Is This It is the debut album by the American alternative rock band The Strokes, 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, 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.
Hyped by the music press for their melodic pop-influenced garage rock sound 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 number two in the UK and number thirty-three 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. In 2002, Is This It was re-released with a DVD with music videos and outtakes from a performance on MTV2.
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's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In June 2005, the album was ranked number 100 on Spin'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 non-U.S. version of the album cover has been ranked as one of the greatest album covers of all time. The U.S. cover is different; it features a photo of particle collisions in the Big European Bubble Chamber.
Is This It has sold one million units in the US as of January 2006, yet is still merely certified gold there.
In the Rolling Stone June 2008 edition, the closing track "Take It or Leave it" was named number 71 on their list of 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time
|"Hard to Explain"|