The Strokes are an American band formed in 1998 that rose to fame in the early 2000s as a leading group in the garage rock revival. Upon the release of their acclaimed debut album Is This It in 2001, many critics hailed the group as the "saviors of rock." NME made Is This It their Album of the Year. Since then, the band have maintained a large fan base, notably in the US, UK and Australia.
The Strokes released their debut album Is This It in the US in October 2001 on RCA after some delay due to changes made from the UK-released version (released 27th August 2001). The cover of the latter features a black-and-white photo of a gloved hand on a woman's naked backside, shown in semi-profile, and is said to reference Spinal Tap's fictitious Smell the Glove. The North American version replaces this with an image of particle collisions and the song "New York City Cops" with "When It Started". The replacement of "New York City Cops", which contains the refrain New York City Cops, they ain't too smart, was made in good faith following the September 11 attacks.
The album received positive reviews from both mainstream and independent publications, including 4 stars from Rolling Stone, and a 9.1 from Pitchfork Media; it made many critics' top 10 lists, and was named the best album of the year by Entertainment Weekly and TIME. NME, in an article previewing summer concerts, urged readers to attend their shows, claiming that the band was touring on the strength of some of the "best pop songs ever". The influence of 1970s CBGB stalwarts Television was noted by many reviewers, although The Strokes themselves have stated that they are not fans of the band.
After the release of Is This It, the band toured around the world, featuring dates in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America staging for the Rolling Stones. The band headlined UK's Carling Weekend festivals in 2002, largely chronicled by a relatively hard-to-find mini-documentary entitled "In Transit" which was released to members of the now-defunct "Alone, Together" fan club.
In August 2002, the band played at New York's Radio City Music Hall on a bill with The White Stripes. Jack White joined the Strokes on stage to perform the guitar solo in the song "New York City Cops". During that period, the band also appeared as musical guest on Saturday Night Live (performing "Last Nite" and "Hard to Explain"), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Late Show with David Letterman. Is This It yielded several singles as well as video clips, all of which were directed by Roman Coppola.
The group began recording their follow-up in 2002 with producer Nigel Godrich (best known for his work with Radiohead), but later split with him in favor of Gordon Raphael, the producer of Is This It. Recordings with Godrich were never revealed. In August 2003, the band toured Japan, playing a couple of the upcoming songs: "Reptilia", "Meet Me In The Bathroom", "The Way It Is", "Between Love & Hate" (formerly known as "Ze Newie") and "12:51" (formerly known as "Supernova"). The band also played Paul Anka's "My Way" with Japanese lyrics.
as of 2007 is this it has sold over 3.5 million copes worlwide.