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The 11 best Arctic Monkeys Songs

Why have a Top 10 when you can have one more? Here are our 11 favourite Arctic Monkeys songs, ranked

Across six albums, the Arctic Monkeys have charted their journey from the pubs and clubs of Sheffield to the Los Angeles high life with a musical trail that has evolved from everyday tales to celestial dreams, with visceral and primal jolts all along the way.

As they take to the stage of Reading and Leeds festival next month, their only UK shows of 2022, we take on the task of ranking their best ever tracks.

11. Fluorescent Adolescent

(Favourite Worst Nightmare, 2007)

This would probably have made a higher ranking were it possible to not hear Will from The Inbetweeners narrating about some schoolboy antics as soon as it plays. But that just goes to further prove how tied this scratchy, happy-go-lucky anthem is to the feeling of growing up in the new millennium.

10. Teddy Picker

(Favourite Worst Nightmare, 2007)

Another from the band’s second LP, it was a close call between this and ‘Brianstorm’, but the hefty drum work of the latter here untangles into a locked-in groove that would soon become an Arctic Monkey trope. Comparing the industry’s impulsive take on fame like a kid trying to claw a toy in an arcade in the mid-noughties, Alex and co. were ahead of the curve.

9. She’s Thunderstorms

(Suck It and See, 2011)

There’s something satisfyingly simply about the opener to the band’s divisive 2011 record Suck It And See. Elsewhere on the record they flirt with retro hard rock (‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’) and euphoric festival mood-raisers (‘That’s Where You’re Wrong’), but ‘She’s Thunderstorms’ relies on timeless and earnest rock chords, chorus harmonies and sexual innuendos. What else could you want?

8. Why Do You Only Call Me When You’re High?

(AM, 2013)

If Suck It And See relied on innuendos, two years later its follow up AM simply oozed sensuality from its big blues riffs and rhythmic clout. Some may expect to see ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ or ‘R U Mine’, but this track hit with head-nodding sassiness and blunt attitude.

7. One Point Perspective

(Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino, 2018)

It was a brave move to go from the stadium-filling frenzy of AM to release an album made up of tracks like this one, which sounds a bit like ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’ from the Annie musical, except if The Beatles had written it during their LSD-fuelled Beverley Hills bender in 1965. Lush, warm and slowly building, it’s a stunning high-point in Turner’s songwriting career.

6. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

(Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, 2006)

Recorded live with a scrappy energy that somehow emanates the smell of spilt pints, ciggies and regret, few songs have such the immediate power to pull you back to the sound of the noughties. It was the band’s breakthrough single, and with its rough and ready appeal and Turner’s thick Sheffield accent, inspired legions of angsty teenagers who’d been sent the track via Bluetooth in GCSE science to pick up a guitar for themselves.

5. Cornerstone

(Humbug, 2009)

Supposedly written quickly one morning, ‘Cornerstone’ has a tired-eyed contentment to it. The second single from the Josh Homme-produced Humbug, this track has a lighter and less suspenseful feel than the rest of the LP as we find Turner on a search for his lover through the medium of a pup crawl.

4. A Certain Romance

(Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, 2006)

As Matt Helder’s battering tom-toms burst into the opening calm and glittery guitar work, there’s a euphoric rush that sets the stage for Turner to describe a setting no doubt familiar to many an Arctic Monkey fan: small-town locals with closed minds and a taste for a scrap. Turner invites the listener to be at peace with his or her home like he is, and for that it’ll always have a nostalgic richness.

3. Star Treatment

(Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino, 2018)

“I just wanted to be one of The Strokes/ Now look at the mess you made me make,” opened Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino, and what a way to signal how far the lads had come from their High Green teen years. This track set the tone for this divisive record, as Turner’s reverb-swathed croons float above lightly cosmic chamber pop with a moonwalk pace.

2. Arabella

(AM, 2013)

Tranquillity Base wasn’t Turner’s first look up into the cosmos. On its predecessor, a smoky sultriness spotlights Arabella, who’s “Made of outer space/ And her lips are like the galaxy’s edge/ And her kiss the colour of a constellation falling into place”. Nodding to the 1968 film Barbarella, Turner creates a sci-fi surrealist world on top of one of their sexiest bass lines to an explosive effect.

1. When The Sun Goes Down

(Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, 2006)

If there was ever a way to live up to the crazed response of ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, this was it. Originally titled ‘Scummy’, which should go some way to explain its carnivalesque joy, ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ charts the prostitution of Sheffield streets and some of the “scumbag”s who roam in search for it. Turner leans in to his accent to rhyme the likes of “Ford Mondeo” with “See owt”, painting this Neepsend vignette ever more vividly.

Arctic Monkeys have announced a major 2023 UK and Ireland tour, with stadium and arena dates set for May and June. Tickets are on sale here from 9am on Friday 30th September.