Fluorescent Adolescent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Fluorescent Adolescent"
Fluorescent Adolescent.JPG
Single by Arctic Monkeys
from the album Favourite Worst Nightmare
  • "The Bakery"
  • "Plastic Tramp"
  • "Too Much to Ask"
Released4 July 2007
RecordedDecember 2006 at Miloco Studios (London)
Arctic Monkeys singles chronology
"Matador" / "Da Frame 2R"
"Fluorescent Adolescent"
"Teddy Picker"
Music video
"Fluorescent Adolescent" on YouTube

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

"Fluorescent Adolescent" was described as a ballad about aging and nostalgia for youth. It describes a woman who dreams of her youth while her current life is unsatisfying and boring. The song peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart, and was the 83rd best-selling song of 2007 in the United Kingdom. "Fluorescent Adolescent" is one of the band's most popular songs, and is frequently performed as a closer to their concerts. Kate Nash performed a cover of the song on 5 October 2007.[5] It appears on Radio 1's Live Lounge – Volume 3.


In an interview with The Guardian, Johanna Bennett said about the song:

We were on holiday and had cut ourselves off from everything. We were in a really quiet hotel and didn't watch TV or listen to that much music. So as not to drive each other mad we started messing around with these words like a game, singing them to each other. It's great to think that it came from something we did for fun on holiday. It'll always be a good memory for Alex and I. He doesn't usually write lyrics with other people, though I think he enjoyed it.[4]

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".[6]

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed in late April 2007 and was directed by The IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade. It features actor Stephen Graham (who previously appeared on the Scummy Man DVD and the "When the Sun Goes Down" video) as a clown.[7][8][9] The music video premiered in the UK on 5 June 2007 on Channel 4, and was available online the next day.[10]

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 was loosely inspired by the poem "Out of Control Fairground" 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.[11] 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".[12]

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.

During a performance of the song on the Late Show with David Letterman, Letterman introduced the band by joking that his vinyl copy of "Favorite Worst Nightmare" had been stolen due to its popularity.

Track listing[edit]

CD, 10"
1."Fluorescent Adolescent"Arctic Monkeys3:03
2."The Bakery"Alex Turner
3."Plastic Tramp"Alex Turner
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Miles Kane
4."Too Much to Ask"Alex TurnerArctic Monkeys3:05
1."Fluorescent Adolescent"
Arctic Monkeys3:03
2."The Bakery"Alex Turner
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Miles Kane

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

On downloads alone, "Fluorescent Adolescent" charted in the UK Singles Chart at number 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. On 27 June 2007, "Fluorescent Adolescent" began receiving significant BBC Radio 1 airplay as the first song on "The A List" Playlist. 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 number 153, number 161 and number 178, respectively.


  1. ^ Trendell, Andrew (12 February 2014). "Arctic Monkeys' singles: Their 20 hits ranked from worst to best". Gigwise. Retrieved 27 July 2018. Fluorescent Adolescent: Epitomising their choppy garage rock sound from the last decade
  2. ^ Thrills, Adrian (20 April 2007). "Press views: Arctic Monkeys album". Review written by the Daily Mail, published by the BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "Radio X".
  4. ^ a b Hodgson, Jaimie (15 July 2007). "Ex-girlfriend helps Arctic Monkeys to a hit". The Guardian.
  5. ^ casablancasro (2007). "kate nash - fluorescent adolescent". YouTube. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  6. ^ Planet Sound Archived 14 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Domino - News".
  8. ^ "Arctic Monkeys Forum Fan Site - Arctic-Monkeys.com • View topic - Fluorescent Adolescent Update". www.arctic-monkeys.com.
  9. ^ "Latest Shows, Music, Celebrity, & Entertainment News".
  10. ^ "Arctic-Monkeys".
  11. ^ "Arctic Monkeys Forum Fan Site - Arctic-Monkeys.com • View topic - Fluorescent Adolescent Video". www.arctic-monkeys.com.
  12. ^ "Arctic Monkeys Say 'Fluorescent' Clip Is Their Favourite Video Yet".
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent". Tracklisten. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Lescharts.com – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Chart Track: Week 27, 2007". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Fluorescent Adolescent: Arctic Monkeys" (in Polish). Polskie Radio. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  20. ^ "End Of Year Charts: 2007" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  21. ^ "Italian single certifications – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 5 December 2018. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Fluorescent Adolescent" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  22. ^ "British single certifications – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 June 2017. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Fluorescent Adolescent in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]