The Evolution of Arctic Monkeys: 2006-2014

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Arctic Monkeys are a well-known British band from Sheffield, Yorkshire. The area has been home to many other highly-talented bands and musicians such as Pulp, Def Leppard, Richard Hawley, and Reverend and the Makers. The chances of making it in the music industry are very slim and with the amount of young boys in Sheffield throwing together bands and playing in local pubs, the yorkshire boys could never have predicted a future like the one they have achieved. The lineup originally consisted of frontman Alex Turner, Guitarist Jamie Cook, Drummer Matt Helders and Bassist Andy Nicholson. Shortly after the band’s debut album was released, Nicholson left and was temporarily replaced by Nick O’Malley. However, after playing the band’s extremely successful first tour with them, he became a permanent fixture.

Arctic Monkeys soon became a household name across the UK, with many huge hits such as “Mardy Bum” and “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor.” Both songs were the most popular from the bands first album, released in 2006, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. The boys’ roots are perfectly captured in their lyrics, which Turner casually rolls out in his native Yorkshire accent. The album’s’ final song, “A Certain Romance,” gives the world a view of the band’s opinion on Sheffield and surrounding areas in the UK, with lines such as “Well oh they might wear classic Reeboks / Or knackered Converse / Or tracky bottoms tucked in socks / But all of that’s what the point is not / The point’s that there ain’t no romance around there.”

The band then progressed into their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare. This album is a lot darker than previous songs, which is definitely noticeable when Turner snarls the lyrics to “Do Me A Favour.” The album also consists of popular songs such as “Fluorescent Adolescent” and “505.”

The bands third and fourth album see the development from shy, Sheffield band to world-class rock stars with Humbug (2009) and Suck It and See (2011). After the release of Humbug, the boys embarked on their worldwide Humbug tour and headlined Reading and Leeds in August, 2009. Suck It and See built them just as much success, as it led to their Suck It and See tour. The boys then went on to headline Spanish festival, Benicassim alongside big names like The Strokes, Arcade Fire, and Primal Scream.

Throughout all of this, the boys stayed true to their roots, which is the main reason that their latest album, AM, was such a shock to fans; especially those from the UK. The band released the album on the 9th of September, 2013. The album went straight to the top of the UK charts, meaning the boys had become the first band in the UK to have 5 albums reach number one. AM had completely lost Turner’s sharp tongue and witty lyrics. The band had developed more of a ‘mellow’ vibe and original fans didn’t seem to be impressed.

As time has gone on, people have listened to the album more frequently it has clearly grown on many and brought in a large new audience for the band. Some fans never left the band’s side, stating that if they carried on releasing the same sound it, would get boring and people would complain just as much.

It seems that the boys have progressed and become more talented through their albums, and have figured out what music fans want and how to expand their audience. The answer was to try a new style. The boys ended the year by returning to Reading and Leeds 2014 as the final headline act. It is now rumoured that the boys are taking a break.

It has to be mentioned how each album is represented by a new Turner hairstyle that captures the genre perfectly, starting with Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. This album was represented by a casual look that can be seen upon many boys within Sheffield. Now, in 2014, Turner sports the slicked-back quiff, perfectly illustrating the band’s new rock and roll vibe.