This album was better than you remembered: You Could Have It So Much Better

by Alex Hern

Franz Ferdinand’s first album was pretty universally well received. It is still in the top ten selling debut albums (below Oasis, Hearsay and, of course, the Arctic Monkeys), and made them critical darlings. For a whole year, they could do nothing wrong. The adoration peaked when they won the Mercury Music Prize, and went onstage, totally fucked, to say a few words.
Then there was a gap. The first bad thing that happened was The Karelia. Alex Kapranos’ first band, who had been signed to a small label and sold a few copies of an album in Glasgow, suddenly achieved a re-release. An awful, awful re-release.
Then, after another gap, You Could Have It So Much Better was released. It went through the classic adoration-backlash motions, and within a month, had cemented its reputation as being a sophomore slump.
In reality, it’s nowhere near. While it could never hope to match the energy and originality of the debut, it still contains many fantastic singles, and is the bedrock of an astounding live performance. Who, when they first listened to it, picked out The Fallen as the hit it would be, or noticed the insane percussion on Outsiders? Go back, give it another listen. Be surprised.
I decided to post two of the best remixes from the album. The first, The Fallen (ruined by justice), is still the definitive Justice remix, and tore up indie discos for well over a year. If you don’t have it, hit download. If you do, just listen to it anyway. The second is Max Tundras remix of Do You Want To. With the infectious happiness of a child who has just found a piano, he nicks a synth line from Van Halen, and goes to work. Brilliant.
Franz Ferdinand – The Fallen (Ruined By Justice) [MP3 Removed]
Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To (Max Tundra Remix) [MP3 Removed]