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Album: First Impressions On EarthReleased: 2005
This song is about a boy who is just ready to explode at his girlfriend, but she reasons him into calming down and getting along. He has tried to turn his back on her, but he can't. This song highlights the fallacies humans often share, especially with regard to taking life way too seriously. This is supported in the title itself, saying you only live once, so why dwell on all your problems and put yourself into a depression, especially when most of the time they are not even that important in the long run as you make it sound at the time.
This is the opening track on First Impressions Of Earth. An early version of the song entitled "I'll Try Anything Once" was included on the B-side for their "Heart In A Cage" single.
When this song was released as a single, The Strokes launched "Operation YOLO" (You Only Live Once), inviting all of their fans to call their local radio stations and request the song. The goal of this was to get a single played or requested the most just by word of mouth.
A demo version of this song was used in a trailer for Sofia Coppola's 2010 film Somewhere. Albert Hammond Jr. told NME: "When Julian (Casablancas) wrote that song he had three of four different melodies for the chorus, and when we were doing First Impressions of Earth, that's the one that stuck."
Samuel Bayer directed the video, which shows the band performing in a room that fills with black water until it subsumes them. Bayer made his mark with the Nirvana video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit