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The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”
Writer(s): Jack White (see lyrics here)
Released: 3/7/2003, First charted: 3/8/2003
Peak: 76 US, 12 AR< 13 MR, 7 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.6 UK, 0.6 world (includes US and UK)
Radio Airplay (in millions): 0.3 Video Airplay (in millions): 162.00 Streaming (in millions): 400.0
Review: Built on what Rolling Stone called “the greatest riff of the decade,” RS’09 “Seven Nation Army” is “the place where Led Zeppelin meets the future” PD as “Jack White weighs in with some Jimmy Page-inspired guitar riffage” PD that announced him as “this generation’s surest thing to a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer.” CS That “Army” sported “one of the catchiest, most-recognized bass-sounding lines” SA is all the more astonishing considering it wasn’t played on a bass at all.
The sound was actually created with an octave pedal and a semi-acoustic AB’00 “low-registered, seven-string guitar.” SA White said he planned to use the riff if ever asked to do a James Bond film theme. Considering that unlikely, he used it for this song. In 2008, he and Alicia Keys performed the theme song (“Another Way to Die”) for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. SF
The song title came about from what Jack thought the Salvation Army was called when he was a child. The subject of the song regards the White Stripes rise in popularity and the subsequent gossip that arises. SF Jack “howls about a rage so intense, he could take on an army all by himself.” RS’09 Of course, he isn’t alone – the song “wouldn’t have half of its menace were it not for the simplicity of [drummer Meg White’s] thumping, insistent floor tom.” PF
“Army” restores “an element of hard rocking blues to what otherwise borders on throbbing dance music.” AMG It also was “the coolest song ever to become a soccer hooligan chant” MX as Italian soccer fans latched on to the song while facing different nations in the 2006 World Cup. SF Since then, it has become an inescapable anthem in sports stadiums and arenas and has been covered by Audioslave, the Flaming Lips, and Rihanna. SA It also sported an iconic video which has earned a reputation “as one of the most effective motion-sickness-inducing devices since the invention of spinning carnival rides.” SF
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