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Suck It and See is the fourth studio album by English indie rock[2] band Arctic Monkeys, released 6 June 2011 in the UK and 7 June in the US, following their 2011 North American tour. The band worked with producer James Ford on this album and promised a more "vintage" style.

On 19 March 2011, in an interview with NME, drummer Matt Helders revealed that Suck It and See would feature "some songs a bit more instant. A bit more poppy, certainly, than Humbug was."


 [hide*1 Recording and production

Recording and production[edit]Edit

Arctic Monkeys wrote the album throughout 2010, with Alex Turner writing songs in New York and London.[citation needed] Rather than repeat the heavily produced sound of Humbug, the band's previous effort, much of the album was recorded in live takes with producer James Ford in Los Angeles, California, over five weeks in January/February 2011.[citation needed] Alex Turner has commented that rather than going into the studio with only rough sketches of songs, and making heavy use of overdubbing, the band focused much of their time on rehearsing together.

The band settled on "Suck It and See" as the title after debating between titles such as "The Rain-Shaped Shimmer Trap", "The Thunder-Suckle Fuzz Canyon", "The Blondo-Sonic Rape Alarm", and "Thriller", according to a band interview in the NME.[4] This latter may have been a joke. The phrase "Peel slowly and see" appeared famously on early copies of The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967), which has a sense of similarity to the Arctic Monkeys album title.

The track "Piledriver Waltz" was first released on Alex Turner's debut EP, Submarine, where it was credited to Turner as a solo artist.[5] The version included on Suck It and See is a re-recording with the whole band involved.


A music video for "Brick by Brick" was released shortly before the album details were revealed on 10 March. However, Matt Helders confirmed that "Brick by Brick" would not be the lead single.[6]

On 5 May 2011, Arctic Monkeys began the Suck It and See Tour by playing their first live show in over a year in Stockholm.

On 13 May, Arctic Monkeys appeared on Later... with Jools Holland and performed four tracks from the album: "Library Pictures", "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair", "Reckless Serenade" and "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala".


Four singles were released to promote the album. The lead single, "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair", was released digitally on 12 April 2011, and on 16 April three thousand vinyl copies were released worldwide by the band as part of Record Store Day.[7] It was also released on a CD with B-sides "The Blond-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap" and "I.D.S.T." on 30 May 2013.[8]

The second single from the album, "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala", was released on 15 August 2011. On 31 October 2011, the title track "Suck It and See" was released as the third single, and followed by the release of the fourth and final single, "Black Treacle", on 23 January 2012.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 74/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [10]
The A.V. Club C–[11]
The Guardian [12]
NME 9/10[13]
The Observer [14]
Pitchfork Media 7.5/10[15]
Rolling Stone [16]
Slant Magazine [17]
Spin 8/10[18]
Sputnikmusic 4.0/5[19]

Suck It and See received positive reviews from critics, with an average 74% rating at Metacritic,.[20] The album has also been successful commercially. In its first week of release the album debuted at number 1 in the United Kingdom, selling over 82,000 units[21] and knocking Lady Gaga's Born This Way off the top spot. In its second week the album sold a further 34,910 units in the UK. Overall the album sold 154,000 units in its first week worldwide. NME named the album cover, an artwork free cream monochrome after the styling of The Beatles' 'White Album', as one of the worst in history.[22] In July, the album won Mojo award for the Best Album of 2011. Mojo placed the album at number 39 on its list of "Top 50 albums of 2011."[23] On 30 May, a week before official releaseDomino Records streamed the entire album on SoundCloud.[24] Within a few hours of being made public the first two tracks had reached over 10,000 listens each, and by the end of the week each had accrued over 100,000 plays.


In the United States the title on the cover sleeve was covered by a sticker in certain big-box retailers. In an interview with British radio station XFM, lead singer Alex Turner said, "They think it is rude, disrespectful and they're putting a sticker over it in America in certain stores, big ones."[25] The English idiom "suck it and see" means that something must be tried first, appearing, for example, in a 2010 The Economist headline[26] and (as "suck 'em and see") in the advertising slogan of Fisherman's Friend lozenges.[27]

Track listing[edit]Edit

All lyrics written by Alex Turner, all music composed by Arctic Monkeys.

No. Title Length
1. "She's Thunderstorms"   3:55
2. "Black Treacle"   3:35
3. "Brick by Brick"   2:59
4. "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala"   3:00
5. "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair"   3:04
6. "Library Pictures"   2:22
7. "All My Own Stunts"   3:52
8. "Reckless Serenade"   2:43
9. "Piledriver Waltz"   3:24
10. "Love Is a Laserquest"   3:12
11. "Suck It and See"   3:46
12. "That's Where You're Wrong"   4:17
Total length: 40:05
Japanese edition bonus track
No. Title Length
13. "The Blond-O-Sonic Shimmer Trap"   3:28


Arctic Monkeys
  • Alex Turner – lead and backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, tambourine, drums (end of track 7)
  • Jamie Cook – lead and rhythm guitar
  • Nick O'Malley – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Matt Helders – drums, backing vocals, lead vocals (track 3)
Additional musicians[28]
Technical personnel[28]
  • James Ford – production
  • James Brown – engineering
  • Craug Silvey – mixing
  • George Marino – mastering
  • Sean Oakley – assistant engineer
  • David Covell – assistant engineer
  • Morgan Stratton – mixing assistant
  • Bryan Wilson – mixing assistant
Additional personnel[28]
  • Geoff Barradale – management
  • Ian McAndrew – management
  • Matthew Cooper – art direction, design
  • Jason Evans – art direction, design
  • Aaron Brown – photography



Charts (2011) Peak


Australian Albums (ARIA)[29] 4
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[30] 12
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[31] 2
Belgian Alternative Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[31] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[32] 9
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[33] 12
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[34] 2
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[35] 6
Dutch Alternative Albums (Mega Alternative Top 30)[36] 1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[37] 34
French Albums (SNEP)[38] 7
Greek Albums (IFPI)[39] 38
German Albums (Official Top 100)[40] 10
Irish Albums (IRMA)[41] 3
Italy (FIMI) 7
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[42] 12
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)[43] 27
New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)[44] 7
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[45] 4
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[46] 7
Scottish Albums (OCC)[47] 1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[48] 10
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[49] 33
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[50] 8
UK Albums (OCC)[51] 1
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[52] 1
US Billboard 200[53] 14
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[54] 4
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[55] 5
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[56] 6
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[57] 2

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (2011) Position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[58] 46
Belgian Alternative Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[59] 21
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[60] 91
UK Albums (OCC)[61] 50

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