Around March 2004, a friend funded 300 copies of a 7" red vinyl single "Graffiti" and later released a vinyl of their tracks ("The Coast Is Always Changing"/"The Night I Lost My Head") that they’d recorded in their house in Fenham. After some time of doing gigs around their home town, Steve Beckett of the dance-electronic label Warp Records got hold of one of these records and decided to sign Maxïmo Park.
In 2005, they swiftly rose to indie fame with their debut album, A Certain Trigger, which was produced by Paul Epworth (Babyshambles, Bloc Party) and hailed by some critics as one of the best releases of the year, leading to an increasingly devoted fanbase in the United Kingdom. The success of the album was reinforced by a series of increasingly large tours and a support slot to the Kaiser Chiefs on the NME Rock & Roll Riot Tour. In July 2005, their debut album was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
The band played the Glastonbury Festival and the Brixton Academy as part of Xfm's 2005 Winter Wonderland show, which sold out in ten minutes, and were headliners for the NME Awards Tour in early 2006. They also contributed a song to the War Child compilation Help: A Day in the Life.
In August 2006, the band announced that they had started working on their next album. The album was produced by Gil Norton and recorded in London at Rak Studios in St John's Wood. On January 22, 2007 the band announced that their second album, Our Earthly Pleasures, would be released on April 2, 2007 and will be preceded by the album's lead single "Our Velocity" on March 19, 2007. On January 30, 2007 the band released details of their "Our Earthly Pleasures" Tour. Tickets to the majority of the events sold out within minutes, upon their release on February 2.
Paul Smith in The Guardian revealed that he has recently been writing a lot of material based on obituaries, and mentioned a possibility of a compilation CD of songs based on biographical content, and obituarial content.
In August 2007, the band performed on the main stage at the Carling Weekend at Reading and Leeds Festivals.
On 8 and 9 September 2007, Maxïmo Park supported The Police at Twickenham Stadium. The band then, at the beginning of October, featured on a BBC Radio 1 compilation album celebrating the radio station's 40th anniversary, with a cover version of Justin Timberlake's 2002 single "Like I Love You".
On 15 December, 2007 they played a homecoming gig at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena. To celebrate this home-coming gig and the end of the tour, Tyneside brewers, Scottish and Newcastle, invited the band to design their own label for the local brew Newcastle Brown Ale. This 'Maximo Brown Ale' was available exclusively through the Stereo Group of nightclubs and bars in Newcastle (Digital, Stereo, Tokyo), Brighton (Digital), Huddersfield and Oldham. It launched the night of the gig for the following month (approx).
In a recent interview, Paul Smith has revealed two possible songs for their third album and these are called: Tanned and Questing as they appear to have started work on their new album. They performed these songs at a private gig in London.
In August 2008 Paul Smith announced that the band had finished recording their new album and are now looking for someone to produce it. It is expected for release in early 2009
Maxïmo Park featured heavily in Cartoon Network's advertisements in the fall of 2008.