March 16, 2018
Aaron Middleton and the Purple Smoke
Bursting onto the music scene in 2005 with songs such as ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor’ and ‘A View From The Afternoon’, the Arctic Monkeys are a firm fan favourite, with their debut album being one of the fastest selling of all time. Consisting of frontman Alex Turner, Guitarist, Jamie Cook, Bassist, Nick O’Malley (originally Andy Nicholson) and drummer Matt Helders. The Arctic Monkeys were one of the first bands to utilise social media, gaining a huge following on Networking site MySpace.
Well loved by the British public, their music has captured the imagination of a generation. Their latest album AM has been a huge chart success as well as gaining wide critical acclaim. This is helped largely by charismatic frontman Alex Turner and his unique song writing ability. It’s been over a decade since they formed and we want to take a look back on some of the best songs that Sheffield’s finest have to offer.
10. When the Sun Goes Down
The first song on our list, ‘When the Sun Goes Down’, was released originally as a single but was later featured on the Arctic Monkeys first studio album ‘Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not.’ The song is written from a bystander’s point of view and is about a prostitute on the streets of Sheffield. Turner questions what went wrong in her life for her to end up in this position and portrays her ‘pimp’ as a “scummy man”. However this song is more than just that, it’s a dissertation on the seedy underbelly of every big city. Showing us that even at a young age frontman Turner had a deep understanding of his surroundings and a unique way of conveying his social commentary.
505 is the closing song on their second album ‘Favourite worst nightmare’. Whilst this song never made huge chart success it will never be forgotten in the hearts of the fans. The organ and slow building guitar genuinely give us goose bumps. Accompanied by Turners young voice and tales of heartbreak the lyrics are a turning point for him, as he discovers new emotional depths. There are many different theories as to what 505 is a reference to, whether it be a house number, a bus route or even a reference to The Rolling Stones song fight 505. The song leads to a sudden sharp turn ending with an explosion of the pain that frontman Alex Turner has kept bottled up inside.
8. Pretty Visitors
It’s an unmistakable age for the Arctic Monkeys. The described “Humbug era” came with long hair and a heavier psychedelic sound. Pretty Visitors is bursting at the seams with metaphors. We see a different side to this song as Turner spits his way through the song rapping through each verse.
7. Don’t Sit Down Cause I Moved Your Chair
The fifth song on their fourth album ‘Suck It and See’ captures Turner in the Middle of his transformation. He still has the youthful long hair however he’s started to develop that darker, more masculine persona we all love. ‘Don’t sit down cause I’ve moved your chair’ is a living depiction of this. Quick witted lyrics that may have lost their direction but have grown in hidden meaning. Listing all the dangerous things you can do, as long as you don’t sit down as Turner doesn’t want to be blamed for you falling down.
6. Fake Tales of San Francisco
Originally released on their first album ‘Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not’. Fake Tales of San Francisco is about a fictional band claiming to have experienced living in America. The song features a brilliant quote about this band. ”Yeah but his bird thinks it’s amazing though so all that’s left is the proof that love’s not only blind but deaf” This quick-witted and humorous line is a real credit to the writing capabilities of Alex Turner.
Personally, one of my most liked songs; ‘Brainstorm’ is a song about a man The Arctic Monkeys met backstage in Tokyo. A man who seems to make Childs play of winning over whatever girl he wants. Many men have lost their girl to Brian’s effortless ways. The song just screams aggression with a lightning fast riff and Turners almost rap-like singing. As for Brian… when asked Alex replied “I can’t remember Brian now… I don’t know if he were in my imagination or what”
4. Fluorescent Adolescent
Originally written by Alex and His then girlfriend whilst they were on holiday in Portugal about people they knew from school. ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ appears on the album ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ and is about growing old and finding what used to be fun, just doesn’t seem to keep you satisfied anymore.
3. R U Mine?
The second song on the AM album and the song that provided the spark to write AM, is the song that The Arctic Monkeys were looking for.’ R U Mine’ swallowed that indie band from Sheffield and spat out four slick and sexy rock and roll legends.
2. Do I Wanna know?
The song that launched the Arctic Monkeys into the modern age. In the song Alex portrays himself as an obsessive lover, who’s deeply saddened about the state of his relationship. Released on the 19th of June 2013, peaking at 11 in the UK singles chart and 2 in the UK indie chart. The song also succeeded in America ranking 1st in the US Alternative songs chart. The song was also nominated for a Grammy.
1. I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor
Finally the most important song, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor’ is the song that started it all and therefore rightfully takes its place on the top of our list. Released in 2005 this anthem peaked at number 1 in both the UK indie and UK singles charts. Winning best single at the 2006 NME awards.
That’s a list of our Top 10 Arctic Monkey songs. Any you disagree with? Get in touch and let us know what you would have wanted to see make the list!