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06 January, 2008

The Strokes. Is This It (2001)

Is This It is The Strokes' debut album, released in 2001. The Strokes were the first band to break into the mainstream as part of the turn-of-the-millennium garage rock trend.

After signing with RCA Records, the band went on the opposite way of recording adopted by traditional rock bands. Instead of doing their full-length debut in a professional studio, the Strokes instead opted to record in a basement on Manhattan's Lower East Side, to which they put the name Transporter Raum Studio.

The album is highly influenced by garage rock, post-punk and pop music.

Hyped by the music press on both sides of the Atlantic, The Strokes' auspicious debut garnered them critical and popular attention, as well as a backlash from listeners turned off by the hype. Nonetheless, Is This It's more famous songs "The Modern Age", "Last Nite", "Hard to Explain" and "Someday" won the band much respect and helped the album reach #2 in the UK and #33 in the US.

The track "New York City Cops" was pulled from the North American edition of Is This It following the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack and was replaced by "When It Started". This was because the band and their management thought the song might be considered insensitive, particularly the main chorus line "New York City Cops, they ain't too smart", which is repeated throughout. The band still plays "New York City Cops" live and the song is available on the international edition of the album, along with its original cover art.

Is This It is one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 2000s. It was ranked 89th in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 367 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In June 2005, the album was ranked number 100 on Spin Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005". In July 2006, the album was ranked 48 on The Observer's list of 'The 50 Albums That Changed Music.' In November 2007 Q magazine rated it at 21 in "21 albums that changed music" In addition to being ranked among the greatest albums of all time, the album cover [non-US version] has been ranked as one of the greatest album covers of all time. The U.S. cover is different due to censorship, it features a photo of particle collisions in the Big European Bubble Chamber.

The album is certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Track Listing

All songs by Julian Casablancas.

  1. "Is This It" – 2:34
  2. "The Modern Age" – 3:32
  3. "Soma" – 2:37
  4. "Barely Legal" – 3:58
  5. "Someday" – 3:07
  6. "Alone, Together" – 3:12
  7. "Last Nite" – 3:17
  8. "Hard to Explain" – 3:47
  9. "New York City Cops" – 3:36
    • "When It Started" (replaces "New York City Cops") – 2:57
  10. "Trying Your Luck" – 3:27
  11. "Take It or Leave It" – 3:16


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