Rocks In The Attic #182: The White Stripes – ‘White Blood Cells’ (2001)

RITA#182I saw The White Stripes at Glastonbury for the first time when they were touring this album, on a windy Saturday afternoon in 2002. The next – and last – time I would see them in 2005, they were headlining the Pyramid Stage on the Friday night. Although they were much more of a household name when I saw them in 2005, the hype around them was huge in 2002.

I had been given a copy of De Stijl by my friend Paul Hughes when it came out, so I was already a fan of the band, but I think this record was the start of the music press really paying attention to them. White Blood Cells isn’t a great album, in fact it’s very weak compared to De Stijl and Elephant on either side of it, but I guess it gave them something to tour behind and feed the hype to position themselves at the top of the alternative rock tree.

I remember being so excited about seeing them in 2002 – how was a two-man band going to fill the immense size of the Pyramid Stage? How the hell was the band going to sound with only a guitar and a set of drums? It’s less of a novelty these days, especially with The Black Keys crossing further across into the mainstream and essentially doing the same trick but to a wider audience. The absence of a bass guitar doesn’t really get noticed, probably because Jack White’s guitar is so loud.

In recent years, the band’s reputation has soured – possibly because Jack White seems to be spreading himself so thinly. He’s no longer the enigma he was initially so careful to foster.

Hit: Fell In Love With A Girl

Hidden Gem: We’re Going To Be Friends

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2 thoughts on “Rocks In The Attic #182: The White Stripes – ‘White Blood Cells’ (2001)

  1. Matthew Gibson

    I remember being really excited with the White Stripes and particularly the three albums you mention. I listened to White Blood Cells recently and just got…. bored. I’m not sure what the fuss was all about – although, like I say, I was definitely impressed at the time.
    And yes – they are astonishingly good live. He’s a reasonably competent guitarist is Jack White.

    Reply
    1. Matthew Gibson

      And Black Keys haven’t so much embraced the mainstream as injected the mainstream into their veins. The last album was appalling, just an attempt to get as many songs as possible used in adverts.

      Reply

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