Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

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Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Studio album by Franz Ferdinand
Released 26 January 2009
Recorded 2007–2008
Studio Mr. Dan's Studio
(Buckeye, Arizona)[1]
Old Govan Town Hall
(Govan, Scotland)
Length 42:25
Label Domino
Producer Dan Carey
Franz Ferdinand chronology
You Could Have It So Much Better
Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Blood: Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand studio albums chronology
You Could Have It So Much Better
Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
Singles from Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
  1. "Lucid Dreams"
    Released: 18 August 2008
  2. "Ulysses"
    Released: 19 January 2009
  3. "No You Girls"
    Released: 6 April 2009
  4. "Can't Stop Feeling"
    Released: 6 July 2009
  5. "What She Came For"
    Released: 31 August 2009

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand is the third studio album by Glaswegian indie rock band Franz Ferdinand. It was released through Domino Records on 26 January 2009 in the UK.[2] It is the band's first studio album since You Could Have It So Much Better, which was released on 3 October 2005, roughly three and a half years earlier. The album was recorded in a span of two years at Mr. Dan's Studio in Buckeye, Arizona and the old town hall of Govan, Scotland. It is a concept album loosely based around a night of partying and the morning effects after. The album has more of a dance-oriented sound compared to the band's previous two albums, which featured more of a post-punk-oriented sound. Upon release, the album received generally favourable reviews from music critics.[3]

Five official singles have been released from the album: "Lucid Dreams", "Ulysses", "No You Girls", "Can't Stop Feeling", and "What She Came For". A remix album, titled Blood, was released on 1 June 2009 and contains dub remixes of most songs from Tonight.


Recording history[edit]

Although having written about eight songs while on tour in 2005, Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy decided to write new tunes because they wanted the album to be "...quite new, to be quite different sounding from everything we've ever done before."[4] Despite having recorded their second album in a blitz, Kapranos stressed that the band wanted to take their time. He voices, "This time we wanted to spend more time developing, and also, I suppose, allowing songs and sounds to evolve more before we ended up writing an album, and absorbing more music and ideas and, I suppose, life itself. And when I say life, I mean life off the road, because I wouldn't classify life on the road as real life."[5] Franz Ferdinand began working on their third studio album in early 2007.[4] Franz Ferdinand was supposed to record the album with producer Brian Higgins, yet in March 2008, the two entities parted ways. The drummer, Paul Thomson, says "We wrote with Higgins for a while and initially we thought we'd work more with him but it didn't really work out. We just realized that we're not really a pop group." However, they also commented they have not given up on the pop concept.[6] Some songs of the album were written and recorded in the old town hall of Govan, Scotland. The band first moved in, following a year of touring in support of their second album and mostly used it for storing and rehearsing.[7]

Musical style[edit]

The album has reportedly been inspired by the "heavy dub sound of Jamaican reggae stars."[8] Alex Kapranos also stated the album has a "streak of electronica" but is still a mix of influences. He also commented it has "..the heavy bass and space echo you would find on a dub mix."[8] In a Rolling Stone interview, Kapranos stated the album is more of a dance than a rock record.[5] In an interview with, Kapranos said "It's the opposite of punk/pop, which took something that was wonderful and removed all the dirt." He also said the band is using Russian Polyvox synthesizers.[9] The album has somewhat of an African influence according to an XFM article in which Alex reeled, "We're one of these bands that are always gonna sound the same no matter what we do, but there are other influences there. I guess the drums are a little different, Paul has been listening to a lot of African stuff so that's gonna come through."[10] The song "No You Girls" uses a human skeleton for percussion.[11] "Tonight is more of a concept album that explores the highs and lows associated with an evening of debauchery. This album covers all its bases from the initial excitement of the early evening to the numbness of the morning after", writes one reviewer.[12]

Cover art and album title[edit]

The artwork for the album is a photograph taken by Søren Solkær Starbird just after midnight behind the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow. Talking to NME, drummer Paul Thomson said, "We wanted to get a Weegee vibe – that famous New York crime scene photographer from the '40s and '50s."[13] Subsequently, it is part of a series where the band are taking photos with photographers in different cities they end up in. On the band's blog, they mention the series of photos as 'imaginary crime scenes, invaded by the photographer', and 'a slice of night frozen by flash'.[14]

It was announced on 20 September 2008 that they had finished work on the album but still had no title for it. On 7 October 2008, reporter Michael Hogan from Vanity Fair interviewed Alex and Paul, who confirmed the title of their third album to be Tonight,[15] with NME reporting the album's full title and release date a week later.[2]


In August 2008, Franz Ferdinand released "Lucid Dreams" through iTunes and made it available for listen on their official website. It is also featured on the Madden NFL 09 soundtrack.[16] The band, however, stated on their website that "Lucid Dreams" was not a single.[17] The track on the album differs from this version.

"Ulysses" was chosen to be the first single and was released 19 January 2009. The song received first airplay at BBC Radio 1 on 17 November 2008. It was made available on the iTunes Store in North America on 2 December, and in the UK on 18 January 2009.

"No You Girls" was released as a single on 6 April.[18] The song was used in a commercial for the iPod Touch.[19]

A live version of "What She Came For" was released as a free download on the NME Music website's Franz Ferdinand page on 18 December 2008.[20] On 9 January, "No You Girls" was released on iTunes. On 13 January, it was released as a free download on Myspace Music. On 22 January, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand was made available for streaming through the band's official Myspace Music profile.[21]

It was announced via the band's website on 20 May that "Can't Stop Feeling" would be the next single, released on 6 July.

Blood bonus disc[edit]

For its release on 26 January, the album is available as a box set which includes the whole album on six 7-inch vinyl singles and as a 2 disc limited edition. These special editions are only available in Europe and include a bonus disc called Blood which contains dub versions of the tracks from the album.[22]


Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 70/100[23]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[24]
The A.V. Club B–[25]
Drowned in Sound 6/10[26]
musicOMH 3.5/5 stars[27]
NME 8/10[28]
The Observer 3/5 stars[29]
Pitchfork (7.3/10)[30]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[31]
Spin 7/10[32]
Uncut 1.5/5 stars[33]

Tonight received generally good reviews with a total score of 70 on Metacritic with 32 reviews. It did not receive the amount of critical acclaim their first album received.[3] Clash magazine commented that it could be "the band's most complete work to date. Worth the wait, and in all honesty better than we could ever have hoped for."[34] The Financial Post states that "Tonight is the band's best album: Paradoxically, they've allowed themselves a degree of release from their characteristic tension by creating structures within which they can cut loose."[35] The Telegraph commented on how Tonight: Franz Ferdinand is a melody-packed re-affirmation of everything that has made the band so popular hitherto, but with a highly contemporary-sounding, keyboard-driven edge.[36] The Trades stated that "this [album] is an evolutionary step for the band rather than a revolutionary one. Smart and danceable, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand proves that Franz Ferdinand are the masters of dance-rock."[37] NBC commented on how 'Franz Ferdinand has once again managed to outdo themselves with their best album to date.'[38]

Uncut's and The Guardian's reviews were less enthusiastic. Uncut commented that the album sounds dry and superficial, and the songs are too similar to each other and other Franz Ferdinand songs.[33] The Guardian stated that "if Franz's songwriting is broader than it was, it is still no deeper" and that "they'll keep trying to move your hips because they know they'll never win your heart."[29] This was echoed by the review in the Daily Mail, which described the album as "a sterile, unwelcoming affair that fails to pack the band's usual punch." Paste Magazine was similarly severe, stating that the vocals are "leering", the production "horrific", and that the lyrics "seem to lack both heart and brain" and conclude by writing that "the layoff suggests that Franz is either too confused or too lazy to move forward".[39]

Commercial reception[edit]

The album debuted at number two on the UK Album Chart, as well as number nine on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., selling about 31,000 copies in its first week of release.[40] The album, however, suffered a fifty-place decline on the Billboard 200 from #9 to #59 in its second week on the chart.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Franz Ferdinand. 

No. Title Length
1. "Ulysses"   3:11
2. "Turn It On"   2:20
3. "No You Girls"   3:41
4. "Send Him Away"   2:59
5. "Twilight Omens"   2:29
6. "Bite Hard"   3:26
7. "What She Came For"   3:33
8. "Live Alone"   3:29
9. "Can't Stop Feeling"   3:02
10. "Lucid Dreams"   7:56
11. "Dream Again"   3:18
12. "Katherine Kiss Me"   2:55
Total length:
Japanese bonus tracks
No. Title Length
13. "Lucid Dreams" (Original Version) 3:42
14. "Ulysses" (Disco Bloodbath Effect) 8:03
15. "Feeling Kind of Anxious"   6:31
Total length:
iTunes bonus tracks
No. Title Length
13. "Lucid Dreams" (Original Version) (US and Canada editions) 3:42
14. "Ulysses" (Disco Bloodbath Effect) (European editions, US and Canada pre-order editions) 8:03
15. "Feeling Kind of Anxious" (US and Canada pre-order editions) 6:31


Chart peak positions[edit]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Position
Swiss Albums Chart[50] 82

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dan Dierkes (Mr Dans Studio) - Buckeye, Arizona (AZ) | Company Profile". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Franz Ferdinand album release date announced | News". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  3. ^ a b "Franz Ferdinand: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (2009): Reviews". 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  4. ^ a b "Franz Ferdinand get ready to start third album | News". Nme.Com. 2007-01-30. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  5. ^ a b Brian Hiatt. "In the Studio: Franz Ferdinand Say Third Album Is "More Dance Than Rock" : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  6. ^ Michaels, Sean (2008-03-27). "Franz Ferdinand pop plans go pop | Music |". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  7. ^ Shepherd, Fiona. "Franz Ferdinand interview: Sounds of Govan - Living". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  8. ^ a b "Exclusive: Scots stars Franz Ferdinand ready to reveal new sound at Connect". The Daily Record. 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2009-05-14. [dead link]
  9. ^ King, Nikki (2008-01-18). "Franz Ferdinand working on third album :: Music News :: Articles :: Paste". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  10. ^ "Franz Ferdinand Name New Single". Xfm. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  11. ^ Franz Ferdinand drum with human bones - The Guardian, 10 October 2008 (The song referred to in this article as "Kiss Me", an abbreviation of "Katherine Kiss Me", later became known as "No You Girls")
  12. ^ "Franz Ferdinand : Tonight: Franz Ferdinand :: Review". Ventvox. 2009-01-11. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  13. ^ "Franz Ferdinand new album artwork unveiled – exclusive | News". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2009-05-14. [dead link]
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ Hogan, Michael. "An Obama Fundraiser Yields an Indie-Rock Scoop: Michael Hogan". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  16. ^ "Franz Ferdinand – New Song called ‘Lucid Dreams’ « Suedehead’s Emporium". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  17. ^ [2][dead link]
  18. ^ Franz Ferdinand announce new single - Domino Records website
  19. ^ Apple Inc. "iPod touch - Gallery - TV Ads". Apple. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  20. ^ "Homepage - Franz Ferdinand". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  21. ^ "Franz Ferdinand's new album streaming online now | News". Nme.Com. 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  22. ^ "Domino | Albums | Tonight: Franz Ferdinand". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  23. ^ "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand Reviews, Ratings, Credits and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  24. ^ Phares, Heather (2009-01-26). "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  25. ^ Bevan, David. "Franz Ferdinand: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  26. ^ Wale, Dan (2009-01-30). "Franz Ferdinand - Tonight". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  27. ^ Cragg, Michael. "Franz Ferdinand - Tonight | album reviews". musicOMH. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  28. ^ "Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand - Album Reviews". NME. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  29. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian (2009-01-18). "CD: Franz Ferdinand, Tonight | Music | The Observer". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  30. ^ "Pitchfork: Franz Ferdinand: Tonight". Pitchfork Media. 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  31. ^ "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand : Franz Ferdinand : Review". Rolling Stone. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  32. ^ "Franz Ferdinand, 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand' (Domino/Epic)". Spin. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  33. ^ a b "Album review: Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand - Review". Uncut. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  34. ^ "Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand | Clash Music Latest Album Review". 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  35. ^ "Franz Ferdinand is Scot free at last". 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-05-14. [dead link]
  36. ^ Perry, Andrew (2009-01-22). "Franz Ferdinand: back to blow away the blues". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  37. ^ "Music Review: Franz Ferdinand, "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand"". The Trades. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  38. ^ "On The Download: 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand'". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  39. ^ Smyt, Davey. "Franz Ferdinand: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand :: Music Reviews :: Articles :: Paste". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  40. ^ a b Hasty, Katie and Keith Caulfield. "Springsteen Has 'Dream' Debut Atop Album Chart". 4 February 2009.
  41. ^ Steffen Hung. "Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  42. ^ "Australian Album Charts (English)". 
  43. ^ Suomen virallinen lista
  44. ^ / PhonoNet GmbH. "Chartverfolgung - Franz Ferdinand - Tonight:Franz Ferdinand". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  45. ^ "MAHASZ - Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége - Slágerlisták". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  46. ^ "Japanese Album Charts (English)". Oricon Style. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  47. ^ VG-lista
  48. ^ "OLiS: sales for the period 09.02.2009 - 15.02.2009". OLiS. 
  49. ^ "Franz Ferdinand". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  50. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 2009". Media Control. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 February 2009. 


External links[edit]