From The Ritz To The Rubble – Arctic Monkeys

It was so amazing the way these guys mixed hip hop influence with indie and did it all in their native accent. It’s easy to forget now they’re a massive brand of a band. They were a shocking breath of fresh air in those early days.

The first time I heard From The Ritz To The Rubble I stopped in my tracks and said ‘What the hell is this?’

Double Steve had the office stereo and he was playing something he’d gotten on a CDR from a kid at a squat party the previous weekend. It just had marker pen on the disk which both answered my question and asked the next one for me. ‘Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?’ it said on the disc.

He had a point. I’d never heard of them. Turns out this CDR had the bands first two releases on it not just the expletive ridden one written on the disc. Fake Tales of San Francisco got my attention good and proper. From The Ritz To The Rubble had me do a double take.

Those lyrics are genius.

“Last night these two bouncers and one of ’em’s alright the other one’s the scary un’, his way or no way, totalitarian, He’s got no time for you looking or breathing how he don’t want you to, so step out the queue he makes examples of you and there’s nowt you can say, behind they go through to the bit where you pay and you realize then that it’s finally the time to walk back past ten thousand eyes in the line”

And the delivery. The voice can’t be older than a kid really. Yet the confidence. These are his words for sure. This band. We need to get on this.

Most of the tracks on that CDR made it onto the debut album. Now widely recognised as a 21st century classic. Whatever I Say I Am, That’s what I Am Not proved those early singles were no fluke. Arctic Monkeys actually raised the standard of indie music. They changed the game. Lazy lyrics and bands like Jet and Razorlight would have to do better or they’d have to jog on.

They’ve diversified in the years since. And made some magnificent records that sound nothing like From The Ritz To The Rubble. Looking back though. What a rush it was.

11 thoughts on “From The Ritz To The Rubble – Arctic Monkeys

  1. Absolutely YES to this track.

    Like many, I was also introduced to them on a recording, on a CD, passed on by a friend and it was the original version of Fake Tales of San Francisco and, like this track, the storytelling and style blew my tiny music-loving mind.

    I was also at Uni but, let it be said, as a mature student with those younger folk around me. So the discover was widespread and so exciting.

    Absolutely adore this track, and those lyrics I’ve shared with so many because they’re so fricking clever AND it works. It really did change what people expected from the genre. I don’t think we’ve had anyone like them since then. We’re overdue a new, proper band aren’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard a little from them, would you recommend the new album specifically? I never got into The Libertines, I just couldn’t get over Pete and his ‘I deserve attention’ attitude that came across.

        I ‘proper’ bands is a dodgy sentence though, as it all comes down to taste, but I mean it in a positive way! 😉


  2. I love earlier Artic Monkeys. I never thought about how they take inspiration from hip hop until I read your post. Sadly, I couldn’t get into their latest album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, I found it boring. I listened to it on the bus and practically fell asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They never connected with me early on, but my brother would still do his best to try and sell then to me. It took a while before I thought “wait up! Why did no one tell me about these Monkeys!?”

    Also, I really like Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino…

    Liked by 1 person

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