The Strokes Debut Album “Is This It” Release Was Delayed In The U.S. After 9/11

The Strokes released their debut album “Is This It” in the U.K. on August 27, 2001.  The cover of the of the UK version features the now classic black-and-white photo of a gloved hand on a woman’s naked backside, shown in semi-profile.  The US release was delayed and the artwork was changed out of fear of objections from America’s conservative retail industry and right-wing lobby.  Here is the original album cover.

The Strokes Is This It Original Album Cover New York City Cops

It also includes the track “New York City Cops”  which was removed from the US version in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.  Although the song tells the story of a relationship, the lyric ‘New York City cops – they ain’t too smart‘, the band and their management thought the song might be considered insensitive.

The Strokes Is This It International Back Cover New York City Cops

After the slight delay, the North American version was released on October 9, 2001.  The front cover was replaced by a photo of particle collisions in the Big European Bubble Chamber.

The Strokes Is This It US Version New York City Cops

The song “New York City Cops” was replaced with “When It Started“.

The Strokes US Release Back Cover New York City Cops When It Started

The Stokes still play “New York City Cops” live and the song is still available on the international edition of the album, along with its original cover art.  Check it out…

Click below to check out Jack White performing “New York City Cops” with The Strokes.

The Strokes With Jack White “New York City Cops”


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