Alex Turner (musician)

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Alex Turner
Alex Turner At CD102.5 Big Room - CROPPED.jpg
Alex Turner, 2014
Background information
Birth name Alexander David Turner
Born (1986-01-06) 6 January 1986 (age 29)
High Green, Sheffield, England
Genres Indie rock, psychedelic rock, garage rock, post-punk revival, baroque pop stoner rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion
Years active 2002–present
Labels Domino
Associated acts Arctic Monkeys, The Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane, Reverend and The Makers, Queens of the Stone Age, Richard Hawley, Mini Mansions
Notable instruments
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Bronco
Fender Jazzmaster
Ovation Viper
Fender Stratocaster
Vox Starstream XII
Gretsch Duo Jet

Alexander David Turner (born 6 January 1986) is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. He is the lead vocalist, guitarist, and principal songwriter of the English rock band Arctic Monkeys.[1][2] Turner has also recorded with a side-project named The Last Shadow Puppets and as a solo artist. He also wrote and performed songs for the soundtrack of the 2010 comedy-drama film Submarine.

Turner has a baritone vocal range.[3]

Early life[edit]

Alexander David Turner is the child of Penny and David Turner, who taught German and music respectively at Sheffield schools. He was raised in High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. As a child, Turner took piano lessons. He attended Stocksbridge High School in Sheffield (1997–2002) and was later remembered by his English teacher, Steve Baker, as "someone unconventional, a little bit different, with a brightness and a cleverness that would serve him well. He had a very original sense of humour. Alex was never particularly vocal, but you could sense when some pieces of poetry moved him."

Turner spent most of his teenage years listening to rap artists such as Roots Manuva. His attentions later turned to guitar music following the breakthrough of The Strokes and The Libertines. Turner also admired The Beatles and aspired to be like them. Turner's parents bought him his first guitar for Christmas 2001.[4] Following sixth form college, where he studied at Barnsley, his parents reluctantly agreed to let him defer university for one year to pursue his musical ambitions. During this time he worked as a barman at the Sheffield venue, The Boardwalk. Turner has since said that, had Arctic Monkeys not become successful, he would have studied English at Manchester University. Though he had a love for guitar, he commented that he spends more time on words to the songs and he tended to listen to them more than to the music in the background.


Arctic Monkeys[edit]

Main article: Arctic Monkeys

The band signed to the independent label Domino Records after a bidding war in 2005. Its first album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, released in early 2006, became the fastest-selling debut album in British music history.[5] The band has since released four more albums: Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007), Humbug (2009), Suck It and See (2011), and AM (2013) all reaching No.1 in the UK album charts.[6]

Turner's initial songwriting with Arctic Monkeys was based around specific concepts, particularly on their first album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, which is often considered to be a concept album centered around nightlife in the UK.[7] He later progressed to more varied themes, especially noticeable on Humbug and Suck It and See In July 2012, Turner revealed that he had been writing songs for the band's fifth album (later titled AM) while touring the US with The Black Keys.[8]

The Arctic Monkeys' new album AM has been very successful. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics; the album received an average score of 81, based on 34 reviews. Simon Harper of Clash magazine states, "Welding inspiration from hip-hop greats with rock's titans, 'AM' is built upon portentous beats that are dark and intimidating, yet wickedly thrilling." Time Out said of the album, "One of Britain’s greatest bands just got greater in an unexpected but hugely welcome way. Single men, I urge you: put down FHM and pick up AM." In their 10/10 review, NME wrote that AM is "absolutely and unarguably the greatest record of their career." Tim Jonze of The Guardian noted that the album "manages to connect those different directions – the muscular riffs of Humbug and the wistful pop of Suck It and See – with the bristling energy and sense of fun that propelled their initial recordings."

The Last Shadow Puppets[edit]

In August 2007, plans were announced for Turner to record an album with Miles Kane, James Ford,[9] and Owen Pallett.

The album, The Age of the Understatement, was released on 21 April 2008 and reached number one in its first week. Towards the end of 2008 they completed a small tour, backed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, starting at Portsmouth Guildhall on 19 August.[10]

Solo work[edit]

Turner wrote and performed all six tracks for the soundtrack for Submarine, the first feature film by Richard Ayoade, a friend and director of various Arctic Monkeys music videos. The soundtrack was released on 18 March 2011 in the UK and US.[11]


In October 2008, Turner made his debut as a short story writer, performing a spoken word track "A Choice of Three" on his bandmate's compilation Late Night Tales: Matt Helders. Turner worked with Dizzee Rascal on the song "Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend" from Arctic Monkeys' Brianstorm EP and "Temptation" from Rascal's album Maths and English. Turner also appears in the Reverend and the Makers song "The Machine" from their first album The State Of Things. In 2011, Turner also contributed by writing and co-writing six songs on Miles Kane's first album Colour of the Trap, a role that was taken by Paul Weller, amongst others, for Kane's second album. He also co-wrote the song "First of My Kind" with Kane and Eugene McGuinness[12] for Record Store Day 2012 and played bass guitar[13] on "Get Right," a B-side to Kane's single, "Don't Forget Who You Are." Turner has also collaborated with Queens of the Stone Age on their sixth studio album ...Like Clockwork, which was released on 4 June 2013. In this album, Turner's vocals are featured in track four, "If I Had a Tail", and he provided inspiration to the writing of the album's sixth track "Kalopsia," by mentioning the name to Josh Homme during one of their conversations.[14] Alex Turner was featured in Mini Mansions song "Vertigo" released 10 March 2015 as an early track from their second album due to be released later in March 2015.[15]


Electric guitars
Acoustic guitars

Personal life[edit]

Turner had a two-year relationship with then-Goldsmiths College student Johanna Bennett from 2005 to 2007.[17][18] He then dated model and presenter Alexa Chung from July 2007[19][20] to July 2011, and lived together in London and New York City.[21] Turner then dated American actress Arielle Vandenberg from late 2011 to early 2014.

In 2015, he was named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men.[22]



Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
  • Released: 18 March 2011
  • Label: Domino
35 97 56


Arctic Monkeys[edit]

The Last Shadow Puppets[edit]

UK Singles



  1. ^ "Arctic Monkeys go rap - News". 28 February 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Arctic Monkeys - Intelligent indie-rock from Sheffield". Clash. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  3. ^ O'Donnell, Kevin (25 May 2011). "See Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner Unplugged | SPIN | SPIN Mix | Videos". SPIN. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Caesar, Ed (14 April 2007). "Alex Turner: That's what he's not. So what is he?". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Arctic Monkeys make chart history". BBC News. 29 January 2006. 
  6. ^ "Arctic Monkeys | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. 21 February 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner: 'I want to start writing follow-up to 'Suck It And See'' | News". Nme.Com. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Arctic Monkey plans side project". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Green, Thomas H (20 August 2008). "The Last Shadow Puppets review: satisfied relief". (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 22 September 2008. 
  11. ^ "Domino | News | Submarine OST EP, featuring songs by Alex Turner". Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  12. ^ ASCAP Entry
  13. ^ "Miles Kane - Don't Forget Who You Are (Vinyl) at Discogs". 3 June 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Kalopsia by Queens of the Stone Age Songfacts". Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Mini Mansions song with Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner released online". Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know (Exclusive XFM Live Session) | News, Tours & Music Videos". XFM. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Davis, Ben (18 May 2010). "Thorney girl living the rock star life with Kings of Leon boyfriend - Latest Local News - Peterborough Telegraph". Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  18. ^ Hodgson, Jaimie (15 July 2007). "Ex-girlfriend helps Arctic Monkeys to a hit". The Observer (London: Guardian News and Media). Archived from the original on 26 July 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  19. ^ Swash, Rosie. "Monkey see, monkey woo: Alex Turner finds love at Q awards | Music". Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Monkeys star flirts with 'Popworld' host - Celebrity News - Digital Spy". 9 July 2007. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Nicholl, Katie (1 August 2011). "No more Monkeying around for Alexa Chung as she splits with Arctic frontman Alex Turner". Daily Mail (London). 
  22. ^ "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 January 2015. 
  23. ^ "Alex Turner" (SELECT "ALBUMS" TAB). Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Alex Turner – Submarine". (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Alex Turner – Submarine". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 

External links[edit]