If you can’t think of ten, you don’t really love it.
Last week Arctic Monkeys announced their first festival appearance for some period of time and the internet lost its marbles. Rightly so. It set me thinking that it’s high time the band made an appearance in the 10 Reasons slot.
1) At the start of the clip Alex Turner introduces the track with the comment, “Don’t believe the ‘ipe .” A set of thrashing chords belts out proving exactly why you should believe the hype.
2) A quick look at the you tube comments reveals how many people don’t actually understand what he says at the start! Translation services are required for the Yorkshire vernacular, which he carries through wonderfully into his singing voice. There are many excellent examples of Turner’s regional pronunciation in Arctic Monkeys songs but my favourite is probably in Brianstorm, “D’ya reckon that they mek ’em tek an oath?”
3) The video was performed live in an attempt to recreate the feel of music tv programme The Old Grey Whistle Test. A blast from the past when we had sufficient mainstream music programmes compared to today’s scarcity. For a band who were supposedly the first to breakthrough due to the power of the internet, it’s nice to see them making it real and live.
4) The frantic guitars rip up the air waves to give one of the most recognisable song openings of modern times. If Richard Osman was asking Alexander Armstrong on Pointless how many of the 100 people recognised this song, I’d be upset if it was less than 99% – the 1% are always the random element. No wonder they chose this song to perform at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
5) Alex Turner delivers the vocal at hyper speed as the song pelts along. The energy of youth, the fizzling spark of something new and incredible – it still knocks your socks off.
6) It was our first glimpse of drummer Matt Helders’ backing vocals (the cheeky winker) usually sung in an “over the shoulder” fashion.
7) The song references Duran Duran’s Rio, the video for which showed a perfectly gorgeous model in idyllic tropical surroundings with the suit clad heart throbs, “Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand,” converted to, “Her name isn’t Rio and I don’t care for sand…” a clear sign that there is absolutely nothing glamorous about this nightclub encounter. In fact the whole album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, was a quizzical social commentary on youth nightlife in the city. Nothing was glammed up, it was pretty earthy, complete with scummy men, mardy bums and sexy little swines.
8) “There ain’t no Montagues Or Capulets…” confirming again that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet bore no resemblance to this potential romance, in fact Alex isn’t really sure whether he wants the girl to make eyes at him. However, in the years to follow, Turner became quite the wordsmith. His observations, coupled with an excellent vocabulary and quite a turn of phrase are one of the best things about how Arctic Monkeys have developed over the years.
9) What a youthful look – I’m not sure we could ever imagine baby faced Alex with the Elvis quiff he ended up with later on and the boy’s clothes look more Florence and Fred than Dolce and Gabbana. Adorable.
10) The sales figures broke records in a staggering fashion. The album sold 360,000 copies in its first week and remains the fastest ever selling debut album by a band. It won the Mercury Music Prize in 2006 and has been certified five times platinum. Arctic Monkeys knocked out five albums in seven years and Alex Turner has also released three albums with Miles Kane as The Last Shadow Puppets as well as contributing to many other collaborations. He is an outstanding figure of modern music – no wonder the world waits with bated breath to see what the next part of the story will bring.