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Straight after the tour had finished they had released In Operation which highlighted their gig at the London Astoria on a CD/DVD format, it was now time to go back into the studio with a number of demos. Although the band were offered to work in the Abbey Road Studios, however they decided after searching for a studio that would suit them, that they would keep their "Cherry Lips" studio, which earned its name from the colour used to paint the walls. The band expanded the studios to have more space.
Nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize and Best British Group at the 2006 BRITs, Hard-Fi had become, in a matter of months, one of Britain's biggest bands. According to some reports their first major tour sold out in a record 15 minutes. They played London's Brixton Academy for five consecutive nights - making them one of the few bands to do so alongside The Clash, Bob Dylan and The Prodigy. After recording their debut, it sold over 1 million copies worldwide and soaring to #1, it spawned the radio mainstay hit singles: "Cash Machine", "Hard to Beat" and "Living for the Weekend".
Hard-Fi were approaching a new stage in their career. Commercially successful, the West London four-piece worked on a second album. Stars of CCTV was eventually followed by the eagerly anticipated Once Upon a Time in the West.
Once Upon a Time in the West is the second album by English indie rock band Hard-Fi. It was released on 3 September 2007 on Necessary/Atlantic and Warner Music UK. It reached #1 in the UK Album Chart in the first week of its release, unlike its predecessor Stars of CCTV, which took around five months to do so. It also reached #5 in the European Top Albums.
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The album was pretty much written, the band had a demo of nearly every song on the demo. The band had about ten songs that he thought were suitable for the album among many more but Richard Archer decided that he wanted to spend at least a year concentrating on those ten, re-working the songs and just trying to improve them. To help them improve the songs, the band would play new songs live to see some reception towards what they had been working on and then seeing what they could add or take off.