Arctic Monkeys: The evolution of the British band

The Arctic Monkeys burst onto the scene in 2006 with “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not,” the …

The Arctic Monkeys burst onto the scene in 2006 with “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not,” the fastest-selling debut album in British music history. Now they’ve returned with yet another critically acclaimed record, “AM,” which has spawned three top-selling singles, including the catchy “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” which has seen significant radio play since its release.

With the band poised to take the stage Saturday at Madison Square Garden, we take a look back at the albums leading up to “AM.”

‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’

Rooted in garage rock and post-punk revival, the debut album from this quartet featured the hit single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor,” a frenzied dance anthem meant to be played loud. It was the band’s DIY approach, however, aided in large part by careful use of the Internet, that helped propel the band to early success. The Arctic Monkeys utilized their website by letting fans download tracks for free. By the time they signed with Domino records, the fan base was already deeply entrenched in their music, allowing for a seamless transition to No. 1 upon the album’s release. (2006)

‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’

The follow-up album released a year later saw the band continuing their steady rise as the sophomore effort followed a similar path straight to No. 1 in the U.K. upon its release, led by the frantic single “Brianstorm” and “Fluorescent Adolescent.” (2007)


The third studio album saw the band shift from their signature style into more experimental territory. This was partly attributed to Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme serving as co-producer for the loose-sounding record. Hit singles from the album include “Crying Lightning” and “My Propeller.” (2009)

‘Suck It and See’

By the time the fourth album, “Suck It and See,” was released, the band’s sound seemed to have evened out. In an interview with, frontman Alex Turner described it as a “balance between our first three [albums].” (2011)

If you go: Arctic Monkeys are at Madison Square Garden on Feb 8, 2014, at 8 p.m., 4 Penn Plaza, 212-465-6073.

MICHAEL DOLCESpecial to amNewYork