In Review: Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998 – 2016

jack-white-jack-white-34921279-500-500So last time I got to see Jack White I left the show early, like way early within the first half hour of the show.  That was at Nautica a couple years back.  I never walk out of shows.  It was  too loud, the mix sounded like shit, and he was going off on 10 minute guitar solos that where absolute rape to the ears.  Everyone else seemed to love watching him feed into his ego at that show but I came to hear actual songs not him dicking around with feedback pedals.  Apparently somewhere after him jacking himself off he did actually play music after we left.

I am no stranger to the White Stripes.  I had been a fan since pretty close to the start before they broke.  I own the catalog for the most part, I think, I need to check.  That whole late 90’s early 2000’s music scene was pretty amazing with bands like Interpol, The Strokes, The Hives. etc.  The revival of true garage rock.  So, that being said I was never a Jack White hater.  He writes really great songs.  I just wanted to hear a recognizable one that night.

I think White is brilliant when he is unplugged and this album is a dream come true for me because it has all those songs and then some.  Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 collects 26 acoustic songs from throughout White’s wide-ranging musical career, spanning album tracks, B-sides, remixes, alternate versions, and previously unreleased tracks.

screen-shot-2014-08-14-at-1-46-46-pmThe album, arranged in chronological order, includes acoustic songs made famous by The White Stripes, beginning with “Sugar Never Tasted So Good” (originally found on The White Stripes’ second-ever 7-inch single) and then lighting upon favorites like “Apple Blossom” and “I’m Bound To Pack It Up” (remixed here from the original recordings on 2000’s De Stijl), “Hotel Yorba” and “We’re Going To Be Friends” (from 2001’s White Blood Cells), “You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket” and “Well It’s True That We Love One Another” (from 2003’s Grammy Award-winning Elephant), “Forever For Her (Is Over For Me),” “White Moon” and “As Ugly As I Seem” (from 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan) “Effect & Cause” (from 2007’s Icky Thump), and the Beck-produced “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap,” first found on the B-side to The White Stripes’ final single, 2007’s “Conquest.”

This record is amazing start to finish with not one bad song.  The bonus was the packaging with a nice booklet included, on heavyweight vinyl, and with a download code all for under $30.  You get a sample of every phase of White’s career.  An amost 20 year career span actually makes me feel old though as it seems the White Stripes started like 5 years ago.  You can hear how the songs, music and lyrics both matured over time.  You can hear White grow into the superstar he is today.

It’s a greatest hits records which makes me smirk a little after listening to the Best of the Pixies record last night.  I still contend after listening to that record that the Pixies Best of could have been a 5 song EP because there are some absolutely horrible songs on there.  This record on the other hand was done right.  Every song is curated from alternative mixes, B-sides, and originals.  It sounds amazing on vinyl and each song just flows perfectly to the next.  It’s like he knew in 1998 he was going to put out this exact record and formulated it over time for that exact purpose.  Buy it.


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