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14th Mar 2017

Every Arctic Monkeys song ranked from worst to best

Lists don't come much more comprehensive

Ciara Knight

*Peers from behind couch*  This is just my opinion.

Arctic Monkeys are my favourite band and I could happily exclusively listen to their music every day for the rest of my life.

For no reason whatsoever, I’ve decided to rank all of their songs from worst to best. In the interest of housekeeping, I’m sticking to the official album tracks only, so no B-sides because this is going to take ten years to complete as it is and I am in charge here.

It’s likely this list is going to cause mass upset and unrest, so for these reasons I am sorry. Please feel free to get in touch with your version of the list at

59. Potion Approaching

Honestly what is this song? It’s like something you hear at a battle of the bands night where the band have just met each other for the first time and quickly threw the track together on the spot, heavily inspired by Queens of the Stone Age but having never actually listened to them.


58. Dangerous Animals

I think we can all agree that Humbug is the Arctic Monkeys’ worst album (or fifth best if you are a glass half full type of person). There are several regrettable tracks on this record that never quite make it to their live sets. This particular song is far from their best effort, but it’s a good one to listen to while you’re hoovering.


57. Mad Sounds

Controversial placement, I know. Taken from their latest offering ‘AM’, this is very much an album filler for me. It’s a little too dreary and a bit of a let down in comparison with the sheer brilliance that the rest of the album emits. It gets a bit too soundtracky two minutes in when the ‘ooh la la la’ starts.


56. Black Treacle

This song has all the potential in the world but, unfortunately, never reaches it. As the second track on ‘Suck It And See’, it’s following the undeniable beauty of ‘She’s Thunderstorms’ and just can’t seem to keep up with the momentum. Hot take alert: They could’ve easily left this track off the album and it wouldn’t have been missed.


55. The Jeweller’s Hands

If it hasn’t come across already, ‘Humbug’ is my least favourite Arctic Monkeys album. I’m usually relieved when I hear this song because I know that I’ve reached the end of the record and can now finally move on with my life. The track, like most of the album, lacks the energy and passion that first drew me to Arctic Monkeys. It’s like they handed in an essay that was written 20 minutes before the deadline.


54. Only Ones Who Know

One word: boring. I tolerate this song because the rest of ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ is close to perfection, but it’s just so monotonous and lacking any enthusiasm in Alex’s vocals. It’s also infuriating because they have one of the best drummers in the world sitting idly at his kit while this song was recorded. Let Helders play!


53. No. 1 Party Anthem

There’s no doubt this particular placement is going to cause mass outrage but these are my feelings and I’m not sorry. Even the title of this track irritates me and I’m pretty sure they named it sarcastically. It wouldn’t be out of place at a funeral, which was perhaps their intention. As it’s playing, the lyrics ‘Come on come on come on’ couldn’t be more apt as I look forward to the end.


52. Fire And Thud

Although it starts out quite promisingly, the entire song ends up feeling like an intro for a better song. As a result, I can understand why it was placed before ‘Cornerstone’ on the ‘Humbug’ album, because they likely recognised that it was quite in comparison and needed a big number afterwards.


51. I Want It All

There’s just something about this track that I don’t like, but I can’t put my finger on it. It doesn’t please my ears in the typical way that an Arctic Monkeys track does. It’s possibly the continued falsetto throughout. I just want to hear the dark and dangerous depths of Alex Turner’s vocal range at all times.


50. Love Is A Laserquest

While the version above is admittedly better than on the album, it’s still a pile of nothing. It’s so boring, I’d rather sit watching black treacle slowly falling from a spoon into a recycling bin. Even the drums are boring, Matt Helders’ ancestors didn’t survive the war for this.


49. Piledriver Waltz

This song goes absolutely nowhere and I wish it had never been written. There, I said it. It’s got no redeeming qualities whatsoever and is carried by the rest of ‘Suck It And See’, frankly. It comes before the track above on the official album track list and they’re both two very dark stains on the album for me.


48. My Propeller

This track just isn’t good enough and Alex actually sounds quite bored singing it. I’m being merciless here, especially because it’s the opening track from ‘Humbug’ and doesn’t particularly convince me to listen to the rest of the album, even though I will anyway because it’s the Arctic Monkeys and they deserve my ears.


47. Secret Door

As I’ve made clear, ‘Humbug’ is Arctic Monkeys’ fifth best album, also known as the worst. Without standout tracks like ‘Cornerstone’ and ‘Crying Lightning’, it would’ve been regarded as a flop. This track is carried by the drums and very little else.


46. Dance Little Liar

Nobody in the history of the world has ever listed this as their favourite Arctic Monkeys song, I’m sure of it. It’s just very uneventful and lacks any AM charm that we’re used to. The guitar at the start sounds a bit like Tame Impala, so there’s that.


45. One For The Road

Not to be a stereotypical arsehole, but Arctic Monkeys’ earlier stuff really has my heart. I’m not sure if life was just simpler back then and I was more carefree, but I found myself slightly annoyed by some of the tracks on the latest album. I want another ‘Mardy Bum‘ in this lifetime if that’s not too much to ask.


44. If You Were There, Beware

After an explosive intro, this track begins its descent into an unremarkable album filler, sadly. It builds a bit towards the end which gives me hope that it’ll finish strong, but sadly ends with an echoey, distorted outro that is no bueno for me.


43. I Wanna Be Yours

From the processed beats at the start, this is a disaster. The only redeeming parts of this song are the lyrics ‘Let me be your leccy meter and I’ll never run out’, which is wonderfully poetic and gives a throwback to their first album, aka the best album of the 2000s.


42. All My Own Stunts

For some reason, this track seems to lack the conviction behind similar songs they’ve released. It’s still a good song and the guitar riffs at the start are sheer brilliance, but I just wouldn’t put it in the Spotify queue at a party for fear of groans and a potential removal.


41. Snap Out Of It

Taken from their latest album ‘AM’, it leans a bit more towards pop than their earlier stuff. The track wouldn’t be out of place on an advert for a girls’ weekend away, complete with flowing glasses of Prosecco and decorative macarons. It’s clear they’re trying to evolve their sound to keep up with modern trends, but I really wish they wouldn’t.


40. This House Is A Circus

Mostly due to the lyrics ‘This house is a circus, berzerk as fuck’, this song deserves some recognition. It has a few bursts of energy that prevented me from putting it any lower on the list. It’s certainly not the worst track on ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’.


39. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?

I refuse to put this any higher in the list because it’s a good song but it’s nowhere near their best. It’s a bit lazy from the guys (in my unqualified opinion). There’s an element of hip hop in the recurring beat and it doesn’t really go anywhere for me, but, despite myself, I still like the damn song. I blame mainstream radio for overplaying it and ruining the song for me.


38. Suck It And See 

There’s a slight pop quality to this title track. It’s lighter than other parts of the album, but that’s not a bad thing. It feels like the last five minutes of a romantic comedy, where the characters are happy and all conflicts have been safely resolved. Yuck!


37. The Bad Thing

I really like the unpredictable drum patterns on this track, which makes it a tricky beat to air drum along to. Arctic Monkeys fans generally have a negative opinion of this song, but I think they’re wrong. It’s a credible piece of work, there are far worse ways to spend two and a half minutes.


36. 505

Deceptively dreary at first, I categorise this as a secret bombshell from the lads, turning into an epic sound when the guitar finally kicks in. Useless fact: The organ at the beginning is taken from Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack for ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’. 


35. The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

An easy winner of Best Track Name from ‘Suck It And See’, you are required by law to join in for the ‘shalalala’ part or face a hefty fine and deportation. So just do it, okay?


34. Knee Socks

From their latest album ‘AM’, it’s great to hear the guys sing in harmony using an uncharacteristically high falsetto, and just about get away with it. It’s easy to imagine that kick drum hitting you right in the chest at a festival on a cloudy summer’s day.


33. Balaclava

I never thought I’d see the day that the Arctic Monkeys absolutely nail the addition of a cowbell but they’ve done it with this track. If there isn’t a cowbell solo on their next album, I’m going to be very disappointed. I ask you, is there anything Matt Helders can’t do? The answer is no.


32. Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But…

Hot take: The track titles on Arctic Monkeys’ debut album are yet to be equalled by any offering of theirs since then. That concludes today’s hot takes for fear of any civil unrest which is quite likely ‘cos all you people are vampires’.


31. Crying Lightning

This song has a menacing bass line throughout which keeps you ever so slightly on edge, half expecting Alex to reveal that he’s accidentally murdered several people with his extremely sharp jawline. Stranger things have happened.


30. Teddy Picker

They released it as the third single from ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’, with the video directed by Roman Coppola. It went on to win Best Video at the NME Awards in 2008 and deservedly so. It’s responsible for thousands of fans deciding that they absolutely have to see this band live even if it kills them.


29. That’s Where You’re Wrong

It’s the final track from ‘Suck It And See’ and it follows the Arctic Monkeys’ reliable tradition of ending an album with a very worthwhile number to reinforce your decision to listen to the boys’ latest offering. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you listen to this song and if you disagree, that’s where you’re wrong.


28. Arabella

From their latest offering, this track is big and bold with heavy guitars, plentiful cymbal crashes and a decent mix of stripped back vocals combined with brash guitars competing for your attention. It’s a good marker for the direction they’re most likely heading in with future albums.


27. Riot Van

Probably the most laid back song from ‘Whatever People Say I Am…’, it’s a welcome bit of headspace on an otherwise frantic album. Alex’s vocals take a slightly more croaky approach than usual, proving he is an unstoppable force in any vocal range. Let the man sing opera, I’d still listen.


26. Dancing Shoes

Never have I ever jokingly referred to someone as a ‘sexy little swine’ as a result of this song *drinks profusely*. The best part about this track is undoubtedly the last minute when things get a bit manic. Auditory bliss.


25. Do I Wanna Know?

Potentially the most bad ass guitar lick they’ve ever produced, this track oozes smug lads in leather jackets with perfectly coiffed hairstyles smoking rollie cigarettes and wearing aviator sunglasses. Honourable mention to Helders for hitting those high notes. To answer an earlier question, no, there isn’t anything he can’t do.


24. Pretty Visitors

Only Arctic Monkeys could get away with using a very wonky sounding organ at the beginning of a song to then go on and deliver a drum line likely to give any aspiring drummer two broken wrists. ‘What came first, the chicken or the dickhead?’ will forever live on in the band’s lyrical hall of fame.


23. Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured

Probably my favourite track title out of any of their albums, this song is both informative and an enjoyable listen if you’re thinking of ever getting a taxi at any point in your life. It’ll make you want to go on a night out in Sheffield to live the mundane life that Alex so eloquently evokes.


22. Old Yellow Bricks

This song cements Arctic Monkeys as the masters of syncing drum and bass lines perfectly. ‘Who wants to sleep in a city that never wakes up?’ Honestly doesn’t sound too bad if that’s the music they’re producing in this mysterious city.


21. She’s Thunderstorms

The opening track from ‘Suck It And See’, it begins with a menacing guitar lick that sets the tone for a different album than we’ve heard from Arctic Monkeys before, one that proves they can dabble in several genres and still dominate the scene. Perfection.


20. Fluorescent Adolescent

Forever associated with The Inbetweeners, this track evokes feelings of being a grubby little teen wandering around town and being told to move on from loitering outside shops, not quite realising that life was about to get a lot more complicated.


19. Still Take You Home

None of us are exempt from replying ‘ya don’t know nuffin’, when asked ‘what do you know?’ and Arctic Monkeys are solely responsible for this untreatable affliction. Those pesky buggers. At the risk of sounding like an utter dickhead, this song sounds heavenly on vinyl.


18. From The Ritz To The Rubble

Another prime example of Alex Turner’s ability to tell an evocative story through the use of lyrics while using music as a personal soundtrack, this song has moments of lunacy that keep you from getting too relaxed listening to it. It’s like a quick reminder that you’re not listening to anything ordinary here, this is magic.


17. Reckless Serenade

Proving that the guys can produce relaxed and dreary music just as well as they can conquer the upper tempo side of things, this track has an infectious sharp guitar riff throughout that’s impossible not to air guitar along with. You’re likely to be on your knees bent over backwards with your imaginary guitar precisely two minutes in for the solo.


16. D Is For Dangerous

With sizzling hi-hats throughout supported by an arresting bass line, this track is an uncharacteristically funky gift for all Arctic Monkeys fans, led by the sharp lyrics we’ve come to expect from the lads. As they say, ‘D is for delightful’ and it certainly is.


15. Brick By Brick

Although never officially released as a single, it’s one of the breakout songs from their fourth album ‘Suck It And See’. It was shared as a stand-alone track before the album was even announced because sitting on a song like that goes against nature’s intentions.


14. Do Me A Favour

Taken from their second album ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’, this song’s standout moment is the interlude at 2.36 with a heavenly guitar riff along with a simple bass scale that demands your attention and appreciation. All you can do it sit back, crank up the bass and play it very, very loud.


13. You Probably Couldn’t See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me

Probably the longest song title in the history of the world, this toe-tapping track shows off drummer Matt Helders’ vocals from the outset, cementing him as not only one of the world’s greatest drummers, but also a very complimentary vocalist to Alex Turner. It’s an integral part of their debut album.


12. Fireside

Taken from ‘AM’, this track is three minutes of auditory bliss. The guys sound tight and mature, throwing in the occasional ‘shoo-wop’ and knowing full well they can get away with it because they’re the Arctic fucking Monkeys, that’s why. It’s ironclad proof that they boys still have it and will probably never lose whatever it is that they have.


11. Fake Tales Of San Francisco

Originally on their first EP in 2005, this track got its rightfully deserved day in the sun when it was released as a radio only single in the United States and The Netherlands instead of ‘Leave Before The Lights Come On’. It’s the most funky track from their debut album and the breakdown at 1.41 is sheer perfection.


10. When The Sun Goes Down

Lest there ever be any query as to Alex Turner’s abilities as a songwriter, this song is sure to shut the doubters right up. It’s rare that a band can evoke such a vivid story through their lyrics and compliment it perfectly with the music to match, but that’s the beauty of the Arctic Monkeys. It was a clever choice to make this the second released single from their debut album, proving their ability to write damn catchy songs with spot on guitar riffs to match.


9. Mardy Bum

The version above with a full orchestra is essential viewing to remind you of how mind-blowingly brilliant this song actually is. It’s Alex Turner at his lyrical best, telling a gripping love story that works in any tempo. Instances of people being described as ‘mardy’ actually quadrupled worldwide in 2006 as a result of this stellar track, probably.


8. Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair

Verging on the territory of heavy rock, this debut track from their fourth record ‘Suck It And See’ gave a slightly misleading glimpse of what was to come from the album, which was reinforced by ‘Brick By Brick’. It gave fans the confirmation that this band, although four albums into their lifespan, could surprise us all and deliver unexpected life-affirming rock music.


7. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

It was hard to stick to the instructions “Don’t believe the hype” when the Arctic Monkeys hit us with their debut song. The simplicity of the music video was an homage to The Strokes and a very clear sign of what was to come. They presented themselves as a band that didn’t need extravagant means to get attention, they just wanted to put their incredible musical ability out into the world in any way possible. Regularly included in lists of the greatest songs of all time, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ is a song that will never age and I’ll certainly never tire of hearing it while dancing along to electropop like a robot from 1984.


6. Brianstorm

Beaten to the top spot in the charts by Beyoncé and Shakira’s ‘Beautiful Liar’, ‘Brianstorm‘ was the opening track from the boys’ second album ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ in 2007. It’s still their highest charting single worldwide and deservedly so. Listening to ‘Brianstorm‘ is likely to give you a sympathetic sore wrist due to the ferocity of the thundering drums and erratic guitars. There’s approximately zero chance they’ll still be able to play this song when they’re 60.


5. Library Pictures

An underrated masterpiece, this Monkeys track has a menacing vibe that’s hard to ignore. On the album version, Alex can be heard professing “I’m in a vest” at the start of the track, a precursor of the lunacy that’s about to follow. It’s a short track, clocking in at 2.22, but a personal highlight from ‘Suck It And See’. If you don’t join in and shout ‘Ip dip dog shit rock and roll’, you’re a psychopath.


4. The View From The Afternoon

This explosive sound is responsible for waking many of us from our wasteful teenage daydreams back in 2006, introducing us to one of the greatest albums of the decade, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’. Although never officially released as a single, this opening track is a regular inclusion at Arctic Monkeys gigs, credited with being an exceptional amuse-bouche for the rest of the album that follows.


3. Cornerstone

A vital saving grace from ‘Humbug’ in 2009, ‘Cornerstone’ kicks in 7 tracks deep when all hope was beginning to fade for an album that was widely regarded as being a bit too relaxed for the band. It’s a tender love song, written “one morning, quite quickly”, according to Turner. Paired with the sufficiently awkward Richard Ayoade directed video above, it’s now a sweet reminder of how far the band have come since those innocent long-haired, turtle-necked jumper days.


2. R U Mine?

You won’t find a more fitting word than BANGER to sufficiently describe the vibe this song emits. It delighted fans in February 2012 and later appeared on their fifth studio album ‘AM’. The main riff was actually written by bass player Nick and the impressive one-take video deservedly won an NME Award. Musically, it’s a much bigger and more clarified sound than their previous work, bursting with confidence and just the right amount of arrogance.


1. A Certain Romance

Although never officially released as a track, ‘A Certain Romance’ landed at number 10 in NME’s 100 tracks of the Decade, which is an impressive achievement if you disregard the fact that Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy In Love‘ was awarded the number one spot. It’s no coincidence that this aurally-pleasing track comes last on their debut album, leaving you hungry for more and satisfied that you’ve just spent five and a half minutes listening to Matt Helders’ drumming prowess. Although warned at the beginning of the album not to believe the hype, we did anyway, and it was every bit as valid as we’d hoped.


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Lead images via Genius