The members of Maroon 5 had been friends since attending junior high school in Los Angeles. Adam Levine (vocals/guitar), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards), Mickey Madden (bass) and Ryan Dusick (drums) formed Kara's Flowers which played its first gig at the Whisky A Go-Go on September 16, 1995
The band signed with Reprise Records and released its first and only album the Fourth World in the middle of 1997. Despite support slots on tours by Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger, the album failed to take off commercially and in 1999, the band parted company with Reprise Records.
Guitarist James Valentine joined Kara's Flowers and the band called itself Maroon 5. The band played show case gigs in New York City and Los Angeles. Adam Levine credited the interregnum for influencing the band's new style in an interview with VH1. 'During the time between our record deals, I spent a lot of time in New York where I was exposed to an urban and hip-hop culture in a way that had never happened to me in L.A. It turned me on to an entirely new genre of music which has had a profound impact on my song writing.' The band signed with Octone Records, a New York independent label with distribution through BMG and an artist development deal with Clive Davis' J Records.
The first single 'Harder to Breathe' slowly started to pick up airplay which helped spur sales of the album. By March 2004, the album had reached the top 20 of the Billboard 200 and 'Harder to Breathe' had made the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. Songs about Jane had also eventually made the top 10 Australian albums charts while Harder to Breathe had made the top 20 singles charts in the UK, and top 40 in Australia and New Zealand. The album also eventually climbed to number 1 in the UK and Australia. The second single 'This Love' had also made the US and Australian top 10 and even UK and Dutch top 3 singles charts. The third single, 'She Will Be Loved', reached the top 5 in both the UK and the US, and went to #1 in Australia. The fourth single, 'Sunday Morning', also reached the top 40 in the US, UK and Australia.
The music video for 'This Love' featured lead singer Adam Levine and his real-life girlfriend model Kelly McGee in some steamy sex scenes. The video used creative camera angles to show as much as possible without actually revealing any of the couple's private parts, thereby avoiding possible FCC action. A version of the video where a stream of computer-generated flowers cover up more, however, was made for more conservative markets (such as some parts of Latin America).
Sunday Morning "By Maroon 5. For voice, piano and guitar (chords only). Piano Vocal. Alternative Rock and Pop Rock. Difficulty: medium. Single. Vocal melody, lyrics, piano accompaniment, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. 8 pages. Published by Hal Leonard"
She Will Be Loved "By Maroon 5. By Adam Levine and James Valentine. For voice, piano and guitar (chords only). Piano Vocal. Alternative Rock, Pop Rock and Pop. Difficulty: medium. Single. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. 10
Songs About Jane "By Maroon 5. For voice, piano and guitar (chords only). Piano/Vocal/Guitar Artist Songbook. Alternative Rock, Pop and Pop. Difficulty: medium. Songbook. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. 71 pages. Hal Leona
This Love "By Maroon 5. By Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael. For voice, piano and guitar chords. Piano Vocal. Pop. Difficulty: medium. Single. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. 8 pages. Published by Hal Leonard"
Songs About Jane "By Maroon 5. For guitar and voice. Hal Leonard Guitar Recorded Versions. Alternative Rock, Pop Rock and Pop. Difficulty: medium. Guitar tablature songbook. Guitar tablature, standard guitar notation, vocal melody, lyrics, chord names, guitar chord diagra