Favourite Worst Nightmare

Favourite Worst Nightmare is the second studio album by English rock band Arctic Monkeys, released on 18 April 2007 by Domino Recording Company. Recorded in east London's Miloco Studios with producers James Ford and Mike Crossey, the album was preceded by the release of "Brianstorm" on 16 April 2007.[1] This is the band's first album with bassist Nick O'Malley, replacing their previous bassist Andy Nicholson, who left the band before the North America tour of the band's debut studio album.

Favourite Worst Nightmare
Fwn large.jpg
Studio album by
Released18 April 2007 (2007-04-18)
RecordedDecember 2006
Studio
Genre
Length37:18
LabelDomino
Producer
Arctic Monkeys chronology
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
(2006)
Favourite Worst Nightmare
(2007)
At the Apollo
(2008)
Singles from Favourite Worst Nightmare
  1. "Brianstorm"
    Released: 2 April 2007
  2. "Fluorescent Adolescent"
    Released: 4 July 2007
  3. "Teddy Picker"
    Released: 3 December 2007

In comparison to the band's debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, the album is considered more ambitious, with ambient sounds and expanded drum rhythms being introduced. Like Arctic Monkey's debut, Favourite Worst Nightmare was a widespread critical success, with critics highlighting the band's new emotional depth and Turner's matured songwriting. NME and Uncut ranked it the second-best album of 2007, while Dutch publication OOR named it the best of 2007. In retrospect, the album is considered the start of the band's change of sound with each of their albums after their debut.

In its first week of release, the album sold over 227,000 copies, going straight to number one in the UK Albums Chart. "Brianstorm" and "Fluorescent Adolescent" were also both hits on the UK Singles Chart, with the former reaching number two on the chart. In the United States, the album debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200, selling around 44,000 copies in its first week. The album has since gone 3× platinum in the UK. It was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize and won Best British Album at the 2008 BRIT Awards.

Title and cover artEdit

The album's title came from the lyrics to the song "D is for Dangerous", the third song featured on the album. The band said they also considered naming the album Lesbian Wednesdays, Gordon Brown, or Gary Barlow.[2] In an interview with NME, Nick O'Malley announced several songs including "D is for Dangerous" and "Balaclava". The tracks "The Bakery" and "Plastic Tramp" also mentioned in the NME interview did not make it onto the album, but were later released as B-sides on the "Fluorescent Adolescent" single. The track "Leave Before the Lights Come On" was also rumoured for inclusion, but did not make the final cut.

Half of the album's songs were debuted at concerts before the release of the album. The album was recorded quickly as the band wanted to start touring and play the songs.

The album's cover art features a black-and-white photograph of a house in the Garston district of Liverpool, with colourful cartoonish images visible through its windows.[3] This marks the second consecutive time the band used a photograph taken in Liverpool as an album cover, following their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.[4]

Musical styleEdit

The music on Favourite Worst Nightmare has been characterised as post-punk revival,[5][6][7] indie rock,[7][8] and garage rock,[7] and post-Britpop.[9] In comparison to the band's debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, the album has been described as "very, very fast and very, very loud",[10] being seen as "more ambitious, heavier...and with a fiercely bright production".[11] Reflecting the band's travels around the world more than local stories of the first record, FWN is a "faster, meaner" album.[12] The album arguably has influences from The Smiths – "twanging, quasi-ambient backdrops...and Turner's voice [...] crooning like Morrissey or Richard Hawley."[11] Matt Helders said "James was DJing loads in the evening so we'd go out and [...] have a dance."[1] As a result, the drum rhythms of Helders and bassist Nick O'Malley have drawn comparisons to the Eighties funk band ESG.[1] The band's love of classic films also influenced their new style. For example, the organ at the beginning of the album's final track, "505" is replicating Ennio Morricone's soundtrack for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (where Angel Eyes enters before the final standoff).[2]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic82/100[13]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [5]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[14]
The Guardian     [15]
Los Angeles Times    [16]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)B+[17]
NME9/10[18]
Pitchfork7.4/10[19]
Q     [20]
Rolling Stone     [21]
Spin     [22]

Favourite Worst Nightmare has received universal acclaim since release, with a score of 82 on Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100, based on 38 reviews.[13]

In a 5-star review, The Daily Express described it as "a shockingly good release that just gets better, faster and stronger with each listen",[23] while The Guardian said it had "successfully negotiated the daunting task of following up the biggest-selling debut album in British history" and stated that the second half of the album was the stronger half, noting the similarity to Morrissey in "Fluorescent Adolescent" whilst criticising the opening tracks, Brianstorm in particular. Their progression was also highlighted with The Guardian saying "if you removed everything from the album except Matt Helders' drumming, it would still be a pretty gripping listen",[15] and The Observer praising the new sounds on the album referencing the "piercing, melodic guitar by Jamie Cook" and "where Turner reveals the other weapons in his armoury" when referring to Alex Turner's progression.[24] Pitchfork Media noticed the "new emotional depth" of tracks such as "Do Me a Favour", "Only Ones Who Know" and "505",[19] which were also commonly cited by most other critics as being amongst the highlights. NME and Uncut ranked it as the second-best album of 2007.[25] Dutch publication OOR named it the best of 2007.[25]

Jacob Stolworthy of The Independent reviewed the album on its 10th anniversary in 2017, saying, "Favourite Worst Nightmare was the first sign that Arctic Monkeys would change up their sound with each new record in as drastic a fashion as they wished [...] If their debut defined a generation, this record shaped the band's future in a manner more mature, sexy and - just like the party depicted in the rowdy track 'This House Is a Circus' - berserk as f*ck."[26]

Commercial performanceEdit

In its first week of release, the album sold 227,993 copies,[27] emulating Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not in going straight to number one in the UK Albums Chart, albeit selling 130,000 copies fewer than their record-breaking debut. The first two singles from the album "Brianstorm" and "Fluorescent Adolescent" were both UK top 10 hits.

Favourite Worst Nightmare's first day sales of 85,000 outsold the rest of the top 20 combined, while all 12 tracks from the album entered the top 200 of the UK Singles Chart in their own right.[28] By September 2013, the album has sold 821,128 copies in UK.[citation needed] The album has since gone 3× Platinum[29] in the UK and the album was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize. At the 2008 BRIT Awards, it won Best British Album.

In the USA, the album debuted at number seven, selling around 44,000 copies in its first week and become their first top 10 album there.[30] The album also debut inside top ten chart in 12 country included Australia, Canada, Irish, French, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Alex Turner, except where noted[31].

Favourite Worst Nightmare track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Brianstorm" 2:52
2."Teddy Picker" 2:40
3."D Is for Dangerous" 2:14
4."Balaclava"
2:47
5."Fluorescent Adolescent"
2:53
6."Only Ones Who Know" 3:01
7."Do Me a Favour" 3:25
8."This House Is a Circus" 3:09
9."If You Were There, Beware" 4:34
10."The Bad Thing" 2:23
11."Old Yellow Bricks"
3:07
12."505" 4:13
Total length:37:18
Japanese edition bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
13."Da Frame 2R"2:20
14."Matador"4:57

Bonus videoEdit

  • The music video for "Brianstorm" was included as a bonus with iTunes pre-orders of Favourite Worst Nightmare.

PersonnelEdit

Credits adapted from liner notes.[32]

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Certifications for Favourite Worst Nightmare
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[63] Gold 35,000^
Italy (FIMI)[64]
sales since 2009
Gold 25,000 
Japan (RIAJ)[65] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[67] 3× Platinum 1,000,000[66]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release historyEdit

Release history for Favourite Worst Nightmare
Country Date Label Format Catalog number
Japan 18 April 2007 Hostess CD HSE-10043[68]
Germany 20 April 2007[69] CD
Ireland
Spain
Australia 21 April 2007 CD
United Kingdom 23 April 2007[70] Domino LP WIGLP188 / 5034202018810[71]
CD WIGCD188 / 5034202018827[72]
Brazil EMI CD
France CD
Belgium CD
United States 24 April 2007 CD DNO 136 / 801390013621
Israel CD
Canada CD

ReferencesEdit

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  6. ^ Sylvia, Dave De (21 April 2007). "Review Summary". Sputnikmusic. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2016. blending seamlessly with the group's rough-edged post-punk sound.
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External linksEdit