Is This It (RCA, 2001)
Is This It was the debut album of American rock band The Strokes. It was first released in July 2001 in Australia (to capitalize on the band’s recent tour there). It peaked at #2 in Norway and the UK; #3 in Sweden and #5 in Australia. In the U.S., Is This It peaked at #33. Material-wise The Strokes wanted to achieve a simple rock album that was not enhanced significantly inside the studio. They molded their track list from live takes during studio sessions and the focus of the album’s content was the lives and loves of urban youth.
The original cover photograph was a photograph of photographer Colin Lane’s then-girlfriend’s nude bottom and hip with a leather-gloved hand resting suggestively on the hip. The photo shoot was spontaneous and happened after she stepped out the shower naked. All they wanted was a sexy shot. Unsurprisingly, in the U.S., the photograph was replaced. Instead, North American packaging was changed to a psychedelic photograph of a subatomic particle making tracks in a bubble chamber. What is surprising was that the band offered to change the cover art for the North American release so that the album would have a better shot at being sold globally.
Three singles were released from Is This It: Hard to Explain (#7 in Canada; #27 on the American Modern Rock chart), Last Nite (#5 on the American Modern Rock chart) and Someday (#17 on the American alternative chart; #27 in the UK). The track list was also slightly altered due to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. The original track list includes a song called New York City Cops. This song was not included on the North American release, When It Started was substituted. This song was used in the soundtrack for the film Spiderman.