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Old 03-05-2022, 11:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Story of AM - Arctic Monkeys

Over the last 20 years, the Arctic Monkeys have had 6 number one albums, each with a different style, sound, and aesthetic.

Today we're gonna cover arguably their most popular and iconic album;

AM

The seeds of AM were planted midway through 2011, the Monkeys had just released their 4th studio album, suck it and see. It was clear that this album had adopted the styles and sound of their new home of Los Angeles. The general public however did not receive the album well. Despite it going to number 1, the British public and longtime fans were disappointed at the change of their sound compared to their earlier work. Some reviewers felt that they'd lost their way.

A then 25-year-old, long-haired Alex Turner was dating model Alexa Chung. Many people believed this new American sound didn't suit turners appearance or shy boy stage persona.

Not long after the album release, Turner and Chung broke up, and merely 2 weeks after he was seen in interviews sporting a new hairstyle. With the additions of leather jackets and sunglasses in most cases.

It's referred to as a teddy boy haircut, most famously worn by stars like Elvis and John Lennon in his early days. It comes from the 1950s which is arguably the golden era of rock and roll.

It was a messy, experimental exciting new venture for Turner to explore and develop his new stage persona.


A persona that he embodied for the next 3 years, playing the London 2012 Olympic Opening ceremony with.

Turner was criticised by celebrities such as Liam Gallagher for his change of persona.

Most people saw it as a crazy phase. They did not know, however, what was about to happen.

To celebrate World Record Day 2012, The Arctic monkeys released R U Mine, a song written initially by their bass player Nicolas O'Malley. It began in the UK charts at number 23, the highest any single of theirs had been for 3 years. It felt fresh, and the new sound suited Turner's new style and persona. R U Mine was the basis sound for writing their next album, as they decided to write 11 more songs with a similar feel.

At the same time, in order to try and break America, the Monkeys toured along side The Black Keys on their 2012 USA El Camino tour, using R U Mine to end their sets.

The public and reviewers loved their new style which meant the hype for the upcoming album was growing. And this was dramatically increased by what happened next.

In May 2013, after months of writing their album, Do I Wanna Know was released and it rocketed to number 11 in the UK Single charts and finally entered the billboard hot 100 US chart.

The idea for the song was inspired by Turner after buying an Old 12 string guitar called a Vox Starstream, the same guitar he recorded and plays the song live with to this day.

Merely a week after Do I Wanna Know was released, the Monkeys headlined Glastonbury Festival for the second time. They dressed in leather, sparkly suit jackets, and their sharp haircuts. With the drummer, Matt Helders sporting a royal blood t-shirt.

They opened their set with Do I wanna know and closed it with R U mine, they played classics like Mardy Bum and a certain romance that they never play live anymore. Most people regard this to be the Monkey's best performance to date, with Turner's new flirty, confident persona and stage presence.

The public finally got a proper taste of their new sound and aesthetic, barbers across the UK were hounded by customers to get Alex Turner's slick teddy boy hairstyle.


The final single of the question trilogy was released in August 2013 entitled Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High.

The song reached number 7 in the UK singles charts, the highest they had been in the single charts for 6 years. Its B-side, Stop The World I Wanna Get Off With You, which was only released as a song on youtube and streaming services reached number 73 in the official charts.

The album AM was finally released on the 9th September 2013 and went straight to number one. It sold over 100,000 copies on its first day of release and has gone on to be their most-streamed album to date. The front cover being the same graphic shown in the Do I wanna know video. It's vinyl sleeve included pictures of the band in low-lit lighting further enhancing the moody aesthetic.

The album had majoritively positive views and became the soundtrack to football games, adverts, and videogames. The Monkeys toured across the world all the way until the end of 2014 playing talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel and Lettermen, until they ended at their biggest show in South America.

Alex started to grow out his hair and his persona started to change, perhaps showing the end of the album era.

AM's effect on our pop culture showed an era of new style, with its aesthetic being the basis behind Tumblr and Instagram accounts, fan phases, YouTube covers, and many more.

Alex Turner and the Arctic Monkeys had a massive effect on their audience by immersing them in their choice of clothing, hair, dark lit music videos, and album cover, accompanied by each album's unique aesthetic. AM as an album is as relevant today as it was 9 years ago upon release due to social media and pop culture.

Apple Music writers capture AM perfectly, they say, "AM is the sound of a band locating a sonic sweet spot, no one else thought to look for."

If you would like to know more, please watch my YouTube video on it.
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Old 03-05-2022, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Watch your Youtube video? What video? Care to provide a link?
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Old 03-06-2022, 12:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll tell you what, this is a chilling story.
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