In this article, I’ll be having a listen to 9 of the best Arctic Monkeys songs of all time. Without a doubt, the Arctic Monkeys are one of my favourite bands. I’ve always found their music a joy to listen to ever since I first heard them many years ago as a teenager.
The phrase underrated is thrown around a lot, but in my opinion, the Arctic Monkeys very much fall into that category. They boast a ton of brilliant tracks, so choosing just 9 was a little tricky. This is why I decided to include the words “of the” in the title. I’m not saying that these are the undisputed best Arctic Monkeys songs. They’re just 9 that I really enjoy.
Let’s get straight to it. Here are 9 of the best Arctic Monkeys songs of all time chosen by me in no particular order.
My 9 Best Arctic Monkeys Songs
9 of the best Arctic Monkeys songs #1 A Certain Romance
A Certain Romance is a track that’s loved by the majority of Arctic Monkeys fans and also me. It’s right up there in my opinion and I would easily place it in my top 3.
I’m not someone who looks deeply into lyrics, but the words of A Certain Romance do stick out to me. This is a track that’s pretty much a time-capsule of British culture of that era. A very relatable track for anyone who grew up in a shitty British town.
The track starts with heavy and commanding guitars and drums but quickly transitions into a bright, upbeat and clean sound. Every word resonates with me and the combination of the off-beat guitar and masterful bass makes for an extremely immersive piece of music that I get lost in every time I hear it.
The little breakdown in the second half of the track is pure joy as is the return to a slightly heavier approach to the instrumentation. Could more have been done with the instrumental ending? Us guitarists often demand more from these parts after all.
For me at least, no. What they did here was perfect. A remarkable way to wrap up a remarkable album. More on that later.
9 of the best Arctic Monkeys songs #2 When the Sun Goes Down
Next, we have a song about prostitution. This is a subject that I’m not an expert in. The only prostitute I’ve ever used was your mum and, on that occasion, I refused to pay as the service was so poor.
Anyway, When the Sun Goes Down opens with some soft lyrics which are telling a lovely story about a prostitute and a scummy man. The lyrics are accompanied by some clean guitar chords. The energy is soon kicked up a notch as we move into heavy rock land with heavy riff-based guitar work. The ideal track for guitarists who want to hammer away on their instrument to relieve some frustration and to satisfy an urge.
It’s the energy that always stuck out to me. The prostitution story is clever and easy to follow but it’s that loud and in your face sound that I love the most.
Another winner for me is the pacing. The track starts and ends very calmly, but the middle of the track is very up-tempo and the way that the 3 sections are linked together is genius. A perfectly arranged track that flows very nicely.
9 of the best Arctic Monkeys songs #3 Brianstorm
Brianstorm is probably the track on this list that’s most likely to melt your brian. I mean brain. The opening riff is on the intense side and I love it. The main riff is even better and is one of the bands best.
Once again, brilliant pacing. Things move along really nicely in this track. I love the tempo and the little changes in dynamics and how some elements drop out here and there is very effective indeed.
The two songs I’ve listed so far could have their inclusion in the list summarised in one word. A Certain Romance = resonance. When the Sun Goes Down = Energy. The same can be done with Brianstorm. Intensity.
I mentioned that the opening was intense but that feeling never really goes away. If you’re looking for a song that makes your ears bleed in a good way, listen to Brianstorm.
9 of the best Arctic Monkeys songs #4 Do I Wanna Know?
We go from one amazing guitar riff to another next with Do I Wanna Know. I said that the riff from Brianstorm was one of Arctic Monkeys’ best but if someone said that the main riff from Do I Wanna know was top of the list, I wouldn’t argue with them.
The riff pulsates through this track and is accompanied by a very solid beat. This one feels different to the tracks that I’ve talked about so far. It’s a slower track than the ones that came before but not to its detriment. There’s great depth to this one and the mood is very distinctive. Perhaps the most atmospheric songs that they’ve done.
9 of the best Arctic Monkeys songs #5 Mardy Bum
Mardy Bum is a love song. Sort of. Well it is but a different kind of love song. It’s a love song based in reality rather than fairy-tale. It’s a song about more of a long-term relationship than a new couple going through that irritating love bird phase.
The lyrics basically mix a couple having some form of argument with the gentleman alternating between that, and reminiscing about better times knowing that there’s still great love there, somewhere.
This is another song that will resonate well with many who hear it. We all go through this kind of thing at some point. Apart from your mum, because she’s unlovable.
What isn’t unlovable however it the upbeat chirpy sounding guitars and overall mood of the track. It’s a very pleasant song of theirs. I also loved the extra energy and distortion toward the end that did a great job of mixing things up dynamically. A rollercoaster of sound works well when the song is based on a rollercoaster of emotions.
#6 You Probably Couldn’t See for The Lights but You Were Staring Straight at Me
You probably couldn’t see for the lights but you were staring straight at me is an ideal track for hitting that word count target. The title is almost as long as the track it’s self but longer isn’t always necessarily better.
There’s not a great deal to say about this one to be honest with you. It’s just an overall fun song. Once again, there’s a lot of energy and once again, very relatable. “when it comes to acting up, I’m sure I could write the book”. I get that.
You Probably Couldn’t See for The Lights but You Were Staring Straight at Me also just happens to feature some of the best guitar work from that album if you care about such things. I’d hope so considering you’re on a website called Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat.
#7 Dancing Shoes
Dancing shoes is another short track but another fantastic one. This one is carried by the beat at first but it’s not long before we’re treated to some heavy distorted guitar chords. Following that, we have guitar riffs and more big chords which, as a guitarist, are some of my favourite things in the whole world. The vocal performance throughout the track is pure perfection and I especially enjoy the instrumental part of this one. The lead guitar is very much locked into the rhythm and leaves me in a state of wanting more. The whole track has the same effect to be honest.
#8 Still Take You Home
Still Take You Home is a track that does a lot well. It’s somewhat bright and fun kind of like you probably couldn’t see me for the lights but also somewhat intense like Brianstorm. Furthermore, it has that loud, proud and in your face energy ala a certain romance. It even boasts a short but sweet yet very neat solo part just like Dancing Shoes. Still Take You Home is a song that encompasses everything that’s great about the Arctic Monkeys all rolled into less than 3 minutes of indie rock awesomeness.
#9 I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
The final song on my list of 9 of the best Arctic Monkeys songs of all time brings me back to where it all started. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor was my first Arctic Monkeys experience and perhaps the best-known Artic Monkeys song. It was their first single and entered the UK charts at number 1. It’s a song that’s very well thought of and even achieved a very high position in NME’s best 500 songs of all time.
You know what? I could have taken it or left it at first. For some reason, this is a track that had to grow on me over time.
Now, just over 15 years later, it’s a song I remember fondly. Much like the previous entry, this is a track that kind of rolls everything that’s great about the Arctic Monkeys into one. We start with intense chords and a powerful build up and then a quick transition into upbeat.
Quick is key. This is another short track which I’m not complaining about because every single second is packed with energy and passion. I love the alteration between softer guitar and heavy guitar. The lead vocals do a good job of matching the power of the guitar too and a special shout out for the backing vocals which I very much enjoy.
The chorus and hook that I first considered a bit annoying is now something I’m starved for in contemporary music of the day. I’d struggle to name a mainstream artist from today that could match or even come close to matching what the Arctic Monkeys did here or with any of the other songs in this list for that matter.
A perfect way to burst onto the mainstream scene and a perfect track to end the article.
Most of these songs are from the same album
Alright, for the smart arse who’s picked up on it, here it is. With the exception of 2 tracks, Brianstorm and Do I Wanna Know? All the tracks from this article are from the Arctic Monkeys’ debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.
Composing the list was easy. I simply thought of the Arctic Monkeys songs that I considered the best and then wrote them down. It’s pure coincidence that the majority were from the same album.
Or was it? The album was from 2006 (I think) and I’ll therefore naturally look at that time with a certain sense of nostalgia as I was a young teen at the time. Does this effect my list on a subconscious level? Perhaps, but I think there’s a simpler explanation.
I think the reason for most of the Arctic Monkeys songs I consider the best being from the same album is this. The album is f****** amazing. Whatever People Say I Am is simply incredible. This is hands down one of my favourite albums of all time. If you’ve never listened to this album from start to finish, go and do so now. You won’t regret it. If you hav, go and listen to it again because you know I’m right.
This isn’t a case of the later stuff being worse. That album was just that dam good.
Like lists, do you? You f****** list junkie of course you bloody do. Why not get your next fix right now, and check out some of the other Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat lists. Here are a few that you may like. Enjoy.
Hello. My name is Ryan J Mellor and I play the guitar. I’m also the creator of Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. I’ve ben a guitarist for many years and my guitar playing has been described as “above average”. My guitar and music knowledge is somewhat impressive but most importantly, I have a passion for creating great guitar and music related content.