Stars of CCTV

Stars of CCTV

Infobox Album | Name = Stars of CCTV
Type = Album
Artist = Hard-Fi

Released = July 4, 2005
Recorded = 2004-2005
Genre = Indie rock
Alternative rock
Length = 45:06
Label = Warner Music
Producer = Wolsey White, Richard Archer
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|3.5|5 [ link]
*"Billboard" rating-10|9 [ link]
*Entertainment Weekly rating-10|8.3
(17 Mar 2006, p.114)
*"The Guardian" Rating|3|5 [,11712,1523196,00.html link]
*"Lost At Sea" rating-10|9 [ link]
*"NME" rating-10|9 [ link]
*NOW Magazine rating-10|8 [ link]
*"Pitchfork" rating-10|7.3 [ link]
*"Q Magazine" Rating|4|5
*"Yahoo!" rating-10|9 [ link]
Last album =

This album ="Stars of CCTV"
Next album ="In Operation"
Misc = Extra album cover
Background = lightsteelblue
Upper caption = Alternate covers

Lower caption = "Stars of CCTV" Mini Album

"Stars of CCTV" is the debut album from Staines-based British band Hard-Fi. It was first released on 4 July, 2005 (see 2005 in music) on Necessary/Atlantic and Warner Music UK. It was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize, and reached #1 in the UK albums chart in January 2006, taking it about 5 months to reach #1, its original peak position was #6. It has reached sales of 1.2 million copies worldwide [ [,,2159245,00.html Hard-Fi, Once Upon a Time in the West] ] and sales of 300,000 in the UK alone.


The majority of Stars of CCTV was recorded in a variety of unusual acoustic environments - in bedrooms, in pubs, and played back in their producer, Wolsey White's, BMW. 1000 copies of this record were pressed with only 500 going on public sale, and the initial plan was to sell 1000 each time. However, it quickly sold out, receiving critical acclaim and radio play, proving a lot more successful than the band had imagined. In a disused mini cab office, which cost them about £300, is where most the album was recorded and is known to this day as the "Cherry Lips" Studio. The band used to try and make their music sound more environmental by putting a microphone in the corridor, this added echo, however, people would walk past whistling or humming as well as the fact that planes would fly by and could be heard while the band recorded the album, and, if listened to carefully, can still be heard on the record as the band could not get rid of it. The band used the TL Audio Fatman compressor for the album, Archer said "It's alright, it's cheap, you don't have to know what you're doing...".

The album was originally released as a mini album, a very limited release which sold out very quickly. A few months after, the album had been going on sale on websites such as eBay for £25. [ [ Clash and burn with Hard-Fi] ] Talking about the situation, Archer said;

"We had no money but time was a luxury that we did have. So we spent a year planning, then recording it ourselves, and we did all the artwork ourselves too. Even our web site was designed by us. We got a book out of the library so we could learn how to do it. Then we had to do it again cos it was a right palaver. So after all that, things took off really quickly and went crazy in the space of two months, which was quite surprising. [ [ Clash and burn with Hard-Fi] ] "

The album's launch party was scheduled to be 7 July 2005 at Cheekees night club in Staines (where their top ten single "Hard to Beat" was filmed), however this was cancelled due to the ill health of Richard's mother. Her death resulted in the band pulling out of the Glastonbury festival. The launch party was rescheduled for 13 July 2005 and the venue changed to Ladbroke Grove, London. Archer says that he is no longer friends with Cheekee because of an incident involving Archer describing his night club to a newspaper like "a bad wedding" he defended himself by saying "...but everyone likes a bad wedding so I don't see what the problem is". [ [ "Hard-Fi on Popworld again"] video interview with Simon Amstell]

After a successful campaign by Atlantic, the "Stars of CCTV" album re-entered the official UK album chart at #4 on 1 January 2006. Two places higher than it originally went in on the week of its release. Stars of CCTV finally got to #1 on 22 January 2006. The band's re-release of Cash Machine entered the official Top 40 singles chart at #14 on 1 January.

The album was listed for 102 weeks in 7 different charts. Its first appearance was week 28 in 2005 in the UK Albums Chart Top 75 with its last appearance being week 40 in 2007 in the UK Album Chart Top 75. Its peak position was number 1, on the UK Album Chart.

Critical Acclaim

The NME described the album as "the album of the year" and gave the album 9/10 in a very positive review. [ [ Hard-Fi - Hard-Fi : Stars Of CCTV - Album Reviews - NME.COM ] ]

Q gave it 4 stars and said that it was "A rousing debut".

Other magazines to give it positive reviews were given by Billboard [ [ Stars of CCTV ] ] and NOW Magazine [ [ NOW Magazine - Music in Toronto, JANUARY 19 - 25, 2006 ] ] .

In the band's biography, there is an odd description of the album.

When Archer was told of this description he seemed rather confused and said, "What's a disco wig factory?" [ [ YouTube - Hard-Fi on Popworld again ] ] [ [ Hard-Fi ] ]


The album cover was created and designed by Aaron Hinchion and Matt Gibbins of communications agency ALBION.

"We approached Hard-Fi as a brand with very strong iconic imagery, creating an instantly recognisable album sleeve and single covers which told their stories. The CCTV camera became an instantly recognisable icon for the band which we took into simple but effective posters."

The album cover went on to win an award for sleeve of the year.

Track listing

All tracks written by Richard Archer.

# "Cash Machine" — 3:42
# "Middle Eastern Holiday" — 3:44
# "Tied up too Tight" — 4:48
# "Gotta Reason" — 2:49
# "Hard to Beat" — 4:13
# "Unnecessary Trouble" — 3:44
# "Move On Now" — 5:08
# "Better Do Better" — 4:37
# "Feltham Is Singing Out" — 4:36
# "Living for the Weekend" — 3:42
# "Stars of CCTV" — 3:58

Mini album track listing

# "Cash Machine" — 3:42
# "Hard to Beat" — 4:13
# "Middle Eastern Holiday" — 4:48
# "Stronger" — 3:23
# "Hard to Beatmix" — (unknown)
# "Gotta Reason" — 2:49
# "Feltham Is Singing Out" — 4:36
# "Move On Now" — 5:08
# "Cash Machine" (Wrongtom Mix) — 3:43

Bonus tracks

* "Seven Nation Army" (White Stripes Cover) (iTunes)
* "Sick of it All" (Japanese CD, iTunes)
* "Stronger" (Japanese CD, iTunes)


Alternative Covers


Singles from Hard-Fi's debut album "Stars of CCTV".

Like all of the Hard-Fi releases, various formats carried subtle changes to differentiate them on the shelf, making them all collectable, such as "Hard to Beat's" changing sky to "Living for the Weekend's" countdown to 18:00.

The Tina mentioned on some of the sleeves formed a subplot throughout all the single releases. She later became a bit of a talking point both in the music press and on the fans forums.


succession box
before = "Back to Bedlam" by James Blunt
title = UK number one album
years = January 22 2006January 28 2006
after = "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not"
by Arctic Monkeys

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