they issued their follow-up, Human Clay, in the fall of 1999, My Own Prison was still on the charts and selling respectably well. Human Clay turned out to be a blockbuster, not only entering the charts at number one (much to many observers' surprise), but selling a whopping ten million copies over the next two years. The first single, "Higher," spent a record-breaking 17 weeks at number one on rock radio, and when their next two singles, "What If" and "With Arms Wide Open," topped the chart as well, it gave the band seven consecutive rock-radio number ones -- another record. "With Arms Wide Open" also gave Creed their first number one pop hit, and later won a Grammy for Best Rock Song.
In the fall of 2001, "My Sacrifice", the first single off Creed's third album Weathered, was used in a series of promotional tribute videos made by World Wrestling Entertainment. The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on February 9, 2002, and #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for 9 consecutive weeks, starting in December 2001. "Bullets" was released as a single, along with a costly, special effects-laden video. The song and video were possibly Creed's least successful since achieving mainstream success. However, Creed rebounded quickly, with one of the summer's biggest hits, "One Last Breath". Weathered was also Creed's first and only album without bass player Brian Marshall. The bass on the album was performed by Tremonti.
Creed’s eventual breakup has been blamed on different factors, but one clear cause was Stapp’s addiction to alcohol and drugs. In addition, he was arrested in Florida in 2002 and charged with reckless driving. The band split up in 2004. Stapp released a solo album, The Great Divide, in 2005 – it failed to capture the public imagination like Creed’s records had. Meanwhile, the rest of the band, including Marshall, formed Alter Bridge with a new lead singer, Myles Kennedy, and released two albums. But Alter Bridge also were unable to duplicate the sales Creed once enjoyed.
Near the end of 2008, Alter Bridge’s lead singer Myles Kennedy was rumored to be joining the Led Zeppelin reunion tour as a replacement vocalist for Robert Plant. These rumors opened the door to speculation that Creed would be reforming for a 2009 tour. Creed made it official in April 2009, announcing a new album and tour. On October 27, 2009, Creed released Full Circle, their first new studio album in eight years.