OK…..it’s far from an original idea, and it’s been done to great effect on a few other fabulous blogs (yes, I am looking directly at you Charity Chic), but it’ll be an occasional feature to help out when I’m struggling for something meaningful to say or don’t have much spare time on my hands.

What I am going to try and do, however, is to make each offering something of a contrast between the two versions.

From wiki:-

I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” is a song by English rock band Arctic Monkeys. The song was released through Domino Recording Company as the band’s first single from their debut studio album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006). It debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart on 23 October 2005, and remains one of the band’s best-known songs.

Arctic Monkeys performed the track at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The song was ranked at number 7 on NME’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

mp3: I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

From all music:-

Multi-ethnic U.K. trio Sugababes jumped aboard the teen pop bandwagon prior to the new millennium and exuded their own sassy demeanor without the frivolity of most mainstream acts. Siobhan Donaghy, Keisha Buchanan, and Mutya Buena were barely in their teens when they formed in 1998, sharing a liking of garage, hip-hop, and dance music.

By 2006, Sugababes were already on their third line-up, with only Keisha Buchanan around from the original days. All through their career, the group’s members have written, or at least partly-written, much of their own material, as was the case with Red Dress, a #4 hit in the UK singles chart that year. The b-side was their nod to the newest sensations to hit the indie-world:-

mp3: I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Arctic Babes Mix)

The result from the Villain Towers adjudicating panel?

A win for the cover, on the basis that it was delivered with equal lashings of panache and humour.

This verdict can, should you choose, be overturned on appeal via the comments section……



Album : Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not by Arctic Monkeys
Review : NME, 12 January 2006
Author : Tim Jonze

It’s hardly surprising that the first words to tumble out of Alex Turner’s mouth on this record are “Anticipation has a habit to set you up/For disappointment”. I mean, can you imagine how it feels to be in Arctic Monkeys right now? Great, obviously, seeing as they’ve filled the gutter-rock gap left behind by the imploding Libertines, gatecrashed the proper pop charts with their debut single and been declared Our Generation’s Most Important Band™. But you’ve kinda got to feel for them. They’ve only released one proper single and the world awaits excitedly for the greatest album since God plugged in his Fender and started jamming with Joe Strummer. What’s more, these boys have got an instant handicap. Loads of us have already heard half these tracks from the internet demos which helped build their fanbase. The tidier production here fails to add any more life to those snarling versions (although any more life and they’d have escaped from the case and gone joyriding around Shire Green)

But that’s enough doom-mongering. After a while the hype and expectation is going to fade away and, when it does, all you can really judge Arctic Monkeys on is their haircuts. Sorry, I meant their music. And even if you’ve been fortunate enough to live with these tracks over the last year or so, they still sound more vital, more likely to make you form your own band than anything else out there.

Essentially this is a stripped-down, punk rock record with every touchstone of Great British Music covered: The Britishness of The Kinks, the melodic nous of The Beatles, the sneer of Sex Pistols, the wit of The Smiths, the groove of The Stone Roses, the anthems of Oasis, the clatter of The Libertines

Of course, the Monkeys actually spent their teens listening to hip-hop. But where that really shows is in the lyrics and the frenetic pace at which Alex hurls them out of his gob. He’s a master of observation. Unlike, say, Morrissey or Jarvis, he doesn’t use his eye-spying skills to strike a blow for the freaks and misfits of this world. And that’s exactly why they work so well. They’re songs for everyone – from the shy romantic whose hopeless with the opposite sex, to the guy who’d still take you home, even though he “can’t see through your fake tan” (‘Still Take You Home’).

What Turner does have in common with Mozza and Jarvis is that he’s a funny little fucker. And his humour is so easy to identify with, that mere observation serves him more than adequately. Forget the flowery fantasies conjured up by Dickensian Doherty – these are tales of the scum-ridden streets as they are in 2006, not 1906.

So you get the tongue-tied tart in ‘Dancing Shoes’, the bored band-watcher in ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’ and the guy whose girl’s got the hump in ‘Mardy Bum’ – all sung with a voice so authentic it could land the lead role in the Hovis ads. This record’s heart lies in Yorkshire, and it’s usually down the local Ritzy disco, getting the cold shoulder off the bird it fancies and ending up in a scrap by the taxi rank outside. It couldn’t be any more Saturday night unless it woke up, bleary-eyed, next to a 16-stone munter with herpes.

The knock-out punch is saved for the finale, though. And when it comes, it smacks you three times. Just to make sure, like. ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ is the sound of the streets long after the Ritzy has kicked out for the night, ‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’ is a three-minute blast that dares to take on that most grotesque of creatures (nightclub bouncers, not Kerry Katona). The clincher, though, is ‘A Certain Romance’. As perfect a pop song as you could ever hope to hear, it rivals even The Streets in its portrayal of small-town England, a place where “there’s only music so that there’s new ringtones”. Alex’s message is compact yet delivered with dazzling poetic flair: “All of that’s what the point is not/The point’s that there ain’t no romance around here”.

By the time it finishes, you don’t feel sorry for Arctic Monkeys any more. They might have been swamped in more hype than Shayne Ward ballroom-dancing across the set of I’m A Celebrity… but all of that’s what the point is not. The point’s that there ain’t no disappointment around here.

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – The View From The Afternoon
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Still Take You Home
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – When The Sun Goes Down
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – A Certain Romance

JC adds :  It’s an astoundingly brilliant and confident debut, and an incredibly mature record from a bunch of lads who weren’t yet out of their teens.   The scariest thing for me is that the album is now 14 years old…..and I still think of the band as being new kids on the block.


Tim Badger came up with an Arctic Monkeys ICA on 18 October 2018. His words about two of their earliest songs really hit the nail on the head:-

I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (From Whatever People Say I Am…)

When the Sun Goes Down (From Whatever People Say I Am…)

These two tracks sum up everything about the band when they first burst onto the scene. They are both essential listening and frankly without them this ICA would be useless. I’ve written about the first song before in some depth but I don’t think I have ever waxed lyrical about ‘When the Sun Goes Down’.

It is quite astonishing, both lyrically and musically. A bleak ode to prostitutes in Turner’s native Sheffield and their scummy pimps or customers. It’s astonishing in a number of ways – firstly the way that the tone changes after the line “He’s a scumbag don’t you know’ is breathtakingly mature for a band who are releasing just their second single. Then we are astonished again near the end when the scummy man arrives the prostitute becomes happy because as Turner tells us, sagely, “she must be fucking freezing, scantily clad beneath the clear night sky”. I mean that is some tragically beautiful poetry there.





SWC is sat next to me in the office to ensure ‘fair play’. KT has just disappeared off to her desk and has switched on her iPod. She has been given orders to email through from song eight – so that there is some sort of tension. SWC is fully expecting this ICA to be utter torment for me.

I’ll recap – we had a little experiment, KT wrote an ICA on the Manics chosen by SWC’s ipod. He then wrote on Mercury Rev, chosen by my iPod and now its my turn, and KT’s iPod is doing the choosing. KT’s ipod is full of chart rubbish that she pretends not to love…

“I just haven’t found the time to delete ‘Superstar’ by Jamelia or ‘Hello’ by Lionel Ritchie or everything by the 1975.” is what she usually claims.

I am worried to be honest. When the iPod gets to the 11th song that is the artist/band that the ICA is on. I sit and pray that it’s not Kylie.

About two hours or so later an email arrives from KT – It turns out she forgot to let me know what songs came on as she was ‘busy’. So she has pressed back and tells me that Track Eight Was ‘Erase/Rewind by the Cardigans (tough), Track Nine was something by a band called Riley and the Restless (tougher as they are from Teignmouth and only have a couple of tracks on their soundcloud page – I’d still recommend them to you though if you are a fan of Johnny Cash). Track Ten was ‘Around My Head’ by Cage the Elephant (tougher still) and then I take a deep breath.

Track Eleven was ‘Cornerstone’ by Arctic Monkeys. I punch the air in delight and grin at SWC as her reads the email. He presses ‘reply’ on the email and types a solitary word. “Bastard”.

We did add a rule when writing these ICA’s – no more than 4 singles on the album, and it must contain at least one B Side, remix or cover version, it can contain more if you want it to. I may be slightly hoisted by my own petard here, as I own no Arctic Monkeys cover versions (actually I own, one a live version of a Beatles song, but it is rubbish, so we’ll ignore that) and I’m fairly sure that they’ve never been remixed. But then again four of their six albums are masterpieces so I’ll be alright I think.

So, here goes, An Imaginary Compilation Album on Arctic Monkeys.

Side One

Chun Li’s Spinning Bird Kick (B Side to I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor)

Chun Li as all you geeks will recall was a (the first?) female character from Street Fighter whose special move was the aforementioned spinning bird kick. I’ve started with this because I think firstly it underlines the Monkeys knack for a tune (this an instrumental was nominated for a Grammy) and secondly because I think it also underlines the bands ability to get this spot on because if everything in the world was set to music, being kicked in the face by a spinning Japanese warrior (or was she an undercover agent, I never quite followed her back story) would undoubtedly sound exactly like this.

Cornerstone (From ‘Humbug’)

People say that ‘Humbug’ was patchy (it sounds way too much like the Queens of the Stone Age to be honest), but I think it’s one of the four masterpieces that I mention up top (the two that aren’t are the second album and the most recent one in case we are playing Arctic Monkeys poker at all). ‘Cornerstone’ is lovely as well, an obvious album highlight, which stood out at the very first listen. It shows off what Alex Turner is famous for, subtle and intricate songcraft. The song is packed with vivid lyrics and observation about various watering holes and females who remind Turner of someone, we never find out who, but the song is so beautiful we don’t really care.

The Hellcat Spanged Shalala (From Suck It and See)

After ‘Humbug’ the band abandoned trying to be a South Yorkshire version of the Queens of the Stone Age and returned to making beautifully wistful guitar pop and it suited them down to the ground – and you know what – I think right now, ‘Suck It and See’ is my favourite of their albums, is it their best – not sure – but I personally don’t think that they have ever sounded as confident and as sparkling as they do in this song. It’s marvellous.

Despair in the Departure Lounge (From Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?)

In between the release of the first Arctic Monkeys album and the recording of the second album, the record company wanted the band to release a third single. This was supposed to be ‘The View from the Afternoon’ but instead of doing the easy thing and just releasing the band decided to release an EP of five tracks and immediately disqualified themselves from the charts, that they called it ‘Who the Fuck are Arctic Monkeys’ didn’t help either. That EP is full of gems, every track is wonderful, but this is the highlight. A beautiful exploration of what it means to pine after someone or something.

I Wanna Be Yours (From AM)

The poignant side of the Monkeys I don’t think has ever been in doubt, but their most poignant moment ever, isn’t even down to them. ‘AM’ their fifth album closes with ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ which is a John Cooper Clarke poem from around 1985 that has been tweaked ever so slightly by Alex Turner. He then gives it a simple, beautiful, heartfelt delivery and when he tells us that “I wanna be your Ford Cortina/ And I will never rust,” it is utterly mesmerising.

Side Two – which is very first album heavy

I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (From Whatever People Say I Am…)

When the Sun Goes Down (From Whatever People Say I Am…)

These two tracks sum up everything about the band when they first burst onto the scene. They are both essential listening and frankly without them this ICA would be useless. I’ve written about the first song before in some depth but I don’t think I have ever waxed lyrical about ‘When the Sun Goes Down’.

It is quite astonishing, both lyrically and musically. A bleak ode to prostitutes in Turner’s native Sheffield and their scummy pimps or customers. It’s astonishing in a number of ways – firstly the way that the tone changes after the line “He’s a scumbag don’t you know’ is breathtakingly mature for a band who are releasing just their second single. Then we are astonished again near the end when the scummy man arrives the prostitute becomes happy because as Turner tells us, sagely, “she must be fucking freezing, scantily clad beneath the clear night sky”. I mean that is some tragically beautiful poetry there.

She’s Thunderstorms (From Suck it and See)

This is the opening track of ‘Suck It and See’ – and was apparently actually writing during an ‘apocalyptic’ thunderstorm in New York. Although I think it’s more about the tempestuous and captivating nature of the female of the species than thunder, lightning and heavy rain.

Arabella (From ‘AM’)

I was going to mention an old blog that I use to read that hated the Arctic Monkeys with a passion and claimed that they were just peddling out the same old shit time after time, album after album. I was going to mention that he clearly could not have listened to ‘AM’ because that is so much different to all of their other albums – clearly influenced by hip hop and 70’s rock music and it contains ‘Arabella’ which is the best song ever written about a gator skin boot wearing female.

The View From the Afternoon (From Whatever…)

Lyrically, this is incredible. It’s visual trip through a town on a (presumably) Friday night. It’s full of characters, the girls at the fancy dress party in the limo, the gambler at the fruit machine, the lads with pool cues, the drunk sending text messages…It is just remarkable song and hope fully a fitting end to this ICA.


JC adds.……I’ll provide the cover version:-

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Put Your Dukes Up, John

A b-side on Leave Before The Lights Come On single, it’s their take on a 2005 single by The Little Flames…..one of whose members was…..Miles Kane.


I quite enjoy writing about Arctic Monkeys.

I’m kind of kicking myself for not homing in on them for the Sunday singles series as it would have taken care of around six months of postings and featured quite a different range of sounds as the band have been really keen to develop and expand since the early material saw light of day in 2005.

The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala was released, on 15 August 2011, as the second single from the fourth album Suck It And See.

The album itself had been built up in advance as the band making a return to a more indie-pop orientated sound after the harder edge product of 2009’s Humbug which had seen Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age assume production duties. The problem with making such statements is that many expected a record that would be as instant and catchy as the debut and parts of the sophomore efforts when in fact it turned out to be something of a hybrid with the occasional piece of pure pop alongside some harder and edgier numbers as well as songs which bordered on glam or psychedelia. It was a broad and ambitious effort which, for the most part, was warmly received by the critics, even if most of them were just grateful that it wasn’t akin to Humbug.

The lead single had been Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair, released about a month before the album. I’m not really sure if hopes were high as it was an unusual choice for a 45, lacking any real chorus or hook, and it certainly didn’t have the urge or youthful energy of the 45s and the songs that had rocketed the group to stardom in the UK and many other parts of Europe. It was certainly packed with clever wordplay which is something Alex Turner has consistently excelled all his career, but the sneering delivery of the title was a bit unnerving and it wasn’t tailor made for radio, so no real surprises that it had stalled at #28 in the charts, getting no higher than its first week position and dropping out of the Top 40 immediately afterwards.

The follow-up was one of the most favoured tracks on the album, if you judged things by on-line views and opinions. The accompanying video was put up on line in early July 2011, and again, there were all sorts of positive comments.

Things were set for a 45 which would likely go Top 20, until disaster struck.

Just before the release date, the warehouse in which the 7” singles were being stored in advance of distribution was hit by arsonists during the rioting which accompanied riots in parts of London between 6-11 August. Most of the stock was destroyed and decision was taken to sell what was left exclusively through the band’s website. No product in the shops meant there was little enthusiasm to promote the release and no product in the shops meant it had no chance of troubling the charts. Most fans consoled themselves that the single version, including swear word (which presumably would have been bleeped or distorted for radio play) was the same as that on the album and that the b-side was widely available as a digital download.

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – The Hell Spangled Shalalala
mp3 : Miles Kane & The Death Ramps – Little Illusion Machine (Wirral Riddler)

Ah…that b-side. Miles Kane is probably best known as being Alex Turner’s sidekick in The Last Shadow Puppets whose debut album had been a huge success in 2008. The Death Ramps was the name adopted by Arctic Monkeys when they were using guest singers for b-side tracks. In this instance, Kane not only sung lead vocal but co-wrote the song with the band. It’s one of those songs which was wasted as a b-side.

Given how few copies made it out into the public domain, this 7” single is one of the most sought after among fans. And no, I don’t own a copy!


PS : Advance warning…..more from this lot tomorrow, courtesy of a guest contribution.

SOME SONGS ARE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapters Thirteen and Fourteen)

I’m placing these two songs together in one posting as  I reckon they are very close cousins. Both tell the story of being out on the town and the immediate consequences thereafter.

mp3 : The Specials – Friday Night, Saturday Morning

In which Terry Hall wonderfully narrates the tale of someone who has gone out and had a predictably awful and all too common end to his night.

Out of bed at eight am
Out my head by half past ten
Out with mates and dates and friends
That’s what I do at weekends

I can’t talk and I can’t walk
But I know where I’m going to go
I’m going watch my money go
At the Locarno, no

When my feet go through the door
I know what my right arm is for
Buy a drink and pull a chair
Up to the edge of the dance floor

Bouncers bouncing through the night
Trying to stop or start a fight
I sit and watch the flashing lights
Moving legs in footless tights

I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning

I like to venture into town
I like to get a few drinks down
The floor gets packed the bar gets full
I don’t like life when things get dull

The hen party have saved the night
And freed themselves from drunken stags
Having fun and dancing in
A circle round their leather bags

But two o’clock has come again
It’s time to leave this paradise
Hope the chip shop isn’t closed
Cos’ their pies are really nice

I’ll eat in the taxi queue
Standing in someone else’s spew
Wish I had lipstick on my shirt
Instead of piss stains on my shoes

I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning

Back in 1981, most towns and cities in the UK had a limited choice for young people looking for a decent night out. The pubs, for the most part, catered for all ages and you stood a good chance of bumping into older folk who were on more than nodding terms with one or more of your family. The choice of booze was limited depending on the brewery to which the landlord or ale-house was attached. Males would be in the bar area and females would be in the lounge….the idea of both sexes mingling in a pub was fairly alien. Which is one of the reasons almost everyone aged 16-25 went to the equivalent of Terry’s Locarno as that was the only place you could engage with someone of the opposite sex; such places were referred to most often as cattle markets.

Oh, and you could just completely forget the any sort of above ground nightlife for anyone who wasn’t hetero….

Fast forward 35 years

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured

In which Alex Turner wonderfully narrates the tale of a group of lads who have gone out and had a predictably frantic and manic end to their night.

We’ll ask if we can have six in
If not we’ll have to have two
Well, you’re coming up our end, aren’t you?
So I’ll get one with you

Won’t he let us have six in?
Especially not with the food
He could have just told us no though
He didn’t have to be rude

You see her with the green dress?
She talked to me at the bar
Wait, how come it’s already two pound fifty?
We’ve only gone about a yard

Didn’t you see she were gorgeous
She were beyond belief
But this lad at her side drinking his Smirnoff Ice
Came and paid for her Tropical Reef

And I’m sitting going backwards
And I didn’t want to leave
I said, “It’s High Green, mate
Via Hillsborough, please”

Well, how funny were that sketch earlier
Up near that taxi rank?
Oh no, you would have missed it
Think it were when you went to the bank

These two lads squaring up proper shouting
‘Bout who were next in the queue
The kind of thing that’d seem so silly
But not when they’ve both had a few

Well calm down, temper, temper
You shouldn’t get so annoyed
Well, you’re acting like a silly little boy
And they wanted to be men
And do some fighting in the street
They said “no surrender
No chance of retreat”

And so why are they in the taxi?
‘Cause I didn’t want to leave
I said, “It’s High Green, mate
Via Hillsborough, please”

Drunken plots hatched to jump it
Ask around, “Are you sure?”
Went for it but the red light was showing
And red light indicates doors are secured

Things had changed greatly by the time the 21st Century beckoned. Towns and cities, for the most part, have pubs which cater specifically for young folk. The choice of drink is beyond the dreams and imaginations of those of us who did our growing up with The Specials, as indeed is the way it is now consumed. There’s still some element of groups of guys hanging around together but nowadays you’re just as likely to see as many groups of gals….who are more than capable of displaying every behavioural characteristic of the male species. There’s still the equivalent of The Locarno but there’s also loads of other clubs catering for all tastes…..and whisper it, there’s even tolerance (now and again) for people of the same sex to be walking the streets holding each other’s hands.

One other thing to note which is also reflective of how things have changed since the early 80s. Terry’s resigned sounding tune has the pace and temp which points to the night, to all intent and purposes, being over and done with now once you join a queue for the taxi home. Alex’s frantic and speedy number lets you know that the night is still young and there is still so much to enjoy and experience……

Oh and for the benefit of our overseas readers, here’s my translation of the Arctic Monkeys lyric:-

Why wouldn’t that cab driver take all six passengers? It means we’ll have to get two taxis now to the Sheffield suburbs but mind and eat all of your kebab or fish’n’chips beforehand as the drivers don’t let you in if you’ve got food.

“Wasn’t that the most brilliant night? Was nearly perfect for me what with that stunner in the green dress chatting me up for ages. I was bitterly disappointed when that rich bloke came up and bought her a drink – I can’t afford to splash out on these bottles that the girls go for….money is tight. Talking of which, how come the taxi meter is showing it’s already £2.50 when we’ve hardly left the rank. Hang on a minute till I remind the cabbie that we’re going to mine at High Green but dropping you off at Hillsborough”

“Did you see the fight between those two daft lads? No, you wouldn’t have as you were up at the cash machine getting some more money. To be honest, it wasn’t really a fight more a shouting match but it could have escalated given they were both really drunk.

“Here mate, I’m not sure I really want to go home – it still feels as if there’s fun to be had down here in the town. Let’sopen the doors and jump out when he next comes to a halt at the traffic lights and we can run off without paying.

What do you mean it’s a taxi with doors that automatically locks when it’s sitting still? Is that what that red light down there means? Effin hell……..”


30, 20, 10 (Part 4)

The latest installment in the monthly series looking back at the songs which were #1 in the indie charts on the first day of the month 30, 20 and 10 years ago.

We begin with a genuine classic.

1 August 1987 : mp3 : New Order – True Faith

FAC 183. Recorded, along with its equally wonderful b-side 1963 as two new songs for inclusion on the Substance compilation album, it reached #4 in the proper singles chart.  It was helped along by an innovative and groundbreaking video from the mind of French choreographer, dancer and mime artist Philippe Decouflé.

1 August 1997 : mp3 : Oasis – D’ You Know What I Mean

Last time round in this series, Blur were holding down the #1 spot with the rather excellent On Your Own.  One month later and you get further proof that while their archrivals may have won the original Britpop battle in 1995, the Essex boys were a much more coherent and innovative lot than the Mancs whose lumpen and dreary guitar-rock was alienating many original fans, albeit attracting almost as many others along for the football-terrace type gigs they now specialised in. This near 8-minute opus is fairly unbearable.

1 August 2007 : mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Fluroescent Adolescent

Completing the hat-trick of well-known indie bands holding down the top spot at the height of summer.  This was one of those songs that convinced me Alex Turner was a very worthy addition to the list of witty and clever English pop-songwriters that includes the likes of Ray Davies, Billy Bragg and Andy Partridge.  This ditty, co-written with his then girlfriend Johanna Bennett, tells the tale of an unfulfilled middle-aged woman who is looking back with some sadness of how her life has turned out.  Alex Turner had barely turned 21 years of age at the time.


30, 20, 10 (Part 1)

Something new that I’m going to try to do on the 1st day of each month (or as close to the 1st if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday). And that’s bring the songs that were #1 in the UK Indie Charts 30, 20 and 10 years ago to the day. Unless they are pish and only qualified for the Indie charts thanks to a distribution quirk. So here we go with 1 May 1987, 1997 and 2007 respectively.

mp3 : The Smiths – Sheila Take A Bow (Rough Trade)
R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly (Jive Records)
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm (Domino Records)

I’m actually quite pleased about it being these three. The Smiths and Arctic Monkeys are two of the biggest and best known bands who can be thought of as classic indie – i.e. guitar based bands on small, independently owned labels. R Kelly on the other hand shows up how ludicrous the chart was for a good number of years.

Inclusion on the indie chart was always about distribution. Initially, the record needed to be delivered by a distribution service that was independent of the four major record companies: EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group and the genre of music was irrelevant. The major labels however got round this by setting up subsidiary labels and outsourcing the shipping of those singles to smaller distribution services. Thus a single that was part of the soundtrack to a Hollywood film and which had enough clout to pick up 3 Grammy Awards thanks to it being on Atlantic Records in the USA, was eligible to take the #1 slot in a chart that it really shouldn’t have been any part of.

It took until June 2009 to close this loophole when the industry altered the rules so that in addition to distribution criteria a single was only eligible for the Indie Chart is it was on a label that was at least fifty per cent owned by an entity that was not one of the main four record companies.

I’m sure this intended regular feature will throw up some howlers as time moves on, particularly in the 90s and 00s.

Oh and I meant to add that I was astounded that the Arctic Monkeys had a #1 on the chart as long as ten years ago from what was their second LP. I never thought they had been around that long. It’s a belter of a single too.

And as I just happen to own some vinyl, here’s the b-sides from the 12″ release in 1987 and the 10″ release in 2007:-

mp3 : The Smiths – Is It Really So Strange?
mp3 : The Smiths – Sweet and Tender Hooligan
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – If You Found This It’s Probably Too Late
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Temptation Greets Like A Naughty Friend
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – What If You Were Right The First Time?

Temptation features a cameo vocal contribution from the wonderful Dizzee Rascal.





Every now and again, a band does come along and deliver on the hype.

An old fogey like myself took a while to latch on to Arctic Monkeys in as much as I waited until they actually released a record that was widely available in the shops. By then, they had thousands of fans who had downloaded demos from the Internet and started up all sorts of sites, forums and discussion groups.

At this point in time, and it was only back in 2005, my use of a PC outside of work was mainly was restricted to sending e-mails to friends, typing up golf newsletters and football fanzine articles. Music directly onto your computer? Away with ye laddie and dinnae be so stupid.

It was also a time when I was watching a lot of MTV2 thanks to my recent purchase of a satellite TV package. The advertisers love the 15-24 ‘consumers’, and so the videos in between the ads were aimed largely at them. That’s when I first saw Arctic Monkeys and I was both amused and impressed by the song and promo for I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor.

Around the same time, I was able to buy tickets for a Maximo Park NME tour in early 2006 – one that would see them headlining above other bands yet to be announced. I could have made a packet on my tickets when it was announced that one of the support acts would be Arctic Monkeys….

By the time the tour came to town, Maximo Park had enjoyed a fair bit of success, but it paled into insignificance next to a band whose first two singles charted at #1 and whose LP was the fastest selling debut of all time. I could have made a fair bit of money on e-bay for that gig.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one delighted by the fact that Arctic Monkeys didn’t rest on their laurels, nor did Domino Records seek to cash in with single-after-single-after single from a debut LP that was potentially full of them. New singles and EPs came out at regular intervals in 2006, all of which maintained the high standards of the earlier recordings (including Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys? with its prediction of a critical backlash at some point in the future proving that singer Alex Turner, as well as having a sense of humour, also knows his history), followed by a second LP in 2007 which was every bit, if not better than the debut.

By now the hysteria had worn off in as much that the songs didn’t automatically hit #1, but live they continue to be a huge draw, with 2007 being dominated by outdoor events in front of crowds of up to 50,000. All this and they are only half my age…

Again, there’s a number of songs that could have been selected, but in the end, I’ve gone for something which lyrically is as good as anything ever penned by any living Englishman..

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – When The Sun Goes Down
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Stickin’ To The Floor
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – 7
mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Settle For A Draw

A fantastic short film, Scummy Man, was made to accompany this song, with an edited version put together to form a promo video. Both can be found in the usual places on t’internet.




S-WC gave Arctic Monkeys a thumbs-up in his posting yesterday.  I thought I’d follow it up today with a few words of my own.

I was very fortunate in getting to catch them live on a couple of occasions just as they were breaking through thanks to their inclusion on one of those tours that NME help put together.  They were third on a bill that was headlined by Maximo Park….a few months later they returned to the same venue – the Academy in Glasgow – as bona fide headliners.  They were a joy to watch and listen to.

The debut LP is now seven years old.  I gave it a listen again all the way through the other day and found that it is has aged superbly and must be considered not just one of the finest debut LPs of that decade but up there as one of the very best LPs of the past 25 years or so.

I remember also being hugely impressed at the band’s attitude to fame and fortune.  They were all too aware that the British press had a great habit of making you their darlings  and then in the blink of an eye moving on to the next big thing and writing things that turn last week’s darlings into this week’s laughing-stock. Which is why I thought it was a stroke of genius that the first of the new material post-debut LP was released with the title of Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?

We all want some one to shout for
Yeah, everyone wants somebody to adore
But your heroes aren’t what they seem
When you’ve been, where we’ve been

Have I done something to trigger
The funny looks and the sniggers?
Are they there at all
Or is it just paranoia

Cos everybody’s got their box
And doing what they’re told
You push my faith near being lost
But we’ll stick to the guns
Dont care if it’s marketing suicide
We wont crack or compromise
Your derisory divides
Will never unhinge us

Theres a couple of hundred
Think they’re Christopher Columbus
But the settlers had already settled
Here long before you

Just cos were having a say so
And not lining up to be play doh
In five years time will it be
Who the fucks Arctic Monkeys?

‘Cause everybody’s got their box
And doing what they’re told
You push my faith near being lost
But we’ll stick to the guns
Dont care if it’s marketing suicide
We wont crack or compromise
Your derisory divides
Will never unhinge us

All the thoughts that I just said
Linger round and multiply in the head
Not that bad to start with
I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed

It’s not you it’s them that are wrong
Tell ’em to take out their tongues
Tell ’em to take out their tongues

It’s not you it’s them that are wrong
Tell ’em to take out their tongues
Tell ’em to take out their tongues
And bring on the backlash

It’s not you it’s them that are wrong
Tell him to take out his tongue
Tell him to take out his tongue

It’s not you it’s them that’s the fake
I won’t mess with your escape
Is this really your escape?

Alex Turner was just 20 years of age when he wrote that lyric.  An old head on young shoulders.

And it’s great to realise that five years on his band are still as popular as ever. Here’s all five tracks on that 2006 EP:-

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – The View From The Afternoon

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Cigarette Smoker Fiona

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Despair In The Departure Lounge

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – No Buses

mp3 : Arctic Monkeys – Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?