Why Suck It And See caused a problem for Arctic Monkeys

6 June 2022, 18:00

Nick O'Malley, Alex Turner, Matt Helders and Jamie Cook pose for a portrait in New York's Central Park May 24, 2011.
Nick O'Malley, Alex Turner, Matt Helders and Jamie Cook pose for a portrait in New York's Central Park May 24, 2011. Picture: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Radio X

By Radio X

We celebrate Arctic Monkeys' fourth studio album by delving into the story behind its cover.

Arctic Monkeys' Suck It And See album was released on 6 June 2011.

The Sheffield band's fourth album came along with a title track, which featured drummer Matt Helders in its music video doing his best impression of an unruly American biker.

However, Helders' hell raising and boisterous personality wasn't the most controversial thing about Suck It and See.

In fact, in the United States some copies of the album caused such offence that they were covered with a big Arctic Monkeys sticker in the centre, making its Beatles White album-esque cover appear even more plain.

But why were they so bothered by it? Find out here...

Arctic Monkeys' Suck It And See album artwork cover
Arctic Monkeys' Suck It And See album artwork cover. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo

Why did Arctic Monkeys' Suck It And See have a sticker over it in the United States?

Well, if you hadn't already guessed the answer to this congrats for being as pure as the driven snow!

Despite the fact we speak the same language as our American cousins, not everything quite translates.

In Britain, the phrase "suck it and see" generally means you've got to try something out first before giving a judgement on it.

Lancashire's own Fisherman's Friend lozenges even played on this with their "Suck 'em and see" slogan.

However, this saying didn't quite exist in the same way across the pond, so you can imagine why the American audiences may have taken the harmless English saying for a sex act instead...

Alex Turner performs with Arctic Monkeys at the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, August 2011
Alex Turner performs with Arctic Monkeys at the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, August 2011. Picture: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

But what did the Sheffield band think of it?

Speaking to John Kennedy back in June 2011, frontman Alex Turner admitted it had not travelled very well saying: "They think it is rude, disrespectful and they're putting a sticker over it in America in certain stores, big ones."

Despite the misunderstanding, it didn't do the album any harm, with Arctic Monkeys' popularity with American audiences growing stronger than Fisherman's Friend lozenges.

They didn't make the same mistake when AM was released two years later, keeping things very simple for the album title which included Stateside favourites in the likes of Do I Wanna Know?, One For The Road, Arabella and R U Mine?

While Suck It And See wasn't a huge controversy, those nifty Arctic Monkeys stickers sure did come in handy, allowing the band to break the American market without too many obstacles in their way.

READ MORE: Arctic Monkeys recall moment I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor hit No. 1

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