Yup, it’s Sunday, and that means it’s time to kick back, and read a magazine or book, surf the web, do Christmas cards or tree decorating, and fire up the S-25 Mix. As with all of IRC’s playlists and mixes, just click the first song and the Yahoo media player will automatically stream through all 25 classic songs, uninterrupted, so you can listen while you’re doing other things.
In addition to arranging the song list, part of the S-25 mix is to spotlight one band each Sunday that we just absolutely dig, whether they are well known, marginally well known or pretty much obscure. This week we picked The Strokes. Over the past decade, The Strokes have dug out their place among the best garage rock bands ever. The 10th anniversary of the release of the band’s platium debut album, Is This It?, is fast approaching.
That album catapulted the band to worldwide rock and roll stardom – almost over-night – thanks to its numerous catchy and memorable songs, created by the decidedly 1970s guitar rock and angular riffs of guitarists Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi; the intriguing lyrics and captivating vocals of Julian Casablancas; the fierce bass-playing of Nikolai Fraiture, and the splendid drum work of Fabrizio Moretti. The band members were barely in their 20’s when their debut album was released.
“Hard To Explain” – The Strokes from Is This It? (2001)
Is This It? had a huge influence on countless numbers of bands that have formed since its summer 2001 debut. Interestingly, this NYC band first released their debut LP in the UK in August. Perhaps this was due to the crazy amount of coverage the band was getting throughout the UK months before Is This It? came out. The band and label may have also released it in the UK first because the original risque cover (see above) is more acceptable there than in the U.S.
As a matter of fact, when Is This It? was finally released in October of 2011, not only did they replace the cover (see above), but they also decided not to release the track “New York City Cops” as the B-side for their first single in light of the terrorists attacks on their city the month prior.
“Someday” – The Strokes from Is This It?
Controversial album covers and other trivial matters aside, Is This It? was clearly one of the defining albums of the 2000’s. In fact, Is This It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in February 2002 for shipments of 500,000 copies in the U.S. Is This It was named the best album of 2001 by Billboard, CMJ, Entertainment Weekly, NME, Playlouder, and Time. The LP was in the top five of hundreds of more such lists published for 2001. The Strokes won NME‘s Best New Act, Band of the Year, and Album of the Year for 2001.
The Strokes set out to prove that they could live up to the tremendous expectations they faced after the success of Is It This? After extensive touring in 2002 with The White Stripes, Weezer, Kings of Leon (who opened for The Strokes), and even The Rolling Stones, the band finally got back in the studio in 2003. The result was the band’s highly anticipated, and yet again, highly acclaimed, sophomore album, Room On Fire, which saw the band incorporate new wave music elements that they pulled off swimmingly.
Three years and many shows later, the band dropped their third album, First Impressions of Earth. The album failed to generate the same kind of enthusiasm and sales as the band’s first two albums. In 2007, band members all embarked on other projects, with both Hammond and Casablancas releasing debut solo records in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
Strokes’ fans have been waiting four years for a new album from the band. There have been delays, the band admits, because of their solo work and other commitments, but anyone who’s been following is not crazy to wonder if the band’s heart is really in it. This past summer in a BBC interivew, Casablancas, responded to a question about the status of the new record.
“The first thing is the Strokes thing. Like I said I’m kind of split now, I’ll do other things,” he said. “If I have an idea for something that I know head to toe, I’ll probably do it on my own, and when I have kind of looser stuff I’ll probably bring it to the Strokes. But right now we’re just trying to finish this record, so lets see how this goes.” Umm, yeah. The word now is the album is set to be released in March of 2011; but as far as we know, there are no audio or video samples of the new songs available.
“I Wish It Was Christmas Today” – Julian Casablancas from Phrazes of the Young (2009)
“Where The Streets Have No Name” – U2 from Joshua Tree (1987)
“Sympathy For The Devil” – The Rolling Stones from Begger’s Banquet (1968)
“In Transit” – Albert Hammond Jr from Yours To Keep (2006)
“Round The Bend” – The Beta Band from The Beta Bend (1999)
“A Sunday Smile” – Beirut from The Flying Club Cup (2008)
“Hope” – The Submarines from Declare A New State (2006)
“Last Nite” – The Strokes from Is This It? (2001)
“Rock On” – David Essex from Rock On (1973)
“All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople from All The Young Dudes (1972)
“Sundress” – Ben Kweller from Ben Kweller (2004)
“Ant Music” – Adam & The Ants from AntMusic EP (1981)
“Ize of the World” – The Strokes from First Impressions of Earth (2006)
“A Cold Wind Will Blow Through Your Door” – Bill Ricchini from Tonight I Burn Brightly (2006)
“Hey You” – Pink Floyd from The Wall (1979)
“Here Comes The Night” – Them from The Story of Them (1965)
“Where Is My Mind?” – Pixies from Surfer Rosa (1988)
“Strange” – Built to Spill from Ancient Melodies of The Future (2006)
“This Time” – John Cougar Mellancamp from Nothing Matters and What If It Did? (1980)
“Razorblade” – The Strokes from First Impressions of Earth (2006)
The S-25 Concept: The idea of what we’ve come to call the S-25 Mix is to represent great music from all time periods, styles and genres of popular music from the mid 1950s to present day. We like to try to create a good cross representation of that includes classic rock, pop, new wave, dance, garage rock, electronica, indie, singer-songwriter, punk, R&B, lo-fi, chillwave, post punk, and doses of blues, jazz, hiphop, country and classical as well. The interesting thing about all of the great music that came before is the huge influence it has had on alternative, and particularly indie, rock of the past two decades, and likely will for a long time to come..mp3″ rel=”nofollow” rel=”nofollow”