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Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not Original recording

4.2 out of 5 stars 403 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Jan. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording
  • Label: Domino Recording
  • ASIN: B000BTDMDC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (403 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Containing thirteen tracks including the hit single "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor", Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is a remarkable modern British debut. The first album from Sheffield-based rockers, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was the fastest selling debut album in UK chart history.

BBC Review

Over three years on from the bomb-in-your-pocket blast of Arctic Monkeys’ introduction to the mainstream – two consecutive number one singles, and a chart-conquering debut album, represents quite the eruption from the blocks – it’s only by considering the pair of long-players that have followed it that one can begin to find relative fault with the Sheffield band’s first foray into audience affections.

With hindsight, 2006’s Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not lacks both the acerbic edge of its fairly immediate successor Favourite Worst Nightmare – released just 15 months later – and the sense of completeness conveyed by their most recent, Josh Homme-assisted affair, Humbug. But the same – that the debut doesn’t match its follow-up releases – could be said of many a domestic indie success: Radiohead’s Pablo Honey is an embarrassment placed beside the superlative structures of The Bends, and Pulp didn’t hit their stride until fourth effort, His ‘n’ Hers. Granted, Oasis have perhaps never bettered Definitely Maybe, but they’re the exception to what’s otherwise a fairly established rule.

Exuding the ramshackle character of their preceding (freely distributed) demo material, much of Whatever People Say… flows at a rambunctious pace, its players’ shortcomings at the time masked by an infectious energy – listening back, it’s the spirit of When the Sun Goes Down and I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor that nailed them to our hearts, not any particular compositional flair (Alex Turner’s John Cooper Clark-indebted lyricism aside). With their innocent faces but wicked tongues, the Arctics were always a commercial proposition in waiting; Domino’s success in signing them sped the process up, but it’s hard to imagine a world without these songs finding a sizeable audience, label assistance or not.

The album’s clearest hooks are broad enough to cover several sub-genre bases, while the spiky riffs appeal instantly to punk-minded indie kids after something with true bite – especially after the likes of Keane and (modern era) Snow Patrol took the torch passed by Radiohead et al and proceeded to dampen it down to a smouldering shadow of its former self. Today’s definition of what passes for an indie band has everything to do with this album: it redefined one’s musical lexicon, pinching from the past but resolutely contemporary with its tales, however faked, of young-adult-eye-level social minutiae. 

And it’s for its legacy, rather than actual content, that Whatever People Say… warrants categorising as a classic of its era. Its roots might not stretch deep, but branches continue to sprout forth from its frame --Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
At 51, I am surely not the type of listener the Arctic Monkeys were aiming for. But, having heard Johnnie Walker play the track "Mardy Bum" and being wowed by it, I got a young colleague to lend me his copy of the album. It's wonderful. On first hearing, my "elderly" ears were about to dismiss it as a row, then the lyrics got through. I think Alex Turner is as excellent a spokesman for his generation as Ray Davies, Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher before him. Much more appropriate (and clever) than the whingeing of the likes of James Blunt. A superb album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Probably one of the best albums ever released, certainly in the top five of this century. As much as I love the Arctic Monkey's later sounds, there's something raw and very British about their first album which is never quite seen again.
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By A Customer on 17 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Putting raw talent aside, what makes the Arctic Monkeys stand out? They have that rare, precious ability to appeal to all ages. I'm 49 but they make me feel 18 again. Great lyrics about small town teens touch on universal themes. And that amazing voice could do for Sheffield what The Beatles did for Liverpool. This is a great first album
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Format: Vinyl
I'm probably in the biggest target target audience for this (late teen) but despite all the hype surrounding it along with all the criticism, I can't really see where most of the criticism comes from. If you're not into indie-rock then yes, you probably won't like the Arctic Monkey's debut particularly, but you're missing the point. The album is fulled with a bunch of fun and funky tunes with stories layered on top. Alex Turner, whilst his voice isn't as developed as say Humbug, adds to the rawness and feel of the record. The guitars and bass work well together to bring some neat tunes to the album, and the hard-hitting drumming is very well done, particularly on the album opener, "The View From The Afternoon".
My main gripe with this album is that each track isn't particularly different from each other, in terms of tone.

I ordered the Vinyl of this because I knew the CD wasn't very well mastered, and the large gate and sleeve is a nice addition to anyone's collection. The vinyl sounds allot nicer to my ears than the CD, with more smooth and audible bass, although there is still some compression applied.
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Format: Audio CD
If you like honest gritty unpretentious rock/indie music you will love the Arctic Monkeys. The sound they go for is more akin to 70s punk than modern indie rock. Whoever produced this album did a fantastic job in capturing the essence of what a rock band should be. There's plenty of space in the mix and theres a great energy that comes through all the tracks. They captured the performance of a great band, rather than just an overproduced, overpolished, sanitized studio album.
The songs are all at the least good and alot are exellent. Lots of great catchy guitar riffs and great vocals. They seemlessly intersperse ballsy funky rock guitar riffs with in yer face punk riffs, and ocaisional mellow indie jangly riffs. And over the top of it all you get witty & gritty ramblings about mordern life.
If i had to describe them in terms of other bands i'd say they are like a mix of The Pixes, The Clash and the Hives. But to label them as being like any one other band would be a great dis service to them. They have their own thing going on, and its a joy to hear.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Released in 2006, the Arctic Monkeys' debut album was fairly typical of the 'good' (in my opinion) music that was in the charts at the time. When I first heard the energy of this new band's music, and the irresistible vocals of Alex Turner, I was drawn to it immediately. I could hear in their sound both the Libertines and Franz Ferdinand, bands which were by then well established. The Arctic Monkeys' debut had loud guitars, fast paced singing, and is an even mix of 'in-your-face' punk and indie, so 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' was my idea of a very good album. Not only was it good, it was impressive, the whole CD sounded so raw, yet polished, that you would think that the Monkeys had been established for years.

The songs range from the good to the excellent, my favourites will always be the number one hit singles: 'When the Sun Goes Down'(I just love the melody at the beginning of it) and the throbbing indie anthem 'I Bet you Look Good on the Dancefloor', but all of the album only tracks benefit from consistent catchy guitar riffs and strong vocals. The irresistible 'Dancing Shoes' is raw and fresh, with lyrics that are naughty and yet so true. The much slower track 'Riot Van', describing underage drinking, is another standout. I exercise a lot, and this is an ideal, mostly very fast CD to work out to.

For a debut - 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' was very strong, and there was even better releases to follow. Alex Turner knew how to write a good song, with lyrics that could be both honest and humourous. With his later side projects (The Last Shadow Puppets with Miles Kane, and the soundtrack to the film 'Submarine'), he has become one of my favourite young musicians.
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