Few solo artists have managed to reinvent themselves more than once, and even fewer bands. Arctic Monkeys are one of the contemporary British bands to have achieved this. While much of their evolution has been attributed to the different life phases of their lead, Alex Turner, it is obvious that the band’s various stylistic triumphs have been a group effort, taking both their sound and image to new heights. Here is a breakdown of their development, using a comparison of some of their albums:
Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
The band’s first album was released in 2006, and not long after was awarded the record-breaking title of ‘fasting selling album’, with over 360,000 copies having been bought in the first week after release. To this day, it remains the fastest selling debut album by an indie band. At this time, Andy Nicholson was the band’s bass player, though after this album he was replaced with Nick O’Malley. This album gave the band their first two number ones, ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ and ‘When the Sun Goes Down’.
Favourite Worst Nightmare
Their second studio album was released in 2007 and was recorded in East London. The album is comparatively faster and louder than its predecessor, and has been described by critics as “heavier”, “meaner” and “more ambitious”. There is a clear influence from other great bands such as The Smiths. The most successful songs from the album were ‘Brianstorm’ and ‘Florescent Adolescent’.
AM was the band’s fifth studio album, released in 2013. The album came after 2009’s Humbug and 2011’s Suck It and See, and introduced a clear reinvention of the band’s sound and image, serving as a sophisticated exhibition of their more psychedelic, bluesy numbers. This album successfully laid the foundations for their newest, conceptual album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino’, which was released in May 2018.