Who Writes Arctic Monkeys’ Songs?

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Very few artists in the world can claim to top the charts with everything they release as Arctic Monkeys have. Still, many fans wonder, who writes Arctic Monkeys’ songs?

The majority of Arctic Monkeys’ songwriting credit goes to frontman Alex Turner. But the other members of the band have occasionally helped co-write a few songs. Additionally, Turner has also written with other artists outside of his bandmates.

Here is a list of the tracks that Alex co-wrote with other artists:

  • The Bakery: Alex Turner and Miles Kane
  • Mad Sounds: Alex Turner and Alan Smyth
  • Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend: Dizzee Rascal and Alex Turner
  • If You Found This, It’s Probably Too Late: Alex Turner and Jules Buckley
  • Fluorescent Adolescents: Alex Turner and Johanna Bennett

Turner’s songs have been praised by millions.

He evolved from a doe-eyed Yorkshire lad to completely transforming into a lyrical book. But, still, most of his fans remain privy to his musical enigma and his songwriting genius.

So, let’s dig deeper into Arctic Monkeys’ songwriting process.

Does Alex Turner write all of Arctic Monkeys’ lyrics?

While Alex Turner does write the vast majority of Arctic Monkeys’ lyrics, he doesn’t write all their lyrics. He enlists help from other artists, his family members, and bandmates, including Matt Helders, Nick O’Malley, Andy Nicholson, and James Cook.

I remember one instance where Turner spoke to John Kennedy on Radio X and mentioned how his granddad became an unexpected source for lending lyrics to a track on his album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

Turner explained that he was visiting his granddad, and he had not started writing this album.

He recalls how one day, he was just having a conversation with his granddad when all of a sudden, his grandfather threw this phrase out:

“He’s a horse racing fan, and whenever there’s a steward’s inquiry, what you hear back after is: ‘The trainer’s explanation was accepted by the steward’.”

Turner thought these words carried so much weight, so he immediately wrote them down. Finally, the phrase made its way onto American Sports, the third track on the band’s album.

So, all in all, AM’s frontman knows how to spin a lyrically-energizing song out of his own experiences, whether it’s his relationships or controversies, such as his drug usage.

But what about the other Arctic Monkeys’ members? 

Luckily, I talked about the band’s history of drug use in a recent article. I even get into which members are currently sober.

Just click the link to read it on my website.

Does Alex Turner write all the music for Arctic Monkeys?

Alex Turner does write both the music and lyrics for the vast majority of Arctic Monkeys songs. But he has collaborated with others on approximately a dozen of their 100+ songs.

Arctic Monkeys combine elements of indie rock, garage rock, post-punk revival, alternative rock, psychedelic rock, guitar pop, post-punk, post-Britpop, and other genres.

A key part of their music composition comes from Turner’s ability to work together with his band members. In addition, Turner draws inspiration from a number of sources including the band The Strokes, but also his surroundings, lifestyle, politics, religion, etc., to write all the music for Arctic Monkeys.

In this process, his bandmates also lend their significant contribution, whether it is about agreeing on what elements should be part of the tracks or avoiding certain images that could potentially cause controversy.

For instance, AM faced a lot of criticism for their religious iconographies in their album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. 

Luckily, I made sure to talk about it in a recent article if you are familiar with the story.

Overall, the process of creating a final music piece goes through getting everyone aboard with the final idea and the sound of the tracks as the audience would hear them.

Why do the other members of Arctic Monkeys not usually help write their songs?

Other Arctic Monkeys members do not usually contribute to songwriting because they do not feel ready to show their work and prefer to have Turner write the music.

Turner once said in an interview that he once caught his bandmate O’Malley writing some lyrics for a song. But Nick O’Malley wasn’t ready to show it to Alex.

Turner also said in the interview that he respected his bandmates’ decisions and that they could show him their work whenever they felt ready.

But it doesn’t mean that they don’t participate in the process. Sure, they work together.

Do Arctic Monkeys play any cover songs?

Arctic Monkeys have proven themselves a great band by expanding their musical horizons and covering extensive covers of chart hits by other artists. 

Here is a list of the Arctic Monkeys’ finest cover versions.

  • “Red Right Hand” (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds)
  • “All My Loving” (The Beatles)
  • “Feels Like We Only Go Backward” (Tame Impala)
  • “Come Together” (The Beatles)
  • “Diamonds Are Forever” (Shirley Bassey)
  • “Only You Know” (Dion)
  • “Walk on the Wild Side” (Lou Reed)
  • “Take It or Leave It” (The Strokes)
  • “Love Machine” (Girls Aloud)
  • “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (Drake).
  • “Is This It?” (The Strokes)
  • “The Union Forever” (The White Stripes)

How does Alex Turner write songs?

In many of his interviews, Turner has revealed that he always carries a notebook of lyrics with him where he jots down lines as he’s thinking most of the time.

In another, he mentioned that earlier, he used to write lyrics first and then come up with a melody.

But later, AM started creating melodies first and then weaving the right lyrics using a technique he calls the “scrambled eggs” method. It’s a method where Turner improvises nonsense words and swaps them out later to go with his songs.

But what about its composition? Does his songwriting process also consider aspects like music enhancing tools like autotune?

Alex Turner is a fantastic lyricist who considers a number of aspects when writing songs, such as time, location, sound of the music, deadline, melody, and the most difficult part is to stick with the idea of a song.

But because Turner has such a strong voice, it’s hard to say whether he does autotune or not. Luckily, I made sure to cut you some slack by discussing it briefly in a recent article.

Click the link to read why many of Turner’s fans are critical of his talent.

Arctic Monkeys - How We Wrote 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'


Being able to compose your own songs’ lyrics gives musicians the capability to communicate their thoughts and musical ideas better.

It definitely has an added advantage because it means you’ll be more connected with what you’re writing and care about how you want it to reach out to the audience.

But what happens when you are a legendary rock band like the Arctic Monkeys, and you hardly get time to sit back and relax? Because composing great lyrics often requires peace of mind. You would rather have somebody else write the lyrics for you.

But not Alex Turner.

AM’s frontman, Alex Turner, prefers to write most of the songs’ lyrics on his own. However, he does share writing credits with drummer Matt Helders, Nick O’Malley, and other band members on a few of the albums.

Photo which requires attribution:
Arctic Monkeys, Palau Sant Jordi by Alterna2 http://www.alterna2.com is licensed under CC2.0

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