Franz Ferdinand are a quartet formed in Glasgow, Scotland.
Their first single was "Take Me Out", followed by the 2004 debut album Franz Ferdinand. The band's second album, You Could Have It So Much Better, arrived in fall 2005.
In August 2007 Franz Ferdinand revealed that they were working with Xenomania. They recorded a cover version of David Bowie's "Sound and Vision" for a Radio 1 40th anniversary album (Radio 1: Established 1967).
Alex Kapranos wrote on the band's MySpace blog about recording the song: "So we went down to England to record with the guys from Xenomania. They have been behind some of the most adventurous and fun songs that have appeared in British charts over the past few years, courtesy of Sugababes and Girls Aloud, subverting and pushing our ideas of what pop is. It was a good laugh and ended up being pretty informal - just the four of us playing live in Brian's living room and recording that way. Of course, it doesn't sound like the Bowie original (again I'm afraid it's untouchable) but that's not the point of this sort of thing is it? You're not trying to better the original, just bring a new angle to it and, well - have a bit of fun."
Girls Aloud appeared on "Sound & Vision" doing backing vocals. "I asked Girls Aloud to do the famous 'doo doo doo doo doo doo' backing vocals on Sound And Vision. They were in the studio working on their own record so I went next door and asked them", Alex Kapranos said. "They're pretty laid back so it was a music marriage made in heaven - the song worked really well"1.
Kapranos revealed that Franz Ferdinand had been interested in Brian Higgins' work for years: "There's something about Brian. I guess we saw a bit of ourselves in him. When he and Xenomania first appeared, they seemed like cantankerous rebels, kicking against everything around them, coming up with great pop tunes. That appealed to us"2.
"His production of Girls Aloud's Wake Me Up first caught my attention. I remember thinking: 'What the hell is that? It's amazing'. There was something about their sound which was immediate but dangerous - rare in a girl group. It was really edgy. I've a lot of admiration for the Xenomania team. It may seem odd as they're the complete opposite to us but there are lots of similarities. We're both a collection of independently-minded people who want to do things their way. Franz Ferdinand have much more in common with Girls Aloud than certain other bands"1. "It appeals to my contrary side," adds Kapranos. "And I don't like the distance between bands and pop music there is now. Dr. Dre or Timbaland or the Neptunes are making the songs you've never heard before, not the indie kids strumming their fucking guitars"3.
But in March 2008 it was announced that the band had scrapped the collaboration with Brian Higgins. "We spent a week or so with Brian and it was wonderfully stimulating. He's a real maverick. It was inspiring but it didn't work out completely in the end"4, Alex Kapranos said. "We learned a little bit from his methods. We wrote with him for a while and initially we thought we'd work more with him but it didn't really work out. We just realised that we're not really a pop group. We're just a band that happens to cross over into the whole pop sphere"5, Paul Thomson added.