Arctic Monkeys is an English rock band that formed in 2002, but they’ve also diversified their sound and produced some of the most unique music you’re going to find out there. They were one of the first groups to make it big using the internet as their primary form of promotion, putting out a few global hit singles and shifting their sound as the years went on and they matured as a band.
Overall, they have been massively successful in the UK since their inception, and in this article, we’ll go over their 25 best songs ever.
1. A Certain Romance
Certain Romance was one of the tracks that made Arctic Monkeys what they are today and one of the best songs they ever produced. It’s got a nostalgia factor to it that deeply resonates with fans and feels like an honest peek behind the curtain of the members.
Everyone in small towns can relate to their problems and charms of them, especially when it comes to their attitudes toward outsiders. The track itself thrives on those themes, becoming relatable for anyone feeling the walls of their town close in and wanting to escape but finding themselves being drawn back in over and over again.
The track 505 is just one of those songs that get super popular, fade away, and get second and even third waves of popularity later. Originally coming out in 2007 as part of Arctic Monkeys’ Favourite Worst Nightmare album, it’s one of the band’s most raw and emotional tracks.
It takes you through everything, from a dreamy introduction to heart-rending lyrics and a full-speed finale. It resonates with every fan that has longed for someone they love but knows that it will never work because of how badly that person hurts them.
3. Do I Wanna Know?
You could make the argument that Do I Wanna Know? is Arctic Monkeys’ best song, and it’s certainly one of my favorites from them. Serving as the second single from their AM album in 2013, the track has everything you could ask for from an Arctic Monkeys song from their catchy hooks to their slow-burning guitar riffs.
It was the opening track for the album and served as a turning point and transition for their sound, while also being their first song to make it onto the Hot 100 chart. While it peaked at number 70 in the US charts, it rose to number 11 in the UK and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance.
4. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
Arctic Monkeys’ first single to come from their debut album was an instant hit. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor debuted at number one on the UK Singles chart and is one of their best-known and most requested tracks to this day.
British publication NME listed it as the number-seven song on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and they even performed the track at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. In the US, it reached number seven on the Alternative Airplay charts despite not breaking into the Hot 100.
5. Star Treatment
Star Treatment served as the opening track for Arctic Monkeys’ sixth studio album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino in 2016 and was a major reason why the album was a big success. It opened the album in as bleak and downtrodden as you’ve ever seen, but did it in a way that was so beautiful that most people won’t even be able to pick up on how sad it is.
It sits as one of the songs that defined them, and it’s the perfect example of how they’ve reinvented themselves over the years, creating a transcendentally beautiful sound and a fan-favorite lament with this one.
6. R U Mine?
When R U Mine? debuted at number 23 on the UK Singles chart in 2012, it was the highest-charting single for them since 2009. Originally, the song was released as a standalone single, but was so popular it found inclusion on AM as the album’s lead single, though slightly tweaked.
Bonus points for anyone that got their hands on the limited-run purple vinyl of the track, there are only 1,750 copies out there. It went on to become one of Arctic Monkeys’ best-selling songs, being certified platinum in the UK. You can also hear it on the video games Forza Horizon, Rocksmith 2014, Guitar Hero Live, and Rock Band 3.
7. Snap Out of It
Snap Out Of It was another great song to come from Arctic Monkeys’ AM album, serving as the sixth official single to be released from it in 2014. It had all the catchy hooks you’d want from them and lost none of the sounds of the album, having a major impact on UK contemporary radio.
On the UK singles chart, it only made it to number 82, but it rose to number six on the UK Indie charts and number 37 on the US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.
8. The View From The Afternoon
The original release of The View From The Afternoon came on Arctic Monkeys’ debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. It also served as the lead single for their EP Who The Fuck Are The Arctic Monkeys? even though it was never released as a single. For a long time, it was one of their most-played tracks in concert. Of course, as it wasn’t released it never charted, but it’s one of the best Arctic Monkeys songs to most fans as it was one of the tracks that helped them get their start in the big time.
9. Do Me a Favour
Do Me A Favour deserves a spot on this list because of how good a song it is, but if it wasn’t, I’d still put it on here for the line “perhaps ‘Fuck off’ might be too kind.” Coming from Arctic Monkeys’ Favourite Worst Nightmare album, the track transcends the typical breakup song by writing from the perspective of the person in the wrong, who knows they’re the bad guy in the situation.
The transition from a fast and furious beat to a slow-thumping teardown of an ex alone is fantastic, but as a whole, it stands out among their best tracks.
10. Fluorescent Adolescent
Fluorescent Adolescent takes on the issues of aging and losing the energy and infectious youthful mindset you have while young, and it doesn’t do it gracefully. But that’s the charm here, the song is beautiful but also hilarious and throws in more than a few dick references. It almost forces you to feel something in spite of being something you could just laugh along to, adding layers to what is undeniably skillful songwriting.
Cornerstone was released as the second single from the Humbug album and was apparently written in quite a hurry. It saw significant success on the UK Indie charts, peaking at number seven, and it broke onto the UK Singles chart where it peaked at number 94.
12. Mardy Bum
Mardy Bum may be more of a fan favorite than a massive chart-topping single, but it’s still one of the band’s most honest and likable songs. It’s also one of the most relatable tracks in their repertoire if you’re currently dealing with an especially irritable girlfriend.
An ode to being exhausted with the attitude and wanting to get back to the good times, it was the perfect refresher from Arctic Monkeys’ debut album because it was as simple as it was easy to listen to.
The fourth track of Arctic Monkeys’ AM album, Arabella describes a space-age woman that the narrator just can’t get out of their head. Described by some as the sexiest Arctic Monkeys song ever, it was a masterclass on evocative imagery and hard rock.
14. Crying Lightning
Arctic Monkeys are no strangers to being a bit moody, with their Humbug album being the best example of that style for the band. Crying Lightning details a love-hate relationship in one of the best ways I’ve ever heard, all to the background of a stunning main guitar riff.
15. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? is probably the best song Arctic Monkeys put out that features a heavily-groovy style with harsh guitar riffs. It’s easily one of their most popular tracks for bringing together the band’s stories, experiences, and styles from different points of their time together.
16. That’s Where You’re Wrong
That’s Where You’re Wrong felt like a penultimate moment for Arctic Monkeys. It was the culmination of everything they built throughout their careers, wrapped up in a neat story of blossoming love and the full realization of the band’s powers.
17. Suck It and See
Almost a preamble to That’s Where You’re Wong, Suck It And See goes into the feelings of being floored by the weight of your feelings when you fall for someone. It isn’t comfortable, but you crave more, and the song describes it perfectly.
18. She Looks Like Fun
Arctic Monkeys are one of those bands indie lovers and hipsters go on about being ahead of their time. Well, She Looks Fun nailed that for 2020, talking about how everyone spends their time online and nobody is out in the streets.
19. Only Ones Who Know
There was only one ballad on the Favourite Worst Nightmare album and it delivered. Only Ones Who Know is a massively slept-on single from the album that gives you a nice acoustic refresher on an album full of deep chamber pop.
20. Secret Door
Arctic Monkeys have definitely put out love songs, but they’re never straightforward or blunt about it. Instead, they tend to be discrete, mysterious, and tongue-in-cheek. That’s what you get with Secret Door, an incredible track that showcases the songwriting skill of Alex Turner.
21. Evil Twin
Evil Twin is one of the hardest-rocking Arctic Monkeys’ songs out there, and it doesn’t feature the same level of complex lyrics most of their hits do. It’s just an easy track to listen to and vibe with, which is why it was almost always played at their concerts in the 2010s.
22. Riot Van
Riot Van is chock full of imagery and describes a night of underage drinking, running from the cops, and hopefully escaping the consequences of the epic party the night before.
23. One Point Perspective
One Point Perspective is Arctic Monkeys at their most decadent. Yes, they’re great at telling stories through their music, with some of them being worthy of being turned into films. But this one is just disgustingly good, making it one of the best songs to see performed live.
24. One for The Road
A British band doing Americana? If it’s Arctic Monkeys then sign me up. One For The Road features guest vocals from Josh Homme that bring an intensity that’s not oft-seen with any other bands but does nothing other than enhance the Arctic Monkeys sound.
25. Four Out Of Five
Good lines don’t make a good song, but they can help. Four Out Of Five has so many quotable lines that you could use them for days. It’s classic Arctic Monkeys as well because it creates an entire atmosphere in its soundscape, one you can’t help but enjoy as you dive in.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.