Last Nite

Album: Is This It (2001)
Charted: 14

Songfacts®:

  • The first song to get much radio play for The Strokes, "Last Nite" is about a guy who leaves his girlfriend after she tells him she feels upset because he doesn't care about her. He then starts to get depressed and question his choices. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • British music magazine NME placed Is This It in first place in their list of the albums of the decade. Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas said of the award: "It's totally crazy! I don't know what that means. Does it mean it's a good musical decade or a bad musical decade? I don't know, I'm such a bad judge of my own stuff. But I thought it was great when I heard. Recording the album was fun, it was stressing, it was exciting. I think if I was to know then that I'd be having this conversation now I couldn't be more pleased. I'm restraining myself now, I don't want to get carried away, but I'm pretty damn psyched with myself. Mental high five!"
  • Julian Casablancas told producer Gordon Raphael he wanted the song to sound "like a band from the past that took a time-trip into the future."
  • The video was directed by Roman Coppola, son of Francis Ford Coppola and brother of Sofia. The scene in which Casablancas throws his microphone stand was later referenced by The Strokes on their 2011 clip for "Under Cover Of Darkness," when he says, "everybody's singing the same song for 10 years."
  • Some listeners pointed out that this bears resemblance to the 1977 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers hit "American Girl." Julian Casablancas explained why: "Yeah, we ripped it off."

    According to the band's bassist, Nikolai Fraiture, Is This It also borrowed elements from The Cure. He said: "There are some bass lines on our first album that were 100% ripped off from The Cure. We were worried about putting out the album, because we thought we'd get busted."
  • The Strokes performed this on Saturday Night Live on January 19, 2002.
  • The original version debuted on their three-song EP The Modern Age, which - like Is This It - was recorded in Gordon Raphael's basement studio. The independent, London-based label Rough Trade got a hold of it and suddenly the demo was promoted as the NME single of the week. The band wasn't signed in the US but they appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone, which was unheard of for an unsigned group since the magazine's inception in the mid-'60s. The attention sparked a huge bidding war among major record labels that was eventually won by RCA.
  • Indie pop-rockers The Morning Benders, later known as POP ETC, recorded this in 2011 for the tribute album Stereogum Presents... Stroked: A Tribute To Is This It. Frontman Chris Chu noted:

    "Back when Is This It was released everyone was going crazy over how much The Strokes sounded like VU and Television and Iggy Pop. But to me, there first single 'Last Nite' always felt like a Beatles song. The way the rhythmic elements always stay out of the way of the vocal, that one note guitar line a la George Harrison, even Julian's vocal has that combo of snotty grit and melody that reminds of Lennon. But beyond all that, the reason it really feels like a Beatles song is the structure. It's classic early-Beatles Lennon, and an approach to pop structure that still hasn't really been tapped into. There's no clear verse or chorus, just one main hook and melody. The only other section is a short bridge, that really just acts as a kind of propeller for the main melody, giving it the momentum it needs to come back over and over and over again. That's good pop! And of course the middle eight is replaced by a guitar solo because, well, they're the Strokes.

    For our cover we turned that structure on its head. The sections still occur in the same order, but we have re-imagined them. The main 'Last Nite' melody/lyric becomes a proper verse, and the section that used to be a short bridge becomes the proper chorus/hook. At the end everything intersects with each other and we have a melodic party. Pretty fun, right?"

Comments: 4

  • Layton from Paris, TxHahaha whoa, I never noticed how similar they are to each other! That's weird O_o
    Casablancas is hilarious xD
  • Susan from Toronto, CanadaThis song was obviously MASSIVELY influenced by the Doors' song "Touch Me."
  • Wes from Littlestown, PaOne of the funniest lyric misinterpretations ever by a friend of mine...instead of on top of this i ain't ever gonna understand, he would sing Count Chocolate ain't ever gonna understand. I still sing it that way for fun.
  • Chris from Runcorn, EnglandThe intro was based on Tom Petty's - American Girl. [The Album 'Is This It' doesn't have a question mark by the way mate]
see more comments

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