Vinyl Vlog 600

Vinyl Vlog 600

Saturday, 08 April 2023

The Strokes
The Singles Volume 1

(Legacy Recordings/Sony Music)
The Strokes might be singlehandedly responsible for bringing the alternative renaissance of 2000-2010 to the masses. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, in that decade, there was a kind of rock music style (not necessarily new) that, for a lack of better term, was becoming more mainstream. That era saw the ascent of bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, LCD Soundsystem (to a lesser degree), The White Stripes, and The Strokes. It’s all documented in the book Meet Me in the Bathroom. Think of a dirty, stripped-down garage rock style driven by mysterious and moody front people, all from the East coast. It’s not quite certain whether these bands just happened to come up around the same time or they were all birthed by the same mother, but there they were, in the aughts, front and center for all of us to look at.

The Strokes are maybe the band that stuck to their guns the most. If you were buying what they were selling — a super catchy, guitar driven, Seventies/Eighties-style rock music — then you were in for a treat. I was a stubborn punk when the Strokes broke and even I had to admit there was an edge to the music they wrote, even though it was incredibly poppy and catchy. I am, and always have been, a sucker for pop. A good melody, driven by pulsing guitars is my cup of tea, and if a band is modernizing the Buzzcocks’ sound, I’m all for it.

This Strokes Singles Volume 1 set-offers the choice cuts during the height of their music. Of course their albums have to be consumed in their entirety to truly be appreciated, but these singles are a perfect example of the power of their music. Collected here on black vinyl are the first ten 7-inch singles, with reproduced artwork, in a beautiful hardcover sleeve. These singles span the first three Strokes albums; when the band sounded their best. While the A-sides to these singles are cool and cater to the causal listener, it’s truly the b-sides which spark the most interest in more hardcore fans. These contain demos, home recordings, covers, and even live cuts that are unavailable anywhere else. There’s a story to most of these, especially “New York City Cops” which had to be booted off the full length after 9/11, and I’d like to dig deeper into them.

The Singles Volume 1 promises there will be more to come. In its entirety, it plays like both a best-of and a deep dive into the inner workings of the band. This box set is undeniably cool, documenting a time when the Strokes were the biggest thing on the planet.


The Strokes – The Singles box set is out now. Buy it here, directly from the band’s official website.

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