The White Stripes Vinyl, CD & tapes by The White Stripes at Norman Records
Ah Jack and Meg White. The not brother and sister duo who made up the White Stripes. They emerged as black, red and white-clad unknowns out of a Detroit backwater almost single handedly sparking the garage-rock revival and left several years later with a bunch of acclaimed records and an internationally known anthem under their belts.
Although it seemed like they emerged fully formed, Jack White had been pottering around the Detroit scene for some years playing with a multitude of bands. It wasn’t until he asked his non-musician wife Meg to try to hit the drums along to his bluesy guitar riffs did anything magical happen and they very quickly signed to underground indie label Sympathy For The Record Industry for their self titled debut. The album was a revelation in pairing Jack White’s howling blues-influenced vocal delivery and exemplary guitar playing with Meg’s rudimentary but effective drumming. The band were a breath of fresh air amongst the more produced and synthetic music of the day and a year later they returned with De Stijl which was more of the same scuzzy lo-fi rock delivered in the most primitive and raw way possible. By now they were making waves across the great Atlantic ocean and their third album White Blood Cells was re-issued by major label V2. It contains many of their most memorable tracks including 'Hotel Yorba', 'Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground' and 'We’re Going to be Friends' proving that the White Stripes had the songwriting nous to take them away from the garage and into the stadiums and to mainstream success. Noticeably less bluesy than previous records, White Blood Cells retains their back to basics approach but welds it with several soon-to-be-anthems.
They recorded their fourth album Elephant in London at the all-analogue studio Toe Rag. By now the band were unstoppable and the album contained more stone cold classics to prove that the success of White Blood Cells was no flash in the pan. Its opening track 'Seven Nation Army' with its distinctive bass line has become a modern classic. It is now ubiquitous and its melody is regularly sung at political events and in sports stadiums most notably at rallies for UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. It was hard to know where the White Stripes could possibly go after this kind of worldwide success but they made two further albums in Get Behind Me Satan and Icky Thump. The former showcases the band using more acoustic textures and noticeably piano driven songs and the latter returns to the group’s punk and garage beginnings for one final outing before the band called it a day.
Jack White had already started working with other musicians in various projects but the White Stripes continued to tour releasing an acclaimed documentary Under Great White Northern Lights in 2010. By 2011 though they had split indefinitely with Jack White citing Meg White’s lack of enthusiasm as a reason for the break up. Indeed Jack White has gone on to solo success and runs the highly acclaimed label Third Man whilst Meg has stayed away from music. However, as Jack White’s solo music has sometimes proven, it was the certain chemistry between the two of them that made them so special.
Similar to The White Stripes:
The Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, Kasabian, The Raconteurs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wolfmother, The Hives, Jack White, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Eagles Of Death Metal, The Dandy Warhols, Death From Above 1979
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