So today when I awoke, the internet informed me of two things. The first was that school had already been canceled tomorrow, which brought me great joy. This joy was soon crushed by the news that The White Stripes had broken up. This is not the happiest news. The White Stripes are (were) my 2nd favorite band like, ever, and their music was one of the driving forces that made me realize that classic rock, while wonderful, was not the only thing that existed. So to somewhat alleviate my depression, here’s my favorite song from each of the White Stripes’ six albums.
Screwdriver – The White Stripes (1999)
The White Stripes’ first album is the one where they most show their roots in garage rock and blues. While their sound would evolve considerably over the years, they would never lose the lo-fi sound that this record established. Screwdriver is an example of when Jack White is at his best: going crazy on guitar and screaming into the microphone.
Hello Operator – De Stijl (2000)
De Stijl was the last album The White Stripes made before they actually became popular. It’s essentially their first album, but with the focus put on blues-rock as opposed to garage rock. However, Hello Operator still manages to be the best song on the album. That riff will get stuck in your head for days.
Hotel Yorba – White Blood Cells (2001)
White Blood Cells is where The White Stripes got big. While keeping the bluesy garage sounds they had built up, they also seemed to say “Hey, we’re going to do whatever the hell we want.” In line with this, none of the songs on the album sound anything like one another, leading to this country-esque gem.
There’s No Home For You Here – Elephant (2003)
Starting with Elephant in 2003, The White Stripes became the Pixar of the Best Alternative Album Grammy, winning it with every subsequent album they released. This song is one of the best the White Stripes ever recorded, and suitably for the album, it just feels…epic.
The Denial Twist – Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
Get Behind Me Satan is by far The White Stripes’ weirdest album. Jack White at some points in the videos appears to actually be going insane, with Blue Orchid probably being the pinnacle of insanity. This song holds special meaning to me, as it is the first song I ever heard by them, and the one that got me to immediately go about finding everything else they had ever done.
Icky Thump – Icky Thump (2007)
And here we are at Icky Thump, sadly the band’s last album. It’s not as out there as Get Behind Me Satan, it’s not as bluesy as De Stijl, it’s not as varied as White Blood Cells – but it is undeniably The White Stripes, and Icky Thump is one of the best songs they’ve ever recorded. Also, Meg is hot with red hair.
Well, that’s The White Stripes for you. One of my biggest regrets is always going to be that I never saw them live. Let’s have a moment of silence for one of the greatest bands of all time…followed by screaming and an epic guitar solo.