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Franz Ferdinand is a British band formed in Glasgow in 2002. The band is composed of Alex Kapranos (lead vocals and guitar), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), Nick McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keyboards and backing vocals), and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals).
The band first experienced chart success when their second single, "Take Me Out", reached No. 3 in the UK Charts, followed by their debut album, Franz Ferdinand, which debuted on the UK album chart at No. 3. The band went on to win the 2004 Mercury Music Prize, and two BRIT Awards in 2005 for Best British Group and Best British Rock Act. NME named Franz Ferdinand as their Album of the Year. From the album, three top-ten singles were released: "Take Me Out", "The Dark of the Matinée", and "This Fire".
The band's second album, You Could Have It So Much Better (2005), was a platinum-selling album in the United Kingdom and gold-selling in the United States. The album topped the UK Album Charts, and made the top ten in the Billboard 200 in the US. The album produced the hit single "Do You Want To", amongst many other singles. After the release of You Could Have It So Much Better, the band took some time recording their third album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, which was released internationally on January 26, 2009, and made the top ten in the United Kingdom and the United States. "Ulysses" was released as the lead single, although "No You Girls" proved to be popular, being their second longest-charting single in the UK, after "Do You Want To" (2005).
The members of Franz Ferdinand played in various bands during the 1990s, including The Karelia, Yummy Fur, 10p Invaders, and Embryo. Alex Kapranos and Paul Thomson met at a party and began a close friendship and played together in Yummy Fur, and subsequently teamed up to write songs. Around the same time, Kapranos taught his friend, Bob Hardy, how to play bass after being given a bass guitar by Mick Cooke of Belle & Sebastian. Kapranos met co-guitarist Nick McCarthy, who had returned to Scotland after studying jazz bass in Germany, in 2001. Franz Ferdinand's longtime sound engineer is Michael Parker. In May 2003 the band signed to Laurence Bell's independent record label, Domino Records. The band had recorded an EP which they intended to release themselves; it was released by Domino as Darts of Pleasure in the latter part of 2003.
The band moved to Gula Studios in Malmö, Sweden, with Cardigans producer Tore Johansson to record their debut album. In January 2004 the single "Take Me Out" reached No. 3 in the UK charts. The album, Franz Ferdinand, was released in early 2004, debuting at No. 3 in the UK Albums Chart in February 2004. The album only reached the lowest levels of the Billboard 200 album charts in the US as of early 2004, but reached the top 5 of the indie rock chart and the Heatseeker chart for debut artists. After a couple of North American tours and heavy rotation of the "Take Me Out" video on MTV, the album eventually reached No. 32 on the Billboard 200 later in 2004, and sold over a million copies in the United States.
You Could Have It So Much BetterEdit
The band spent much of 2005 in the studio in Scotland working on their follow-up album, You Could Have It So Much Better, which was released on October 3, 2005. The band initially intended to leave the album self-titled like their debut, but they changed it to "You Could Have It So Much Better...With Franz Ferdinand" before settling on the final title. It was generally well received in the press and seen as an album equal to, or better than, their first by most critics. It entered the UK Album Charts at Number 1 and the US charts at Number 8. On the tour that followed the album release, Franz Ferdinand broke the record for the longest run at the Alexandra Palace, North London, by playing four sold out nights in November–December 2005. "Do You Want To" made it to number 4 and was declared by Q to be the greatest single of 2005, while "Walk Away" and "The Fallen" / "L. Wells" entered the top 15 of the UK Singles Chart. The fourth and final single from the second album, "Eleanor Put Your Boots On", peaked at number 30.
Tonight: Franz FerdinandEdit
On January 26, 2009, the band released their third studio album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, which they had been recording in Glasgow since mid-2007. Alex Kapranos has stated that "The last record was...like a teenager having sex. This one's a bit more assured and a bit friendlier for the dance floor." The song "Ulysses" was chosen to be the first single and was released on January 19, 2009. It did not see that much success in the UK Top 40, reaching only No. 20, but it fared better in Spain and Japan where it reached No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. The album, Tonight debuted at No. 2 in the UK Album Chart and No. 9 in the U.S. Billboard 200. The second single, "No You Girls" saw success both in the charts and on the radio prior to release, eventually reaching No. 7 on the US Modern Rock Chart and was performed by Franz Ferdinand on Comic Relief 2009 Top of The Pops special. "Can't Stop Feeling" was released on July 6 as the 3rd single from the album and on August 28, "What She Came For" was released as the 4th single in the form of a remix single.