The group’s debut album Employment was released in March 2005, being primarily inspired by new wave and punk rock music of late 1970s.The album was well received by music critics, described as “thrilling from beginning to end” and “quintessentially British, without pretension and most importantly, a whole lot of fun”.It reached number two on the UK albums chart,and was certified five times platinum.In 2005, Employment was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, an annual music prize awarded for the best British or Irish album from the previous year. Bookmakers made it favourite to win the award, but they eventually lost out to Anthony and the Johnsons.
The first single released from the album was “Oh My God” in 2004, which reached number six on the UK singles chart when it was reissued in February 2005. In 2007, the song was covered by Mark Ronson and Lily Allen for Ronson’s album Version. “I Predict a Riot” soon followed as the album’s second release. In 2007, the song was ranked number thirty-six on the NME “Greatest Indie Anthems Ever” countdown.The top twenty singles “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” and “Modern Way” followed in late 2005. The band opened and performed several of their singles at the Philadelphia Live Eight concert in 2005. The song “Saturday Night” was featured in a pre-release video for the Xbox 360 gaming console. It was posted on the official Xbox 360 page before its launch.In August 2006 the band released a book entitled A Record Of Employment, which along with photos by Peter Hill, documented the band’s rise from being unsigned to their triumph at the Brit Awards that year. Later a DVD entitled Enjoyment, which documented concerts from the first album era was released, this showed members of the band hypothetically interviewed when ‘jaded rock stars’.
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