View Full Version : Jack White Appreciation Thread

205 Clive
05-11-2018, 03:42 PM
The title says it all really. For me, Jack White is one of the greater contributors to the world of modern blues rock. So hopefully there are some people in here who feel the same!

So, whether it's The White Stripes, The Racounteurs, Dead Weather, or his solo work, post your love for Jack White

05-11-2018, 04:17 PM
Yes, I know I liked you Clive. I was trying to think of lyrics to put here to confirm my mutual appreciation for Jack White but all I could remember were how his guitar riffs sounded and they don't quite translate onto the screen very well. Instead I'll put this little video from It Might Get Loud, one of the best openings to a music documentary I've ever seen and I feel like it captures who Jack White is very well:


To tell you the truth as much as I like his solo records I will probably always wish the White Stripes were still together, their albums were always so full of great songs.

If I had to pick his best song it would be hard to go past the powerful simplicity of Seven Nation Army, it is so well known for a good reason however I really love The Denial Twist, Blue Orchid, You Don't know What Love Is, The Hardest Button to Button and their cover of I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself.

The Dude
05-11-2018, 05:07 PM
Yeah, so I've heard Seven Nation Army like a billion times and don't like it. I had a white Stripes album but gave it away to a friend.

Jack White deappreciation from me, just not fond of the musician.

205 Clive
05-11-2018, 06:16 PM
Very cool wee video there. It does sum him up. A very DIY. Bare bones approach to music.

It is a shame that White Stripes aren't still doing stuff, as I think Icky Thump, their final outing, is actually one of their stronger albums. But what he's done since is great. The solo work I love, and although it took me a looong while, to warm to them, Dead Weather have some right good stuff on the go.

I'll have a think about my favourite songs, but I'm a big mark for the debut, Elephant, and Icky Thump albums.

The debut album is just mwaaah though.

Prime Time
05-11-2018, 06:27 PM
They're a pretty damn cool band. I'm a fan of ball and biscuit, or whatever it's called.

05-12-2018, 03:43 AM
It is a shame that White Stripes aren't still doing stuff, as I think Icky Thump, their final outing, is actually one of their stronger albums. But what he's done since is great. The solo work I love, and although it took me a looong while, to warm to them, Dead Weather have some right good stuff on the go.

I also really loved Icky Thump, had a number of really good songs on it and absolutely no filler. The simple but oh so effective guitar riffs in the title track are just amazing.

205 Clive
05-12-2018, 06:36 AM
Prime - Ball and Biscuit is a belter of a tune! Love that one. A lot of crackers on the elephant album.

Sam, yes Icky Thump song is great. I think the ever so off rhythm of the riff shows that Meg White isn't as bad a drummer as people says she is. She may not really use a lot of the kit, but she's good with the hum. an metronome stuff.

Regarding the whole album, I think you'd struggle to find a better example of 2 back to back crackers than Little Cream Soda and Rag 'n' Bone. 2 completely different songs but they encapsulate Jack perfectly.

Might do some sort of Machete order with all of The White Stripes songs. Maybe limit it to 18 songs to make a "Greatest Hits" machete order album. Will need to give this a good mull over!

05-12-2018, 12:15 PM
Oh I like that idea a lot. Let me think about it and I'll put mine forward too.

05-13-2018, 06:09 AM
Well, I did it, spent way longer than I expected doing it and trying to get the balance right for the 18 songs making surr to display the full bredth of the band, put some personal favs in, not just have the most popular songs and also tell a bit of a story through the musiv too was really difficult. I'll put the list out first and then go into some reasoning below:

1. We're Gona Be Friends
2. Stop Breaking Down
3. Apple Blossom
4. You're Pretty Good Looking For A Girl
5. Fell In Love With A Girl
6. Dead Leaves And Dirty The Ground
7. Seven Nation Army
8. Black Math
9. The Hardest Button to Button
10. Blue Orchid
11. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
12. My Doorbell
13. The Denial Twist
14. Ball & A Biscuit
15. Icky Thump
16. You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)
17. A Martyr For My Love For You
18. It's True That We Love One Another

So I tried not to play with the chronology of release too much but the two biggest changes to that were We're Gona Be Friends and It's True That We Love One Another which I use and my intro and outro from the actual band of Meg & Jack White, the opening title and credits it you will.

Going into the actual order of song, I don't really rate the first album a whole lot, there are the very bare bones of what they are going to become later but for every song on that album I can find another one they recorded later that is a better version of that song. I picked Stop Breaking Down because of love the raucous guitar riff and rhythm as the song rattles and rolls along.

Going into Apple Blossom is where the story arc of a guy and a girl that meet, fall in love, break up, get back together, break up again and realise they are better off away from one another. Looking at the song order you should be able to see how that goes with the initial meeting in the rythmic Apple Bosom, attraction in the more aggressively toned You're Pretty Good Looking For A Girl from De Stijl to love in Fell In Love With A Girl from White Blood Cells and an actual relationship of Dead Leaves And A Dirty Ground.

Next up is Seven Nation Army at track number seven. It is more of a transitional track that doesn't really say anything about the overarching story but could simply not be left off becuase it is THE White Stripes song. It was conincidence that it ended up at seven but I really liked that.

Next up is Black Math which I wanted to keep after Seven Nation Army to mirror the two opening tracks on Elephant which I put up with the likes of Led Zeppelin IV as best two songs to ever kick off an album. I love how after the strong plodding rhythm of Army it shoots the pace through the roof. It also brings back the love story but plunges the guy and girl into conflict for the first time in the very first line: "Don't you think that I'm bound to react now" and the far more aggressive tone than any of the previous songs.

The Hardest Button To Button kicks in and the guy and girl have a family, however the tension in the music and anger in Jack White's voice show not everything is rosey.

This is where I really start fiddling with cronology as the first song from Get Behind Me Satan kicks in and it is fighting music, the vocals even start with an intake of breathe as if the singer is bracing themself. By now the relationship has completely broken down, this beautiful flower they had has been turned blue and they are abandoning one another because something outside the relationship is better than nothing in it.

Now the relationship has ended the sorrow kicks in with I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself. I have to say that this is a personal favourite of mine, I love the chaotic, disjointed nature of it, particularly as the screaming guitar licks kick in as the guy screams "I just don't know what to do with myself" over and over again.

Unfortunately the thing that he is going to do is fall back into old habits in the song My Doorbell. With the stomp and a smile in his voice suddenly the love from the start of the album is back but the tone and initial happiness betray the fact that the problems are still in the relationship. This backed up by the breakdown of the music mid song before it is picked back up again, trying to paper over cracks that are bound to show up and do in The Denial Twist. By now these two are in complete denial, trying to smile as everything falls down around them, there is cheating involved probably on both parts and both of them are constantly getting in each other's way rocking the boat. The truth that their relationship is over is obvious to everyone and there is no stopping it ploughing through their lives no matter how much they deny things need to end.

We then move to Ball & A Biscuit, the hard blues song that signifies the end of their relationship. I love the rambling, rolling nature of the guitar here that breaks into signature Jack White chaotic guitar.

Next up is Icky Thump, another transitional song but one that I think bridges so well musically off Ball & A Biscuit. I love the swagger of this song, no one else this popular would have the balls to make a song that is as disjointed and abrasive as this one but Jack White pulls it off.

The next two songs are reflections on the relationship that the guy had that show his maturity as he is now able to reflect on the failures of his relationship in You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told) and A Martyr For My Love For You.

All three of the songs I picked off of Icky Thump are personal favourites of mine, YDKWLI just flows effortlessly in and out of verse and chorus and into the guitar solo, I think it is perhaps the closest thing Jack White has to a rock song you might hear from the more radio friendly Oasis or The Killers but it does it without sacrificing White's typical flourishes. Martyr finishes off the the story that has been running through the whole album, how these two met, how they fell for each other and how they could stay together if they wanted because they will always have the spark from when they met but the right thing is for them to leave each other alone.

I actually made a Spofity playlist if you want to listen to all 18, you can find it here: https://open.spotify.com/user/sambrownmedia/playlist/5x6yFXSKZZQExU9DEgvJQy?si=2n1cXTtQRhCd8Fy042qDgg

So they are my picks, 18 songs was really difficult once you start looking at their discography but you have to set your limit somewhere I guess. I had to leave a number of songs I love on the cutting room floor to make the story and flow work and also simply because I didn't have space to fit everything. Notable omissions include: One More Cup of Coffee, Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me, In The Cold Cold Night, Girl You Have No Faith In Medicine, 300MPH Torrential Outpour Blues, Rag & Bone, I'm Slowly Turning Into You and worst of all their cover of Jolene.

Anyway, I think that is enough, was a really fun exercise. Let me know what you think of it and what songs you would pick.

205 Clive
05-14-2018, 02:52 PM
Well! That's a lot of reading and reasoning right there! I will get round to a proper reply at a later time. What with a nasty sickness bug, I'm just getting back to reality. So I will look at this properly and see how it compares to my eventual machete order.

A few crackers in your list for sure. When I see some of the picks, I am yet again reminded just how wall to wall Elephant is!

05-14-2018, 06:16 PM
Dude trying to narrow down Elephant was rough.

205 Clive
05-15-2018, 07:47 AM
It looks like you have put a lot of right good thought into the order of this with story etc. I'm not going to lie. I'm not a massive lyric guy. If I listen long enough, lyrics will sink in, but I don't look for the meaning that much. I try to do that with the instrumentation etc and will give it a bash here.

1) Seven Nation Army - I was going to go in chronological order with this order, but for me you can't find a better album opener from TWS, so it's only fitting that this song opens their "greatist hits". Stomping riff repeated throughout. Sets the tone. Gets you in the mood.

2) Blue Orchid - Although another album opener, I'm going with a repeated riff song, but at a faster tempo, to get the listener even more pumped than they were a few minutes ago. There won't be many I pick from "Get Behind Me Satan" - probably my least favourite album - but I'll put this highlight from the LP at the forefront of the listener's mind.

3) Fell in Love With Girl - The frantic tempo of the opening few songs escalates with this guitar thrash out.

4) I Fought Piranhas - This debut album closer brings the volume and tempo back down a bit, and introduces Jack's more blues oriented riffs and use of guitars. This exemplifies how Jack put a real bombastic stomp on to blues rock, which is followed up by one my favourites...

5) Canon - Another oh-so simple riff. Raw sound. Raw quality. More of a stagger than a swagger but if turned up, my what a strut. And to keep withe punching guitar smash...

6) Little Cream Soda -For me, the first song in the best "double-tap" that Jack's ever put to record. Captures everything he's about. Ripping a guitar apart at both ends of the fret board. And with some noodly guitar work that reminds people he can do (much much) more than static 1-2 progressions.

7) Rag & Bone. The conclusion of the double tap. Completely different than Little Cream Soda, but compliments it so well. Such a fun outing and a great story of a bro and sis just being a bit cheeky on their voyage across America looking for bargains. Songs 6&7 for me also show Jack's use of words (the rhythm and syllable usage - not necessarily their meaning) is an instrument unto itself.

8) Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine - I really love that crazy thing Jack does by atonally shredding behind the fretboard. A fun disregard of music sensibilities that just works so well in his songs.

9) I'm Bound To Pack It Up - After the fun and chaos, it's time to come back down again for a gentler middle portion of the album with this from De Stijll. (If i was doing this as a mixed tape cassette style, I would leave a good few seconds of silence to let the gentler moment to come sink in)

10) My Doorbell - Sadly, my only other addition from Get Behind me Satan, but this is a great song. Such a happy-go-lucky number that is a nice break from the guitar shredding that went on before.

11) You've Got Her In Your Pocket - Total chillout time here.

12) The Big Three Killed my Baby - With the almost whispered "home sweet home" to finish #11, a few seconds silence, with this atonal guitar neck triple assault just reminds you "Oh shit - Jack White's back". Another firm favourite of mine.

13) The Hardest Button to Button - a pretty hypnotic song this one (probably due to the video that accompanies the song - one that I can't unsee). Get's you back into that robotic head bobbing mode

14) Conquest - It will be jarring whenever that trumpet flare comes in, but after the robotic #13, what better (or worse??) to bring you back round than this crazy effort. A great experiment from Jack that, as usual works wonders.

15) Offend in Every way - from White Blood Cells. It's probably the same type of riff and song that Jack's done time and again, but there's something about this one that just calls out to me. Very cool riff that also takes up the length of a chorus before it's played out entirety. As I've said above, vocals aren't my main focus in music, and this riff feels like enough of a "leader" in the song.

16) Apple Blossom - Another of my favourites from the ealier albums. The saloon playing / americana style that Jack is so good at comes to the fore here. The accompanying electric guitar compliments the PIANA and the acoustic very well.

17) Jimmy The Exploder - I couldn't do a machete order and not include the song that started it all. The first from the debut album. It's not the best ever, but it's just me paying homage to where it all started.

18) Ball & Biscuit - Need I say anymore? You want balls out, bare bones blues with Jack's signature chaos thrown in for good measure? After a rollercoaster of riffs and rhythms, and lots of americana styles, this is for me the perfect way to end the show.

So many I am gutted to have left out. And who knows, maybe if I relistened to the albums, I would change this. But from gut instinct. This is what I would pick.

Regarding your playlist, I don't actually have a spotify account, so don't think I'm able to listen to this in your order unless I make it on my own list. But as far as I'm aware, I will be able to do this on the Amazon Prime Music I use. So will create both the above playlists, label them after each other.

This has been fun! Every now and again I reignite my love affair with Mr White and all his friends.

05-15-2018, 08:29 AM
Two very different selections there, mine was almost a concept album whereas yours was more a Greatest Hits.

One thing I love about yours was keeping the balance of the Elephant openers of Seven Nation & Black Math by switching Black Math to Blue Orchid.

Unless you are made like me Seven Nation Army is the perfect opener for the album and I think its steadiness is really complemented by the more frantic Blue Orchid.

I'm very happy you included Rag & Bone, that was amongst the most difficult to leave out of mine and it was largely done to meet the concept. I really sacrificed two slots that it could have fit in for my intro and outro.

Also love I'm Bound To Pack It Up which has such a Zeppelin feel to it, reminds me so much of The Battle of Evermore off Led Zeppelin IV or Over The Hills And Far Away from House of the Holy.

I do have to scratch my head at the omission of Icky Thump and The Denial Twist particularly so I would like to know whey each didn't make yours as they are very high up on my list.

Great way to finish too with Ball & A Biscuit, it is very much an extended expression of Jack White - blue, choatic riffs all underpinned by a solid rhythm.

205 Clive
05-16-2018, 08:07 AM
Yes, upon reading that both, there is a massive difference, both in song choice and track order, between ours.

Icky Thump is a great song. Another one of his great openers, but it was with a heavy heart that I just decided against it.

Denial Twist? Hmm. Sadly it just doesn't do much for me. It's from GBMS, an album I tried and tried to get behind but found there to be too much filler.

However with your concept album idea (which I love by the way - all hail concept albums), I may approach it differently.

Prime Time
05-30-2018, 06:08 AM
If anyone remembers the singer Cerys Matthews from the band Catatonia, she has a blues show on the radio here now and a couple of days ago, she opened it with I'm Shakin' off the Blunderbuss album. I knew it, but didn't realise I did. Not sure where I would have picked that up.

205 Clive
05-31-2018, 04:24 AM
Ah yes, Catatonia were a pretty cool deal in UK in 2000s. I liked her work.

The I'm Shakin' is a great little number. I listened to the Blunderbuss album recently and for me there was no filler whatsoever on that LP. Fantastic solo debut for Mr White.

07-06-2018, 07:18 PM
We had a fair bit of discussion around The White Stripes earlier but what are your thoughts on White's solo stuff?

I really enjoy it, not quite on the same level as the Stripes stuff but particularly Blunderbuss has regularly found its way into regular rotation.

I think my favourite of his solo work is Freedom at 21. It is just a pure version of White's blues rock hybrid. I'm not sure if the version below is stero sound but if you haven't heard this in some good headphones on stereo then check it out, it really plays with the left and right ears.

Oh and did I mention this song just has swag for days.


205 Clive
08-04-2018, 06:15 AM
Sorry Sam, no idea how I missed this post!

I absolutely adore Jack's solo albums. A massive fan of both albums actually. I feel like it keeps to his sensibilities, but he is able to do some crazy stuff based off the difference in percussion.

A lot of love for Meg White, and I think if Jack wanted a better drum sound, he would have got one, but this stuff sets it apart from White Stripes.

So many great songs on both his debut albums.

08-07-2018, 10:17 AM
Yeah, I have never got the Meg White hate, she is exactly what the band need and her playing obviously inspires Jack too.

Prime Time
08-15-2018, 10:17 AM
What was it Ringo said - 'I can do all the fancy stuff but I just like to keep the beat'? There's an element of drive that the Stripes stuff has that very few other people have and a lot of that comes about only because Meg wasn't showing off all the time.

I mean really, it's important to the sound. Think of something like The Hardest Button to Button without it.

08-18-2018, 08:05 AM
Perfect example. That or even something like Seven Nation Army, as iconic as any song released this century and just would not have been the same if it had Dave Grohl going all nutso with drum fills even second bar.

Nothing wrong with that playing in the right place but The White Stripes is about minmaxing everything - they didn't even have a bass guitar until their second last album.

Prime Time
12-12-2018, 11:41 AM
Just thrown White's Lazaretto album on. It's an interesting thing so far. There's a bluesy quality to it but it's a lot more showy than straight blues. There's different instruments and vocal sounds called up for specific tracks and it's like he's running through the playbook to create a whole kinda soundscape or something. But underlying it, there's that old-school guitar/organ sound that is holding a lot of the wackier stuff together.

It's really quite ambitious, actually.

EDIT: Just reached the song 'Alone in my Home', which is another really interesting departure from the first half of the album. A lot more acoustic instruments in evidence here. But certainly not without its merits.

Yeah, I like it on the whole.

12-15-2018, 01:47 AM
I can't say I am as in love with the solo stuff, I find it very hit and miss but you are right that it is certainly ambitious. I think that he is at a point where he has enough money he never has to make another song that he doesn't want to so he is free to explore and be creative as much as he wants. Good on him I say.

I posted my favourite of his solo stuff above, Freedom At 21 but that is a very White Stripesy song really.

His most recent album Boarding House of Reach is even more of a departure, he gets into electronica a bit but still has the more classic Jack White stuff in songs like Over and Over.

For the love of Terry Funk
01-11-2019, 05:11 PM
Any Raconteurs fans here?