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Every Arctic Monkeys song ranked (59-1)

Part 2! Same rules apply
1Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

59: Little Illusion Machine (Wirral Riddler)

“He’s ridden the riddle, he’ll do it again”

The Death Ramps make their final appearance on the list with ‘Little Illusion Machine’, a collab of Alex’s platonic best friend for life Miles Kane. Worth the price of admission for the opening guitar riff and Miles’ vocals alone, but the rest of the song is just as good. The song also appears to be about Miles himself given how Wirral is a place in Merseyside where he hails from. Told you they were best buds for life.
2Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

58: Red Lights Indicate Doors are Secure

“They said “no surrender, no chance of retreat””

Over a tight and funky bassline, Alex paints the story of a wild night out with the lads, starting fights and picking up girls, in an almost hip hop delivery. It’s basically a dry run for ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ And it’s a hell of a lot of fun. If anything, the song’s main message still resonates loud and clear even today: Only wankers drink Smirnoff Ice.
3Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

57: Piledriver Waltz

“You look like you’ve been for breakfast at the heartbreak hotel”

Originally released as an Alex only track on the soundtrack to indie film ‘Submarine’, ‘Piledriver Waltz’ later saw a full band release on ‘Suck it and See’. Layered in metaphors and regret, its the perfect song to drown your sorrows to at the heartbreak hotel.
4Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

56: All My Own Stunts

“Been watching cowboy films on gloomy afternoons”

More lyrical madness from ‘Suck It and See’, this time matched up with a wonderfully metallic guitar riff and a killer solo
5Arctic Monkeys

55: Snap Out of It

“Forever isn’t for everyone, is forever for you?”

Despite only being released as a radio single, ‘Snap Out of It’ has proven to be one of the band’s most recognisable songs, racking in a cool 100 million views on YT. It’s fairly easy to see why, as the catchy as hell chorus and thumping rhythm scream “hit record”.
6Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

54: Love is a Laserquest

“And do you look into the mirror to remind yourself you're there?”

Another song I despised upon first listen before warming to. Idk why either, maybe it was just because it was just so slow and downbeat? Whatever, point is I like it a lot more now. As you can see. Excellent drum parts, even if they’re simple
7Arctic Monkeys

53: Catapult

“And you would queue up to listen to him pissing”

Mellow acoustics lead this murky b-side about a ladykiller making his move. Even though the music screams psychedelic, the images the song paints are those of noir and mystery. But I’m getting ahead of myself, it’s a great song and should’ve been on Humbug. The end.
8Arctic Monkeys
Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?

52: Who the Fuck are Arctic Monkeys?

“I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed”

Serving as a sort of spiritual successor to ‘A Certain Romance’, ‘WTFAAM?’ follows a similar pattern to that tune. They both run five minutes, they both end their respective releases and they both have lengthy instrumental sections. While ‘Romance’ is the obviously better song, this sly jab at passing trends and popularity is well worth your time, especially with the grimy bassy breakdown.
9Arctic Monkeys

51: Dangerous Animals

“I’m pinned down by the dark”

While the ‘A-N-I-M-A-L’ chorus is a little ridiculous, ‘Dangerous Animals’ brings in some tasty, crunchy bass and eerie guitar effects and mixes them with weird but somewhat erotic lyrics. It’s an odd ball, some might even say filler, but I’d be damned if it don’t enjoy it
10Arctic Monkeys
Fluorescent Adolescent

50: Plastic Tramp

“My lack of proof is your disguise”

A somewhat hypnotic b-side (maybe its the guitar parts, idk) that paints the story of a fake beggar or a leecher trying to hook onto Alex. The best part? The drunken singalong chorus that pops up midway through the song.
11Arctic Monkeys
Leave Before The Lights Come On

49: Baby, I’m Yours

“Nothing in the world could drive me away”

The Monkeys have never been afraid to show their love for 60s pop. ‘Suck It and See’ relished in it at times, and Alex and Miles even made a whole separate band that worshipped the sound of Scott Walker, but ‘Baby, I’m Yours’ is a unique little example of that love. It’s a straightforward and accurate cover, decked out with strings and gentle backing vocals. It’s cheesy, of course, but Alex’s voice is rather beautiful and the whole thing is really gorgeous and tender. Dare I say, the definitive version?
12Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

48: Riot Van

“Thrown in the riot van and the coppers kicked him in”

Amidst the stories of drunken nights out and fighting in the street that fill ‘WPSIATWIN’, sits ‘Riot Van’. It’s slow, mellow, quiet. The tales of excess and debauchery of the other songs on the record fade away, as this time the attention turns to the consequences of such actions. Arrest, assault, harassment. The (superior) demo takes this one step further and pushes the song into even darker territory to devastating effect.
13Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

47: Library Pictures

“Give me an eeney-meany-miney-moe”

Humour has always been a big part of the Monkeys’ sound. They’ve never been afraid to poke fun at themselves, and that self deprecation is a big part of what makes ‘Library Pictures’ as fun as it is, besides the crazy energy of the song. Alex delivers a sly wink to the audience, acknowledging his increasingly dense and bizarre lyricism and wraps it up in a chaotic garage rocker that wouldn’t sound out of place on FWN.
14Arctic Monkeys

46: Knee Socks

“Like the beginning of Mean Streets, you could be my baby”

A wild Josh Homme appears on AM’s sleekest and most erotic song, an intoxicating ode to… well, guess. Why is this album so damn horny?
15Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

45: D is For Dangerous

“You should know you’re his favourite worst nightmare”

Gotta love when Matt sings lead. He does it swimmingly. Anyway this song is about love hate relationships. The title drop hits like a nuke.
16Arctic Monkeys

44: Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?

“Somewhere darker, talking the same shite”

The title may be a mouthful, but this funk stomper moves and grooves with gusto. Try and get that bassline out of your head. I dare you. Another huge hit for the band and another one of their most recognisable tracks
17Arctic Monkeys
Leave Before The Lights Come On

43: Leave Before the Lights Come On

“I woke you up, what times’ the bus come?”

The band’s only non-album single and one that would’ve fit on their debut like a glove. Aside from the wonderfully melodic chorus, the singalong chant coda perfectly sums up the rough and tumble togetherness of their early work.
18Arctic Monkeys

42: I Wanna Be Yours

“I wanna be your vacuum cleaner, breathing in your dust”

On an album full of one night stands and saucy hookups, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ sees things off with an incredibly earnest and powerful love song. With lyrics taken from a John Cooper Clarke poem (a longtime friend of the band and a legend in his own right), AM comes to a fittingly climatic but woozy finish with this gem.
19Arctic Monkeys

41: No. 1 Party Anthem

“She’s having a sly indoor smoke”

The big arms in the air ballad from AM. Naturally the song sounds nothing like what its title suggests, but that doesn’t matter. Alex’s lovely vocals and the excellent interplay of the guitar and piano can move even the surliest of the bastards.
20Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

40: This House is a Circus

“Scaling the corridors for maidens in a maze”

It’s a circus alright, and it’s berserk as fuck. Over a lively rhythm section and sharp guitar bursts, the boys tear through this motor mouthed meltdown with enough energy to blow the roof off.
21Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

39: Still Take You Home

“You’re a Topshop princess, a rockstar too”

I think what makes WPSIATWIN so effective, apart from being an excellent album, is how accurate it is to the British nightclub scene. Case in point, ‘Still Take You Home’ which paints up the culture of hooking up even though the other person isn’t anything amazing. It’s snarky, a little too accurate and awesome.
22Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

38: Evil Twin

“Oh my body and my mind both start talking at the exact same time”

Taped during the ‘SIAS’ sessions and then relegated to b-side status, ‘Evil Twin’ is pure desert groove with tight and gnarly guitar licks and a thundering drum section that makes the song feel like a bolt of lightning. Even got it’s own music video, which I don’t think any other b-side in the band’s catalogue was graced with. Except ‘You and I’?
23Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

37: Dancing Shoes

“Oh and the shit shock horror, you’ve seen your future bride”

Somehow combining the feeling of the joy of dancing and the impending terror of married life and stable relationships, ‘Dancing Shoes’ holds onto you from the start and never lets go.
24Arctic Monkeys

36: I Want It All

“Leave me listening to the Stones, ‘2000 Light Years From Home’”

While the riff might’ve been pinched from ‘She’s Lost Control’ by Joy Division, ‘I Want It All’s real heart lies elsewhere, with its airy falsetto vocals and ‘Satanic Majesties’ era Stones name drops. The place is space. That’s what I was implying.
25Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

35: You Probably Couldn’t See for the Lights but You Were Staring Straight at Me

“Cuz’ when it comes to acting up, I’m sure I could write the book”

You could say this song is about the uneasy feeling before you ask someone out, but it’s really about Alex wanting to shag the lead singer of the Little Flames. Now you know. Anyway the vocal chemistry between Alex and Matt here is excellent. An underrated jam.
26Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

34: Balaclava

“Are you pulling her from a burning building or throwing her to the sharks?”

This song is either about robbery or nicking someone’s bird. Doesn’t really matter which though, because the boys make both options sound so fun here. More cowbell.
27Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

33: Old Yellow Bricks

“Dorothy was right though”

Look up a live performance of this song. Any of them, it doesn’t matter. Listen to how the crowd will, without fail, start singing along to the opening bars. Every single time. The fact that this song wasn’t a single and is a relative deep cut just shows 1. How catchy it is and 2. How bloody massive this song is as well.
28Arctic Monkeys

32: Cornerstone

“I smelt your scent on the seatbelt”

A controversial choice to have this not in the top 10, I know. But this is my list at the end of the day and I can do what I want with it. Cornerstone is still an absolutely spectacular tune however. Romantic, bittersweet and melodically lush. Cry your heart out, boys.
29Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

31: The View from the Afternoon

“You’ve got to understand that you can never beat the bandit”

The hot takes keep flowing, don’t they? Kicking off the band’s debut with an explosion of energy and northern charm, ‘The View from the Afternoon’ perfectly sets the stage for a legendary album and career.
30Arctic Monkeys

30: Do I Wanna Know?

“Are there some aces up your sleeve?”

Love it or hate it, ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ Has become the band’s signature song, bringing in a fucking BILLION views on YouTube. It’s easy to see why it blew up as hard as it did, with its now iconic guitar riff and menacing yet sexy vocals and bass. Even though it’s been overplayed to hell and back, it’s still a spectacularly good tune. And like it or not, it’s a song that’s here to stay.
31Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

29: Teddy Picker

“Well sorry sunshine, it doesn’t exist. It wasn’t in the Top 100 list”

What is a Teddy Picker? I don’t know, I do know that this song is excellent though. A commentary on the fleeting power of fame, it’s in the same boat as ‘Who the Fuck are Arctic Monkeys?’ In that there’s a sense of worry and tension underneath the energy of the song. Worry that the hype they told you to not believe really won’t last. Obviously that isn’t the case, but still. Killer and classic tune.
32Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

28: Fake Tales of San Francisco

“You’re not from New York City, you’re from Rotherham”

This song is pretty ironic now, given how Alex briefly became the man he once ridiculed in this track. Still, ‘Fake Tales-‘ hits hard all these years later, especially that guitar work. I will say I don’t think any band that wears a trilby is ever going to be “super cool” though, but whatever. Was also the first song of theirs to be commercially released when it appeared as the lead track on the now extremely rare ‘Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys’ EP.
33Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

27: The Ultracheese

“But I haven’t stopped loving you once”

TBHC ends its voyage with this heartbreaking ballad, a fitting wave goodbye to the wreckage that is the main character’s life. Goosebumps abound in the final few seconds as Alex’s vocals trail off into the dark. The whole thing sounds like the final ever performance by some long dated lounge act as they play to an empty audience as the club itself is torn to the ground. Bastard has got me trying to be poetic now.
34Arctic Monkeys

26: Crying Lightning

“Your pastimes consisted of the strange and twisted and deranged”

I remember when the music video for this was released and my brother excitedly showing me it. At the time, I thought it was great. A new Monkeys song? Sign me up. Obviously I didn’t know at the time how much it split the fanbase; but obviously times have changed; and Crying Lightning is now rightfully recognised for the shithot banger that it always has been. Good lord, the bass on this thing.
35Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

25: One Point Perspective

“Bear with me, man, I lost my train of thought”

Moved gently forward by a looping piano line and the simplest drum beat you’ve probably ever heard, ‘One Point Perspective’ feels like the final farewell to the sound of AM, still grasping onto the slight hip hop sound that was present on that record. But the world is a big place, and space is even vaster. The Monkeys are going to the stars.
36Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

24: That’s Where You’re Wrong

“A pussyfooting setting sun. Make a wish that weighs a tonne”

The jangly closer to ‘Suck It and See’ stands as one of the band’s most overlooked tracks, which is a real shame, mainly because it’s so bright and catchy that it feels like a warm hug from a friend, that is if you ignore the bitter and snarky lyrics.
37Arctic Monkeys
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

23: Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts

“She’s not nice, she’s pretty fucking far from nice”

Tragically left off their debut, ‘Bigger Boys’ is both a reassuring pat on the back and a miserable wallow of pity. Love can be a hard thing, especially when your girlfriend leaves you for a man nearly ten years older than her. This is a very specific song come to think of it, it’s also a very very good one too.
38Arctic Monkeys

22: R U Mine?

“I’m a puppet on a string, Tracy Island”

Released a full year or so before AM even came out, ‘R U Mine?’ served as the thunderous warning shot for the sexy storm to come. A colossal blues monster with some of the stankiest bass and guitar work you’ll ever hear on a Monkeys song, this gem also scored another hit for the band, and you can plainly see why.
39Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

21: Star Treatment

“I just wanted to be one of the Strokes”

I don’t think anyone was really prepared for ‘Star Treatment’. No advance singles had been sent out or released, so it was anyone’s game as to how TBHC would sound. And I don’t think anyone was expecting a lounge track. A damn good one too. Setting the tone and sound of the album perfectly, ‘Star Treatment’ feels like the afterglow of a long forgotten time. A lost melody calling from the Overlook Hotel.
40Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

20: I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

“And oh there in’t no love, no Montagues or Capulets”

While their popularity had grown thanks to the internet and the Boardwalk demos, the world was formally introduced to the Monkeys with this tune. And what an introduction it was. They said don’t believe the hype. But with stuff like this; the hype was very well justified. Was their signature song for a good 8 or so years before ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ Stole that title, which ain’t too fair because this is the better song.
41Arctic Monkeys

19: Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend

“Yo, it’s Rasc’ gettin’ dirtee stankin’”

People paint AM as the band’s first flirt with hip hop, but it was actually on this b-side featuring grime legend Dizzee Rascal who lays down a grand verse on this sharp and funky rocker about the pitfalls of temptation. Was later remixed and cut up into a full on grime banger on Dizzee’s album ‘Maths + English’. Listen to that version too while you’re at it.
42Arctic Monkeys

18: If You Found This, It’s Probably Too Late

“Approaching the pinnacle and running out of mates”

Strings? On my Arctic Monkeys song? Yes, and they merely serve as the prelude to this absolutely psychotic freak out. Probably the most dense and chaotic thing they’ve ever made. It might be daunting to some, but once you accept the intensity of the song, it quickly leaves its permanent mark on you.
43Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

17: Four Out of Five

“I put a taqueria on the roof, it was well reviewed”

I think what’s funny about Alex’s writing is that usually it’s about normal stuff like relationships and going out on the town but dressed up in weird poetry. ‘Four Out of Five’ is just weird in general though. A chugging and excellent glam stomper about Taco huts on the moon. And would you believe it was a lead single?
44Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

16: Brianstorm

“So kind of you to bless us with your effortlessness”

‘Brianstorm’ hits like a fucking truck as soon as it gets going. It’s fast, heavy, groovy, and an absolute powerhouse live. But mainly it showed that the Monkeys weren’t just one trick ponies and were willing to experiment with new sounds and styles instead of just repeating themselves. This one is a classic for a reason, folks!
45Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

15: Mardy Bum

“I can’t be arsed to carry on in this debate that reoccurs”

I think the only song on their debut that doesn’t deal with the British nightclub scene, ‘Mardy Bum’, instead turns the focus to a kitchen sink drama of a strained married couple with pretty and catchy guitar work and a rather heartbreaking vocal from Alex. There’s a sense of not just resentment and resignation here but also genuine love and affection between these two characters, which really makes it all the more powerful. Damn, all this from a barely three minute pop tune? A firm favourite to this day.
46Arctic Monkeys
Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?

14: No Buses

“He’s in turmoil, as puzzled as can be”

And speaking of pop, here’s ‘No Buses’, a relative deep cut found on ‘Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?’. It’s another failed love story not too un-similar to ‘Despair in the Departure Lounge’, though this time it’s far more poppy, far more catchy and way way better. Has some of Alex’s finest vocals and one of the best outros to a Monkeys song.
47Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

13: From the Ritz to the Rubble

“Well, this town’s a different town today”

Kicking off with one of the most iconic lyrical cold openings of the 21st century, ‘Ritz to the Rubbles’ tale of arsehole bouncers and drunken courage still resonates and hits hard to this day. Live renditions typical take the roof off
48Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

12: Suck it and See

“That’s not a skirt, girl, that’s a sawn off shotgun”

I don’t really think there’s anything more British than comparing a girl to a can of dandelion and burdock (which rest assured my American readers, is not rare in the slightest). Anyway, ‘Suck it and See’, a gorgeous slice of dream pop with enough quotable lyrics and lush melodies to last a lifetime. Was sadly not a hit, though the title might’ve played a role in that.
49Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

11: Do Me a Favour

“Do me a favour and break my nose”

I hated this song at first listen. Don’t know why, but it just pissed me off. I didn’t really give it a fair chance until years later when finally the vaguely surf-y rhythm finally clicked and Alex’s tale of heartbreak and ruined love hit me like a ton of bricks. My god, that bridge is indescribable.
50Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

10: Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino

“Kiss me underneath the moon’s side boob”

The titular track of the Monkeys’ most adventurous record really makes you question if this is the same band that sang about dancing to Electropop some decade prior. Featuring one of their tightest basslines and booming synths, TBHC proves that even after so long, they can still find ways to surprise us
51Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

9: A Certain Romance

“There’s only music so that there’s new ringtones”

Closing out their debut, ‘A Certain Romance’ explodes into action with a massive opening flurry of drums and guitar riffs before it settles into a catchy, bouncy tune about loving your hometown. Sure it might be a bit of a dump, full of arrogant cunts, thieves and dealers, but there’s no place like home, and in a musical climate where songs about getting up and leaving were popular, it feels almost reassuring to know that your old haunt will always be there for you.
52Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

8: The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

“Those steady hands may well have done the Devil’s pedicure”

‘Suck it and See’’s turn towards more straightforward guitar pop might’ve turned off a lot of people (indeed, it’s still seen as their worst album in some circles), but it’s impossible to deny just how well crafted and catchy ‘The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala’ is, a ridiculously catchy and melodically pleasing jangle pop tour de force of oblique lyrics and singalong hooks.
53Arctic Monkeys

7: Arabella

“It’s an exploration, she’s made of outer space”

It’s think it’s not incorrect to say that AM is the band’s funkiest and slickest LP (as well as their horniest). As such, ‘Arabella’ is probably the funkiest and slickest (and horniest) song on the album. Featuring what might be the best bassline and guitar solo in their catalog (even if it’s too damn short!!), ‘Arabella’ sums up everything that made AM so popular. Its catchy, its sexy, its dark, its heavy, its funky and its a hell of a good time.
54Arctic Monkeys

6: Pretty Visitors

“What came first, the chicken or the dickhead?”

Humbug’s penultimate track is something truly to marvel at. A chaotic, monstrous doom rocker decked out with circus organ and a million mile an hour lyrics. For a minute, it’s almost like the song is about to spin out of control and burst into flames at its own energy and fury. A madcap masterpiece.
55Arctic Monkeys

5: Secret Door

“There’s absolutely nothing for us here”

I think what makes ‘Secret Door’ so enjoyable outside of its excellent chorus is that it feels like ‘Humbug’ in a microcosm. All the different sounds and styles of the album all meet together here. The psychedelic pop of ‘Cornerstone’, the desert stoner fuzz of ‘Crying Lightning’ and the slow burning mystery of ‘The Jeweller’s Hands’. All those contrasting sounds come together here and work in tandem, making something both familiar and whole distinct. And it works magnificently.
56Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

4: 505

“But I crumble completely when you cry”

Inspired by Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’, ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ comes to a close in an appropriately dramatic and heartbreaking fashion, with ‘505’ building from a quiet organ led tune into a massive erupting finale that has become just as iconic and beloved as the band itself.
57Arctic Monkeys
Suck It and See

3: Reckless Serenade

“I called up to listen to the voice of reason and got his answering machine”

HA! Bet you didn’t see this one coming, fuckers. “Why is Reckless Serenade so high?” I hear you ask. Why? Couldn’t tell you. Maybe it’s the immaculate bass line, the dreamy guitar parts, the gorgeous vocals, the charming lyrics. They all play a part. Regardless of what it is, they all fit together perfectly.
58Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

2: When the Sun Goes Down

“We’re all infected, but he’ll be alright cuz’ he’s a scumbag, don’t you know?”

By far their most venomous song, ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ continued the band’s early hotstreak and it’s incredibly easy to see why, as the abrasive guitar interplay and the humongous chorus are powerful enough to wake the dead and get the dancefloor moving, even if you forget that it’s a song about pimps and prostitutes. Magical, magical stuff.
59Arctic Monkeys
Favourite Worst Nightmare

1: Flourescent Adolescent

“Nothing seems as pretty as the past though”

Face it, getting older isn’t fun. The things you used to love doing no longer appeal to you, and the fun you had back then seems so far away and alien now. It’s a painful feeling and it’s one we all have every now and then. ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ is that feeling wrapped up into a three minute masterpiece, irresistibly catchy, relatable and heartbreaking. Their finest hour and one of the best songs of the 2000s.
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