I’m really pissed off with the record label for ripping off Manics fans with this record. Prior to this, each of their album releases on vinyl had been fine. Here, they cram 75 minutes onto a single disc. The result: a very low-fidelity and quiet album. It’s almost unlistenable. Generation Terrorists is just as long and that’s a double-LP.
I was a big Manics fan, probably up to this album. In their day – with Richey on board – they were fantastic, but something died in the band when he disappeared, and they lost their edge. Everything Must Go is a good album considering what they had just been through, but This is My Truth Tell Me Yours is just boring. This album is a bit more up-tempo than its predecessor, but mostly crap.
Know Your Enemy came out when I used to drive over to see my good friend Paul in Todmorden all the time, so it reminds me of making that long drive all the way from my parent’s house in Oldham.
I was much more impressed with this album, after White Blood Cells didn’t really live up to the hype that was surrounding the band at the time of that release. I thought White Blood Cells was a bit of a letdown, after the genius of De Stijl, but here on Elephant they seemed to get back on track.
I wasn’t a White Stripes fan from the very start, but I remember a lot of talk about them around the same time that The Strokes were being touted as the next big thing. My good friend Paul gave me a copy of De Stijl on CD that he’d won at some music festival, and not knowing anything about them, he’d offloaded it onto me. So from listening to that album (a lot!), I was very into them by the time White Blood Cells came around.
I love De Stijl – a lot of it sounds (to me) like Led Zeppelin, and I like that. White Blood Cells and Elephant are a bit heavier, but still retaining a melodic edge which saves them from the garage rock of their first album.
I don’t usually pay much attention to music videos – I find they can change how you perceive a song, both positively and negatively – but the videos for three of this album’s four singles are outstanding: the kaleidoscopic Seven Nation Army video, directed by Alex And Martin; a scantily-clad Kate Moss swinging around a strippers’ pole in I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, directed by Sofia Coppola; and the pulsating The Hardest Button To Button video, directed by Michel Gondry.