This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated in honor of Julian Casablancas’ birthday on August 23rd.
Deep Cuts is a recurring feature that finds us looking for the hits beyond the hits. Today, we’re heading to New York City to explore The Strokes’ catalogue.
The Strokes aren’t a singles band. Never have, never will be. Granted, to some, they’ll always be the kids who “ripped off Tom Petty” with “Last Nite,” and, sure, old-school Guitar Hero fans might perk their heads up at hearing “Reptilia” at a bar, but they’re an albums band. Because when fans talk about the New York City rockers, the debate is rarely about favorite songs, but what albums they align with now or yesteryear.
So, picking out 10 deep cuts was admittedly a challenge. To most fans, every track off their first two albums are as popular as any single they’ve ever released. In fact, more so, as we’ve come to learn the guys are kind of shit when it comes to picking stuff for the radio. Nevertheless, we stuck to our guns, dug a little deep (but not too deep), and pieced together a collection of tracks that range from “Oh yeah” to “Oh yeah?”.
Like anything, these will change just as soon as we hit publish, particularly with their sixth studio album, The New Abnormal, on rotation. Three days from now, we might be kicking ourselves for not advocating hard enough for “Hawaii” or giving some love to their cover of Marvin Gaye. For now, though, we’re fairly confident with this batch, and guarantee you’ll be tapping your feet along the way to the Galaga machine.
— Michael Roffman