Arctic Monkeys: The albums, books and films to devour after listening to ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’

‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ is undoubtedly the Arctic Monkeys’ densest record to date. A concept record based around a leisure resort on the moon, the influences woven into the album’s fabric are puzzling, unpredictable and intriguing in equal measure. Here then, are the essential albums, books and films you should devour if you want to be in Turner’s stratosphere  for this record.

The Beach Boys – ‘Pet Sounds’

What is it: Album
Year: 1966
What’s it all about: Arguably the Californian band’s finest moment, it’s an album that impressed The Beatles and has informed pop ever since its release.
What’s the connection: The recording techniques pioneered by leader Brian Wilson and his band of session musicians (the rest of the band were on tour) influenced ‘TBH&C’ heavily. Turner noted in an interview that they were “chasing the live ensemble sound of Pet Sounds” during this album’s sessions.

Pulp – ‘This is Hardcore’

What is it: Album
Year: 1998
What’s it all about: The Sheffield band’s brooding sixth album is often considered the end of Britpop.
What’s the connection: Much like the Monkeys, Pulp followed up their most successful album ‘Different Class’ with a drastic pivot to make a languid, introspective and sleazy record that defied expectations and skewered Britpop’s Cool Britannia bubble.

Blade Runner

What is it: Film
Year: 1982
What’s it all about: One of the biggest sci-fi films of the ‘80s, starring Harrison Ford and directed by Ridley Scott.
What’s the connection: On opening song ‘The Star Treatment’, Turner sings “what do you mean you haven’t seen Blade Runner?”, poking fun at movie snobs. “I’ve only seen this happen a couple of times, but it goes beyond: ‘What do you mean you’ve never seen ‘Blade Runner’?’ and gets to: ‘Oh my God, I envy you!’”, Turner told NME.

Cameron Avery – Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams

What is it: Album
Year: 2017
What’s it all about: Tame Impala bassist’s gorgeous debut solo album.
What’s the connection: A close friend of Turner’s, Avery performed on ‘TBH&C’ and will join the band on their upcoming live shows to play some of the new songs. Look no further than ‘Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams’ to see why Avery’s brand of soulful pop makes him a good fit with the lads.

Leonard Cohen – ‘Death of A Ladies’ Man’

What is it: Album
Year: 1977
What’s it all about: The legendary crooner worked with producer Phil Spector on this divisive record.
What’s the connection: Spector’s overblown Wall of Sound production style informed the band during recording of ‘TBH&C’. “Primarily I think I love those albums and I wanted my album to be a bit like them,” Turner told NME in a recent interview.

Neil Postman – Amusing Ourselves To Death

What is it: Book
Year: 1985
What’s it all about: Influential media text that intertwines Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, television and more into understanding culture’s’ influences on the masses.
What’s the connection: One of the book’s terms – “information-action ratio” – makes its way into song ‘Four Out of Five’. Basically, it’s all about how we consume knowledge from media such as TV, and how often we act on the info we’re given. “I think one of the things I liked about that phrase is that you sort of know exactly what it is right away,” Turner tells NME.

Dion – ‘Born To Be With You’

What is it: Album

Year: 1975

What’s it all about: Considered the refined rock ‘n’ roller’s most intriguing work, it has influenced artists including Bruce Springsteen, Primal Scream, Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce and now Alex Turner.
What’s the connection: Phil Spector recorded six of the album’s eight songs. Alex Turner also performed a cover of the song ‘One You Know’ back in 2009

What is it: Film
Year: 1963
What’s it all about: Meta 1960s flick about a famous director trying to make a doomed sci-fi film.
What’s the connection: As described by NME writer Kevin EG Perry, it’s the “key to unlocking ‘TBH&C’. It combined a lot of the things he was struggling to talk about: his own writer’s block, the memories of his youth, and the science-fiction vocabulary which would allow him to explore it all without leaving himself too exposed.”

Infinite Jest

What is it: Book
Year: 1996
What’s it all about: Innovative, satirical novel by US author David Foster Wallace.
What’s the connection: Turner said he read the novel after finishing touring with The Last Shadow Puppets, and the novels’ self-referential style influenced the writing for this album.