Franz Ferdinand biography
Franz Ferdinand are a British band formed in Glasgow, Scotland 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 26 January 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).
Formation and early years (2002-2003)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 cover art was designed by Kapranos. It reached No. 43 in the UK chart. The band won the "Phillip Hall Radar Award" at the NME Awards of 2004, announced in November 2003.
thumb 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, and at No. 12 in the Australian album charts in April 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. Franz Ferdinand received a generally strong positive response from critics. NME rated it 9 out of 10, and said that the band was the latest in the line of art school rock bands featuring The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Roxy Music, the Sex Pistols, Wire, Travis, and Blur.
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