It’s been 15 years since the Arctic Monkeys signed with Domino Records and the band have gone from rowdy riff-heavy teenagers to mature rock stars. Six number one albums, two number one singles and 42 awards have made Arctic Monkeys indie-rock legends.
Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was the fastest selling British debut of all time. The long term success of the band was originally up in the air, and while the band mocked themselves with the song ‘Who The F*ck are Arctic Monkeys?’, Favourite Worst Nightmare quickly put to bed any doubts of the band being a one hit wonder.
Since then, the band has become known for their versatility and reinvention of their sound. Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino, released in 2018 was their furthest shift from the guitar-heavy sounds of 2005, instead focusing on piano driven soundscapes. Despite polarising fans, the album was the fastest selling vinyl album since the millennium. With such longevity, choosing just 10 Arctic Monkeys songs is a tough task, but someone has to do it!
10. From the Ritz To The Rubble’// Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
“Last night these two bouncers and one of ‘em’s alright the other one’s a scary ‘en / His way or no way totalitarian”.
Who knew a song about getting turned away from a nightclub could be so exciting?
‘From the Ritz to the Rubble’ is from the band’s debut record Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and it typifies the bands strength to progress a song. The song starts with Turner rolling off lyrics as if his tongue was an AK-47. The chorus is explosive with electric riffs and exceptional drumming from Matt Helders.
The beauty of early Alex Turner’s earlier lyrics are found in their simplicity. Turner perfectly paints the picture of a lads night out and the fate we’ve all met after having one too many at pre-drinks.
The relatable lyrics and rowdy rhythm made ‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’ an early favourite for long-term fans of the band. You’d be forgiven for thinking this song has been forgotten in time, with it’s disappearance from the set list and AM eclipsing the success of their earlier work.
I was lucky enough to be at TRNSMT 2018 when the band played the song for the first time in eight years. Wow. Simple, but brilliant.