Arctic Monkeys make history as fifth album AM enters chart at number one

Sheffield’s noisemongers have seen their first five albums go to No 1

They burst on to the British music scene in 2005 when their single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” went straight in at number one. Now, the “unstoppable” Arctic Monkeys have made history as the only independent group whose first five albums have gone to the top of the charts.

Their achievement eclipses that of Britpop superstars Blur, who also had five consecutive No 1 albums but whose run started with 1994’s Parklife, their third record, and ended with them no longer being signed to an indie label.

Erasure had four but their success also began with their third studio release, 1988’s The Innocents, and the last was a greatest hits collection. The Prodigy can match that sequence, but their first, 1992’s The Prodigy Experience, failed to crack the top 10. 

Their closest challengers are probably Stereophonics, who can also boast five consecutive No 1 albums, but their run started in 1999 with their second release, Performance and Cocktails.

Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company called Arctic Monkeys’ run an “exceptional achievement”, while praise for the album itself has been equally effusive.

NME editor Mike Williams called AM “absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career, [and] it might also be the greatest record of the last decade.” He added:

“It’s not, however, the work of a band operating at their absolute peak – that’s yet to come. It’s the work of a band still growing.”

 A spokesman for the Official Charts Company said yesterday: “It’s proof that you don’t have to be backed by a multinational to be successful. I guess it’s kind of the flip-side to the likes of the X Factor and The Voice.”

It has been a good week for the band, who were nominated for the Mercury Prize on Tuesday, an award they won in 2006 with Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. AM is also now the second-fastest selling album of the year behind Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, which sold 165,000 copies in its first week of sale back in May.

The Official Chart classes an independent band as one signed to a label not backed by one of the three major music labels: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.

Arctic Monkeys still have a way to go to catch the ultimate chart-toppers, The Beatles, whose first eight records – from Please Please Me in 1963 to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1968 – hit the top spot.

But if Mike Williams is right, who’s to say they won’t?

Forged in Steel City: Arctic Monkeys timeline

In 2003, Arctic Monkeys played their first gig in the Grapes, a pub in Sheffield, a year after the band was formed by four school friends. They knew each other from the age of seven, growing up in High Green, a suburb of Sheffield.

The band gave away demo CDs and fans put them on MySpace bringing attention to their music. Their debut album in 2006 Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not contained the hit single “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” and became, at the time, the fastest-selling debut album in British history.

They released albums Favourite Worst Nightmare in 2007, Humbug two years later and Suck It and See two years after that. In 2012 the band played at the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games and this year headlined the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

The members of the band, which has won five Brit Awards and a Mercury Prize best album award, now live close to each other in California, where the latest album AM was recorded. AM debuted at No 1 in the charts, their fifth consecutive album to do so.

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own