With a blue-eyed soul attack that recalls some of the Eighties’ best pop and a smoldering lead singer in Adam Levine, Maroon 5 seemed tailor made for success, but this pop/rock quintet struggled long and hard before finally breaking through in 2004.

Post-grunge band Kara’s Flowers formed the heart of Maroon 5. Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Ryan Dusick and Mickey Madden released an album under that name in 1997 that promptly went nowhere although it was reissued years later after Maroon 5’s success. After several years that included a relocation to New York, Levine’s affection for artists like Stevie Wonder began showing in his music. Guitarist James Valentine joined the lineup of the new, blue-eyed soul band called Maroon 5.

Octone Records signed the band and released “debut” album, Songs About Jane in 2002. Jane took more than a year to catch fire, but buzz began building after the single Harder to Breathe garnered attention from MTV, VH-1 and popular radio. Several singles eventually cracked the Top 10 in 2004, two years after Jane’s release. Levine’s slightly risque lyrics and good looks figured prominently in the band’s attention. The hits and buzz turned in to the 2004 Grammy for Best New Artist — seven years after their debut album. More Grammy Awards came in 2005 and 2007.

Maroon 5 released two live albums, losing drummer Ryan Dusick to injuries sustained over the course of years of touring. Levine continued gaining admirers for collaborations with rap artists like Kanye West and for dating tabloid fixtures like Jessica Simpson. Maroon 5 returned in 2007 with It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. The double-platinum album spawned an immediate #1 smash with the funky Makes Me Wonder, and three additional hits.

Maroon 5 Hot Sellers

Maroon 5 Reviews on Sonic Clash

It Won’t Be Soon Before Longa more consistent Maroon 5 studio release

1.22.03Maroon 5 goes live and covers The Beatles and AC/DC

Songs About Janea great debut by a promising new band

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