Franz Ferdinand (formed 2002)
Franz Ferdinand is a Scottish indie pop band from Glasgow. The line-up is: Alex Kapranos (vocals and guitar), Nick McCarthy, (guitar and keyboards), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums and backing vocals).
Franz Ferdinand: The Formative Years
Franz Ferdinand formed from the remnants of a number of Scottish indie bands, such as Yummy Fur, The Karelia and Embryo. Alex and Paul were both in Yummy Fur together and Alex taught Bob to play bass. When Nick returned to Scotland from Germany, he joined on guitar.
In 2003, Franz Ferdinand signed to Domino Records, the label that has released records by the likes of Pavement and Arctic Monkeys. That year, Domino released Darts of Pleasure and the band won the Phillip Hall Radar Award at the 2004 NME awards.
Franz Ferdinand: The Breakthrough
The band's debut album, which featured singles such as 'Take Me Out', 'Michael' and 'This Fire' was entitled Franz Ferdinand and released in 2004. The album debuted at number three in the UK album chart. Franz Ferdinand was a critical success, with journalists likening the band to Roxy Music, Duran Duran and Blur. In September 2004, the album won the esteemed Mercury Music Prize and the band went on to win an Ivor Novello award, as well as two BRIT awards.
At the 2005 Grammy Awards, Franz Ferdinand performed alongside Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5.
The band's second album, You Could Have It So Much Better was recorded in Scotland and released in October 2005. The reviews for the second album were not as unanimously positive as those for their debut. Regardless of this, though, the album still entered the UK album charts at number one.
The singles from the album were 'Do You Want To', 'Walk Away', 'The Fallen / L. Wells' and 'Eleanor Put Your Boots On'. All four singles reached the top 30 in the UK singles chart.
Franz Ferdinand played four sold out nights at Alexandra Palace in London, breaking the record for the longest run there.
Prior to the release of Franz Ferdinand's third album, they played at a concert organized by Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz. At the event, Franz Ferdinand performed a song entitled 'Can't You Let Me Stay Tonight', with percussionists from Senegal, a Malian ngoni player and Kano, a British rapper.
Alex Kapranos took some time out between albums to produce an album by The Cribs, entitled Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever.
The third album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand was released in early 2009, with the debut single 'Ulysses' entering the UK singles chart at number 20.
Franz Ferdinand have performed a number of cover versions, of artists as wide-ranging as Gwen Stefani, Girls Aloud, Pulp and Air. Additionally, their music has been remixed by electronic music artists such as Erol Alkan and Justice.