Five years ago today, Sheffield-born band Arctic Monkeys released their third studio album, Humbug. It was released in the UK on 24th August 2009 following the first taste of the album in the form of ‘Crying Lightning’ which was premiered on BBC Radio 1 6th July.
The album spawned three singles, ‘Crying Lightning’, ‘Cornerstone‘ and ‘My Propeller‘, presenting a more mature, focused sound. Although none of the singles reached higher than 12th place in the UK singles chart, the album as a whole was received well and charted at number one.
The first two singles were accompanied by videos directed by a friend of the band, Richard Ayoade. Ayoade’s directorial career includes the likes of Submarine, which features a soundtrack from Arctic Monkeys’ frontman Alex Turner, The Double and various music videos for bands such as Vampire Weekend and Kasabian.
Explaining the album’s title and the band’s heavier, darker sound, Turner said it was named after the sweet and that “you’ve got to suck it and see”. Two years later the band released Suck It and See which debuted at number one in the UK album chart, knocking Lady Gaga’s Born This Way off the top spot.
The album’s release was followed by The Humbug Tour which took place during November 2009 in the UK, where the band performed two dates at London’s Wembley Arena. Arctic Monkeys also toured Australia before the album’s release, as well as Japan, Europe and North America.
Revisit the video for Humbug‘s first single, ‘Crying Lightning’, here.