Where To Start With... Jack White
Since his emergence as one half of rock duo The White Stripes, and their subsequent split, Jack White has been a ball of restless creative energy that has seen him appear in several bands such as The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, create a James Bond theme alongside Alicia Keys and collaborate with a range of artists from composer Daniele Luppi and producer Danger Mouse to country legend Loretta Lynn and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
White is also the founder of independent label Third Man Records, which is not only home to one of the world’s most unique recording studios, packed with vintage analogue equipment, but also producer of the some of the most eye-catching vinyl releases in living memory.
And that’s before we’ve even mentioned his solo career, which has so far seen White release three albums under his own name since his debut solo LP Blunderbuss in 2012. Since his most recent solo album Boarding House Reach arrived in 2018, White has also released a studio album and a live EP with The Raconteurs, but earlier this year he announced his intention to turn his focus once more to his solo work, unveiling plans to release not one but two albums this year.
The first of those, Fear of the Dawn, arrives in stores this Friday (April 8) and will be followed this summer by the second new album, Entering Heaven Alive, which is due to land on July 22.
Fear of the Dawn contains a dozen new tracks including the already-released title track as well as recent singles ‘Taking Me Back, which serves as the album’s raucous opener, and ‘Hi-De-Ho’, which features an appearance from A Tribe Called Quest’s chief rhyme merchant Q-Tip.
You can find the video for the latter below – beneath that we’ve picked out five of Jack White’s best solo tracks to date to celebrate Fear of the Dawn’s release – and while we wait for its follow-up in July….
Featured on his solo debut Blunderbuss, ‘Sixteen Saltines’ is, sonically speaking, much closer to the sound of The White Stripes than much of his later solo work, but that’s no bad thing at all. Joyous, riotous rock from start to finish.
The title track of White’s 2014 album is not only his biggest solo hit but also contains one his best post-White Stripes guitar riffs, with a gloriously shredded solo to boot, before adding violins into the mix for something truly unique. One of his best.
‘Two Against One’
Although not featured on any of his own solo albums, White’s contribution to Daniele Luppi and Danger Mouse’s collaborative album Rome is one of its real highlights and thoroughly deserves a place on this list.
‘Love is Blindness’
Recorded in 2011 and featured on the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby, White was reportedly urged to cover U2’s track ‘Love is Blindness’ by their guitarist The Edge, so White obliged and created a much more raw take on the song, one that’s still one of his most intriguing pieces of solo work.
‘Over and Over and Over’
We couldn’t end without including this mosh-pit monster on our list. Another of White’s finest ever riffs propels this frenetic, bouncing rocker alongside spooky, mangled vocals to create one of the best moments on his 2018 album Boarding House Reach.
Fear of the Dawn is available in hmv stores now - you can also find it here in our online store.