Arctic Monkeys vs Beatles

February 22, 2008 at 1:07 pm (Uncategorized)

The Arctic MonkeysThe Beatles

For this blog post, I wanted to do a little more of the bridging I talked about in my first post. So today, I’m going to talk about the Arctic Monkeys, a band that has recently received worldwide attention for their similarity to the success of the Beatles. The band is also a good tie-in with online ethics, because the band got its start largely through

The band formed in 2002 in Sheffield, England. They initially performed locally, distributing free, home-made CDs they’d burned of their music at concerts. Their fans ripped the music onto their computers, shared it, and created a site for the band. Although the band was originally opposed to signing a record deal, Domino eventually caught their eye in 2005. Since signing, the group has released their first full-length album “Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not.” The album became the fastest-selling in the history of England. This caused many to followers to compare the band to The Beatles, and some even went so far as to say this new band would outshine them.

The Arctic Monkeys have a similar, British pop/rock sound as the Beatles in the Revolver/Sgt.Peppers Era. The Arctic Monkeys consist of four fresh-faced Brits (at least one of which seems to always sport the Beatles’ signature shaggy hairstyle). Even the lyrics and lead singer Alex Turner’s inflection tend to have a Beatles-esque swagger to them. The Arctic Monkeys, to me at least, sound somewhat like a sped-up, updated Beatles, (with a pinch of Franz Ferdinand sound) and an indie twist.

Take a listen.

When the Sun Goes Down (Scumbag)

Elanor Rigby

I like the Arctic Monkeys’ sound, but in my mind, no band can ever rival my precious Beatles. It’s impossible not to see the similarities, though, showing that the band may indeed be a sort of Beatles 2.0. (Or at least some people would like to think so.)

This sort of revamping of previous cultural icons is very goes along with the copyright issues we discussed in class. Some might say that copying is the sincerest form of flattery, which, in this case, I believe is true. While they are original, their sort of throwback vibe gives them a familiarity that people can relate to.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about them, though, is their myspace-induced popularity. They are generally accepted as the first major band to gain status in that way. Although their music was distributed freely, the band didn’t see it as a loss of profit, like many American artists do. They felt rather that giving away their music for free allowed more people to know their music and go to concerts able to sing along.

In my opinion, this can be a sticky situation, because giving away your art for free doesn’t necessarily sit well with me. However, the band made a name for themselves through the uncontainable spread of their musical talent, rather than record-label promotions. In this way, I feel they let their talent speak for itself, something that more bands should do today.



  1. Daniel Pace said,

    I’m glad I stumbled opon your site, because I have since been enthralled with the Atrtic Monkeys!!!! Don’t get me wrong thier no Beatles, but they are fun.

  2. michel said,

    creo que es una comparacion un tanto precipitada, ya que los arctic monkey tienen una trayectoria muy corta y the beatles ha permanecido a travez de los años a un sin estar, supongo yo.

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