Across their 5 album discography, along with smaller projects and B-sides, Arctic Monkeys have accumulated a repertoire of songs that will certainly guarantee that the band will be remembered for a long time. But what song is the best? Voted for by us at Viberant, here are our Top 50 Arctic Monkeys Songs.
50. This House Is A Circus
This anthem hailing from Favourite Worst Nightmare, the band’s second album, has a great tempo to it and slick vocal delivery from Alex Turner who began to display different dexterity in his voice and the results are fantastic.
49. Knee Socks
One of the groovier cuts off of AM, Knee Socks has a slickness to it and the poetic tones of the chorus are like nectar on your ears. It is one of the more underrated songs from this album as it takes a backseat to the likes of ‘R U Mine?’ and ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ but it wasn’t ignored by us, fully warranting a place on the list.
48. Secret Door
This is a track which really showed Alex Turner’s experimental slow jam side in theory, but the end result managed to come out as a banger in true Arctic Monkeys fashion. It came a year after his collaborative work with Miles Kane under the Last Shadow Puppets name and you can tell as this sounds like a fresh cut from that debut album. Massive fan of the drums on this song, too.
This song has an amazing rhythm to it and the result is very American, demonstrating the glitz and glamour of the band when they crossed the pond on broke the States. This is obvious by Alex’s vocals which appear far less Sheffield than they used to, but some would see this as a good move as he moves with the times.
46. Library Pictures
Evidence piece number 500000 as to why Matt Helders is a world class drummer and the rest of the instrumentals don’t disappoint on this hard-hitting rock anthem. Suck It And See is full of wonderful wordplay courtesy of Alex Turner and this is one of the glittering examples of this fact. This is sure to be one that goes under the radar at first but don’t ignore it.
45. Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But…
The progression and raw edge of this song is what sets it apart for me, the almost two minute long instrumental riff before kicking into action again just gives me life and it is EXACTLY what made this album so well loved and well received. It sounds fresh off a recording from one of the band members’ garages, amazing.
44. Piledriver Waltz
Originally performed just by Alex Turner as part of the soundtrack for the Richard Ayoade directed film Submarine, Arctic Monkeys made it their own as a band with some more clear cut, louder guitars and a recognised indie rhythm; making this one of the better cuts from 2011 album Suck It And See.
Wild and abrasive, ‘Balaclava’ has Alex Turner borderline rapping on it in the verses and that breakdown at the middle point is absolutely ace. You can really feel the energy oozing from all the band members and they pull off an absolute banger here.
42. That’s Where You’re Wrong
The closing track of Suck It And See has those dreamy high pitched Alex lead vocals we know and love. He throws in words such as “wanderlust” and “technicolour” to create his own little portfolio of great sounding words from this album. Although the guitar riffs may sound very similar to some others from this album with it’s washed sound I think it passes easily and gets away with sounding original.
41. Dangerous Animals
This comes from the Josh Homme produced Humbug album and to say you can tell would be quite the understatement. The riff is structured and gritty with a deep American rock influence without losing too much identity. Alex leads by example in the verses as he is given centre stage vocally thanks to the fairly basic quiet instrumentals but the whole track comes alive in the chorus and bridge.
40. Love Is A Laserquest
Alex Turner turned into a professional wordsmith on Suck It And See and a song title such as this one is all the proof you need that he explored with a million different concepts and themes on the album. Describing love as a whole as a laserquest is just bonkers, but as you listen you can sort of get it; it’s a melodic thrillride.
39. Black Treacle
This is some of Alex Turner’s best vocals to date as he strains his vocal chords with elongated tones on his lyrics and some great wordplay. I really like the simplicity behind this song more than anything, it has a self-explanatory rhythm guitar riff and the chorus has a lovely sound to it, even if Alex does refer to the night sky as “black treacle”.
38. Bigger Boys And Stolen Sweethearts
This one may be a bit of an unknown commodity for those of you who haven’t delved into the world of Arctic Monkeys’ B-sides, but trust me it is amazing. It is the ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ B-side and it is somewhat obvious what period of the band’s era it came from. It is first album to the core and the tale told of a dead-in-the-water love that he begins to realise won’t ever work.
37. Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend
You know those ‘open for a surprise’ tweets that have been doing the rounds over the past 12 months? Well this is the musical equivalent of that. The ‘Brianstorm’ B-side seems very normal, very much like the typical Arctic Monkeys sound and it has a great chorus on it. Enter the third verse, which goes to Dizzee Rascal. Yep, it is absolutely mental but I’m not complaining one bit.
36. Reckless Serenade
This is a slick anthem from 2011 album Suck It And See and the standout aspect has to be that infectious bass riff from Nicholas O’Malley. The instrumental compliments Alex Turner’s melody and swift lyricism brilliantly and there are some lines on this song that are bordering on genius. This is one for your hipster Arctic Monkeys fan.
35. If You Were There, Beware
The spooky title fits in well with this little shop of horrors styled instrumental and it comes out as one of the more underrated tracks from Favourite Worst Nightmare. I love the use of the pedals and enhancers on the guitar riff to make it sound spacey and dreamy alongside some smooth vocals and a great drum beat.
34. Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured
An anecdote of a heavy night in Sheffield and getting the taxi into town; it sounds basic but that’s what makes this song so glamorous and standout. The guitars are so catchy and create a really cool beat over the track for Alex to spew his true Yorkshire soul into the track. Lines like “calm down, temper temper” just make you laugh out loud but it has a real charm to it that spreads across the whole debut album.
33. She’s Thunderstorms
The opening track on Suck It And See was a true introduction to the new musical ventures of Arctic Monkeys and those stranded guitar chords at the beginning have remarkable suspense to them, providing a nice build-up to the remainder of the song. Luck may have it that the rest of the song is just as enjoyable as the start as the rest of the instruments as well as Alex’s vocals join the riff.
This track is perhaps the archetypal sound of 2013 album AM as it sounds VERY American and slick in it’s production; with tight drum beats and a loud and brash chorus. On my first listen to AM this one really stood out to me among a couple of others as a bonafide anthem and something that would brush shoulders with some of the best songs they have done, hence why it is on this list.
31. Still Take You Home
This song tells a tale of a night out and the brainless quest for affection that men feel while intoxicated. Alex Turner basically confirms how much he resents this girl, saying she’s all “tarted up” but that he would indeed still take her home at the end of the night. It is another one of those general, real life scenarios that Arctic Monkeys managed to cram into a gem of a track for their debut album.
30. Crying Lightning
This was the lead single from 2009 album Humbug and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why this was the case; it has all the attributes of an indie rock single and the obvious development in Alex Turner’s lyrical content made him look like the coolest guy around. The chorus is incredibly catchy as well as being rather loud in it’s delivery, forcing Alex to go up a couple of octaves in his voice.
29. Brick By Brick
One of the only tracks on the Arctic Monkeys discography sung mainly by drummer Matt Helders and it works an absolute treat alongside the quite scrappy sound of the instrumental. It is raw and rough around the edges which is just what I like about it and that raw side isn’t something you typically associate with Suck It And See but there you go.
28. Only Ones Who Know
I first heard this song on the Gavin & Stacey soundtrack and it caught my attention immediately, a young 10 year old having his eyes opened by an Arctic Monkeys slow jam thanks to a BBC Sitcom. Now that I have grown up with it a major part of my music experience I have a lot to thank the show for because I love this song.
27. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
This is the sole song responsible for the Tumblr aesthetic we associated with Arctic Monkeys back in 2013, it brought around a whole new wave of fans of the band and although they weren’t exactly ideal to society; the song was pretty great so I can’t really begrudge it too much. It has an American twang to it and some really slick sounds as well as a brilliant melody from Alex Turner.
26. Riot Van
‘Riot Van’ is somewhat of a polar opposite to majority of AM’s first album, but it that by no means makes it bad, it’s rather endearing to listen to. The stripped back track delves into the nostalgia of teenage years in a working class environment, with the lyrics talking about underage drinking and winding up the police.
25. Suck It And See
The title track for the 2011 album has a very crude title but the content of the track is actually very beautiful and Alex Turner, as he often does, makes it sound heavenly with hushed tones and elongated lyrics. It’s nothing too out of the ordinary in terms of what Arctic Monkeys usually do but we are big fans of it.
24. Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
Now what I said about the last track and how it wasn’t too dissimilar to much they had done before, this song is a stark contrast of that. A title as ridiculous as ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ says it all really; and the lyrical content is something that’s so witty and bizarre that it will leave you laughing and scratching your head simultaneously.
23. I Wanna Be Yours
Inspiration isn’t exactly well hidden on this song, the lyrics are a John Cooper Clarke poem of the same title. Cooper Clarke is a famous Sheffield poet who has been coined as a major influence in Turner’s life and putting it on his album has paid the ultimate homage to a hometown hero.
22. Mardy Bum
A timeless classic from the Arctic Monkeys’ discography, ‘Mardy Bum’ is a triumph of working class lads going from rags to riches. It is English to the core, more specifically Yorkshire, and I can wager that not one single American would have a clue what the word “mardy” meant when they first heard this song. It gives us all immense hometown pride and I guess that’s the core principle of a band like Arctic Monkeys.
21. The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala
Another cracking hit from Suck It And See which has distinguishing lyrical features, especially the ironic view of the chorus which appears to mock the idea of singing “another f***ing shalalala”. It is the highest ranking Suck It And See track on this list and for very good reason.
20. R U Mine?
A fantastic rock anthem which has obvious influences from the band’s trip to America where they supported the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and The Black Keys. You can start to hear him lose that Sheffield twang to his voice and instead adopt a trendier American sound which works an absolute treat on a track like this one. The guitar solo on this song is a blinder too, if not too complex.
19. Do Me A Favour
A perfect example of the maturing of Alex Turner’s songwriting from their debut album to Favourite Worst Nightmare. The thumping drums and driving bassline opens the song superbly, as Turner describes a relationship in dire straits. This track truly shows its brilliance in the latter half, as the song explodes into a crescendo during the outro.
18. Do I Wanna Know?
The song that marked Arctic Monkeys return as their lead single and opening track from AM, and what a return it was. Some of the band’s best songs usually have a memorable guitar riff attached to them, and this is perhaps the best example of this. Having opened with this one at shows on their last tour, it’s certain to get the crowd going.
17. From The Ritz To The Rubble
This song is all about trying to hit the town underage, being a young and free 17 year old with the world at your feet. That is until you get made an example of by the bouncers as they figure out you’re underage, hence why it can feel like you’ve gone ‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’. It is a great anthem from the band’s amazing debut album, not that any of those tracks aren’t amazing.
16. My Propeller
The opening track from their third album, Humbug, this one must have certainly shocked fans on first listen, as this track marked a wholesale change from what we had previously heard from the Sheffield bunch. ‘My Propeller’ draws sonic influences from Californian desert rock and psychedelic music, and Turner’s lyricism is as strange and as metaphorical as ever.
15. Old Yellow Bricks
“Who wants to sleep in a city that never wakes up? And revel in nostalgia.” A lyric which is in turn so simple yet so compelling and intriguing. It means a lot in terms of the context of the Favourite Worst Nightmare album as they look at a world of partying and growing up.
14. Teddy Picker
Be careful what you wish for. That’s the message Arctic Monkeys send on this song as they look at their new found fame, as well as the bad side that comes hand in hand with it. “Let’s have a game of the teddy picker” is basically a metaphoric way of saying that you can use your own claw machine to pick what you want in life.
13. The View From The Afternoon
Matt Helders introduced himself to the world on this, the opener from the band’s debut album; with a truly world class display of drumming. The track has tempo, great rhythm and longevity to last generations; a lot of this is thanks to the brilliance of the drum beat and the hometown pride in the lyrical content.
12. Dancing Shoes
One of the tracks from the iconic debut which, as the title does indeed suggest, has an indie sound to it as well as a groovy ability to move and dance. There’s something really poetic about Alex Turner’s direct address in this song where he tells you to “get on your dancing shoes, you sexy little swine.” Class.
‘Brianstorm’ transcends the listener into a world of maniacal passion and emotion, it has an animalistic sound to it and it does all this while still managing to maintain the indie values of the band. The track is a sing-a-long anthem as well as a mosh pit pipe dream, what a combination.
10. Pretty Visitors
This is one of the greatest examples of the band’s abilities to write an immensely catchy chorus without taking away from the rest of the song and it’s many qualities. There is a savage attitude to this track from Humbug and the Josh Homme influence becomes obvious when you hear that energy.
9. Snap Out Of It
The highest ranking song from AM on this list, ‘Snap Out Of It’ is an absolute belter of an anthem with an infectious instrumental behind some cool and quirky Alex Turner vocals. It is without doubt my favourite from the album and as you can tell here, it is easily one of the best they have ever done.
8. D Is For Dangerous
Matt Helders takes the forefront on this song as he sings the majority of the lead vocals on this track as he sings about being in love with someone, but also acknowledging how tough they can be to deal with sometimes. It is a shaming of dwellers who worry about problems that have already been resolved and this context births a blinder of a track.
7. Fake Tales Of San Francisco
If you are from Sheffield then this song is like a sonic version of The Bible. It is all about being from the South Yorkshire city and embracing that, whether that’s in music or everyday life. “You’re not from New York City you’re from Rotherham, so get off the bandwagon” pretty much sums this song up for you.
The ultimate Arctic Monkeys slow jam, it could just be some of their greatest ever lyricism as Alex Turner talks about being “on the phone to the middle man”. It is beautiful in delivery and the music video for this song is equally as beautiful, the tone set by this track is just simply gorgeous. A real end of the night sing-a-long beauty.
5. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
The song that made Arctic Monkeys famous. It was a breakthrough moment for the band as far as a debut single goes, and it still stands tall to this day as an era-defining moment in British music. There was danger of it being overplayed by radio stations back in the day, but that just proves the song’s brilliance and catchiness.
4. When The Sun Goes Down
This song looks at the troubling tales of a big city and more specifically a rough sleeping woman of the night. “She doesn’t do major credit cards, I doubt she does receipts” is a fantastic lyric as Turner looks at the dangers of people who take advantage of these women. The song is such an immense anthem despite some rather serious subject matter, something which can be quite a reoccurring theme with the band’s work.
3. Fluorescent Adolescent
An anecdotal trip about young manhood and the escapades of sexual attraction through teenage years, ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ is often seen as one of the biggest bangers in the Arctic Monkeys discography. It has sheer brilliance in the lyrics and you don’t know whether to laugh at the comedic lines or scream the words in that amazing chorus.
With the help of Miles Kane on guitar, Arctic Monkeys closed off their 2007 album Favourite Worst Nightmare with seamless brilliance. It is a progressive mega anthem in which all key instruments isolate themselves before joining forces to create a masterpiece.
1. A Certain Romance
Ask any Arctic Monkeys fan what their favourite songs by them are and I’d bet that a lot of them would mention this one. The release of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was a huge moment in music in the UK, and the closing track is undoubtedly the finest moment on this record. On this album, Alex Turner paints a picture of Sheffield that seems pretty frightening at times, but it’s where Arctic Monkeys call home, and they couldn’t be any more proud.