From their first performances in 1976 to their last gig in San Francisco in 1981 (recorded and released as "Mission Of Dead Souls"), they challenged and threatend so-called "normal", society - denounced from the floor of the House of Commons as "Wreckers of Civilisation" as the Coum Transmissions "Prostitution" art show in London's ICA (at which TG played their third show) came close to causing riots and set the stage for the punk revolution.
Musically, they were extreme and uncompromising, using technology to make anti-music, which redefined music for all time. Their experimentation led them to pioneer sampling and looping techniques adopted by many of those who came after.
Throbbing Gristle officially began at September 3, 1975 and they officially split on June 23, 1981. After they split, Genesis and Peter formed Psychic TV (and Peter later joining Coil) and Chris and Cosey becoming, well, Chris & Cosey. However, they came back together 23 years later in 2004 to plan an ill-fated weekend festival, which became a one-off recording session in London when the festival fell through, releasing a limited TGNOW album of the recordings.
A series of new releases and remasters followed as well as live performances. In 2010, Genesis withdrew from touring with TG and the three other members renamed themselves X-TG. However, Peter's death in November that year brought an end to TG/XTG for good. One final release, released under the name X-TG, followed in 2012.
A note on bootlegs: Throbbing Gristle was an organisation and all releases had to be approved by the organisation, not individual members. Most official releases were released by Industrial Records, Fetish Records and Mute (some exceptions exist).