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FFS is the only studio album by Scottish-American supergroup FFS, consisting of members from the Scottish band Franz Ferdinand and the American band Sparks. It was released on 8 June 2015 through Domino. The album was recorded during a 15-day period in late 2014 at RAK Studios in London and was produced by Grammy Award-winning record producer John Congleton. Although the album itself was recorded in 2014, the two bands first met each other in mid-2000s. Upon release, the album received positive reviews from music critics.

FFS self-titled album cover art.jpg
Studio album by
Released8 June 2015
RecordedLate 2014
StudioRAK (London)
Length47:04 (standard version)
63:00 (deluxe version)
ProducerJohn Congleton
Franz Ferdinand studio albums chronology
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
Always Ascending
Sparks studio albums chronology
The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman
Singles from FFS
  1. "Piss Off"
    Released: 1 April 2015
  2. "Johnny Delusional"
    Released: 13 April 2015
  3. "Collaborations Don't Work"
    Released: 27 April 2015
  4. "Call Girl"
    Released: 28 May 2015
  5. "Police Encounters"
    Released: 23 October 2015

Five singles were released from the album: "Piss Off", "Johnny Delusional", "Collaborations Don't Work", "Call Girl", and "Police Encounters"

Background and recordingEdit

Franz Ferdinand and Sparks originally began working on music together in 2004, shortly after the release of Franz Ferdinand's eponymous debut studio album, when it was discovered that the two bands were fans of each other. They had sent each other a few demos, one of which was "Piss Off", the twelfth track on FFS, but the two bands were busy with other activities and they were not able to fully record an album together. Nine years later, it was announced that the two bands were both performing at the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. While searching for a dentist in San Francisco, Alex Kapranos, a member of Franz Ferdinand, was found by Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks. The Mael brothers invited the band to watch their set at the festival, and later, the two bands agreed that it was time to record an album together.[1] FFS was recorded at RAK Studios in London[2] during a 15-day period in late 2014. It was also produced by Grammy Award-winning music producer John Congleton.[1] The album has been described as art rock,[3] electropop,[4] indie pop,[5] and dance-rock.[6]

Promotion and releaseEdit

On the same day the group's formation was announced, they released a 30-second teaser video on their official YouTube channel titled "The Domino Effect", featuring the song "The Power Couple", the tenth song from the album, playing in the background of the video.[7] "Piss Off" was released as the first single on 1 April 2015.[8] The music video for "Piss Off" was released later on 7 June.[9] They also announced that they would also be setting on a three-month tour across Europe on the same day.[10] "Johnny Delusional" was released as a single on 13 April[11] and received a music video on 19 May.[12] "Collaborations Don't Work" was as the third single on 27 April and was first played during the Radcliffe & Maconie programme on BBC Radio 6 Music.[13] "Call Girl" was released as the fourth single on 28 May[14] and received a music video on 14 October.[15] Shortly after, "Police Encounters" was released on 23 October as the album's final single, backed with "Antarctica", a song that was left off of the album.[16]

FFS was released on 8 June 2015 through Domino.[8] Listings for the album were eventually available for pre-order on the Domino website. Both standard and deluxe versions were listed, with the deluxe edition featuring four bonus tracks, "So Many Bridges", "King of the Song", "Look At Me", and "A Violent Death". A limited edition red-coloured vinyl release was also listed, with ten copies being signed by the group members themselves.[17][18] On 31 May, the album became available for streaming via the NPR Music website, similar to Franz Ferdinand's previous studio album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action which was also available for streaming on the site.[19]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [21]
The A.V. ClubB+[22]
Classic Rock8/10[23]
Consequence of SoundB[6]
The Guardian     [24]
The Independent     [5]
NOW     [26]
Rolling Stone     [28]

FFS received positive reviews from music critics. On review aggregator site Metacritic, the album has a score of 78/100 based on 24 critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[20] At Consequence of Sound, Ryan Bray writes:

It's evident from the outset that things on FFS are going to work out just fine, and the record keeps that momentum flowing largely through to the end. Franz Ferdinand's panicked dance rock gets a new lease, even if it's a mild reinvention. Meanwhile, Sparks are at their quirky best thanks to their newfound collaboration. Both acts insist that FFS isn't a one-off musical play date, that they're invested in the project as a full-time thing. This debut is enough to make you hope both sides make good on that promise.[6]

Writing for NOW, Carla Gillis writes that:

It might be too weird for the average FF fan – "Dictator's Son" is total nerd prog, for example, and most of the songs take sharp turns – but others will find that the pair-up has revitalised FF's sound and taken it in a far more interesting direction while also giving an overdue spotlight to Sparks. Vocal duties are seamlessly shared between FF's Alex Kapranos and Sparks' Russell Mael, a shockingly smooth passing of the baton in every song.[26]

At The A.V. Club, Annie Zaleski wrote that the album "seamlessly meshes the sonic styles of the two bands. Jaunty piano, cheeky keyboards, glammy guitars, rhythmic digital jolts and theatrical arrangements lead to music that's akin to a mashup of Broadway musicals, '70s classic rock, and perforated electropop."[22] Writing for The Independent, Andy Gill wrote that, musically, the album is:

an almost seamless blend of the two groups' styles, variations on a sort of operatic indie-electropop, which recalls variously Freedom of Choice-era Devo, chattering Kraftwerk techno and, in the more melancholy environs inhabited by "Little Guy from the Suburbs", a whiff of Leonard Cohen. Russell Mael's and Alex Kapranos's voices likewise braid pleasingly on their shared songs, while both parties seem to have egged each other on lyrically, with songs about a dictator's son living large, a Japanese girl toting a "Hello Kitty Uzi", and a litany of "Things I Won't Get" that includes both luxuries (a Bentley Arnage), qualities (celebrity) and theories ("Schoenberg and twelve-tone and such"), all supposedly outweighed by the solace of a partner's love.[5]


FFS appeared on three critics' year-end lists. In January 2016, the album was recognized by NME as one of the 16 most "electrifying collaboration LPs".[29] In June 2016, it was shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year Award.[30]

Country Publication List Rank Ref.
UK Daily Record 20 Best Albums of 2015
UK The Guardian The Best Albums of 2015
UK Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2015

Track listingEdit

1."Johnny Delusional"3:11
2."Call Girl"3:21
3."Dictator's Son"4:15
4."Little Guy from the Suburbs"5:09
5."Police Encounters"3:10
6."Save Me from Myself"3:57
7."Sõ Desu Ne"3:52
8."The Man Without a Tan"3:28
9."Things I Won't Get"3:03
10."The Power Couple"3:01
11."Collaborations Don't Work"6:42
12."Piss Off"3:55
Total length:47:04
Deluxe edition tracks
13."So Many Bridges"3:16
14."King of the Song"3:06
15."Look at Me"5:43
16."A Violent Death"3:51
Total length:63:00



Chart (2015) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[35] 85
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[36] 36
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[37] 47
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[38] 45
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[39] 13
French Albums (SNEP)[40] 27
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[41] 22
Italian Albums (FIMI)[42] 60
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[43] 53
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[44] 19
UK Albums (OCC)[45] 17
US Alternative Albums (Billboard)[46] 15
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[47] 4
US Rock Albums (Billboard)[48] 22


  1. ^ a b "FFS". Domino Recording Company. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  2. ^ "FFS announce details of the release of the first single from their debut album". Domino Recording Company. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  3. ^ The following references cite the album as art rock:
  4. ^ The following references cite the album as electropop:
  5. ^ a b c Gill, Andy (5 June 2015). "FFS, FFS album review". The Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Bray, Ryan (2 June 2015). "FFS – FFS". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  7. ^ "FFS – The Domino Effect". YouTube. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b Beauchemin, Molly (1 April 2015). "Franz Ferdinand and Sparks Announce Self-Titled Album as FFS". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  9. ^ "FFS – Piss Off (Official Music Video)". YouTube. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  10. ^ Goble, Corban (9 March 2015). "Franz Ferdinand and Sparks Form Supergroup FFS". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Stream the new single from FFS, Johnny Delusional, now". Twitter. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  12. ^ "FFS – Johnny Delusional (Official Video)". YouTube. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 6 Music – Radcliffe and Maconie, FFS". BBC. 27 April 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  14. ^ "'Our new single, Call Girl!'". Twitter. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  15. ^ "FFS – Call Girl (Official Video)". YouTube. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Police Encounters – Single by FFS". iTunes. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  17. ^ "'THE @FFS_MUSIC LPs HAVE LANDED!'". Twitter. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  18. ^ "'We have 10 signed @FFS_MUSIC LPs up for grabs, pre-order to have a chance of getting one!'". Twitter. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  19. ^ "'First Listen: FFS (@franz_ferdinand & @sparksofficial), 'FFS". Twitter. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Reviews for FFS by FFS – Metacritic". Metacritic.
  21. ^ Phares, Heather (9 June 2015). "FFS – FFS". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  22. ^ a b Zaleski, Annie (9 June 2015). "Review: With FFS, Franz Ferdinand and Sparks take clever to new levels". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  23. ^ Quantick, David. "FFS: FFS". Classic Rock. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  24. ^ Petridis, Alexis (4 June 2015). "FFS: FFS review". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  25. ^ Beaumont, Mark (3 June 2015). "NME Reviews – FFS – 'FFS'". NME. Retrieved 4 June 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  26. ^ a b Gillis, Carla (3 June 2015). "Album of the week: FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks)". NOW. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  27. ^ Wolk, Douglas (12 June 2015). "FFS: FFS". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  28. ^ Sheffield, Rob (9 June 2015). "FFS's New Album FFS". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  29. ^ "Two Artists, One Album – 16 Electrifying Collaboration LPs". NME. Retrieved 28 January 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  30. ^ "Shortlist for the 2016 Scottish Album of the Year Award revealed". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
  31. ^ Fulton, Rick (18 December 2015). "Check out if you agree with our selection of the 20 best albums of 2015.. and our top selection is not Adele". Daily Record. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  32. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  33. ^ "Albums of the Year 2015". 2015-11-25. Archived from the original on 2015-12-05. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  34. ^ FFS (album liner notes). FFS. Domino Recording Company. 2015.CS1 maint: others (link)
  35. ^ Ryan, Gavin (13 June 2015). "ARIA Albums: Muse Debuts At No 1". Noise11. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  36. ^ " – FFS – FFS" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  37. ^ " – FFS – FFS" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  38. ^ " – FFS – FFS" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  39. ^ " – FFS – FFS" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  40. ^ " – FFS – FFS". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  41. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  42. ^ " – FFS – FFS". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  43. ^ " – FFS – FFS". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  44. ^ " – FFS – FFS". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  45. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  46. ^ "FFS – Alternative Albums Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  47. ^ "FFS – Heatseekers Album Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  48. ^ "FFS – Rock Albums Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 1 July 2015.

External linksEdit