image from rcrdlbl.com
Jack White, one of today’s most celebrated musicians, is set to accomplish something this week he couldn’t do with his groups The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, or Dead Weather – land a #1 album on Billboard with his first solo effort, Blunderbuss. White got his start with the 1999 release of The White Stripes, a roots-oriented duo comprised of himself on guitar and vocals and his ex-wife Meg White on drums. De Stijl followed in 2000. Neither charted in the U.S. or U.K.
The group had its big break with 2001’s White Blood Cells, an album which, along with The Strokes’ Is This It, powered a garage-rock revival. The album rates as one of the top 1000 albums of all time and one of the top 100 albums of the 2000s. The album appears on best-of lists from Q Magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Spin magazine ranked it Album of the Year. Its song “Fell in Love with a Girl” ranked in Blender’s Top 500 Songs Since You Were Born (1980-2005) and is rated by the DMDB as one of the top 100 videos of all time.
Fell in Love with a Girl
With high expectations, Jack and Meg delivered an even more acclaimed and commercially successful follow-up with 2003’s Elephant. It was Jack’s first visit to the top ten in the U.S. and in the UK it was not only The White Stripes’ first charting album, but went to #1. It also is the best-selling title of White’s catalog with more than 5 million sales worldwide. Like its predecessor, it also ranks in the DMDB’s top 1000 albums of all time and one of the top 100 albums of the 2000s. It was also named Album of the Year by Mojo, NME, Q, and Spin magazines.
That album spawned Jack’s most celebrated song – “Seven Nation Army.” The DMDB ranks it as one of the top 100 song of the 21st century and one of the top 1000 songs of all time. It also rates as one of the top 100 alternative rock songs of all time and makes best-of lists from Blender, NME, and Q magazines.
Seven Nation Army
Two more White Stripes albums followed – Get Behind Me Satan (2005) and Icky Thump (2007). Like Elephant, they both won the Grammy Award for Alternative Album of the Year. The latter was White’s second #1 album in the UK.
The Raconteurs, image from nme.com
In between those albums, White formed another band, The Raconteurs, with The Greenhornes’ Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler as well as solo artist Brendan Benson. That group released two albums – 2006’s Broken Boy Soldiers and 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely. Both were top ten albums in the U.S. and U.K.
The Dead Weather, image from last.fm
Not content to limit his resume to two groups, White also formed The Dead Weather. Lawrence came along from The Raconteurs and Dean Fertita, guitarist and keyboardist for Queens of the Stone Age, entered the picture. White actually took a back seat as the drummer and put The Kills’ Alison Mosshart up front. That group also released two albums – 2009’s Horehound and 2010’s Sea of Cowards. Both were top ten albums in the U.S., but neither made the top ten in the U.K.
Outside of his group projects, White contributed five solo cuts to the Cold Mountain soundtrack in 2003. That same year, he was rumored to have collaborated with Electric Six on the songs “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar.” In 2008, he and Alicia Keys dueted on “Another Way to Die,” the theme song for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. In 2009, he released his first official solo single “Fly Farm Blues,” which was written and recorded in 10 minutes during the filming of the documentary It Might Get Loud which featured White alongside Jimmy Page and The Edge discussing guitar. In 2010, White contributed vocals to three tracks for Danger Mouse’s Rome album.
Now, in 2012, White releases his first full-fledged solo album. Blunderbuss dropped on April 24, 2012. White wrote, recorded, and produced the entire album. January 30 saw the release of the album’s first single, “Love Interruption.” The second single, “Sixteen Saltines,” was released on March 13.
Resources and Related Links:
- Jack White’s DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry
- Wikipedia.org entry: Jack White (musician)
- Billboard.com Jack White Set for First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 by Keith Caulfield (4/25/2012)