Fluorescent Adolescent

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"Fluorescent Adolescent"
Single by Arctic Monkeys
from the album Favourite Worst Nightmare
B-side "The Bakery"
"Plastic Tramp"
"Too Much to Ask"
Released 4 July 2007 (Japan)
9 July 2007 (UK)
Format 7", 10", CD
Recorded December 2006 at Miloco Studios, London
Genre Indie rock[1][2]
Length 2:57
Label Domino
Writer(s) Alex Turner, Johanna Bennett
Producer(s) James Ford, Mike Crossey
Arctic Monkeys singles chronology
"Fluorescent Adolescent"
"Teddy Picker"
Favourite Worst Nightmare track listing
  1. "Brianstorm"
  2. "Teddy Picker"
  3. "D Is for Dangerous"
  4. "Balaclava"
  5. "Fluorescent Adolescent"
  6. "Only Ones Who Know"
  7. "Do Me a Favour"
  8. "This House Is a Circus"
  9. "If You Were There, Beware"
  10. "The Bad Thing"
  11. "Old Yellow Bricks"
  12. "505"

"Fluorescent Adolescent" is a song by the English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys, released as the second single from their second album Favourite Worst Nightmare.[3] It was released on 4 July 2007 in Japan and 9 July 2007 in the United Kingdom.

The song was written by Alex Turner and Johanna Bennett, Turner's girlfriend at the time, in a hotel room prior to the recording of Favourite Worst Nightmare. The song is a ballad about getting older and finding out that life isn't as fun anymore. It describes a woman who dreams of her youth while her current life is unsatisfying and boring, with emphasis on her sex life- this is reflected in the opening line, "You used to get it in your fishnets, now you only get it in your nightdress, discarded all the naughty nights for niceness, landed in a very common crisis". "Fluorescent Adolescent" is one of the band's most popular songs, and is frequently performed as a closer to their concerts.

Music video[edit]

Filmed in late April 2007, the music video was directed by The IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade and features Stephen Graham (who previously appeared on the Scummy Man DVD and the "When the Sun Goes Down" video) as a clown.[4][5][6] The music video premiered in the UK at 23:40, 5 June 2007 on Channel 4, and was available online the next day.[7]

The music video is based around a fight between a group of clowns and a group of non-clowns at an abandoned warehouse. The presumed leaders of the two groups have a flashback showing that they were friends when they were young children. During the flashback, photos of the band as young children are shown. Throughout the fight, each group leader attempts to kill the other. As the music video climaxes, the non-clown leader tries to run over the clown leader. However the clown leader notices that the non-clown leader's car (with the non-clown leader inside) has been leaking fuel and drops his cigarette lighter. The car quickly catches fire and the clown leader looks on as his former friend burns and the music video ends.

The video is loosely inspired by the poem "Out of Control Circus" by John Cooper Clarke. Turner says he's a fan and gets lyrical inspiration from Clarke. The poem is also printed inside the CD release of "Fluorescent Adolescent." The lines such as "out of control fairground" and "homicidal clowns" support this.

The video was preceded by a warning of violent images.[8] In an MTV interview, Turner stated that the music video "is the best thing we've ever done" while Jamie Cook hailed it as "...probably one of the best videos in the last, like, 10 years".[9]

During a live performance of the song on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, the band played the song dressed as clowns, with Alex Turner dressing with the same make up and clothing as the main clown in the video.

Critical reception[edit]

The song has received a 9/10 rating from Planet Sound, becoming Arctic Monkeys' first single to do so since "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor".[10]

Track listing[edit]

CD, 10"
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Fluorescent Adolescent"   Alex Turner, Johanna Bennett Arctic Monkeys 3:03
2. "The Bakery"   Alex Turner Arctic Monkeys, Miles Kane 2:56
3. "Plastic Tramp"   Alex Turner Arctic Monkeys, Miles Kane 2:53
4. "Too Much to Ask"   Alex Turner Arctic Monkeys 3:05
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Fluorescent Adolescent"   Alex Turner, Johanna Bennett Arctic Monkeys 3:03
2. "The Bakery"   Alex Turner Arctic Monkeys, Miles Kane 2:56


On downloads alone, "Fluorescent Adolescent" charted in the UK Singles Chart at #55 for the week commencing 25 June 2007. The song charted at number five upon release of the single on CD for the week commencing 16 July 2007. Since 27 June 2007, "Fluorescent Adolescent" has received significant BBC Radio 1 airplay as the first song on "The A List" Playlist.[11] The songs three B-sides—"Plastic Tramp", "The Bakery" and "Too Much to Ask"—appeared on the UK Singles Chart the week of the single's physical release at #153, #161 and #178, respectively.


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Silver 200,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


Kate Nash performed a cover of the song on 5 October 2007.[21]


  1. ^ "BBC - Seven Ages of Rock "What the World Is Waiting For"". Seven Ages of Rock. 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Arctic Monkeys - Intelligent indie-rock from Sheffield". Clash. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  3. ^ XFM
  4. ^ Domino Records
  5. ^ Arctic-Monkeys
  6. ^ MTV
  7. ^ Arctic-Monkeys
  8. ^ Arctic-Monkeys
  9. ^ MTV
  10. ^ Planet Sound[dead link]
  11. ^ BBC Radio 1
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent". Tracklisten. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Chart Track: Week 27, 2007". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Fluorescent Adolescent: Arctic Monkeys" (in Polish). Polskie Radio. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Archive Chart: 2007-07-21" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  19. ^ "End Of Year Charts: 2007" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "British single certifications – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 August 2014.  Enter Fluorescent Adolescent in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  21. ^ casablancasro (2007). "kate nash - fluorescent adolescent". YouTube. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 

External links[edit]