What are The Strokes' biggest songs?

25 August 2023, 17:26

The Strokes
The Strokes biggest tracks might surprise you. Picture: Press

By Jenny Mensah

The New York indie veterans will take to the stage at All Points East festival this Friday, but which of their tracks actually has the most streams and views?

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The Strokes are set to play a headline set at All Points East Festival this Friday (25th August).

The New York City indie rockers - comprised of Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond Jr., Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti - are one of the most important bands of the noughties, with many of their hits standing the test of time.

It's easy to reel off a list of The Strokes' most memorable or iconic hits, but which of their songs have actually been streamed the most times? You might be surprised by the results.

Find out below.

  1. The Strokes - Reptilia: released February 9th 2004

    The Strokes - Reptilia (Official HD Video)

    The iconic 2004 single was the second to be released from The Strokes' 2003 Room On Fire album. Released with their Regina Spektor collaboration Modern Girls & Old Fashioned Men as a B-Side, the single peaked on the UK singles chart at number 17 and has an incredible 438,022,721 Spotify streams and 209,618,934 YouTube streams and counting, making it their "biggest" track to date.

  2. The Strokes - Last Nite: released October 23rd 2001

    The Strokes - Last Nite (Official HD Video)

    Perhaps unbelievably, The Strokes' iconic hit, which was the second single from their debut album Is This It, isn't their most streamed of all time. The track, which was released on 23rd October 2001 was the band's highest scoring single when it comes to the UK chart, peaking at 14 and earning them platinum status. At the time of writing this article it has 89,981,762 Spotify streams and 21,855,518 YouTube views so far. Though it seems pretty simple and lo-fi, it was this grainy old-style video which helped kick off the 00s indie scene and spawned videos just like it for years to come.

  3. The Strokes - You Only Live Once: released in 2006

    The Strokes - You Only Live Once (Official HD Video)

    The opening track on the band's third studio album First Impressions of Earth (2005) was the third and final single to be released from the record. The memorable 2006 track makes an impressive appearance on this list with over 267,084,332 Spotify streams and 189,514,558 YouTube views- perhaps in part due to its iconic video, which sees Casablancas and co clad in white as a black oil-like substance fills the room. The song's infectious riff and melody is a definite winner in any of their live setlists and is perfect for a summer's day.

  4. The Strokes - Someday: released 5th August 2002

    The Strokes - Someday (Official HD Video)

    This melodic ditty was the third and final single to be released from the band's Is This Is It album and is still one of their most memorable songs today. Charting at 27 on the UK singles chart and achieving gold and platinum status in the UK and US charts respectively, the song has achieved 335,820,451 Spotify streams and 417,640,529 YouTube views to date.

  5. The Strokes - The Adults Are Talking: released 3rd November 2020

    The Strokes - The Adults Are Talking (Official Video)

    The opening track on the band's sixth studio album The New Abnormal (2020) is now up there with their most listened to songs of all time-thanks in huge part to TikTok. The single, which was produced by Rick Rubin and written by all members of the band, was released as the album's fourth single on the 3rd November the same year and has achieved 328,529,665 Spotify streams and 632,847,92 YouTube views so far, but who's to say how many more ears it's passively reached thanks to the microblogging platform?

  6. The Strokes - Under Cover Of Darkness: released 9th February 2011

    The Strokes - Under Cover Of Darkness

    The first entry to come from The Strokes' Angles album, but certainly not the last, Under Cover Of Darkness takes a respectable sixth place in this list, achieving 186,060,162 Spotify streams and 8,337,883 YouTube views. The official video - which is directed by Warren Fu and starts with a clip of their You Only Live Once video plus contains a reference to Last Nite - doesn't even feature on their official YouTube channel- so we'd imagine it would score even higher. Still, it's steadily become one of The Strokes' most popular modern classics, which is evidenced by its respectable position. Speaking of the track, Casablancas told NME: "It’s about someone who works in the military, and has a girlfriend. It’s cheesy, I guess, but it’s about having to leave a loved one."

  7. The Strokes - Hard To Explain: 25th June 2001

    The Strokes - Hard To Explain (Official HD Video)

    The popularity of this Is This It track, which has garnered 110,232,931 Spotify streams and 39629320 YouTube views thus far, isn't Hard To Explain. Despite what people might mistakenly believe, it was this song (not Last Nite) which was the lead single to The Strokes' debut album and went on to typify much of the band's sound. Coupled with the controversial New York City Cops as a B-Side (due to the unfortunate timing of the release with the 9/11 terrorist attack), the iconic Strokes hit peaked at number 16 on the UK singles chart and sees the band at their most raw. Though it's a fairly simple listen now, the song - complete with an infectious riff and starts and stops - was pretty ground-breaking at the time... Especially when alternative music was in somewhat of a post-grunge and post-britpop malaise.

  8. The Strokes - Call It Fate, Call It Karma: 2013

    Call It Fate, Call It Karma

    The album-ender, which features on The Strokes' fifth studio effort Comedown Machine was never released as a single, but has made its impact regardless. The band's album, which showcases many approaches and influences, was released with no promotion and its cover art was designed to resemble an old RCA tape reel-perhaps increasing fans interest in its lesser-known songs. This romantic and lyrically barely-audible track is another TikTok fave and word on the street is that it turns up in plenty of Spotify "chilled" playlists, which would explain why its garnered a healthy 132,387,057 streams on the platform to combine with its respectable 5,626,672 YouTube views.

  9. The Strokes - Selfless: 2020

    The Strokes - Selfless (Official Audio)

    Track two from the band's sixth studio album The New Abnormal, Selfless is another song which displays the more melodic side to Casablancas' vocals, with the frontman showing off the sweetest of his falsetto skills. Despite it not being a single, forums such as Reddit see The Strokes mega-fans describing it among their "Top 5" songs with some even saying it moved them to tears. Selfless may be a lesser-known track to original Strokes fans, but 112,110,541 Spotify streams and 12,498,631 YouTube views prove plenty of people are listening to this track.

  10. The Strokes - Machu Picchu: 2011

    Machu Picchu

    The album opener on The Strokes' Angles album, Machu Picchu is another streaming success for the band, garnering them around 109,038,671 Spotify streams and 6,870,801 YouTube views so far. The song also features on the FIFA 12 soundtrack, which no doubt adds to this success. Explaining the meaning of the track to NME, Casablancas said: "There are lyrics about keeping yourself busy. 'I'm just trying to find a mountain I can climb,' and Machu Picchu is the Inca sacred place in the Andean mountains of Peru. So the title started out as a joke, but then the joke seemed fitted."

Notable mentions:

Just shy of the Top 10 in eleventh place was The Strokes hit `12:51, which roughly had a total of 111,837,280 YouTube and Spotify streams and their Is This It title track which had approximately 91,726,424 streams across YouTube and Spotify.

What's clear is that The Strokes may have classic hits known to many, they also have a younger and loyal fervent audience, who hungrily stream their more recent hits too.

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