These 26 recordings delve into the heart of the prolific song-smithing of Jack White, providing an eye-opening retrospective of B-sides and re-imaginings, and insight into White’s muse. It also features the previously unreleased “City Lights” and “Love Is The Truth.”
Filled with tuneful performances, the collection begins in chronological order (by conception) with songs made popular by the White Stripes. “Sugar Never Tasted So Good,” “Apple Blossom,” and “I’m Bound To Pack It Up” sets the tone. Recording imperfections such as background noises, lopsided harmonies, and fluctuating vocal volume are left intact. It’s this kind of rustic, DIY, first-take approach that permeates the album, displaying White’s sense of humor and humanity. It focuses your attention squarely on the song and not production.
McCartney-esque whimsicality and Plant and Page’s acoustic approach ricochet, but it’s augmented by White’s dry, wacked-out sense of humor, as on “Well It’s True We Love One Another,” “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap,” and “Effect And Cause.” White combines the raw blues tradition with old school Nashville, but songs like “You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket” is just plain great songwriting.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s March ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.