You Only Live Once

Album: First Impressions Of Earth (2005)

Songfacts®:

  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kiyoto - Vancouver, Canada
  • 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."
  • Casablancas on the song's gritty guitar riff, which set the tone for the rest of the album (Clash, 2006): "There's delay on it. I never liked it, but now it's sort of everywhere on the record. Not crazy '80s reverb, just enough to give a lot of the instruments space so it sounds fuller, bigger and louder. What I used to call 'more professional.' That 'more professional' sound is what we tried when we worked with Nigel Godrich on the first sessions for Room On Fire, but it wasn't right, y'know. Which is why we went back to Gordon Raphael. Here we did it but we still felt it still sounded gritty and like us."
  • The Strokes performed this on Saturday Night Live on January 21, 2006.
  • The B-side is a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" that has Casablancas sharing vocals with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Fabrizio Moretti sharing drumming duties with Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age.

Comments: 1

  • Kiyoto from Vancouver, Canadalove this song, probably one of my favourite strokes songs. i think the strokes are the best "modern rock" band out ehre right now.
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