#16. Arctic Monkeys – Leave Before The Lights Come On

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Artwork by Adam Sarpalius

As 2009, and the decade come to a close, PMA will be looking back at our favorite songs of the last ten years. We will update a list with 75 empty slots until we reach that song that changed everything. You can keep track of this list by keeping an eye on this page. We make these lists in hopes that you guys will chime in the comments and share your favorite musical moments of the noughties.


The Arctic Monkeys had just released one of the biggest albums in indie-rock and UK history, along with two marvelous singles, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” and “When The Sun Goes Down”, then suddenly, the Arctics come out with this non-Whatever People Say single. At the time of release, “Leave Before the Lights Come On” was relatively unremarkable. It didn’t grab you by the groin and drag you around kicking and screaming like the two aforementioned singles. Instead, the Arctics toned themselves down slightly and wrote the best song not on Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not.

At the tender age of way-too-young, Alex Turner was singing his heart out, renouncing the act of promiscuous sex and depicting that God-awful awkwardness and clumsiness usually indebted to “the morning after” with astonishing accuracy that hit a little too close to home for some of us. Despite this massive leap in the band’s maturity, “Leave Before the Lights Come On” is still quintessential Arctic Monkeys. There’s no doubt about that… It had an almost romantic fixation on steaming percussion, and a bright storytelling quality that made everyone see that “Scummy Man” was only the tip of the iceberg of Turner’s talent as a songwriter.


#17. Kanye West – Jesus Walks
#18. Beyonce – Crazy In Love
#19. LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge
#20. Radiohead – Jigsaw Falling Into Place
#21. The Strokes – The Modern Age
#22. Jay-Z & The Beatles – 99 Problems (Danger Mouse)
#23. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
#24. The Knife – Heartbeats
#25. Lil Wayne – A Milli
#75-26: Various

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