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Are ARCTIC MONKEYS Big In America?

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Written, Voiced and Edited by Frank Furtado
Additional voices by Leah Ramsay

#arcticmonkeys #am #tranquilitybasehotelandcasino #middle8

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You probably know the Arctic Monkeys from tracks like:

“Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” or “R U Mine?” and of course “Do I Wanna Know?”

And that’s understandable, their album AM is what finally brought them into the mainstream. It debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and sold more copies than their last 3 did combined.

Yet at home in the UK, the Arctic Monkeys are nearly a household name, where all 5 of their albums have debuted at number one and where their first album still reigns as the fastest selling debut album - by a band - in the UK. (363,735 copies sold in its first week!)

They’ve headlined the largest festival in the UK. Twice. They’ve changed the way record labels distribute music today and they’re one of the only bands to win Best British Group and Best British Album on three separate occasions.

So what was it about AM that finally helped them break into worldwide markets? Let’s look back at their journey and find out who the f*** are Arctic Monkeys?

This music video essay is on the English rock band Arctic Monkeys, from their local beginnings to their rise to the world stage. I talk about their 18-song demo, Beneath the Boardwalk which helped thrust them into popularity after it was uploaded to the internet. Their debut record Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is still the top selling album by a band in the UK. Their sophomore Favourite Worst Nightmare came back with even more energy. They worked with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme for their third album Humbug introducing a new desert rock sound. They then diverted for their fourth album Suck It and See before finally releasing AM, the album that gained them worldwide attraction. Let’s dive into what audiences loved so much about AM. The grooves recalling their R&B roots, falsettos, their new personas and more.

Will the Arctic Monkeys' new album Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino continue the band's streak of success? We'll just have to wait and see.

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Disclaimer:
I do not own any of the videos or music used in this video. They are used for education and discussion purposes.

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50 Comments

    Popular Comments:

Middle 8 . 2018-05-14
Tranquility Base has arrived, what are your feelings about the new album?
121 2 . Reply
OrentholJames . 2019-01-23
“I bet you look good on the dance floor” is the only song i’ve ever listened to from them. But out of all the indie bands that should have made it during their debuts at the time, i would have never thought they would get this huge. Seriously. I didnt know until now.
121 2 . Reply
Whosur Caddy . 2019-01-23
Um, yes.
121 2 . Reply
Bianca Britt . 2019-01-23
Weird question .. cause when i was a kid in the Early 2000s literally all i saw was there album "whatever people say i am thats what im not" and they played the singles from that album quite frequently on FM radio - As time went on the hype seemed to go away - But i know they must have retained a fan base over here
121 2 . Reply
Awkward Zoltar . 2019-01-21
Ya ya we are thee Monkeys. People say we Monkey around.
121 2 . Reply
Glaucon-5 . 2019-01-21
I first became a fan of AM in 2006 when I heard "...dancefloor".
121 2 . Reply
Daniel Gillespie . 2019-01-21
TBHC is easily their worst, but I'm not a huge fan of Humbug or Suck it and See. I think my deep love for their first two clouds my judgement a bit (I first heard them in 2016 after Rolling Stone ranked Whatever... among the best albums ever.)
121 2 . Reply
jess herrera . 2019-01-21
the best think that tranquility base did for me, was teach me how to appreciate AM
121 2 . Reply
Nicholas Zamir . 2019-01-20
I am an American and I love them. So there's that.
121 2 . Reply
Literally Hoi . 2019-01-19
Its weird watching this as a british person since I just assumed the whole world knew who they were anyways. Don't even consider AM their best album either.
121 2 . Reply
Zmargo702 . 2019-01-19
love these lads
121 2 . Reply
Toby Carvery . 2019-01-19
Humbug is the best album ever released
121 2 . Reply
Gotham Collections . 2019-01-19
They are too original for USA...and not enough songs about whiskey, pickup trucks, and trains going off the tracks.
121 2 . Reply
TheTruth X . 2019-01-18
11:41 El Camino Black Keys Record in the background! One of the best albums ever
121 2 . Reply
joey underwood . 2019-01-18
I've just watched this video for like the 5th time. Will you please do a video about TBH+C???
121 2 . Reply
Selia Baxter . 2019-01-18
Love rock and punk rock, but I judt can not relate to the alcohol and drugs and hook-up culture, so their older music definitely doesn't appeal to me just for that reason
121 2 . Reply
Bojo David . 2019-01-17
I thought AM was their worst record.
121 2 . Reply
jalex Debrie . 2019-01-16
Great video
121 2 . Reply
The Yakking Wakko . 2019-01-16
Atleast they are doing what primus did with antipop, where it’s was soulless and was just a “we got to go back to our old sound so our fans don’t hate us”
121 2 . Reply
archmad . 2019-01-12
US was saturated with bands when they started, that time, US were more punk rock
121 2 . Reply
Joseph Utterback . 2019-01-09
What are your thoughts on TBHC Middle 8?
121 2 . Reply
imacdvman . 2019-01-08
nice stuff, do also think to do a video about Foals?
121 2 . Reply
Oscar Sevilla . 2019-01-07
whoa whoa whoa, i live in California, USA. Arctic Monkeys have been popular here since their 1st album. They're indie treasure!
121 2 . Reply
Chris Hogommat . 2019-01-07
Who gives a shit, as if being big in america meant quality ! You have Trump for President idots !
121 2 . Reply
aaron jacob . 2019-01-07
What song is that baseline from at 7:45....Super catchy!! Anyone?!
121 2 . Reply
Hugh Jones . 2019-01-06
"People in America thought they were catchy but unexceptional". They're very Sheffield and very Yorkshire. (Just like Blur are very Essex and Oasis are very Manchester. The whole manchester vibe comes across through Oasis's music, if you recognise it.). If you're from the UK you can really pick up the cultural nuances which are celebrated in these bands. Whereas that meaning is often lost abroad. British bands which made it big in America are the ones which didn't focus so much on their regional identity. Like, the Beatles didn't heavily express their Liverpoolness. Black Sabbath don't sound all Birmingham, and if they did that wouldn't sound right for the kind of music they were playing. Putting your regional identity in your music can sound great to people who are familiar with those places but it gets kind of lost in translation when it's heard further affield. If you were from Sheffield and you heard the Arctic Monkeys it was like you were listening to your friends from your neighbourhood making it big and singing sounds about life in your town. And it sounds like some guys who haven't been "polished and sanitised" by their record company for the mass market. In a word, raw. :-)
121 2 . Reply
Joshua McLean . 2019-01-06
I dont know why, but i find it sad that AM is what made this band popular.
121 2 . Reply
S~Money2 . 2019-01-05
I’ll save you time.. NO, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t anyone who likes them. They have a lot of American fans but unless you’re an “edgy teen” or someone who likes music that isnf mainstream you won’t know. I’d say 1 out of 500,000 - million might have heard of them.
121 2 . Reply
Etrostormborn12 . 2019-01-05
being a young lad from Sheffield who was given the beneath the broad walk cd by my dads friend to listen to during a long drive to a Sheffield Wednesday away game against I believe Bournemouth, I instantly fell in love and to this day they remain my favourite band. Favourite worse nightmare was much in the same vain as the debut album, Humbug lost me. On my first listen I hated it and on a second I felt the same so never played it but kept it on my iPod and bit by bit the songs would creep into my ears while the iPod was on shuffle and I remember specifically being on a family holiday in Egypt when I liked one or two of the humbug tracks and decided to give the album another full run through and it just clicked I loved it as I had done the first 2 albums. Then Suck it and see which to this day is still my favourite album despite many saying it was the weakest, I do however think it was a timing thing with that album. It came out in the summer where I had finished secondary school just weeks prior to the release and my dad had bought one of those inflatable Laz-e-spar jaccuzies that had no right being as good as it was and all I did for the first few weeks of my freedom was go boozing in beer gardens and kick back in the tub with this Album and the chill tone seemed very summer vibe and its just stuck with me from that point onwards. I also feel I was getting to the age where I appreciated good lyrics and this album had belters such as "thats not a skirt girl thats sawn-off shotgun" "You're rarer than a dandelion and burdock and those other girls are just post mix lemonade" "I poured my aching heart into a pop song I couldn't get the hang of poetry" and so many others. AM was just a return to the rocker sound of the first two albums blended with the sophisticated lyricism that seemed to be coming through in Humbug and Suck it and see and I loved it, again at this time in my life I was 19 playing county senior football so a decentish level for my age and we were on a run at the top of the league and it was the first time in my young life I had experienced playing midweek games under the flood lights, playing in proper stadiums rather than just a pitch in a park or school and having kick off times be the same as the pro's because the league can eventually lead to the pro leagues all be it a very long shot. Some of the games where miles away and I would have to travel all around England and this was the backing track that I. listened too on the way, we won the league that year so the album holds a special place in my heart. Tranquility has no special memory behind it but I just appreciate the lyrics and beat so much probably because it seems like and evolution of suck it and see which is my favourite album.
121 2 . Reply
OrphicVideos . 2019-01-05
On that note, it would be interesting to hear why you think The Libertines didn’t make it in the US. My impression at the time was that Arctic Monkeys were always slightly less important than them in the UK until quite a lot later.
121 2 . Reply
OrphicVideos . 2019-01-05
It’s also strange to hear that so many of their albums went to number one here in the UK. They were massive when I was a kid - I remember the first couple of albums very well, but they sort of disappeared here too until AM.

I mean, they were still around - they’d sort of become rock and roll royalty - but I never heard friends talk about them as their favourite band post around 2008-2009.

I don’t know what other people’s experience was.
121 2 . Reply
WillHissettBeats . 2019-01-05
How dare you ask such a thing?
121 2 . Reply
Jxy Wright . 2019-01-05
Never heard of em
121 2 . Reply
lovely . 2019-01-04
i am soo lucky that i have known arctic monkeys forever yet i am american <3
121 2 . Reply
Sergeant Pickles . 2019-01-04
I don’t think Americans can fully appreciate how popular they are with young people in Britain. You don’t go to many parties without hearing an Arctic monkeys song, they’re like Mr Brightside they just never age and are everywhere.
121 2 . Reply
BTSISDESTROYINGME STOB IT . 2019-01-04
I feel like nearly every british person knows the Arctic Monkeys like I grew up listening to these and I'm only young and my mum has a major crush on Alex lol
121 2 . Reply
Thomas Martin . 2019-01-03
I really do like their new stuff but their first two albums will always be my favorite. I only discovered them about two to three years ago and my first real listen was their first album. Something about being a senior in high school in a boring small town just clicked with their descriptions of mundane life as a kid. It’s a beautiful nostalgia that I’ll have for my own youth mainly because they made an album that truly depicted theirs. That’s what I think I miss is that the Arctic monkeys will never be those young kids hungry for more, but then again neither will I. A Certain Romance is the perfect track to capture all of this in my opinion it’s the greatest song they’ve ever recorded with the lyricism and pure fun instrumentals. The opening may be my favorite song opening of all time honestly it’s just beautiful.
121 2 . Reply
Farhan Rasyidi . 2019-01-03
pls make a tranquility base hotel & casino video !!
121 2 . Reply
DEFxRECON . 2019-01-03
I love how a lot of the bands you covered had an elitist hipster phase that they overcame because they realized being mainstream isn’t that bad, especially when it pays the bills.
121 2 . Reply
Bruce Wayne . 2019-01-02
No
121 2 . Reply
your worst fucking nightmare . 2019-01-01
I live in Sheffield and when I was a small kid there were Arctics stuff everywhere you couldn't hide from them. It were just after fave worst nightmare and honestly it was so fantastic and that's why a lot of brits love fwn.

It brought life to the north of England
121 2 . Reply
popp corn . 2019-01-01
thought this video would be crap but its gorgeous, thanks man
121 2 . Reply
Brett Smith-Daniels . 2019-01-01
They actually turned me off with their first album, a few good songs here and there but it wasn't my thing, and because of that I was kind of ignorant to their talent for a long time - the past 2 albums, in my opinion, are their best! AM is the best, but Tranquility is the most artistic effort yet, and as somebody who loves Bowie, it changed my mind about them... Not that my opinion matters anyways!
121 2 . Reply
Si Hopebgood . 2019-01-01
Arctic Monkeys used to be good.   A long time ago.
121 2 . Reply
Kuddl Muddl . 2018-12-30
I love the work you put into your videos, especially this one. However, I don't get these constant title changes. As someone who's already prone to rewatch a couple of videos here and there, these methods aren't really needed to hook me back in. In fact, they make me lose some trust in your channel instead, via the constant disappointment of this not being a brand new upload of yours. So man, even though it's your channel and you can do whatever the heck you want, please don't do these things too often.
121 2 . Reply
Helena L . 2018-12-28
Please do muse!!!
121 2 . Reply
Jaymi Alonso . 2018-12-28
I’m so proud of them ❤️
121 2 . Reply
Afiq Murtadza . 2018-12-28
Favourite worst nightmare FAV
121 2 . Reply
Xenon . 2018-12-28
Four out of five is one of the best songs ever!
121 2 . Reply
Jamie Shevlin . 2018-12-28
I swear you’ve changed this video titles 5 times
121 2 . Reply