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Every Arctic Monkeys song ranked (119-60)

I was introduced to Arctic Monkeys at a young age. My brother was, and still is, a huge fan, so their early albums were being played constantly around the house as I grew it. They hold a special place in my heart so in celebration of new upcoming music, here’s all their songs ranked. Some pointers: 1. I haven’t included any live lounge tracks for coherency reasons 2. Death Ramps stuff is free game 3. The only song I actually hate here is the very last one ‘IDST’. Everything else ranges from mediocre to excellent, so don’t be offended if a song you like ranks relatively low 4. As most of their single releases aren’t included on Sputnik’s library, I’ll be bundling them into the main album (so for example: Evil Twin will have the art for Suck it and See). Some singles are included though, so they’ll be marked as appropriate
1Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

119: I.D.S.T

“I wrote ‘I was here I.D.S.T’”

More like S.H.I.T.
2Arctic Monkeys
Teddy Picker

118: The Death Ramps

A forgettable and dull instrumental credited to the band’s alter egos: The Death Ramps. That’s really all that’s worth saying about it.
3Arctic Monkeys
Beneath The Boardwalk

117: Space Invaders

“Your good old days have died”

The Monkeys were one of the first bands to really make an impact through the internet. Mainly, a bundle of demos that circulated around the net helped push them into mainstream recognition. Though with a song like ‘Space Invaders’, with its shitty verses and Alex putting on an American accent, it’s a miracle they got signed at all. At least the other songs on the collection are much, much better
4Arctic Monkeys
Teddy Picker

116: Bad Woman

“Do you need me and I’m not there?”

More Death Ramps. Despite featuring fellow Sheffield alumni Richard Hawley on vocals and an okay chorus, even those can’t save this from the skip pile
5Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

115: Science Fiction

“I've got the world on a wire, in my little mirror mirror on the wall”

2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino saw a radial reinvention of the band’s sound, embracing lounge pop and prog and emphasising pianos, bass and synthesisers over guitars. Most of the time, it works well. Sometimes it misses however, like on this dreary, meandering cut. On a side note, it’s probably the most Bowie sounding tune on the record.
6Arctic Monkeys

114: 2013

“Baby, even when it's live, you can press pause and rewind”

Despite its funky, stomping beat, this short B-side also features an incredibly awkward key change in the chorus and some rather dire lyrics that really don’t do it any favours
7Arctic Monkeys
Crying Lightning

113: I Haven’t Got My Strange

“It's arguable that I shouldn't have been there. It was fortunate timing”

An oddly… punky(?) track for the much more atmospheric and psychedelic Humbug, this brief and quick little track surfaced as the b-side to Crying Lightning and then as an ITunes bonus track. It’s fine, all things considered, though the verses definitely could’ve been better
8Arctic Monkeys
Beneath The Boardwalk

112: On the Run from MI5

“I’m a crack dealing crook”

‘On the Run from MI5’ is short and to the point. Not a very good point, but you get what I mean.
9Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

111: You and I

“Girl, I’m in a muddle tonight”

The Death Ramps really can’t catch a break can they? Again featuring Richard Hawley on vocals, this one sounds just a bit too repetitive and just a bit too much like the Queens of the Stone Age for it to really make an impact
10Arctic Monkeys
Beneath The Boardwalk

110: Choo Choo

“Why don’t you let her drive the train?”

We head back to the Boardwalk for ‘Choo Choo’, a hunk of dance punk with silly lyrics and a guitar riff that emulates a train horn. It’s good for a listen or two, but it goes off the rails rather quickly
11Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

109: Brick by Brick

“I wanna build you up brick by brick”

Intentionally mindless and repetitive, Brick by Brick served as a teaser for its parent album (probably not the best choice in all honesty) and is one of only a few songs in the band’s catalogue to feature drummer Matt Helders on lead vocals (well, shared lead vocals). On first listen, it’s a braindead hunk of shit. But there is fun to be found here if you can accept what it’s going for.
12Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

108: Batphone

“Have I told you all about the time that I got sucked into a hole through a hand held device?”

Another slight misfire from TBHC. Featuring some very on the nose and unsubtle lyrics about mobile phones and search engines, it again suffers from some of the album’s worst habits, though it does sport a rather nice bridge and the pounding piano work is quite nice
13Arctic Monkeys

107: Sketchead

“There’s poison in his spit, he’ll complement your tits”

Feeling less like a Humbug outtake and more like a leftover track from Favourite Worst Nightmare, this garage-y tune paints a picture of that one scumbag you really don’t want at your party. In a way, it’s more stylistic in line with their older work than the more detached and poetic style of lyrics that would feature on their coming records. It does its job, though with mixed results
14Arctic Monkeys
Crying Lightning

106: Red Right Hand

“On a gathering storm comes a tall handsome man in a dusty black coat with a red right hand”

Turning Nick Cave’s gothic blues dirge into a more uptempo rocker, the Monkeys’ version isn’t terribly shabby, but it’s also nothing spectacular either. Props for adapting it into their style though.
15Arctic Monkeys
When The Sun Goes Down

105: Stickin’ to the Floor

“Well, fuck it all and break your nose”

One of the most punky tracks in the band’s catalogue, ‘Stickin’ to the Floor’ is a burst of aggression and a great piece of bouncy fun, though the stop and start lyrics can become a little tiresome on repeated listens. Still, a good time.
16Arctic Monkeys

104: Fireside

“Has it gone for good or is it coming back around?”

The Monkeys go folk, kinda. Featuring some thumping percussion and a much more prominent acoustic guitar part that makes the song actually sound like, well, a fireside singalong. There’s also some doo wop styled backing vocals because of course. Matt and Nick really are the stars of AM. This is the one song In their catalogue I can’t make up my mind on. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I think it’s fucking shit. As of now, it’s here.
17Arctic Monkeys
My Propeller

103: Don’t Forget Whose Legs You’re Standing On

“The painted faces congregate in the mating season”

There’s traces of soul and RnB in this moody b-side, mainly in the looping piano part that plays throughout the whole song. In a way, it somewhat foreshadows the lounge sound they would fully embrace on TBHC.
18Arctic Monkeys

102: Fire and the Thud

“Will the teasing of the fire be followed by the thud?”

Humbug is an album full of growers. It’s a slowburning record and lacks many of the instant hits of their first two albums. ‘Fire and The Thud’ is probably the prime example of this. For a while I even considered it my least favourite Monkeys song, though I have somewhat grown to like it more over the years. It’s a slow tune, menacing and even a little sexy and sly, with its laid back atmosphere. That said, it really takes time to grow on you. As in, I only realised it wasn’t as bad as I once thought as I was writing this list and relistening to it
19Arctic Monkeys
Teddy Picker

101: Nettles

“He lost all of his footholes”

A Death Ramps song with Alex on lead? Say it ain’t so! A good fun slice of noisy punk. That’s all there is to say really. It Might be their most dissonant song, maybe.
20Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

100: She Looks Like Fun

“No one's on the streets, we moved it all online as of March”

Probably the goofiest song on TBHC. A psychedelic mindfuck sporting a big booming chorus and bizarre lyrics about cheeseburgers and dogsitting. I don’t know either. The vocal melody in the verses also sounds weirdly like ‘How Do You Sleep?’ By John Lennon. Do what you will with that information.
21Arctic Monkeys

99: Electricity

“Love like locked horns, love like dominoes”

This rather murky desert-y tune might not have the strongest vocals (they’re quite quiet all things considered), but it makes up for it with a tight looping bassline and spacey guitar parts.
22Arctic Monkeys
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

98: Chun-Li’s Spinning Bird Kick

“Show ‘es yer special move!”

Nominated for a Grammy for best rock instrumental, ‘Chun-Li’ is a dance punk groover that’s heavy on the funk influences and has nothing to do with Street Fighter, except for a brief shoutout in the opening of the track. Standout here is undoubtedly the drum work. Thanks Matt!
23Arctic Monkeys
When The Sun Goes Down

97: 7

“You properly did give me the eye, though, I'm sure you did”

More hard edged poppy punky garagy stuff. While it might sound a little too similar to ‘Stickin’ to the Floor’ (Doesn’t help they’re both on the same single), the la la la bridge and more enjoyable verses help give this one the edge over its brother track.
24Arctic Monkeys
Fluorescent Adolescent

96: Too Much to Ask

“Am I too quick to assume that the love is no longer in bloom?”

Predicting the woozy desert sound of Humbug, this ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ b-side seems more like a dry run for ‘Joining the Dots’ and ‘Fire and the Thud’, though I prefer this to the latter, mainly because it’s shorter and more concise. Love the bassline here too.
25Arctic Monkeys
My Propeller

95: Joining the Dots

“Darling if it's all the same to you, I'll have you to myself”

Speaking of ‘Joining the Dots’, here it is. Dipping into Bond Theme territory at times, the song feels more like a lit fuse than anything else, burning slowly and carefully until it bursts into a big loud chorus.
26Arctic Monkeys
Beneath The Boardwalk

94: Knock a Door Run

“Well, I'm buyin' penny bubblies with my change”

Post-Punk, i think? Wouldn’t stand out much if it weren’t for Matt’s demented backing vocals and the massive, climatic instrumental finale. With some studio polish, this would’ve been excellent on their debut.
27Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

93: The Blond-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap

“And she snapped wing mirrors off of Cadillacs, the particular pretty ones”

No idea what the fuck this one is about, but that sure is a nice hook. Probably would’ve been better to have on the album than ‘Brick by Brick’. I mean they’re both simple and relatively to the point with their sounds, but this one has a significantly better chorus. What can you do?
28Arctic Monkeys
Leave Before The Lights Come On

92: Put Your Dukes Up, John

“His calm makes my blood boil”

An energetic and snarky cover of arguably the Little Flames’ most famous song that has completely eclipsed the original in terms of popularity. This cover only came about as the Flames’ supported the Monkeys in early tours and Alex took a liking to the track. It’s also where he probably met Miles Kane too, as he played guitar with the group. Check out that ‘C-Y-N-I-C’ singalong part!
29Arctic Monkeys
Beneath The Boardwalk

91: Curtains Closed

“Cuz’ I’m a mad motherfucker with my curtains open, sitting tucked up in bed”

More Boardwalk demos, this one is a fairly indistinct but still fun indie tune. It does sound weirdly like the Fratellis at times though (or more accurately the Fratellis sound weirdly like this)
30Arctic Monkeys
When The Sun Goes Down

90: Settle for a Draw

“And no one's gonna start a revolution so we best leave it well alone”

The boys sound almost jubilant and upbeat on this deep cut b-side. After two false openings, they launch into this fun ska influenced pop rocker with a great singalong chorus decked out with tight and catchy guitar work and a fucking kazoo solo of all things.
31Arctic Monkeys
Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?

89: Cigarette Smoker Fiona

“Well-spoken girls in stilettos aren’t something to fear”

Tossed around as a rough demo in the band’s (very) early years as ‘Cigarette Smoke’, this track would see a proper studio recording before being dumped onto the ‘Who the Fuck are Arctic Monkeys?’ EP. Disregarding the occasionally awkward lyrics and vocals, the guitar riff is solid and there’s fun to be had here, especially when all the instruments drop out and only the guitar remains.
32Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

88: If You Were There, Beware

“There's a circle of witches, ambitiously vicious they are”

Probably the most overtly psychedelic thing on the group’s sophomore album, ‘If You Were There, Beware’ sports a killer chorus and so so verses. Evens out nicely then.
33Arctic Monkeys

87: Potion Approaching

“Would you like me to build you a Go-Kart?”

Originally demoed under the name ‘Go-Kart’, ‘Potion Approaching’ is the most outwardly rock n roll song on Humbug, making it both one of the more standout and less interesting tracks on the LP, somehow. Still, with some great guitar work and a crazy doom laden breakdown, there’s a lot to love here.
34Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

86: American Sports

“I lost the money, lost the keys but I'm still handcuffed to the briefcase”

After greeting listeners to the hotel and establishing the album’s sound and story on the opening two cuts, THBC quickly shows its spacey side on this proggy, woozy tune. Space age synths bounce around over a shifting pianoline that makes the song feel like it’s floating around in the atmosphere before Alex brings it back down to earth with a lovely chorus
35Arctic Monkeys

85: What If You Were Right The First Time?

“Betwixt and between the fantastic dream and the fear”

On the outside, ‘What If You Were Right-‘ seems like just another Monkeys track. Maybe a bit scuzzier than usual, but familiar waters. That is, until the monstrously loud instrumental bridge kicks in and everything comes together swimmingly
36Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

84: Golden Trunks

“The leader of the free world reminds you of a wrestler wearing tight golden trunks”

Though it might feature a deliciously fuzzy guitar part, Golden Trunks is anything but a rock number. It’s the most menacing and bleak track on TBHC, doused in reverb and featuring a wandering bassline. Despite the tense and rather spooky atmosphere, at its core the track is a love song. Aww, how sweet?
37Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

83: Perhaps Vampires is A Bit Strong, But…

“You better give me some pointers since you are the big rocket launcher and I’m just the shotgun”

‘Whatever People Say I Am-‘ is basically perfect from start to finish. A wild mix of drinking tunes, emotional honesty and hard edged garage rock that never lets up over its runtime. Except for ‘Vampires’. While still a great song and featuring a great chorus and intense middle eight, it seems to drag a little bit and just miss the heights of perfectness that the rest of the album holds. Still, very nice song.
38Arctic Monkeys

82: Fright Lined Dining Room

“And meanwhile in the desert's only costume shop, the cowels hide and wait to rot away the identities of the willing”

If you can ignore the hilarious awful drum opening with the most compressed and synthetic snare drum I’ve ever heard, ‘Fright Lined’ charms with its bouncy and heavy rhythm track and some of Alex’s most Dylanesque lyrics
39Arctic Monkeys
Beneath The Boardwalk

81: Waving Bye to the Train or Bus

“I’m ever so worried because I don’t want to get all forgotten”

Another ska tune, though I like this one’s chorus better. Similarly to ‘Settle for a Draw’, this one is also full of youthful energy and charm, enough that you can look past some of the awkward musical transitions and appreciate it for what it is. A whole lot of catchy fun.
40Arctic Monkeys

80: Mad Sounds

“Love buckles under the strain of those wild nights”

The most stripped back song on the band’s most stripped back album, Mad Sounds keeps things relatively low key and simple. Serving as a tribute to the wonders of music, it’s unabashedly cheesy, but a whole lot of fun regardless
41Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

79: The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip

“Bastard latin, well that’s the best thing for it”

Likely the most ‘Pet Sounds’ the Monkeys are ever going to sound. I remember me and my brother laughing at this title when the tracklist for TBHC was released (that and ‘The Ultracheese’). Maybe the crazy title set my expectations a little too high, as I recalled disliking the song when I first heard it. I ended up growing to its distinctly Brian Wilson styled sound eventually though. Gotta love those percussion parts.
42Arctic Monkeys
Da Frame 2R / Matador

78: Da Frame 2R

“007 and Brucey Wayne are shitting themselves because there’s another name coming to claim what is his to claim”

The title is read as ‘The Frame Tour’, for some reason. Don’t ask me why they called it that, but they did. Anyway, this is probably the most braggadocios thing they’ve ever put out; with rapid fire vocals about the joys and pitfalls of fame. Is this another character study, or a genuine commentary on the band’s rise to superstardom? You decide.
43Arctic Monkeys

77: One for the Road

“Some out of tune guitar, soundtrack to disaster”

AM’s four singles sold gangbusters upon release and launched the group into new found popularity, especially in the States. That said, ‘One for the Road’ is definitely the weakest of the lot of them; though by no means a bad song. Maybe it’s the slightly cheesy lyrics, I don’t know. Still, this is another groovy and smooth rocker from the band’s most popular release; so I’m not complaining. Highlights include Matt’s wonderful backing vocals and that killer bass riff.
44Arctic Monkeys

76: The Jeweller’s Hands

“He became laughter's assassin shortly after he showed you what it was”

Ending Humbug not with a bang, but with a slow burning wave goodbye, ‘The Jeweller’s Hands’ mixes bizarre imagery and a woozy psychedelic backing to create a worthy send off to the band’s first foray into the unknown.
45Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

75: -

“You moved like Sinatra on speed”

Yep, that’s the name of the song (well technically it’s untitled but you gotta name it something from streaming services). A cover of a Stephen Fretwell track, this lonely and atmospheric tune consists of just Alex and an electric piano, and serves as a fitting send off to the TBHC era (though technically ‘Anyways’ was released after. We’ll get to that soon).
46Arctic Monkeys

74: You’re So Dark

“And I know I'm not your type cuz’ I don't shun the daylight but baby I'm willing to start”

AM’s 4 B-sides range from ‘holy fuck this is bad’ to ‘why wasn’t this on the album?’. ‘You’re So Dark’ is pretty firmly in the latter camp, sporting more tight and sexy bass grooves, though this time accompanied by the occasional stab of an organ that helps give it that Humbug feel. Lyrics are pretty gaudy however.
47Arctic Monkeys
Da Frame 2R / Matador

73: Matador

“Sulkin’ won’t get you nowhere, son”

The last instrumental on our list and the most eclectic one. Playing out more like a multi part prog suite than a standard rock instrumental, ‘Matador’ rips through three different sections with varying tempos and styles like a bull in a china shop, with only a brief appearance by Alex’s vocals at the midway point to remind you that this is the Arctic Monkeys you’re listening to.
48Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

72: Black Treacle

“Lately I’ve been seeing things, belly button piercings”

Suck It and See is undoubtedly the most poppy album the Monkeys have ever put out. It’s catchy, light and a lot of fun. Case in point, single ‘Black Treacle’: a borderline britpop song with its big arms in the air chorus and some incredibly quotable and memorable lyrics.
49Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

71: Anyways

“Baby, you go hard in the paint”

As of writing, this is the latest track in the band’s catalogue, serving as the b-side to ‘Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino’ (the song, not the album). Like most of it’s parent record, it’s a slow moving, lounge inspired ballad with a heaping of crazy lyrics, and layered in the crushing feeling of loss, longing and regret. Would’ve done nicely on the record itself.
50Arctic Monkeys
Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?

70: Despair in the Departure Lounge

“No signal and low battery, what’s happened to me?”

Alex spins a tune of heartbreak and the pain of ruined relationships on this lonesome cut, with just the man, his guitar and tales of watching Only Fools on an aeroplane. It’s quite heartbreaking in all honesty
51Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

69: Only Ones Who Know

“And I hope you’re holding hands by New Year’s Eve”

And speaking of songs that just feature Alex and a guitar (well, this one has some bass in there), we have ‘Only Ones Who Know’ from ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’, another melancholic tune about a dead relationship. This one keeps the edge over ‘Despair-‘ mainly because the production is so much more dreamy and pretty. They’re basically neck and neck though.
52Arctic Monkeys
Beneath The Boardwalk

68: Ravey Ravey Ravey Club

“Put up your picture and the playful word will get around”

Recorded at the band’s FIRST EVER gig, ‘RRRC’ is a total balls to the wall freak out. Alex slurs and stumbles his words, the guitars play at a hundred miles an hour, the drums clatter like crazy. It’s a mess, but the sheer energy of the recording and the youthful charm of Alex’s incredibly sloppy vocals make this so much more than a throw away recording. It’s the sound of a band ready to take on the world, and I think that’s quite wonderful. It’s also just really really fun.
53Arctic Monkeys

67: Dance Little Liar

“And you can never get it spotless when there’s dirt between the dirt”

Another über moody dirge from Humbug, though this one is far more menacing and dramatic than stuff like ‘Fire and The Thud’ or ‘Jeweller’s Hands’. At first, the song moves at a glacial pace, building tension continuously before it erupts into a colossal instrumental explosion. Quite wonderful.
54Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

66: She’s Thunderstorms

“She's been loop-the-looping around my mind”

I tend to treat Humbug and Suck it and See as brother and sister albums. Of course musically they couldn’t be further apart but the two play off each other in a way that feels almost like it was intended. Like how ‘The Jeweller’s Hands’ ends Humbug on a dreary and ominous note, ‘She’s Thunderstorms’ starts SIAS with chiming guitar work and bright cheery melodies, almost like a ray of sun breaking through the storm clouds above. Suddenly, the title makes a lot more sense.
55Arctic Monkeys
My Propeller

65: The Afternoon’s Hat

“Together we'll find something to direct some laughter at”

I assume this song is about having coked up sex, I mean the lyrics certainly paint such a picture. Man, fuck ‘Knee Socks’, this is the real filthy centrepiece of the AM discography. Anyway I digress, great acoustic parts and a great Alex vocal on this ‘My Propeller’ b-side
56Arctic Monkeys

64: My Propeller

“If you can summon the strength, tow me”

Oh, yeah and here’s ‘My Propeller’. Kicking off Humbug, this is the song that introduced the world to the new Monkeys. Sure, ‘Crying Lightning’ had been the lead single, but this one set the proper tone of the record. Menacing, slow moving and mysterious, and coated in a stoner rock shine.
57Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

63: The Bad Thing

“She said “it’s the red wine this time” but that is no excuse”

Of all the songs most rooted in the sound and style of their debut on FWN, ‘The Bad Thing’ is the biggest example. Detailing a twisted one night stand between married couples, it’s a fast paced, punk driven track propelled by some excellent guitar lines and a red hot mic drop ending.
58Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

62: Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair

“Go into business with a grizzly bear, but just don’t sit down cuz’ I’ve moved your chair”

While it’s status as a good song is heavily debated amongst hardcore fans of the band, there’s no denying the hold ‘Don’t Sit Down’ has over audiences, especially at live shows where its doom laden riffs and wacky lyrics bring the house down
59Arctic Monkeys
Fluorescent Adolescent

61: The Bakery

“But if I’d seen you in the bakery, you probably wouldn’t have seen me”

Heartbreak and longing abound on this b-side, a mellow pop ballad that sounds like Cornerstone’s less popular older brother. Simple, dreamy and touching.
60Arctic Monkeys

60: Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You

“With the exception of you, I dislike everyone in the room”

What a subtle title. Another case of ‘why was this a b-side and not on the album?’, ‘Stop the World-‘ was left to languish as the b-side to ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ when it should have been front and centre on AM.
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