Maroon 5 began as being a late-Nineties L.A. grunge outfit called Kara’s Flowers, featuring guitarist-singer Adam Levine, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, bassist Mickey Maddin and drummer Ryan Dusick, who had been signed to Reprise while still in high school graduation. They issued one poor-selling album and split up for college. Soon, though, they reunited, on this occasion calling themselves Maroon 5 and adopting a poppier, more R&B-inflected sound, and adding guitarist James Valentine. In 2002 they issued their debut, Songs About Jane, a slow-building success (it went along to Number 6 a couple of years after its issue) due to the single “Harder to Breathe” (Number 18, 2003). More singles followed, including “This Love” (Number 5, 2004), “She Will Be Loved” (Number 5, 2004) and “Sunday Morning” (Number 31, 2005). More about Locked away sheet music.
The group began touring constantly, providing a pair of live discs — 1.22.03 Acoustic (2004) and Live — Friday the 13th (2005) — a CD-DVD combo package capturing a Santa Barbara show from May 2005 as well as the loss of drummer Dusick, who injured his shoulder and wrist over the grueling grind. He was replaced by Matt Flynn, who played within the band’s studio follow-up, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (Number One, 2007). One in the major pop-rock sellers of the company’s release year, It Won’t Be Soon moved nearly a half-million copies its opening week thanks largely towards the infectious pop-funk lead single “Makes Me Wonder” (Number One, 2007). Further hits included “Wake Up Call” (Number 19, 2007) and “Won’t Go Home Without You,” which hit Number 21 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.
Levine’s soul-influenced vocal style has earned him props from hip-hop and R&B artists and listeners, and gained him guest spots on Kanye West’s “Heard ‘Em Say” from Late Registration (2005), as well as on Alicia Keys’ cover in the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” from her Unplugged (2005). The group has won three Grammy Awards, including a 2005 nod for Best New Artist, a couple trophies for Best Pop Performance using a Duo or Group With Vocals — one from 2006 for “This Love,” and another from 2008 for “Makes Me Wonder.”