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Single by Arctic Monkeys
from the album Favourite Worst Nightmare
Released 16 April 2007 (2007-04-16)
Recorded December 2006
Genre Surf rock[1]
Length 2:50
Label Domino
Songwriter(s) Alex Turner
Arctic Monkeys singles chronology
"Leave Before the Lights Come On"
"Fluorescent Adolescent"

"Leave Before the Lights Come On"
"Fluorescent Adolescent"
Favourite Worst Nightmare track listing
  1. "Brianstorm"
  2. "Teddy Picker"
  3. "D Is for Dangerous"
  4. "Balaclava"
  5. "Fluorescent Adolescent"
  6. "Only Ones Who Know"
  7. "Do Me a Favour"
  8. "This House Is a Circus"
  9. "If You Were There, Beware"
  10. "The Bad Thing"
  11. "Old Yellow Bricks"
  12. "505"

"Brianstorm" (often mistaken as "Brainstorm") is a song by the English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys. It is the opening track on their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare. The song was released as the first single from the album on 2 April 2007, debuting at number 21 in the UK Singles Chart via downloads alone.[2] The single was released in physical formats on 16 April, the week before the release of the album, and charted at number two on the UK Singles Chart behind Beyoncé and Shakira's "Beautiful Liar". In Scotland, the song became the band's fourth consecutive number-one single on the Scottish Singles Chart. "Brianstorm" is one of the band's most successful singles worldwide, reaching number one in Canada, number four in Denmark and the Netherlands, number seven in Ireland, and number 10 in Spain.

The song was noticeably louder and heavier than previous efforts, marking the band's evolved sound. The song prominently features 'thundering drums' and surf-rock tremolo guitars.[3] The song is also well known for its intricate and rapid drum track, which was voted the tenth best drum track of the millennium on MusicRadar.[4]

"Brianstorm" came in at number 62 on MTV Asia's list of Top 100 Hits of 2007.[5] It was also used on The Colbert Report, The Daily Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien during the final weeks of the 07–08 Writers Guild strike, in which it is played during a showdown between the three.

Background and recording[edit]

Prior to the single, there had been a great deal of media speculation questioning the band's ability to emulate their successes of 2006 and their debut album.[6] The single marks a noticeable change in band's logo and cover art, with the "frenetic" cover art seeming to mirror the nature of the track. The track has no chorus, but features an "ascending guitar duel which sounds like a cross between "Telstar", Mogwai and the Monkeys' own "When the Sun Goes Down"."[7] A feature of Arctic Monkeys songs in the past, Alex Turner's Sheffield-accent is again a feature, "singing over rough, relentless bass and surprisingly appropriate guitar triplets."[8]

When asked to say a little about the song's protagonist, Alex Turner replied, "I can't remember Brian now... I don't know if he were in my imagination or what... it's a blank spot in my brain... I think that's what he [Brian] wanted."[9] He later explained in NME that Brian had been a guy that they had met backstage in the band's dressing room at a gig at Studio Coast "Ageha" in Tokyo, Japan, and that "When he left the room, we were a bit in awe of his presence. So we did a brainstorm for what he was like, drew a little picture and wrote things about him," while guitarist Jamie Cook added "He was right smooth, very LA. He just appeared with like a business card and like a round neck T-shirt and a tie loosely around it, I'd never seen that before. It felt like he was trying to get inside your mind. We were checking out his attire; it inspired us."[10]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, directed by Huse Monfaradi, features the band playing in a sparse sepia set, interspersed with clips of female dancers in front of a large computerised display, stock footage from old medical educational programs and brief flashes of images of objects mentioned in the lyrics, such as "Brian", "jacuzzi" and lightning in place of "thunder". The video was recorded on 14 February 2007, the same day as the 2007 Brit Awards, leading to them missing the ceremony and instead sending two video acceptance messages[11] where they dressed as The Wizard of Oz characters and the Village People. The video premiered on MTV2 on 17 March 2007.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Arctic Monkeys.

CD, 10"
1."If You Found This It's Probably Too Late"Alex Turner1:32
2."Brianstorm"Alex Turner2:50
3."Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend" (featuring Dizzee Rascal)
  • Alex Turner
  • Dizzee Rascal
4."What If You Were Right the First Time?"Alex Turner3:02
1."Brianstorm"Alex Turner2:50
2."Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend" (featuring Dizzee Rascal)
  • Alex Turner
  • Dizzee Rascal

Charts and certifications[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The track is featured in the rhythm video game Guitar Hero 5,[30] and it is considered to be one of the hardest tracks on drums[by whom?] due to its sporadic tom-tom beats.


  1. ^ broctoon. "Video - Arctic Monkeys, "Brianstorm" on Conan -". 
  2. ^ "UK Music Charts - The Official UK Top 75 Singles: Week of Mon 16 Apr - Yahoo! Music UK". UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  3. ^ "Arctic Monkeys - Humbug". 
  4. ^ "The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium". 
  5. ^ MTV Asia. "Top 100 Hits List". Retrieved 27 December 2007 Archived 22 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm (Domino)". Manchester Evening News. 13 April 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2007. 
  7. ^ "Brianstorm: what it sounds like, in words". Guardian Unlimited. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2007. 
  8. ^ "Arctic Monkeys, Brianstorm Video". Filter Magazine. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2007. 
  9. ^ "Alex Turner speaks! We say 'Pardon?!'". NME. 6 March 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2007. 
  10. ^ "Arctic Monkeys reveal story behind Brian". NME. 20 April 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2007. 
  11. ^ "Arctic Monkeys Too Busy For Brits". Clickmusic. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2007. 
  12. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  13. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Canada Top 20 26-04-2006". Top40-Charts. Retrieved 20 June 2018.  Note: Although the date says 2006, this chart is from 2007.
  15. ^ "Arctic Monkeys Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  16. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm". Tracklisten. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  17. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  18. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  19. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Brianstorm". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  20. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  21. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  23. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  24. ^ " – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  26. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  27. ^ "Arctic Monkeys Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  28. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 - 2007". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2018. 
  29. ^ "British single certifications – Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 20 June 2018.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter Brianstorm in the search field and then press Enter.
  30. ^ Joystiq staff (8 July 2009). "The complete Guitar Hero 5 track list". Engadget. Retrieved 20 June 2018. 

External links[edit]