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BBC launches new podcast about Arctic Monkeys’ debut album

Featuring new interviews and unheard archive audio, 'Believe The Hype' arrives on the seminal record's 17th anniversary

By Tom Skinner

a still of Alex Turner in the official video for Arctic Monkeys' debut single 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'
Alex Turner in the official video for Arctic Monkeys' debut single 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'. CREDIT: Domino Recording Co./ Still

The BBC has launched a new podcast series detailing the story behind Arctic Monkeys’ classic debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.

Released 17 years ago today (January 23), the record catapulted a then-20-year-old Alex Turner and co. to stardom. Whatever… features the single ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’, and became the first of six consecutive UK Number One albums for the Sheffield band.

It was certified 7× Platinum in April 2022, and is considered to be one of the defining LPs of the ’00s indie era.

BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 1 have now announced Arctic Monkeys: Believe The Hype, an eight-part audio series hosted by Kate Nash that contains new interviews with acts who have played a part in AM’s history.

Those to have contributed to the podcast include John Cooper Clarke, Richard Hawley and Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure, as well as a host of famous fans such as Yungblud, Mahalia and Jordan Stephens.

Additionally, the episodes feature previously unheard archive audio, live recordings and tales from those who witnessed Arctic Monkeys’ rise first-hand, including BBC DJ and presenter Jo Whiley.

An official description reads: “Two Glastonbury headline sets and the fastest selling debut album in British history. Arctic Monkeys changed the music industry forever; this is the story of how they did it.”

Episode one is titled ‘Anticipation’, which is followed by further instalments called ‘Boys in Bands’, ‘Beneath the Boardwalk’, ‘Music for Ringtones’, ‘What on Earth’s the Plan?’, ‘A Weekend with Arctic Monkeys’, ‘Wishing They Weren’t There’ and ‘The Sun Goes Down’.

You can listen to …Believe The Hype in full now via BBC Sounds.

Writing on social media, Kate Nash said that her involvement in the project was a “nice trip down memory lane”, adding: “Remembering how important cardigans were and the pride I took in sneaking pints into my vintage handbag in the queue to the indie disco. Cider & black days.”

Yungblud, meanwhile, explained on the podcast: “I think the thing that I learned from the Arctic Monkeys is that they did it so organically and individually, that you can never replicate that, but it teaches you to figure out your own thing.”

Arctic Monkeys released their seventh studio album, The Car, in October 2021. This summer, they’ll embark on a UK and Ireland stadium tour and are currently rumoured to be one of the two remaining headliners for Glastonbury 2023.

Earlier this month, AM received two nominations for the BRIT Awards 2023. The ceremony is due to take place at The O2 in London on Saturday, February 11.