20 Things Only Arctic Monkeys Fans Will Understand

From indie-beginnings to mainstream rock domination, the fans have been there every step of the way.

When it comes to the sheer immediacy of their success, few bands can compete with Arctic Monkeys. In the eight years since the release of their landmark debut Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, they have headlined Glastonbury, played the London Olympics, and rightly earned themselves a reputation as one of the UK's biggest acts. In fact, it's easy to forget just how young they were when that album came out (drummer Matt Helders was just 19) - such was the impact of their sound. And what a sound it was (and is); a brand of guitar rock that's positively oozing with charisma, with a rebellious streak that would later be epitomised by the following line from 'Balaclava': "It's wrong, but we'll do it anyway 'cause we love a bit of trouble." The band have refused to be wedded to a single approach since then, seemingly sporting a new look with each release and dragging their indie roots through colourful tinges of R'n'B, hip hop, and classic rock to emerge with a sound that seems to become more unique with each record, all while helping revitalise British guitar music and introducing the world to one of the most talented songwriters of a generation. They have duly been rewarded with five successive UK number 1 albums, a devoted fanbase, and a long-term spot in the country's public consciousness. Much of this success revolves around their frontman Alex Turner - a musician whose ear for a melody and lyrical nous are so often on the money. And yet credit is also due to messrs Cook, Helders, O'Malley, and Nicholson, who have all helped shape the band's progression from indie new boys to seasoned rock pros. A band that has covered so much ground in such a short space of time is bound to spark debates among fans. What's their best live setlist? Is AM their best album yet? What next for Alex Turner's hairstyle? But regardless of where you stand on these issues, there are some things that resonate among all of us.

20. Their Rise To Stardom Was Game-Changing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPiURcV8l1A Let's begin at the beginning. It all started in 2004 when Arctic Monkeys recorded demos for 17 songs, burned them onto CDs and gave them away at early gigs. A mixture of word-of-mouth and internet file-sharing soon propelled these early tracks to the public consciousness in a way that was still novel at the time. And so Beneath the Boardwalk was born, boasting a tracklist that included songs like 'Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor' and 'Fake Tales of San Francisco' that would go on to become highlights of their first album. In the process, Arctic Monkeys became one of the first bands to market themselves through the internet - albeit somewhat unintentionally, as the band weren't even aware of their popular MySpace page at the time. The band's laissez-faire attitude to this sharing amongst their fanbase was summed up by Matt Helders: "it made gigs better, because people knew the words and came and sang along." These days file-sharing has become notorious for curtailing bands' earnings, but Arctic Monkeys offer an example of how it can help get a career off on the right foot.
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Contributor

History graduate, writer, and long-suffering Spurs fan interested in all things music and sports-related. Once briefly held the title of world's youngest person. You can follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/sgfcarter

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