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  • Audio (L-Z)
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  • Video (L-Z)
  • Acknowledgments


The White Stripes’ biggest hit was born in Australia. Then it became a game-changing global sports anthem

Jack and Meg White of The White Stripes sit on a red couch surrounded by instruments

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'Seven Nation Army' isn't so much a song anymore as a cultural tour de force.

It's a muscular rock anthem that transformed The White Stripes from best kept garage rock secret into the biggest band of the turn-of-the-millennium rock revival.

More significantly, in the 20 years since its release, the song has grown from the group's signature hit into a canonised pop culture artefact. 

'Seven Nation Army' ranks alongside history's most iconic and influential guitar riffs — 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', 'Back In Black', 'Smoke On The Water', you name it. There's a whole generation who see the song as a rite of six-string-slinging passage.

It's instantly magnetic, impossibly catchy but also doesn't get dull thanks to a selection of slippery little variations to the phrasing – best evidenced by White teaching Jimmy Page and The Edge how to play the riff in 2008 documentary  It Might Get Loud .

"That'll be five dollars," he jibes after instructing them and jamming on the track.

With over one billion streams and counting on Spotify alone, it's The White Stripes' most recognisable and popular song. Across two decades it's gone from their highest charting hit in triple j's Hottest 100 to an inescapable stadium chant at sporting events the world over.

And 'Seven Nation Army' was born right here in Australia.

The song that nearly wasn't

Jack White came up with the iconic riff during soundcheck at Melbourne's Corner Hotel in January 2002, on one of The White Stripes' earliest tours Down Under.

Ben Swank – White's roommate and later, Third Man Records exec – was there during that historic moment. At the time, he didn't think much of what would become one of the most recognisable descending note patterns in music.

"Weirdly enough, I didn't like it," Swank told Deadspin in 2012. "I [told Jack], 'I don't know man, you can do better'."

Recounting the origin story in  It Might Get Loud , White said the muted reaction only encouraged him to pursue the idea further.

"It's almost great when people say that, because it almost makes you get defensive in your brain and think, 'No. There's something to this. You don't see it yet. It's gonna get there."

He pocketed the riff, thinking it would make for a great James Bond theme should the opportunity arise. (As it turned out, White did get to compose a 007 tune: 'Another Way To Die' with Alicia Keys for 2008's Quantum of Solace ).

Even after recording the song, the frontman fought resistance from the band's labels to make 'Seven Nation Army' the lead single for The White Stripes' career-altering fourth album Elephant , which celebrates its 20th anniversary this Saturday.

To say his instincts were correct is a wild understatement.

"The labels in America and the UK, neither of them wanted to put that out as the first single," White told Rolling Stone in 2009. "It just shows you that you really never know."

Released on 17 February 2003, 'Seven Nation Army' rocketed to number one on Billboard's Alternative chart and later earned the Grammy for Best Rock Song, while Elephant won Best Alternative Music Album (the first of three in a row for the band).

"Maybe it should have won for Best Paranoid Blues Song," White joked to Rolling Stone .

Buoyed by its hypnotic music video, which received heavy rotation on MTV and rage here in Australia, 'Seven Nation Army' also hit the Top 10 in the UK and peaked at #17 on the ARIA Singles Chart following its CD release on 28 April, 2003.

By the end of that year, it was voted in at #3 in triple j's Hottest 100 (just behind Outkast's 'Hey Ya' and Jet's 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl?) and interestingly, rose to #2 in a poll on the previous 20 years of Hottest 100 countdowns held in 2013. It remains the highest charting of 10 songs by The White Stripes in triple j's annual music poll.

'I'm gonna fight 'em off…'

'Seven Nation Army' was recorded in April 2002, at Toe Rag Studios in the London borough of Hackney, entirely on analogue equipment.

The lack of digital gear wasn't a surprise for the Detroit duo – with their old-fashioned sensibilities stripped-back voice/guitar/drums set-up. But the song's opening riff was.

The growling, ominous melody sounded like it was played on a bass guitar – a self-imposed White Stripes no-no – but was created by White pitch-shifting his guitar (a semi-acoustic 1950s Kay Hollowbody gifted to Jack by his brother as payment for moving a refrigerator, for you trivia heads).

Using a digital whammy pedal, he down-tuned his six-string an octave to mimic a bass. (A very similar effect is heard on another decade-defining hit , Tame Impala's 'The Less I Know The Better'.)

"I was just calling it 'Seven Nation Army' — that's what I called the Salvation Army when I was a kid," White told Rolling Stone . "So that was just a way for me to remember which one I was talking about, but it took on a new meaning with the lyrics."

As the down-tuned guitar meets the four-to-the-floor drum thud, White fires his powerful opening salvo:

'I'm gonna fight 'em off / A seven nation army couldn't hold me back' They're gonna rip it off / Takin' their time right behind my back'

Charged with a fearsome defiance, the lyrics were actually inspired by the perception of the band's burgeoning celebrity within the grassroots Detroit scene that spawned them. The paranoid protagonist imagines the bitchy backstabbing of the folks back home, jealous of their fame and success.

"He feels so bad he has to leave town but you get so lonely you come back," White explained to The Independent in 2010. 

"The song's about gossip. It's about me, Meg and the people we're dating."

A key part of the early White Stripes narrative was that Jack and Meg White pretended to be brother and sister, when in fact they had been married and divorced.

It was a relatively open secret, one that White later claimed was to keep the focus on the music rather than their personal relationship.

For better or worse, the 'Are they/aren't they?' question dogged the band in the early stages of their career and began to irritate the duo when it did distract from the music.

It's easy to read that frustration in the second verse of 'Seven Nation Army', where the tone switches to something a little more threatening.

'Everyone knows about it / From the Queen of England to the Hounds of Hell And if I catch it comin' back my way, I'm gonna serve it to you And that ain't what you want to hear, but that's what I'll do'

Them's fighting words, doubling down on the song's attitude and air of ferocity. 

"That song started out about two specific people I knew in Detroit. It was about gossip, the spreading of lies and the other person's reaction to it," White told Rolling Stone in 2005.

"It came from a frustration of watching my friends do this to each other. In the end, it started to become a metaphor for things I was going through. But I never set out to write an exposé on myself."

"To me, the song was a blues at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The third verse could be something from a hundred years ago."

He's right. That verse combines the romantic imagery of a ramblin' Bluesman — 'goin' to Wichita' to ' work the straw / make the sweat drip out of every pore' – with religious allusions: ' I'm bleedin' and I'm bleedin' right before the Lord'.

It's worth noting White and his nine(!) siblings were raised devout Catholic and he even considered joining the priesthood as a teen. 

But for all of its evocative, ear-turning phrases, what really powers 'Seven Nation Army' has very little to do with the words

The staying power of seven notes

The White Stripes' most popular song by a comfortable stretch, 'Seven Nation Army' posed a songwriting challenge from White to himself to "NOT put a chorus in the song," he told The Detroit Free Press in 2016.

"I wanted to see how powerful I could make the track without resorting to it having a chorus."

That central burly riff – a seven-note descending pattern – is so good that it doesn't really change throughout the song. It goes quieter and louder, or is embellished with broader chords.

White has written plenty more involved songs and equally effective riffs but 'Seven Nation Army' endures precisely because of its simplicity.

That timeless quality also ensured the song's fascinating migration from indie rock staple to a global anthem, chanted by packed stadiums at sports events.

As legend has it, in 2003, 'Seven Nation Army' was playing in a Milan bar and heard by supporters of Belgian football team Club Brugge, visiting the Italian city to see their team face off with AC Milan.

Struck by its urgency and electricity, the fans continued to sing the riff as they filled the stadium for the European Champions League match-up. Following a surprise win against Milan, Brugge adopted the chant as an unofficial anthem and even began playing 'Seven Nation Army' every time they scored.

In February 2006, Brugge lost a EUFA Cup match against A.S. Roma, prompting the Italian team's fans to chant the song back as a taunt to the Belgians.

"I had never heard the song before we stepped on the field in Bruges," Roma captain Francesco Totti later told a Dutch newspaper .

"Since then, I can't get the ' Po po-po-po po-ppo-pooo ' out of my head. It sounded fantastic and the crowd immediately loved it. I quickly went out and bought one of the band's albums."

The Italian team and their supporters ended up taking the song back home, later exposing it to a massive global audience as their nation went on to win the 2006 World Cup, belted out from the nosebleeds of the Berlin Olympiastadion to the streets of Rome.

Two days after the World Cup victory, two of the Italian team's star players (Alessandro Del Piero and Marco Materazzi) joined the Rolling Stones onstage and led the enormous crowd in a chant of 'the po po po song' with the words "campione del mondo" (world champions).

Its status as a sporting anthem was sealed, played during every game of the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Euro Cups, and migrating to other sporting events, such as Formula One racing  and across the Atlantic to infiltrate the NBA , MLB , and even the WWE .

It also made the natural leap from the sports arena to political chant.

In 2017, 'Seven Nation Army' became linked with UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's rise to power, becoming what The Guardian described as a "ubiquitous and inescapable" rallying cry.

White may have intended the song to have no chorus but chants of 'Oh! Je-re-my Coooor-byn!' dominated Glastonbury Festival that year.

The song's all-conquering ubiquity and endurance has, of course, delighted its composer.

"As a songwriter it is one of the things I am most proud of being a part of," White told The Detroit Free Press in 2016. But he was talking about something much deeper than the song royalties lining his pockets.

As White noted, the song has transcended its humble beginnings into something utterly timeless due to its adaptability by the masses swarming large-scale sporting and music events.

"Modern folk music around the world happens when groups of people gather together in larger numbers, not in small homes and villages like it used to in the past…

"What thrills me the most is that people are chanting a melody, which separates it from chants like 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy' and 'We Will Rock You' and many of the most popular songs where large groups tend to clap or sing words and not just notes."

That power and the deathless popularity of 'Seven Nation Army' has stuck with White. It has remained a tentpole of his live shows even now , more than a decade after going solo.

His pride in the song was evident when he spoke to Conan O'Brien last year , happy to revisit the song's origin, trajectory, and legacy.

"Nothing is more beautiful in music than when people embrace a melody and allow it to enter the pantheon of folk music," he told O'Brien.

"It's not mine anymore. It becomes folk music when things like that happen. It becomes something that, the more people don't know where it came from, the happier I am."

Whether in its original 2003 recording or in a raw live iteration – performed by musicians or divorced of its lyrics and boiled down to its rudimentary elements by a rowdy crowd – the idea that tickled Jack White while sound-checking in a Melbourne pub has never gone away. It probably never will.

Jack White was in Australia for one night only – here's what happened

Man with short blue hair plays guitar and sings into microphone. Behind him a drummer with a gold chain plays drums

How Radiohead's Creep became a 90s anthem despite being 'deleted' by their label

Radiohead in Frisco, 1994, for US Weekly Magazine

Mr. Brightside: The Killers' enduring hit that might live forever

A 2004 press shot of The Killers

We fell in love with The White Stripes on White Blood Cells

A press shot of The White Stripes for their 2021 Greatest Hits albu

Jack White on having nine (actual) siblings, building new guitars, and why he wants to lock up your phone

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The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

For the first time in 17 years, we’ve completely remade our list of the best songs ever. more than 250 artists, writers, and industry figures helped us choose a brand-new list full of historic favourites, world-changing anthems, and new classics.

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Photo Illustration by Sean McCabe. Photographs used within illustration by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, 3; Paul Natkin/WireImage; Val Wilmer/Redferns/Getty Images; Theo Wargo/Getty Images; Jack Mitchell/Getty Images; C Flanigan/Getty Images; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images; Gie Knaeps/Getty Images; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images; Steven Nunez; STILLZ

In 2004, Rolling Stone published its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It’s one of the most widely read stories in our history, viewed hundreds of millions of times on this site. But a lot has changed since 2004; back then the iPod was relatively new, and Billie Eilish was three years old. So we’ve decided to give the list a total reboot. To create the new version of the RS 500 we convened a poll of more than 250 artists, musicians, and producers — from Angelique Kidjo to Zedd, Sam Smith to Megan Thee Stallion, M. Ward to Bill Ward — as well as figures from the music industry and leading critics and journalists. They each sent in a ranked list of their top 50 songs, and we tabulated the results.

How We Made the List and Who Voted

Nearly 4,000 songs received votes. Where the 2004 version of the list was dominated by early rock and soul, the new edition contains more hip-hop, modern country, indie rock, Latin pop, reggae, and R&B. More than half the songs here — 254 in all — weren’t present on the old list, including a third of the Top 100. The result is a more expansive, inclusive vision of pop, music that keeps rewriting its history with every beat.

Written By Jonathan Bernstein, Jon Blistein, David Browne, Jayson Buford, Nick Catucci, Mankaprr Conteh, Bill Crandall, Jon Dolan, Gavin Edwards, Jenny Eliscu, Brenna Ehrlich, Jon Freeman, David Fricke, Andy Greene, Joe Gross, Kory Grow, Keith Harris, Will Hermes, Brian Hiatt, Christian Hoard, Joseph Hudak, Jeff Ihaza, Rob Kemp, Greg Kot, Elias Leight, Rob Levine, Alan Light, Julyssa Lopez, Angie Martoccio, Michaelangelo Matos, Tom Moon, Tom Nawrocki, Jon Pareles, Parke Puterbaugh, Mosi Reeves, Jody Rosen, Robert Santelli, Austin Scaggs, Claire Shaffer, Bud Scoppa, Rob Sheffield, Hank Shteamer, LC Smith, Brittany Spanos, Rob Tannenbaum, Simon Vozick-Levinson, Barry Walters, Alison Weinflash, Douglas Wolk

From Rolling Stone US

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Daddy Yankee feat. Glory, ‘Gasolina’

The Puerto Rican rapper was in San Juan when he heard a man shout, “Echa, mija, como te gusta la gasolina!” — a playful phrase lobbed at girls who would seek out the sleekest rides to get to parties. The line morphed into a ubiquitous chorus that ignited a global fervor for reggaeton. Veteran producer Luny Tunes drove up the intensity by adding the thrum of motors and the singer Glory’s voltaic call for “mas gasolina,” while Daddy Yankee delivered his breakneck verses with so much power that the song sounds like it could combust at any moment even decades later.

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Lauryn Hill, ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’

Hill’s debut solo single following the success of the Fugees’ The Score was a bit different from what fans had heard from the young star. “She wanted to bring some of that doo-wop swing essence to the song,” backup singer Lenesha Randolph recalled. Hill and her singers recorded it after dinner one night, channeling a barbershop-quartet style as Hill warns both men and women of being too concerned with sex, power, and appearances. It was a killer entrance for the then-23-year-old rapper-singer: The release became the first Number One single in the U.S. that was written, produced, and performed by one sole woman since Debbie Gibson’s “Foolish Beat” a decade earlier.

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Radiohead, ‘Idioteque’

“Idioteque” is the foreboding, spellbinding centerpiece of Kid A, a squinting image of dystopia set to a glacially slamming beat. The song began as a 50-minute synth collage by Jonny Greenwood, which Thom Yorke digested, pulling out, as he later put it, “a section of about 40 seconds in the middle of it that was absolute genius.” From there, the band built a quaking glitch-core opus, driven by some of the most genuinely freaked-out vocals Yorke ever delivered. And somehow it still became a monster stadium-rock moment live.

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Elton John, ‘Tiny Dancer’

The “seamstress for the band” of the lyrics was a real person: Maxine Feibelman, then the wife of lyricist Bernie Taupin. “I had been into ballet as a little girl, and sewed patches on Elton’s jackets and jeans,” she said. When Taupin and John had arrived in L.A. in late 1970, Feibelman so beguiled Taupin that he wrote the rapturous “Tiny Dancer” for her. John’s skyrocketing melody got a little help from Paul Buckmaster’s strings and from Rick Wakeman, soon to join prog-rockers Yes, who played organ. Nearly 30 years later, Almost Famous revived the song, which at the time wasn’t a hit, failing to reach the Top 40 in its truncated radio edit.

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M.I.A., ‘Paper Planes’

“The other songs on the chart were Katy Perry and the Jonas Brothers,” said M.I.A. “Then you saw ‘Paper Planes,’ and it’s cool because there’s hope: ‘Thank God the future’s here.’” With its gunshot and cash-register sound effects, producer Diplo’s brilliantly flipped sample of the Clash’s “Straight to Hell,” and M.I.A.’s gleeful boasts about running drugs and taking your money, “Paper Planes” sure didn’t sound like Katy Perry. “[I was] thinking that really the worst thing that anyone can say [to someone these days] is some shit like, ‘What I wanna do is come and get your money,’” M.I.A. said. “America is so obsessed with money, I’m sure they’ll get it.” Sure enough, it became a surprise hit.

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Kendrick Lamar, ‘Alright’

Kendrick Lamar dropped “Alright” in the spring of 2015 — a time when the Black Lives Matter movement was just starting to gather momentum. The song instantly became part of that movement — a jazzy political protest, but also a statement of rage and hope in the face of oppression. “Alright” was a standout on his epochal album To Pimp a Butterfly, but it has just gained resonance over the years. “It was a lot goin’ on, and still to this day, there’s a lot going on,” Lamar said. “I wanted to approach it as more uplifting — but aggressive. Not playing the victim, but still having that ‘We strong,’ you know?” That “we strong” spirit is at the heart of “Alright.”

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Michael Jackson, ‘Billie Jean’

Sinuous, paranoid, and omnipresent: The single that made Jackson the biggest star since Elvis Presley was a denial of a paternity suit, and it spent seven weeks at Number One on the pop charts. Jackson came up with the irresistible rhythm track on his home drum machine, and he nailed the vocals in one take. “I knew the song was going to be big,” Jackson said. “I was really absorbed in writing it.” How absorbed? Jackson said he was thinking about “Billie Jean” while riding in his Rolls-Royce down the Ventura Freeway in California — and didn’t notice the car was on fire.

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The Temptations, ‘My Girl’

The Temptations were sharing a bill with Smokey Robinson and his group the Miracles at Harlem’s Apollo Theater when Robinson took time out to cut the rhythm track for a new song. After they heard it, the Tempts begged him to let them record the song rather than the Miracles, as he had been planning. Robinson relented and chose the throaty tenor David Ruffin to sing lead, the first time he had done so with the group. The Tempts rehearsed the song that week at the Apollo, then recorded it back home in Detroit on December 21st, 1964.

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Bob Marley and the Wailers, ‘Redemption Song’

Marley had already recorded a version of this freedom hymn with his band when Island Records chief Chris Blackwell suggested he try it as an acoustic-style folk tune. Inspired by the writings of Marcus Garvey, Marley’s lyrics offer up music as an antidote to slavery, both mental and physical. “I would love to do more like that,” Marley said a few months before his death from cancer in 1981, at age 36. As the final track on his final album, “Redemption Song” stands as his epitaph.

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Joy Division, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’

The pinnacle of Joy Division’s gloom-ridden Mancunian post-punk vision still hits like an ice pick aimed at your soul. Depressed over his collapsing marriage, singer Ian Curtis actually came up with the title as a sardonic response to Captain and Tenille’s 1975 pop hit “Love Will Keep Us Together,” and, in a fittingly creepy gesture, even cut it in the same studio where “Love Will Keep Us Together” had been recorded. “Ian’s influence seemed to be madness and insanity,” said guitarist Bernard Sumner. The song would be Joy Division’s last single, released weeks after Curtis’ death by suicide, a fact that makes the haunting chorus even more affecting.

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ‘All Along the Watchtower’

“All Along the Watchtower” had just been released on Dylan’s John Wesley Harding when Hendrix began tinkering with the song at Electric Lady Studios in New York on January 21st, 1968. Using the line “And the wind began to howl” as a springboard, Hendrix constructed a tumultuous four-part solo that transformed Dylan’s concise foreboding into an electric hurricane. Dylan acknowledged Hendrix’s masterstroke: Dylan’s subsequent versions of “All Along the Watchtower,” including the treatment on his 1974 reunion tour with the Band and the live LP Before the Flood, emulated Hendrix’s cover.

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Outkast, ‘B.O.B.’

The ATLien hip-hop visionaries dropped “B.O.B.” when the world was still reeling from the innovations of Aquemini. But André 3000 and Big Boi were not standing still. “Everybody’s been doing music like they all have the same formula: E = MC2,” Big Boi said at the time. So Outkast made sure nobody could fit “B.O.B.” into any formula — manic drums, headbanging rock guitar, DJ scratches, a gospel chorus. “It was an idea before it was a song,” said André, who was inspired by the frenetic beats of U.K. drum-and-bass, which he and Big Boi heard at a party in London. “It was the tempo I was looking for, so I thought about how to Americanize it.”

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Otis Redding, ‘(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay’

A few days after his star-making set at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, Redding stayed on a houseboat in Sausalito, California, while he played the Fillmore in San Francisco. He wrote the first verse to “Dock of the Bay” on that boat, then completed the song with guitarist Steve Cropper in Memphis. Just a few days later, Redding was on tour with the Bar-Kays when his private plane crashed into Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. While divers searched for Redding’s body, Cropper kept his mind busy by mixing “Dock of the Bay.” On December 11th, 1967, the plane was pulled out of the lake, with Redding’s body still strapped into the co-pilot’s seat.

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Prince and the Revolution, ‘When Doves Cry’

The Purple Rain soundtrack album was completed, and so was the movie. But Prince just couldn’t stop making music. And at the very last minute, he added a brand-new song: “When Doves Cry.” Even by Prince standards, it’s eccentric; after single-handedly recording the stark, brokenhearted song in the studio, he decided to erase the bass track from the final mix. According to the engineer, Prince said, “Nobody would have the balls to do this. You just wait — they’ll be freaking.” He was right. Prince made it the soundtrack’s first single — and 1984’s most avant-garde pop record became his first American Number One hit, keeping Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” out of the top spot.

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The White Stripes, ‘Seven Nation Army’

Jack White was futzing about on his guitar during soundcheck on one of the White Stripes’ Australian tours when he stumbled upon the weightiest hard-rock riff this side of Jimmy Page. “I didn’t have lyrics for it until later on, and I was just calling it ‘Seven Nation Army’ — that’s what I called the Salvation Army when I was a kid,” White once said. “So that was just a way for me to remember which [riff] I was talking about.” By the time he finished the lyrics, which addressed people gossiping about who he and his ex-wife, White Stripes drummer Meg White, were dating, he gave the term new life: “I’m gonna fight ’em all/A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back.” Same goes for the riff.

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Little Richard, ‘Tutti-Frutti’

“I’d been singing ‘Tutti-Frutti’ for years,” said Richard, “but it never struck me as a song you’d record.” Producer Robert Blackwell asked Dorothy LaBostrie, a young songwriter who had been pestering him for work, to clean up the filthy original lyrics (“Tutti-Frutti, good booty/If it don’t fit, don’t force it/You can grease it, make it easy”). “Fifteen minutes before the session was to end, the chick comes in and puts these little trite lyrics in front of me,” said Blackwell. Richard cleaned up his own “Awop-bop-a-loo-mop a-good-goddamn” and loaded LaBostrie’s doggerel with sexual dynamite.

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James Brown, ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’

In mid-1965, Brown was locked in a contract struggle with King Records, but when he learned King was nearly bankrupt, he threw the label a bone: a song he’d recorded a few months earlier, yelling “This is a hit!” as the tape rolled. Arguably the first funk record, it’s driven by the empty space between beats as much as by Brown’s bellow and guitarist Jimmy Nolen’s ice-chipper scratch. In a stroke of postproduction genius (you can hear the original recording on the Grammy-winning Star Time box set), Brown sliced off the intro to have the song start with a face-smashing horn blast, and sped it up just enough so it sounded like an urgent bulletin from the future.

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Chuck Berry, ‘Johnny B. Goode’

“Johnny B. Goode” was the first rock & roll hit about rock & roll stardom. The title character is Chuck Berry — “more or less,” as he told Rolling Stone in 1972. “The original words [were], of course, ‘That little colored boy could play.’ I changed it to ‘country boy’ — or else it wouldn’t get on the radio.” “Johnny B. Goode” is the supreme example of Berry’s poetry in motion. The rhythm section rolls with freight-train momentum, while Berry’s stabbing, single-note lick in the chorus sounds, as he put it, “like a-ringin’ a bell” — a perfect description of how rock & roll guitar can make you feel on top of the world.

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Notorious B.I.G., ‘Juicy’

“If you don’t know, now you know,” Biggie announces in “Juicy” — and this was the hit that guaranteed everyone around the world would know. The Notorious B.I.G. made “Juicy” his first pop shot, from his 1994 debut, Ready to Die, repping Brooklyn over a sample of Mtume’s lush Eighties oral-sex jam “Juicy Fruit.” At a time when East Coast hip-hop was too busy playing D against the West, Biggie’s lyrical confidence was a game-changer, revitalizing New York rap. He boasts about going from dreaming of stardom to rocking sold-out shows, and dressing his mom up in mink — the first rush of “mo’ money” before the “mo’ problems” kicked in. “I told him, ‘No landlord dissed us!’” said Voletta Wallace. “He said, ‘Mom, I was just writing a rags-to-riches kinda story.’”

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The Rolling Stones, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

The riff came to Keith Richards in a dream one night in May 1965, in his motel room in Clearwater, Florida, on the Rolling Stones’ third U.S. tour. He woke up and grabbed a guitar and a cassette machine. Richards played the run of notes once, then fell back to sleep. “On the tape,” he said later, “you can hear me drop the pick, and the rest is snoring.” Jagger later said that “Satisfaction” was “my view of the world, my frustration with everything.” Inspired by that riff and the title line, also Richards’ idea, Jagger wrote the words — a litany of disgust with “America, its advertising syndrome, the constant barrage” — in 10 minutes, by the motel pool the day after Richards’ dream.

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Lorde, ‘Royals’

“I’ve always been fascinated with aristocracy,” Lorde told Rolling Stone around the time “Royals” came out of nowhere to take the Number One spot on the U.S. charts. Written “in like half an hour” by a 15-year-old New Zealander taking influence from the diamond-encrusted swagger of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne as well as the muted electronic work of artists like James Blake, “Royals” was maximal minimalism, a mumbled thunderbolt of playful resistance against rap and pop’s obsession with wealth and status. As Lorde said later, “I was definitely poking fun at a lot of things people take to be normal.”

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Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg, ‘Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang’

At the intersection of past and future West Coast hip-hop sits Dre’s debut solo single, a smooth and inimitable kickback classic that would help define his career following the demise of N.W.A. In a radio interview, the producer and rapper revealed that the song originally sampled a track by Boz Scaggs before he settled on the bass line from Leon Haywood’s 1975 hit “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You.” Snoop was in jail while Dre was recording, so he had to originally record his parts over the phone. “I really wanted this demo done, so he called in and I taped the receiver of the phone to the mic,” Dre recalled. “You can hear jail sounds in the back.”

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Talking Heads, ‘Once in a Lifetime’

Talking Heads had a difficult time bringing “Once in a Lifetime” to life. The song began during jams at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas as the band worked on its groundbreaking Afro-funk influenced album Remain in Light. Producer and co-writer Brian Eno wanted to ditch the tune altogether until David Byrne started performing his “Same as it ever was” monologue like an evangelical preacher, which somehow sharpened his message about questioning identity and reality. “We’re largely unconscious,” the singer once said. “You know, we operate half-awake or on autopilot and end up, whatever, with a house and family and job and everything else, and we haven’t really stopped to ask ourselves, ‘How did I get here?’”

white stripes australia tour

Bruce Springsteen, ‘Born to Run’

This song’s four and a half minutes took three and a half months to cut. Aiming for the impact of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, Springsteen included strings, glockenspiel, multiple keyboards — and more than a dozen guitar tracks. “I had enormous ambitions for it,” said Springsteen. “I wanted to make the greatest rock record I’d ever heard.” Springsteen’s lyrics told a story of young lovers on the highways of New Jersey. “I don’t know how important the settings are,” Springsteen said. “It’s the idea behind the settings. It could be New Jersey, it could be California, it could be Alaska.”

white stripes australia tour

Joni Mitchell, ‘A Case of You’

One of the many searing moments on Mitchell’s landmark Blue, “A Case of You” unsparingly grapples with conflicted feelings and entangled identities. The male character in the song is apparently a composite of several men in her life during that time, notably Leonard Cohen, and her partner at the time of its recording, James Taylor, who joins in on guitar, with Mitchell herself on dulcimer. She later dismissed “A Case of You” as “a doormat song,” yet it remains one of her most beloved. Prince, who once said that “Joni’s music should be taught in school, if just from a literature standpoint,” covered it several times during his career.

white stripes australia tour

Kanye West feat. Pusha T, ‘Runaway’

West had always generated controversy and criticism, but after he interrupted Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs, his public image was at an all-time low. So he took off for a self-imposed exile in Hawaii and recorded his nine-minute masterpiece — a toast to the “douchebags” and an unguarded reflection on his image and intimacy issues. “The song sounds like it’s talking about a girl — could also be talking about my relationship with society or my relationship with the fans or anyone who I let down or people who had to defend me that really love me,” West said. He was so impressed with Pusha T’s guest verse that he signed him to his GOOD Music label and eventually made the Clipse member president of the label.

white stripes australia tour

The Beatles, ‘A Day in the Life’

“A Day in the Life” was one of the last true Lennon-McCartney collaborations: John Lennon wrote the opening and closing sections, and Paul McCartney contributed the “Woke up/Fell out of bed” middle. For the climax, they hired 40 musicians, dressed them in tuxedos and funny hats, and told them they had 15 bars to ascend from the lowest note on their instruments to the highest. “Listen to those trumpets — they’re freaking out,” McCartney said. The final piano chord concluded Sgt. Pepper and made rock’s possibilities seem infinite.

white stripes australia tour

David Bowie, ‘Heroes’

After a coke-fried spell in Los Angeles, Bowie was detoxing in Berlin when he spied two lovers having a rendezvous by the Berlin Wall. Said Bowie, “I thought, of all the places to meet in Berlin, why pick a bench underneath a guard turret on the wall?” Imagining the story behind their affair, Bowie wrote his most compassionate song ever. The song builds for six minutes, with Bowie setting his ragged, impassioned croon over a throbbing groove consisting of Eno’s humming synths, Robert Fripp’s guitar, and producer Tony Visconti banging on a metal ashtray that was lying around the studio. Bowie wails with crazed soul about two doomed lovers finding a moment of redemption together — just for one day.

white stripes australia tour

The Ronettes, ‘Be My Baby’

Phil Spector rehearsed this song with Ronnie Bennett (the only Ronette to sing on it) for weeks, but that didn’t stop him from doing 42 takes before he was satisfied. Aided by a full orchestra (as well as a young Cher, who sang backup vocals), Spector created a lush, echo-laden sound that was the Rosetta Stone for studio pioneers such as the Beatles and Brian Wilson, who calls this his favorite song. “The things Phil was doing were crazy and exhausting,” said Larry Levine, Spector’s engineer. “But that’s not the sign of a nut. That’s genius.”

white stripes australia tour

Billie Holiday, ‘Strange Fruit’

One of pop’s first protest songs is also one of its most profoundly disturbing. Written by a Jewish schoolteacher in the Bronx, its lyrics evoke the horrors of a lynching (“Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze/Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees”), and its languid melody conjures the unsettling quiet of a Southern backwoods night. The song was so controversial in the late Thirties that Holiday, a Columbia Records artist, had to find another label to release it (an indie owned by Billy Crystal’s uncle). “‘Strange Fruit’ is still relevant, because Black people are still being lynched,” Andra Day, who sang it in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, told Rolling Stone last year. “It’s not just a Southern breeze. We’re seeing that everywhere.”

white stripes australia tour

Robyn, ‘Dancing on My Own’

Swedish disco queen Robyn captured all the agony and ecstasy of twirling alone in a corner of the dance floor, spinning around in circles, and losing yourself in the beat for a moment of solitary triumph. “I think ‘Dancing on My Own’ is totally from me just being in clubs and going out and dancing a lot, and seeing people and thinking, ‘What are they doing here?’” she said later. Written with Stockholm producer Patrik Berger, the song made Robyn an iconic cult hero. But it also became the template for a whole generation of young songwriters, from Taylor Swift to Lorde, looking for the ideal glitter-and-sobs cocktail. “This song, to me, is perfect,” Lorde wrote. “Joyous even when a heart is breaking.”

white stripes australia tour

John Lennon, ‘Imagine’

John Lennon wrote “Imagine” in his bedroom at Tittenhurst Park, his estate in Ascot, England, early one morning in 1971. “It’s not like he thought, ‘Oh, this can be an anthem,’” Yoko Ono recalled years later. “Imagine” was “just what John believed: that we are all one country, one world, one people. He wanted to get that idea out.” Lennon admitted that “Imagine” was “virtually the Communist Manifesto.” But the elementary beauty of his melody, the warm composure in his voice, and the poetic touch of co-producer Phil Spector — who bathed Lennon’s performance in gentle strings and summer-breeze echo — emphasized the song’s fundamental humanity. Lennon knew he had written something special. In one of his last interviews, he declared “Imagine” to be as good as anything he had written with the Beatles.

white stripes australia tour

Prince and the Revolution, ‘Purple Rain’

On the 1999 tour in 1983, Prince found himself sharing arenas with Bob Seger, and he challenged himself to write a Seger-like ballad, but instead of “Night Moves,” he channeled a heartrending meditation on love, trust, God, and purple rain. “It was so different,” the Revolution’s Bobby Z. said. “It was almost country. It was almost rock. It was almost gospel.” The version of the song on the Purple Rain soundtrack is actually a live recording from 1983 that Prince later polished into a transcendent anthem worthy of a movie title. After the film came out, the song and its jaw-dropping guitar solo got only bigger: The performance on the 1985 home video Prince and the Revolution: Live stretches to almost 19 minutes — and it is stunning.

white stripes australia tour

Queen, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

The 1970s, rock’s most grandiose decade, never got more grandiose than here. “Bohemian Rhapsody” contains a reported 180 vocal parts and spans rock, opera, heavy metal, and pop — all in six minutes. But for as elegant as it sounds, recording it was a literal mess. Freddie Mercury taped scraps of paper containing his own bizarre musical notations to his piano and simply started pounding out chords for his bandmates to follow. Somehow he pieced it all together beautifully, singing about killing a man (possibly a metaphor for obliterating the heterosexual image of himself) and commedia dell’arte characters like Scaramouche. Recording technology was so taxed by the song that some tapes became virtually transparent from so many overdubs, but Queen had created something that embodied the absurd tragedy and humor of human existence.

white stripes australia tour

Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z, ‘Crazy in Love’

Producer Rich Harrison had trouble convincing friends and peers that the beat to “Crazy in Love” had much potential. So he added a five-alarm horn blast taken from Seventies soulsters the Chi-Lites’ “Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So),” as well as his own instrumental flourishes, and kept it at the ready for the right moment and the right artist — “Until I got the call from B,” he later said. As the single that inaugurated Beyoncé’s solo career, the song emphatically announced her arrival as the era’s dominant pop power. Jay-Z’s killer verse was added at the last minute. Bey and Jay had just started dating at the time, and the song’s lyrics and head-over-heels delivery reflected what she described as “the first step of a relationship right before you let go.”

white stripes australia tour

The Beatles, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’

In 1963, the Beatles gave themselves an ultimatum: “We’re not going to America till we’ve got a Number One record,” Paul McCartney declared. So he and John Lennon went to the home of the parents of Jane Asher, McCartney’s girlfriend, where — “one on one, eyeball to eyeball,” as Lennon later put it — they wrote “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” an irresistibly erotic come-on framed as a chaste, bashful request. The lightning-bolt energy of their collaboration ran through the band’s performance. Rush-released in America the day after Christmas, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” hit Number One in the states on February 1st, 1964. When the bandmates got the news in Paris, during a three-week stand there, they partied all night.

white stripes australia tour

The Kinks, ‘Waterloo Sunset’

After the Kinks’ first burst of British Invasion pop success fizzled, Ray Davies really needed to write another hit. But instead, he wrote “Waterloo Sunset.” It’s a delicate guitar ballad about a solitary man who watches the world from his window, gazing on a couple of lovers who meet at a dismal London train station. For Davies, it was so personal he didn’t even dare show the lyrics to the other Kinks until he recorded his vocal. As he said, “It was like an extract from a diary nobody was allowed to read.” Yet it became his most beloved creation. You’d never know from the song what a dump Waterloo Station is — a tribute to Davies’ power to find beauty in the mundane.

white stripes australia tour

The Rolling Stones, ‘Gimme Shelter’

The Stones channeled the emotional wreckage of the late Sixties on a song that Keith Richards wrote in 20 minutes. The intro, strummed on an electric-acoustic guitar modeled on a Chuck Berry favorite, conjures an unparalleled aura of dread. Singer Merry Clayton brings down Armageddon with a soul-wracked wail: “Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away.” The song surfaced days after Meredith Hunter’s murder at the Altamont music festival. “That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really,” Mick Jagger said in 1995. “It’s apocalypse.” Richards later said that his guitar fell apart on the last take, “as if by design.”

white stripes australia tour

Stevie Wonder, ‘Superstition’

Stevie Wonder debuted this hard blast of funk live while opening for the Rolling Stones in the summer of 1972, intent on expanding his audience. The 22-year-old former child star had written it at a drum set, humming the other parts to himself. Wonder had initially intended for Jeff Beck to record the song, but Berry Gordy wouldn’t let him give it away. It became the first single from Talking Book — and Wonder’s first Number One hit in nearly a decade. “A lot of people, especially Black folks, let superstition rule their lives,” Wonder said. “This is crazy. The worst thing is, the more you believe in it, the more bad things happen to you.”

white stripes australia tour

The Beach Boys, ‘God Only Knows’

“It’s very emotional, always a bit of a choker with me,” said Paul McCartney of this Pet Sounds ballad. The night McCartney and John Lennon first heard Pet Sounds, at a London party, they wrote “Here, There and Everywhere,” which is influenced by “God Only Knows.” Carl Wilson’s understated lead vocal is note-perfect, but it’s the arrangement of horns, sleigh bells, strings, and accordion that gives “God” its heavenly feel. Brian Wilson was fascinated by spirituality and said this song came out of prayer sessions in the studio. “We made it a religious ceremony,” he said of recording Pet Sounds. The only problem: The use of the word “God” in the title scared off some radio programmers.

white stripes australia tour

Outkast, ‘Hey Ya!’

About as radical as fun can get, “Hey Ya!” is funk, pop, rap, and rock spun into something otherworldly yet immediately lovable via Outkast’s one of a kind Stankonian vision. André 3000 began writing the song on acoustic guitar, bashing out some chords that he wanted to sound like the Smiths and the Buzzcocks. “He had the bulk of it already conceptualized in his head,” said recording engineer John Frye. “It all happened quite fast. We recorded the skeleton part, with the intro and the first verse and hook, all in one night.”The song would end up going through numerous permutations; one key assist came from former Cameo member Kevin Kendricks, who laid down the synth part and bass. At one point it was called “Thank God for Mom and Dad,” a title that makes plain its complicated lyrics about the challenges of keeping a romantic relationship afloat.On Twitter, in 2021, Outkast even called it “the saddest song ever written.” In 2003, however, most of that was lost on a world that simply wanted to dance, party, and shake it like a Polaroid picture. “Hey Ya!” was the most universal pop smash of the early 2000s, the first song to be downloaded 1 million times on iTunes.

white stripes australia tour

Fleetwood Mac, ‘Dreams’

In the face of a lover telling her to go her own way, Stevie Nicks penned the ethereal “Dreams.” During the Rumours sessions in Sausalito, California, Nicks spent an off day in another room of the Record Plant that was supposedly used by Sly and the Family Stone. “It was a black-and-red room, with a sunken pit in the middle where there was a piano, and a big black-velvet bed with Victorian drapes,” she told Blender.There she reflected on the thunder and rain of her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham, whose guitar parts slice through the song’s mystical beat. “I sat down on the bed with my keyboard in front of me, found a drum pattern, switched my little cassette player on, and wrote ‘Dreams’ in about 10 minutes,” she continued. “Right away I liked the fact that I was doing something with a dance beat, because that made it a little unusual for me.”The second single on Fleetwood Mac’s blockbuster album Rumours, “Dreams” would become the band’s only U.S. chart topper, and it would continue to enchant new generations — and even return to the charts — for decades to come.

white stripes australia tour

Missy Elliott, ‘Get Ur Freak On’

“Oh yeah, man, we was on some futuristic stuff for sure,” Missy Elliott told Rolling Stone in 2020, on her musical chemistry with Timbaland. “It was something hypnotic about those records.” Missy and Tim took over the radio in the late Nineties, just two kids out of Portsmouth, Virginia, blowing minds with their own unique space-funk sound.She didn’t obey any of the rules for female stars at the time. And her music didn’t obey rules either — nobody could duplicate the Missy-Tim mojo. “Get Ur Freak On” is the peak of their long-running collaboration — a massively weird avant-garde experiment that also blew up into a global pop hit. Even by their standards, “Get Ur Freak On” was a crazed challenge to the audience, with Missy yelling “Hollaaaa!” over a warped bhangra loop. As she once recalled, “I was like, ‘Tim, you sure this isn’t too far left that people won’t get it? It sounds like some Japanese stuff mixed with a hip-hop beat.’”But everybody who heard it was hooked — the whole world wanted to holla along with Miss E. “Get Ur Freak On” remains an anthem for freaks everywhere. And even after 20 years, it still sounds like the future.

white stripes australia tour

The Beatles, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’

John Lennon was one of the world’s most visible people in 1966 — but he wrote his most exquisitely lonely song with “Strawberry Fields Forever.” It opened up a whole new psychedelic era for the Beatles, changing the way pop music was heard and made.But it began with Lennon alone on a Spanish beach, with an acoustic guitar, writing a song about his painful childhood memories. Strawberry Field was the name of a Liverpool orphanage where he used to play — and hide from the world — as a boy. “I have visions of Strawberry Fields,” he told Rolling Stone in 1968. “Because Strawberry Fields is anywhere you want to go.” Lennon bared himself so vulnerably in this song that he was nervous about playing it for the other Beatles. There was a moment of silence — until Paul McCartney said, “That is absolutely brilliant.” They turned it into a groundbreaking sonic collage, thanks to George Martin’s studio wizardry.It was the first song cut at the Sgt. Pepper sessions, though it got left off the album so it could come out as a February 1967 single, with McCartney’s “Penny Lane” on the flip side. “Strawberry Fields” is a song full of raw pain — yet the Beatles made it feel like an irresistible invitation.

white stripes australia tour

Marvin Gaye, ‘What’s Going On’

“What’s Going On” is an exquisite plea for peace on Earth, sung by a man at the height of crisis. In 1970, Marvin Gaye was Motown’s top male vocal star, yet he was frustrated by the assembly-line role he played on his own hits. Devastated by the loss of duet partner Tammi Terrell, who died that March after a three-year battle with a brain tumor, Gaye was also trapped in a turbulent marriage to Anna Gordy, Motown boss Berry Gordy’s sister. Gaye was tormented, too, by his relationship with his puritanical father, Marvin Sr.“If I was arguing for peace,” Gaye told biographer David Ritz, “I knew I’d have to find peace in my heart.” Not long after Terrell’s passing, Renaldo Benson of the Four Tops presented Gaye with a song he had written with Motown staffer Al Cleveland. But Gaye made the song his own, overseeing the arrangement and investing the topical references to war and racial strife with private anguish. Motown session crew the Funk Brothers cut the stunning, jazz-inflected rhythm track (Gaye joined in with cardboard-box percussion). Then Gaye invoked his own family in moving prayer: singing to his younger brother Frankie, a Vietnam veteran (“Brother, brother, brother/There’s far too many of you dying”), and appealing for calm closer to home (“Father, father, father/We don’t need to escalate”).Initially rejected as uncommercial, “What’s Going On” (with background vocals by two players from the Detroit Lions) was Gaye’s finest studio achievement, a timeless gift of healing.

white stripes australia tour

Nirvana, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

Producer Butch Vig first heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in early 1991, on a boombox cassette recorded by bassist Krist Novoselic, drummer Dave Grohl, and singer-guitarist-songwriter Kurt Cobain in a barn in Tacoma, Washington. The fidelity was abysmal. Vig — about to work with Nirvana on their major-label debut, Nevermind — could not tell that the song would soon make underground Seattle rock the new mainstream and catapult Cobain, a troubled young man with strict indie-culture ethics, into mega-celebrity.“I could sort of hear the ‘Hello, hello’ part and the chords,” Vig said years later. “But it was so indecipherable that I had no idea what to expect.” “Teen Spirit” was Cobain’s attempt to “write the ultimate pop song,” he said, using the soft-loud dynamic of his favorite band, the Pixies. The insidious hooks also showed his admiration for John Lennon. Cobain “had that dichotomy of punk rage and alienation,” Vig said, “but also this vulnerable pop sensibility. In ‘Teen Spirit,’ a lot of that vulnerability is in the tone of his voice.”Sadly, by the time of Nirvana’s last U.S. tour, in late 1993, Cobain was tortured by the obligation to play “Teen Spirit” every night. “There are many other songs that I have written that are as good, if not better,” he claimed. But few songs by any artist have reshaped rock and roll so immediately, and permanently.

white stripes australia tour

Bob Dylan, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’

“I wrote it. I didn’t fail. It was straight,” Bob Dylan said of his greatest song shortly after he recorded it in June 1965. There is no better description of “Like a Rolling Stone” — of its revolutionary design and execution — or of the young man, just turned 24, who created it.Dylan began writing an extended piece of verse — 20 pages long by one account, six in another — that was, he said, “just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred, directed at some point that was honest.” Back home in Woodstock, New York, over three days in early June, Dylan sharpened the sprawl down to that confrontational chorus and four taut verses bursting with piercing metaphor and concise truth.Before going into Columbia Records’ New York studios to cut it, Dylan summoned Mike Bloomfield, the guitarist in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, to Woodstock to learn the song. “He said, ‘I don’t want you to play any of that B.B. King shit, none of that fucking blues,’” recalled Bloomfield (who died in 1981). “‘I want you to play something else.’”Just as Dylan bent folk music’s roots and forms to his own will, he transformed popular song with the content and ambition of “Like a Rolling Stone.” And in his electrifying vocal performance, his best on record, Dylan proved that everything he did was, first and always, rock & roll. “‘Rolling Stone’ is the best song I wrote,” he said flatly at the end of 1965. It still is.

white stripes australia tour

Sam Cooke, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’

In 1963, Sam Cooke — America’s first great soul singer and one of the most successful pop acts in the nation, with 18 Top 30 hits since 1957 — heard a song that profoundly inspired and disturbed him: Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” What struck Cooke was the challenge implicit in Dylan’s anthem. “Jeez,” Cooke mused, “a white boy writing a song like that?”Cooke’s response, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” recorded on January 30th, 1964, with a sumptuous orchestral arrangement by Rene Hall, was more personal — in its first-person language and the experiences that preceded its creation. On October 8th, 1963, while on tour, Cooke and members of his entourage were arrested in Shreveport, Louisiana, for disturbing the peace after they tried to register at a white motel — an incident reflected in the song’s third verse. And Cooke’s mourning for his 18-month-old son, Vincent, who drowned that June, resonates in the last verse: “There have been times that I thought/I couldn’t last for long.”On December 11th, 1964, almost a year after he recorded it, Cooke was fatally shot at an L.A. motel. Two weeks later, “A Change Is Gonna Come” was released, becoming Cooke’s farewell address and an anthem of the civil rights movement.

white stripes australia tour

Public Enemy, ‘Fight the Power’

Chuck D once likened “Fight the Power” to Pete Seeger singing “We Shall Overcome.” “‘Fight the Power,’” he said, “points to the legacy of the strengths of standing up in music.” Filmmaker Spike Lee had originally asked Public Enemy to write an anthem for Do the Right Thing — a movie about confronting white supremacy — so Chuck and the group’s producers, the Bomb Squad, took inspiration from the Isley Brothers’ funky “Fight the Power” and used the title as a blueprint for a whole new war cry.In just under five minutes of scuzzy breakbeats and clarion-call horn samples, Chuck D and his foil, Flavor Flav, present a manifesto for racial revolution and Black pride with koans like “Our freedom of speech is freedom of death,” and rallying cries to rethink the basics of American life itself in lines like “Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps.” The song was exactly what Lee’s movie needed, so it was played over and over again, anytime the character Radio Raheem showed up with his boombox, making it an instant classic.“I think it was Public Enemy’s and Spike Lee’s defining moment because it had awoken the Black community to a revolution that was akin to the Sixties revolution, where you had Martin Luther King or Malcolm X,” the Bomb Squad’s Hank Shocklee once said. “It made the entire hip-hop community recognize its power. Then the real revolution began.”

white stripes australia tour

Aretha Franklin, ‘Respect’

When Aretha Franklin left Columbia Records for Atlantic in 1966, the label’s vice president, Jerry Wexler, came to the singer with some suggestions for songs she might cover, like Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Ray Charles’ “Drown in My Own Tears.” She liked those ideas, but she had one of her own: “Respect,” a song she’d been performing live. “Long as she changes it up,” Wexler told Franklin’s manager Ted White in an exchange recounted by Franklin’s biographer David Ritz. “You don’t gotta worry about that,” White responded. “She changes it up all right.”Otis Redding wrote “Respect” and recorded it for the Stax/Volt label in 1965. But Franklin took possession of the song for all time with her definitive cover, cut at Atlantic’s New York studio on Valentine’s Day 1967. “Respect” was her first Number One hit and the single that established her as the Queen of Soul.In Redding’s reading, a brawny march, he called for equal favor with volcanic force. Franklin wasn’t asking for anything. She sang from higher ground: a woman calling for an end to the exhaustion and sacrifice of a raw deal with scorching sexual authority. In short: If you want some, you will earn it. “For Otis, ‘respect’ had the traditional connotation, the more abstract meaning of esteem,” Wexler said in his autobiography, Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music. “The fervor in Aretha’s magnificent voice demanded that respect and more: Respect also involved sexual attention of the highest order. What else could ‘Sock it to me’ mean?”He was referring to the knockout sound of Franklin’s backup singers — her sisters, Carolyn and Erma — chanting “Sock it to me” at high speed, which Aretha and Carolyn cooked up for the session. The late Tom Dowd, who engineered the date, credited Carolyn with the saucy breakdown in which Aretha spelled out the title: “I fell off my chair when I heard that!” And since Redding’s version had no bridge, Wexler had the band — the legendary studio crew from Muscle Shoals, Alabama — play the chord changes from Sam and Dave’s “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby” under King Curtis’ tenor-sax solo.There is no mistaking the passion inside the discipline of Franklin’s delivery; she was surely drawing on her own tumultuous marriage at the time for inspiration. “If she didn’t live it,” Wexler said, “she couldn’t give it.” But, he added, “Aretha would never play the part of the scorned woman.… Her middle name was Respect.”Leading off her Atlantic debut, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, “Respect” catalyzed rock & roll, gospel, and blues to create the model for soul music that artists still look to today (Mariah Carey called Franklin “my mentor”). Just as important, the song’s unapologetic demands resonated powerfully with the civil rights movement and emergent feminist revolution, fitting for an artist who donated to the Black Panther Party and sang at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. In her 1999 memoir, Franklin wrote that the song reflected “the need of the average man and woman in the street, the businessman, the mother, the fireman, the teacher — everyone wanted respect.” We still do.

white stripes australia tour

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The White Stripes

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Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson and more named 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Missy Elliott, one of 14 artists announced as nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Feb. 1, 2023. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson and more named 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees

February 1, 2023 • As they have every year since 1986, members of the Hall will select from a group of nominees – though these days, the nominees tend to represent a wider spectrum of popular music.

Stream Jack White's Thrilling 'SNL' Performance

Jack White, performing "Lazaretto" on Saturday Night Live. YouTube Screenshot by NPR hide caption

Stream Jack White's Thrilling 'SNL' Performance

October 11, 2020 • In the span of less than 10 minutes, the rock star's set worked in an Eddie Van Halen tribute, Beyoncé, The White Stripes, a Jack White solo song and Blind Willie Johnson.

20 Years Ago, The White Stripes Made An Album For No One

The White Stripes live, circa 2000. Courtesy of Third Man Records hide caption

NPR Music's 20|20

20 years ago, the white stripes made an album for no one.

July 6, 2020 • Jack and Meg's 2000 album De Stijl is the kind of art you make for yourself, assured few will hear it. It was the last time they'd have that luxury, but they never forgot the lesson.

American Anthem: The Playlist

Bruce Springsteen in 1985, performing in Washington, D.C. during his Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images hide caption

NPR Music Playlists

American anthem: the playlist.

July 1, 2019 • Sometimes, a song isn't just a song: It's shorthand for an idea. Hear the music of NPR's American Anthem series, on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action.

Meg White Is The 21st Century's Loudest Introvert

Meg White performs in Australia in 2003. Photo Illustration: Bob King/Redferns/Getty Images and Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

The 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+

Meg white is the 21st century's loudest introvert.

September 21, 2018 • White's drumming made her one of the loudest musicians of this century, yet she's often remembered for being a quiet person — setting a no-apologies template for letting her work speak for itself.

Why 'Seven Nation Army' Is The One Jock Jam To Rule Them All

The White Stripes officially broke up in 2011, but the band's presence is still felt in sports stadiums around the world thanks to the song "Seven Nation Army." Jessica Bindernagel/EyeEm/Getty Images hide caption

American Anthem

Why 'seven nation army' is the one jock jam to rule them all.

July 11, 2018 • From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell, just about anyone can sing its hypnotic riff. Here's why The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" is the world's biggest sports anthem.

Jack White Returns With A Song Actually Designed For The Stadium

Jack White just released a mostly instrumental riff dispenser titled "Battle Cry." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

All Songs Considered

Jack white returns with a song actually designed for the stadium.

April 7, 2017 • Over the years, The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" has become a stadium anthem. Now, Jack White returns with a song designed , at least in part, to be played in ballparks.

Watch: Michel Gondry Makes Mesmerizing Video For The White Stripes' 'City Lights'

All Songs TV

Watch: michel gondry makes mesmerizing video for the white stripes' 'city lights'.

September 12, 2016 • The new video beautifully captures the solitude of heartache and the drifting memories that surface during our most private moments, as well as the fleeting nature of life itself.

Weekend LISTening: 10 Great Duos Who Couldn't Keep It Together

The White Stripes. Patrick Pantano/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

Weekend LISTening: 10 Great Duos Who Couldn't Keep It Together

August 27, 2016 • Not every partnership is built to last. From The White Stripes to Sonny & Cher, here are 10 talented, if temporary, musical duos.

New Mix: Bon Iver, The White Stripes, Lambchop, More

Clockwise from upper left: Bon Iver, the cover art for The White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan , Thor & Friends, Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

New Mix: Bon Iver, The White Stripes, Lambchop, More

August 16, 2016 • Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton return from break with new music by some of their all-time favorite artists, including unexpected sounds from Bon Iver and a previously unreleased White Stripes song.

Hear A Previously Unreleased Song From The White Stripes

Hear A Previously Unreleased Song From The White Stripes

August 11, 2016 • "City Lights" was originally written for the band's 2005 album Get Behind Me Satan. But it was forgotten until Jack White revisited the album for a 2015 Record Store Day reissue.

Vintage Cafe: The White Stripes

Vintage Cafe: The White Stripes

October 21, 2013 • In this Sense of Place: Detroit highlight, the alt-rock duo performs songs from the critically acclaimed Elephant in a session from 2003. Hear them perform "Lord, Send Me An Angel," "I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart" and "The Big Three Killed My Baby" live at WXPN.

The White Stripes On World Cafe

Songs About Change

As the NPR Music team and others prepared to leave the network's old headquarters, mysterious messages began appearing on the windows and walls: "Everything will be better!" Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

Songs About Change

April 17, 2013 • When it came time to pack up our things and head to the new NPR headquarters, we asked you to help us reflect on the move with your picks for the best songs about dealing with change. On this week's All Songs Considered we share some of our favorites.

George Harrison's Son, Dhani, El-P, Lawrence Arabia, More

Clockwise from upper row: Thenewno2, Lawrence Arabia, The Do Courtesy of the artists hide caption

George Harrison's Son, Dhani, El-P, Lawrence Arabia, More

July 3, 2012 • On this edition of All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share their picks for this week's essential songs, including new music from rapper El-P, George Harrison's son Dhani, Lawrence Arabia and more.

World Cafe Looks Back: Jack White

Jack White of The White Stripes performs during the fourth and final day of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival June 17, 2007 in Manchester, Tennessee.

World Cafe Looks Back: Jack White

January 2, 2012 • World Cafe 's 20th-anniversary celebration kicks off with a look at Jack White's many talents, including his work as a producer and his bands The White Stripes and The Raconteurs.

The White Stripes Release Two New Cover Songs

The White Stripes Release Two New Cover Songs

July 13, 2011 • The band delves into its "Third Man Vault" and unveils covers of songs by Love and Otis Redding.

White Stripes Call It Quits

White Stripes Call It Quits

February 2, 2011 • The peppermint clad duo White Stripes say they officially split in order to preserve the band's legacy.

Jack White's Record Label: Old Sounds, New Tricks

Jack White in the Third Man Records store Courtesy of Third Man Records hide caption

Jack White's Record Label: Old Sounds, New Tricks

April 29, 2010 • White's approach to the record business has been called a throwback and a harbinger of things to come. Most innovative companies in the business are digital in concept, but Third Man's approach is digital where necessary; tangible where possible.

Exclusive First Listen: The White Stripes Live

A scene from the documentary White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights . Autumn de Wilde/Woodshed Films hide caption

First Listen

Exclusive first listen: the white stripes live.

March 8, 2010 • Shedding nuance and between-song banter almost entirely, the live album Under Great White Northern Lights bursts with redlined intensity, as the Whites barrel through a decade-spanning assortment of newer songs and older fan favorites. Hear the record in its entirety here until its release on March 16.

The White Stripes, Sharon Jones, Chopin And More

The White Stripes, Sharon Jones, Chopin And More

March 1, 2010 • We celebrate Chopin's 200th with an impromptu from Yundi Li, plus music from Owen Pallett, Pantha du Prince, more.

The 50 Most Important Recordings Of The Decade: S-Z

November 16, 2009 • All Songs Considered 's list of the 50 most important recordings of the decade continues, from Britney Spears to Amy Winehouse.

The Party's Over: Songs For Summer's End

It's Time To Party: Summer Songs

The party's over: songs for summer's end.

September 3, 2009 • It's time for one last bittersweet blast of summertime music: five songs to mark the death of a season — and the birth of a time in which comfort revolves around sweaters, slippers, cocoa and enough food to pad the midsection through those cold winter months. Here's a mildly reflective playlist to honor the occasion, arranged in order of wistfulness.

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Photos: The White Stripes on Tour in 2001

By Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

The White Stripes perform their second show in the UK, to an audience of around 150 people, 2001

Thank You Very Much

white stripes australia tour

Jack White exits the stage at the Reading Festival, 2001.

Photo Opportunity

white stripes australia tour

A TV producer grabs a chance to have a picture taken with the White Stripes following an interview in Sydney, Australia, 2002.


white stripes australia tour

Jack White backstage at the Big Day Out Festival in Sydney, Australia, 2002.

white stripes australia tour

Jack White has a some fun as the band leaves the Big Day Out festival in Sydney, Australia, 2002.

white stripes australia tour

The White stripes during an interview before a live gig in West London, 2003.

white stripes australia tour

Meg White, backstage in London, nervous about her first vocal performance, 2003.

Portobello Road

white stripes australia tour

The band takes time out in London's Portobello, 2003.

white stripes australia tour

Jack and Meg meet with fans following a performance at the Manaus Opera House in Brazil , 2005.


white stripes australia tour

Jack White reads fan mail in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2005.

white stripes australia tour

Jack White backstage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2005.

Photographs by Ewen Spencer from the series

Three's A Crowd

Available now via EwenSpencer.com

Retaliation, Fees, and a 'Pimp' and 'Hammer': 6 Takeaways From DOJ's Live Nation Lawsuit

  • By Jon Blistein and Ethan Millman

Kelly Clarkson and Ex-Husband Brandon Blackstock Settle Lawsuit Over Millions in Commissions

  • Crimes and Courts
  • By Nancy Dillon

Hear the First New Sublime Song in 28 Years — Featuring Both Bradley Nowell and His Son

  • By Brian Hiatt

Sean Kingston's Mother Arrested During Raid on South Florida Mansion

  • crimes and court
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Amy Klobuchar on DOJ's Live Nation and Ticketmaster Lawsuit: 'Enough Is Enough'

  • Ticket Deride
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The White Stripes

Get the latest news on The White Stripes, including song releases, album announcements, tour dates, festival appearances, and more.

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Jack White Triplegraph Digital Octave guitar pedal

Jack White's Third Man Hardware Unveils Anniversary Edition of Triplegraph Guitar Pedal

Limited to 300 pieces with certificates of authenticity signed by White himself.

September 28, 2023

The White Stripes lyrics book Third Man Records

The White Stripes' Entire Lyrics Compiled in New Book

The complete collection will also include essays from Hanif Abdurraqib, Caroline Randall Williams, and Ben Blackwell.

May 2, 2023

The White Stripes

The White Stripes Release Elephant 20th Anniversary Reissue: Stream

Featuring a new remaster of the original album along with a 27-song live performance.

March 31, 2023

Tom Morello defends Meg White

Tom Morello "Sets Fools Straight" on Meg White: "One of the Greatest Drummers in the History of Rock"

Morello is the latest musician to come to Meg's defense after a journalist criticized her drumming skills.

March 20, 2023

Meg White

Jack White Posts Original Poem Responding to Tired, Dumb Debate Over Meg White's Drumming Ability

Jack likened Meg's detractors to "demons, cowards and vampires out for blood."

March 15, 2023

Rock Hall of Fame 2023 Nominees

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: The White Stripes, Soundgarden, Willie Nelson Among Nominees for 2023 Class

A Tribe Called Quest, Joy Division/New Order, Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, and Missy Elliott are also finalists.

February 1, 2023

The White Stripes in 2003

The White Stripes' Elephant Gets New Mono Mix for 20th Anniversary

Elephant XX is the newest Vault release from Jack White's Third Man Records.

January 9, 2023

White Stripes Anniversary

20 Years Ago, The White Stripes' White Blood Cells Got Our Garage Rock Hearts Beating

Twenty years later, The White Stripes' White Blood Cells is just as stimulating and superb.

June 30, 2021

The White Stripes White Blood Cells

The White Stripes' White Blood Cells Receives Deluxe Edition for 20th Anniversary: Stream

The expanded set features a full live performance of the album.

June 25, 2021

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greatest show on earth!!!!

You get a White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather AND Jack White III show ALL WRAPPED UP IN ONE!!! GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH!!! JACK WHITE III is carrying Rock n Roll on his back... he's

White Stripes was Amazing!

The music is unique and soulful, played by very talented musicians. Please come to Boston again!....(at least New England!)

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Jack White  

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Jack White is an American musician and producer who found fame as frontman of alternative rock band The White Stripes.

Real name John Anthony Gillis was born in Detroit, Michigan and is the youngest of ten siblings. His earliest musical influences came from his brothers and he began playing drums at the age of sixteen after finding an old discarded kit in his attic. He began listening to iconic artists such as The Doors and Led Zepplin at an incredibly young age before finding a love of blues and 1960s rock in his teenage years which would go on to inspire the sounds for The White Stripes. He met future collaborator and wife Megan White in a restaurant that she worked in when he was a senior at college, they began a courtship and quickly married.

Whilst finding his way in the music world, Jack was running an upholstery company called 'Your Furniture isn't Dead' during the day and moonlighting in local bands in the evenings to gain live experience and debut some of his solo material. It was only by chance that White began to play the drums yet after the couple branded themselves The White Stripes they scored their first live gig just two months later.

The pair publicly presented themselves as a brother/sister duo and kept a monochromatic theme whilst performing live, only wearing white, black and red. Jack enjoyed huge successes with the White Stripes, winning a handful of Grammy awards, critical acclaim for their revolutionary sounds and numerous sell out worldwide tours along with a prestigious headline slot at the 2005 Glastonbury Festival. In 2011 the band announced they would be splitting "mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band". Due to the successes of his work with White Stripes, Jack White had the chance to collaborate with many esteemed artists on his debut 'Blunderbuss' which was a huge success worldwide charting atop UK and US album charts and performed all over the world with his promotional campaign.

Still working on experimental blues rock, his 2014 LP 'Lazaretto' was another huge success and was applauded by critics for the intelligent minimalist style that has been consistent through his career. Jack White is an eccentric, mysterious artist who has kept the music at the heart of everything he has done.

Live reviews

Pace: blistering. Face: melted. Embrace: a seminal musician and his hometown. Jack White's relationship with Detroit is a complex one, but any remaining ill will between city and native son served only to fuel the fire Wednesday night, as White and his band unleashed a ferocious, nearly three-hour barrage of musical magnificence, peppering in a few delightful surprises along the way. This week, upwards of 4,500 fans packed the Masonic Temple--a building White saved last year via of an anonymous donation to avoid foreclosure. The crowd first exploded as a figure began to rustle the pale blue curtain obscuring the stage, only to be greeted by a request to keep their cell phones holstered and enjoy the performance as it was meant to be enjoyed: live. Nearly fifteen additional minutes would pass before perhaps the night's most exciting minute, White's opening number, a fast and forceful rendition of "Fell in Love With a Girl," the track that first broadened The White Stripes' audience. The band spent the majority of the next three hours tearing through White's extensive catalogue, delighting the pulsating audience with selections from the aforementioned White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and White's solo work, ranging from instantly-recognizable favorites like "Icky Thump" and "Steady As She Goes" to cult classics like "Astro" and "Screwdriver" to live rarities like "The Big Three Killed My Baby," "Apple Blossom," and "I Fought Piranhas." The biggest surprise of the night came in the form of an impromptu Dead Weather performance of "I Cut Like a Buffalo," as frontwoman Alison Mosshart and guitarist Dean Ferita joined Jack's band on stage, White twirling Mosshart around his person--"Thanks for the lift jack!!"--as she bid farewell to the electrified crowd. Despite the raucous nature of the performance, the finer points were not lost on the crowd, as the band worked in riffs from Led Zeppelin, covers from Beck and Hank Williams, and dedications to some of Detroit's musical greats. Moreover, White's band was impeccable, both riffing off one another and adjusting to White's direction on the fly. The blues/garage/grunge sound White has long been known for still manages to shine through in his performances though his older works have largely been fleshed out for a five-piece band employing a variety of instruments including keys, violin, pedal steel, and even a theremin. The result is no less an assault on the soul than on the senses, as White's emotion is amplified by his precise yet remarkably improvisational performance. Jack White has a long history of celebrated live performances, particularly in his hometown, but July 30, 2014 at the Masonic Temple will stand out even among his best. Tickets were hard to come by for this show, and the music fans who managed to secure them were handsomely rewarded. White's donation put his name on the venue's smaller theater. Performances like this leave no doubt that this, too, is Jack White's theater.

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ianenos03’s profile image

So after a four week gap between gigs we are back in the swing of things at the hallowed venue, Hammersmith Odeon. It was the scene of my first ever gig, Whitesnake in 1981 and indeed 18 of next 25 gigs I ever went to were here. It may have changed its name many times in the past 30 years but it will still be Hammy O to me. This year’s moniker is the Eventim Apollo (WTF) and it welcomes Mr Jack White. I have seen Jack in many of his guises, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and solo and he has never failed to deliver so expectations were high. It’s hot and sweaty outside but that feels positively balmy compared to the heat generated by the 5000 souls inside. There’s a feeling that Jack is a little unhinged at the moment playing a secret gig the night before with the audience dressed in hospital gowns and he being pushed away in a hospital bed. This on top of his falling into the drum kit at Glasto. I dunno but have always felt that he’s a man on the edge and that’s probably what makes him so interesting creatively much like Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst. I won’t bore you with running through the set but for me there were obvious highlights, Three Women, Hotel Yorba, Ball and Biscuit and a different take on Steady as She Goes. Working without a setlist he went wherever the mood took him supported by a superb band led by the charismatic drummer who can’t sit for too long, has his drums pointing in a jaunty angle and has a penchant for the cow bell. The violinist is accomplished and can actually be heard amongst the electric mayhem going on and has a unique high pitched voice that compliments Jack’s well. This complemented by Mandolin, Theremin, pedal steel, organ, keyboard, upright base. All that’s missing is Evelyn Glennie and her glockenspiel. The night moves from acoustic albeit heavily amplified with mandolin to full on delta blues taking in Rock/Rap. Indeed a lot of the songs especially the new ones are delivered in a real punchy staccato style, the lyrics spat out in a Rage against the Machine mode which for this young listener aint a bad thing. It’s an energetic show and Jack does his best rock god impressions that don’t look cheesy or contrived. He’s obviously enjoying this and makes some barbed comments about Glastonbury and distance to the audience. Two hours later it’s all over closing with the football terrace friendly Seven Nation Army. We leave and I’m in desperate need of rehydration and some new ear drums please. Five stars to wake up London on a hot steamy night. Sleep comes much later thanks to the ringing in the ears

garyw66’s profile image

Jack White is sure to melt your face off with his his thrashing guitar and raw energy on stage. My heart always feels like it's going to explode in a Jack White mosh pit.....and trust me, it's in a good way.

Although Jack toured with two entirely different bands on his last tour, one made up of all females (the Peacocks), and one made up of all males (the Buzzards), his tour this summer is a collaboration of the two (along with some new faces).

Jack likes to keep it real on stage by not dedicating himself to any particular setlist, but instead calling out which song to play next on a whim. This keeps things fresh as neither him nor his band know what song is coming next until it is time to play it (although there does seem to be a rotating list of songs you can count on hearing!).

One of the other things I really love about seeing Jack live is his interplay with the crowd. I like how chatty he is with the crowd, and he doesn't just run down the same old spiel every time. Jack's level of energy is always matched by the crowd, so if the crowd is amped, he will rock the roof off.

Songs you can (probably) count on hearing: --"Steady as she goes" by The Raconteurs, --"Top Yourself" by The Dead Weather --"I Can Tell That We Are Going To Be Friends" by The White Stripes, --"Hotel Yorba" by The White Stripes, and you can definitely count on hearing --"Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes as the encore finale.

The best part about seeing Jack again and again is that Jack and his band play all of your favorite White Stripes, Dead Weather, Raconteurs, and his solo work a little differently every time. Some other interesting things to note about his current tour: --Theremin solos!! (Get ready to have your mind blown) --Jack has been playing some covers, which is something I have not really known him to do in the past. So far, he has played songs by Metallica ("Enter Sandman"), The Police ("Message in a Bottle"), Talking Heads ("Psycho Killer"), Bob Dylan ("Isis"), and even Kanye West ("Black Skinhead"). Jack makes it his mission that fans that come to his shows will not be getting the same thing every time, so do yourself a favor, and find a Jack White tour date near you!

Amyyybuggg’s profile image

Jack White is a Stakhanovist. Ever since the White Stripes, has he been behind the drums, producing artists or hammering his guitar, the man has lived for and through music. Actually, I can't think of anybody else embodying music like he does. That's why seeing him live is an unmissable opportunity. Paris, L'Olympia. June, the 29th. I'm sweating, sipping my beer. A man in a black suit comes on stage to deliver a message from the prophete : please, don't take any photos, including with your phones, for tonight's gonna be a real live experience. The man has guts, and i'm feeling terrible for the two lads taking selfies over there. But i'm feeling confident and i have the feeling that an electric rock'n'roll storm is going to hit the venue.

Light's down, show's on. Everything goes UNDER CONTROL as "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" opens the gig. It's a simple deal : you don't take photos, just enjoy this moment of total rock'n'roll, and i'm going to give you what you've come for : music thrills.

I've been to pretty much any sort of concert, but i think i've never seen a band who enjoyed the moment like they did. It felt just like you were witnessing a jam between incredible musicians, including sensational drummer and pianist. From The White Stripes to his current project, through The Raconteurs, everything Jack White has done is reviewed and corrected, Nashville Tennessee Style (yeah, that means violin and slide guitar on Seven Nation Army). After nearly two hours of music, you come home and know that what you've just seen can be depicted as one of these musical moments one can't forget (even though you haven't taken any pictures).

Oh boy, music isn't dead. It's in a pretty amazing shape !

JulienReverchon’s profile image

Jack White completely empties his tank for 2 solid hours at the Fox Theatre. He leaves the crowd satisfied, but of course we want more. His passion for sharing his craft and electric aura whipped through the venue. His performance covered many popular White Stripes songs to the Dead Weather, and both Blunderbuss, and Lazaretto Albums. It seemed like he played both in their entirety. Each song was extended by Jack falling in love with multiple guitars, and getting lost in a stream of riffs that blended into other songs. There were moments where the guitar jams didn't seem like they would ever end (no complaints) and then he would quickly switch to parts of another song and go back to the original one he was playing. He took us through his music timeline and added some surprise songs as well and even a little hip hop. Yeah that's right! Tonight he chose the male band to play with and they were all in sync with Jacks electric generosity. He is genuine, held nothing back, and was very present. He brings a newness and rebirth to rock, blues, country, and mixes it into his own style. You can definitely hear the Zeppelin influence, but he pulls it off without appearing as if he's ripping it off. This show was worth every mile travelled and every penny spent! There are no photos of the show because we all agreed as per Jacks request that we watch in it's entirety in the moment and share with our friends as a memory. It was refreshing to only see a number of phones capturing footage (I guess they didn't hear the message) but overall everyone was left wowed!

nataly-aponte-1’s profile image

Jack White from the Jack White Theater in Detroit? Who could say no? The Masonic Temple was clearly buzzing and couldn't wait for White, the hometown hero of rock. And clearly, White couldn't wait for Detroit. A three hour set spanning his entire discography, including a surprise reunion with his Dead Weather mates, and bookended by White Stripes cuts (some very deep), delighted the packed house. White's surreal guitar artistry shone through as he shredded early, following with a mix of newer solo material, covers of Hank Williams and Led Zeppelin, and many of his most popular songs across his work (the only major omission being the White Stripes' "Blue Orchid"). In control the entire time, White gestured and conducted his five-piece accompaniment, featuring drums, bass (electric and stand-up), violin/fiddle, keyboards, and steel guitar. With his children looking on from the side of the stage, White energetically and raucously bounded across the stage, at times standing on the drumset, at other times recklessly knocking down cymbals and microphones as the cacophony of his guitar solos overtook him. The crowd serenaded him with a roaring chant of his anthemic riff from "Seven Nation Army" before his return for a 10-song encore, closing with four White Stripes tracks, during which he invited three fans on stage to help sing "My Doorbell." With faded blue hues washing over him as seems to be his solo act's theme, White ended an exhausting yet deeply satisfying show on "Seven Nation Army," calling triumphantly "Now THAT'S the Detroit I know!"

will-ackland’s profile image

The Jack White show in Frankfurt was the best concert I saw in recent years, definitely one of the "most-rocking shows" ever!! Venue and acoustics were great, and Jack & Crew burned up a firework of songs. Aside from "The Man" himself, Lillie Mae Rische on violin/fiddle, manolin and backing vocals was awesome. I'm still buffled by her talent, voice, and looks :) Her voice was blending with Jack White's (when they had lyrics together) so perfectly, it was simply awesome! Just too bad the studio album(s) don't even sound a fraction as good as the live show... as I had to find out when listening to some of the songs again at home. I just hope Jack White will bring out a live album of the Lazaretto tour; I'd be the first in line to get it, no matter what! What else is there to say...? Jack White & Gang were simply spectacular, and I just wish I had the necessary $$ (or better, €€ :) ) to see a couple more of their shows in Europe. They are THAT good & so worth it; yes! You have got to see them if you can, you won't regret it!!!

armin00as’s profile image

Jack White brings the ruckus, period. He opened up the show with "Fell In Love With A Girl," running around the stage while simultaneously egging the crowd on to finish the lyrics for him. It didn't take long for everyone to catch on, and right off the bat the show was electric. Immediately following that were two early White Stripes favorites, "Cannon" and "Astro."

Although I preferred the scuzzed-out minimalist blues that he and Meg gave us with The White Stripes, seeing him with one of his many backing bands was still a life-changing experience. He always rewards the die-hard Stripes fans for coming out by playing at least a handful of early favorites from his back catalog, not afraid of going all the way back to The White Stripes self-titled debut.

The highlight for me was when he turned out one of my all time favorites, Ball and Biscuit. My friends and I traveled 3 hours to get our faces properly melted, and melt they did.

SCJ310’s profile image

What else can be said about Jack White that hasn't already been said ? He continues his never ending crusade to bring a highly entertaining and satisfying rock show to his audience. He doesn't simply want to show up and play, far from it. Instead, Jack brings his expansive catalog of rock riffs and hits straight to your face and asks you to accept the challenge. For those fortunate enough to attend you were not left dissapointed with the way he kept bringing the rock. This is my first time seeing him as a solo act and he obviously enjoys the freedom. He played many of the songs that made him popular with the white stripes and sprinkled in his other projects throughout the show. The only disappointing part of the experience was that it had to end. If Jack is ever anywhere near a venue that is not more than 5 hours away, I will gladly make the trek.

juanmanaraujo’s profile image

I have never seen an artist enjoy their own concert as much as Jack White. He was talking and interacting with the crowd and cracking jokes with band members. You can tell he truly loves putting on concerts for fans. Everyone at the show had a great time. The music was about half Jack's solo stuff and half White Stripes with a Dead Weather song in there and some jam sessions. He also revamped a couple of songs like 'Missing Pieces' such that they sounded completely different and it was so cool to experience! There's some different instrumentation in a couple songs that makes going to the live show so worth it. Any time you have a theremin solo it's a good time! The venue, Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, was just excellent. At one point a large ship about as tall as a 10 story building cruised behind the stage. Beautiful view of downtown skyline too.

ryan-britt-3’s profile image

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Note: Last headline show by the White Stripes before they announced disbandment in Feb 2011; band's last public performance was on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Feb 20, 2009

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The White Stripes Plan U.S. Tour

Detroit-based minimalist blues/rock duo the White Stripes have scheduled a two-week tour of the East coast of the U.S. to kick off in late March. The tour, which will follow the Stripes' ongoing…

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Detroit-based minimalist blues/rock duo the White Stripes have scheduled a two-week tour of the East coast of the U.S. to kick off in late March. The tour, which will follow the Stripes’ ongoing European jaunt in support of the group’s third album, “White Blood Cells” (Sympathy for the Record Industry), will launch with an appearance at Cleveland’s Odeon, and includes a four-night stand at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. Brendan Benson will open all dates, supporting his sophomore album “Lapalco,” due out Tuesday (Feb. 19) via Star Time Records. Additional opening acts include the Soledad Brothers (March 29-April 1), the Datsuns (April 3-5), and Kid Congo & Pink Monkey Birds (April 6). The critically lauded “White Blood Cells,” whose creators were recently nominated as best band for U.K. music weekly NME’s Carling Awards, is at No. 22 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart this week, its highest position to date. In other White Stripes news, the group is holding an online contest for fans that enjoy playing old-school video games. “Stripe Out,” a custom-designed game reminiscent of Atari’s “Super Breakout,” is available for download from the Stripes’ official Web site and can be played online at four different Web sites — NME.com , MTV.co.uk , Playlouder.com , and Channel4.com — through Sunday, March 4. At that point, the players with the highest scores on each of the sites will battle each other in a playoff, with the winner receiving a “unique box o’ stuff put together by [guitarist/vocalist] Jack and [drummer] Meg themselves from their own personal collection.” Here are the White Stripes tour dates: Feb. 27: Utrecht, Netherlands (Tivoli) Feb. 28: Rotterdam, Netherlands (Nightown) March 1: Lille, France (Aeronef) March 2: Nantes, France (Olympic) March 3: Bordeaux, France (Theatre Barbey) March 5: Paris (Elysee Montmartre) March 6: Strasbourg, France (Laiterie) March 7: Stuttgart, Schorndorf (Manufaktur) March 8: Nurnberg, Germany (K4) March 9: Dortmund, Germany (FZW) March 10: Hamburg, Germany (Logo) March 29: Cleveland (Odeon) March 30: Pittsburgh (Rosebud) March 31: Philadelphia (Trocadero) April 1: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club) April 2: Baltimore, Md. (Recher Theater) April 3: Boston (The Roxy) April 4: Providence, R.I. (Lupo’s) April 5-8: New York (Bowery Ballroom) April 10: Morgantown, W. Va. (123 Pleasant)

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Jack White admits there's little that makes sense about the White Stripes' upcoming tour through Canada: an ambitious journey that involves stops in every province and territory, including Nunavut.

The Great White Stripes North

Jack White admits there’s little that makes sense about the White Stripes’ upcoming tour through Canada: an ambitious journey that involves stops in every province and territory, including Nunavut.

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He doesn’t expect the expansive – and expensive – trek to make any money. And in large part, it’s rooted in childhood fantasies of life in the Great White North.

“Even when it doesn’t break even, it’s still not the point of it, you know,” White says by phone from a recording studio in Nashville, Tenn.

“As a kid, I saw some cowboy TV shows where they talked about the Yukon a lot, and the Alaskan-Yukon border.... That was always exotic to me. I always liked that word: Yukon.”

Besides, it’s the rock duo’s 10th anniversary this year and, to mark it, the guitarist and his drummer Meg White are on a mission to visit every region in Canada and the United States.

They start their 18-city Canadian adventure in Burnaby, B.C., on June 24 and wrap it up in St. John’s, Nfld., on July 16.

But the rocker is also on a quest to discover his Canadian roots. “There’s family all throughout there – all around Sydney Mines and Antigonish and all those places,” says White, who’s half Scottish, half Polish.

“Supposedly there’s ties from me to (fiddlers) Ashley Mac- Isaac, Natalie MacMaster.”

White admits he has no proof of this, so fans may want to take that claim with a grain of salt.

Most of the Stripes’ Canadian stops involve provincial capitals, but there are also smaller communities often ignored by rock itineraries, like Saskatoon, Sask., Moncton, N.B., and the smallest capital, Charlottetown.

Says White: “Playing in a smaller club is better than playing in a big arena, playing in a small town is better than playing in a big town, and playing in a town that is on the outskirts that people don’t usually go to is, of course, way better than playing a huge, major city in any country.”

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Newcastle 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1: Trippier’s withdrawal, penalties and no-context football in Australia

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the exhibition match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Newcastle United FC at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Newcastle United ’s controversial (and bizarre) post-season tour to Australia began with a penalty shootout victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of a crowd of 78,419 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The exhibition match, which was a homecoming for Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglou, ended as a 1-1 draw.


James Maddison intercepted a misdirected pass from Nick Pope to put Spurs ahead in the 31st minute before Alexander Isak equalised on the stroke of half-time, tapping in from five yards after goalkeeper Brandon Austin parried a low Jacob Murphy cross.

During the shootout, Mark Gillespie ’s save from Bryan Gil ’s opening penalty proved pivotal as Newcastle triumphed 5-4. Joe White , Ben Parkinson , Amadou Diallo and Garang Kuol all converted, before Harrison Ashby dispatched the decisive spot kick.

Here,  The Athletic ’s Chris Waugh analyses the key talking points.

Did Newcastle come through unscathed?

It seemed a matchday could not go by without Newcastle picking up at least one injury during their campaign of pain . The fear heading into this game was that further fitness problems could arise, yet the early signs are that Newcastle managed to get through it almost unscathed.

Joelinton did receive treatment during the first half, though he was fine to continue, while Bruno Guimaraes , Nick Pope, Isak et al appeared to escape any issues.

The one concern Kieran Trippier , who was replaced by Murphy in the 37th minute. It was a planned substitution but Trippier was sat on the bench with an ice pack on his ankle.

While he did not look to be in pain, Trippier’s fitness is of key concern to England manager Gareth Southgate given his dearth of options at full-back before Euro 2024. Trippier has started only one competitive match since March 2 due to a calf injury.

Kieran Trippier, Newcastle

The 33-year-old admitted this month that the trip to Australia is “not ideal” because “it’s not like going to Benidorm round the corner. It’s 25 hours away”.

Perhaps it will prove to be just what he required for his match fitness, with Newcastle boss Eddie Howe confirming post-match that Trippier’s withdrawal was planned: “He is still in the early stages of recovery so we didn’t want to take risks with him. Half an hour was always the aim.”

Do Kuol’s Newcastle first-team hopes extend beyond this trip?

He was not signed by Howe, nor has he been anywhere close to playing under the head coach previously , yet Newcastle’s logic for taking Kuol on this trip was obvious.

The 19-year-old is arguably the most exciting Australian export over the past five years after joining Newcastle in January 2023 from Central Coast Mariners. But subsequent loans to Hearts in Scotland and Volendam in the Netherlands have not brought about the desired development.

At the MCG, Kuol was introduced in the 71st minute as a centre-forward, replacing Callum Wilson , who had only been playing since half-time after coming on for Isak at the break.

Kuol cut a solitary figure, barely receiving any decent service as Spurs dominated second-half possession. He did, however, dispatch his penalty expertly to the goalkeeper’s right in the shootout, putting Newcastle 4-3 up.

white stripes australia tour

The big question is whether, beyond this trip, Kuol will represent Newcastle’s first team again. He was a Dan Ashworth -led addition and Howe does not consider the five-cap Australia international to be anywhere close to being first-team ready, so there is a chance Kuol could be sold.

At least Kuol did pull on the famous black and white stripes, and in his native country, though there may not be many — if any — further opportunities to do so beyond this tour.

Was this trip really worth it for Newcastle?

The term ‘exhibition match’ perfectly encapsulates this fixture.

Everyone who played was incredibly professional and there was a competitive edge to proceedings, highlighted by Son Heung-min ’s vociferous appeals for a penalty when he ran into Trippier, and by Newcastle’s defenders protesting with the officials when Maddison’s opener was allowed to stand, despite an apparent handball during the build-up.

For those Newcastle and Spurs fans based in Australia, this was a memorable experience, and the black-and-white Wor Flags display before kick-off added to the sense of occasion.

white stripes australia tour

Yet this was a clear example of no-context football.

Unlike pre-season friendlies, which feature tactical experimentation, are used as a fitness exercise and are evidently building towards the upcoming campaign, there was little tangible for either club to take out of this. The visibly jet-lagged players struggled to inject any intensity into proceedings, while the second half saw a flurry of substitutions from both sides.

For Newcastle, following an exhausting, injury-ravaged campaign, it is hard to argue that the benefits of this trip exceed the potential negatives.

Newcastle have received a fee but it is not in the millions, and is believed to be significantly less than Spurs’ remuneration. It will not transform their compliance with the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) and has largely been a commercial exercise to increase exposure in Australasia.

Graeme Jones, the assistant head coach, Stephen Purches, the first-team coach, and Howe — the latter seemingly begrudgingly so, given his expression in the photos — even visited the set of Neighbours before this match, suggesting at least part of the rationale beyond the trip was not football-related.

On set with @neighbours ! 🎬😎 pic.twitter.com/peNwhMHrrK — Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) May 22, 2024

What’s more, Howe’s men also have another match to follow against the A-League All Stars to follow on Friday. Ludicrously, their interminable season goes on, albeit in a thoroughly non-competitive fashion.

(Top photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

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Spots, stripes and more: Working out the logic of animal patterns

There’s a reason fashion designers look to animal prints for inspiration. Creatures have evolved a dizzying array of patterns: stripes, spots, diamonds, chevrons, hexagons and even mazelike designs. Some, like peacocks, want to be seen, to attract a mate or scare off a rival or predator. Others, like tigers or female ducks, need to blend in, either to sneak up on prey or to avoid becoming lunch themselves.

Some patterns arise simply or randomly, but others develop via complex, precise interactions of pattern-generating systems. Their beauty aside, the intricacies of these systems are inspiring the scientists who aim to elucidate how the tiger got its stripes, the cheetah its spots and more besides.

Mammals like cats and dogs can have white tummies. They get them in a straightforward way: As the embryo develops , pigment-making cells originate along the site of the future spine and migrate down and around toward the belly. But sometimes they don’t make it all the way. Where the pigment cells run out of steam, the white begins.

The black dots on Dalmatians are generated randomly. So are the black-and-orange splotches on calico cats.

But the stripes of chipmunks and tigers, the speckles on fishes and chickens, and many other glorious animal features are laid down with exquisite precision. In a remarkable feat of self-organization, a uniform surface becomes patterned.

The person who figured out how this happens was Alan Turing. You may know him as the 20th century mathematician who broke Nazi codes during World War II and developed early concepts in artificial intelligence. Turing also turned his math skills to understanding how regular features could emerge on the developing embryo. Scientists since then have applied his equations to the development of such patterns as fingerprint ridges , the places where hairs will sprout , and color patterns like stripes and spots. And it turns out he was really onto something: Today, scientists studying animal patterns still find Turing’s ideas to be remarkably effective — especially when combined with other factors that elaborate the patterns further.

Here’s a colorful tour of what scientists are learning today, beginning with Turing’s classic theory .

A spot-maker is the most basic version of Turing patterning. It involves two key substances, or morphogens, as Turing called them, that can move through the developing skin. One substance, the activator, turns itself on and also turns on the other substance, the inhibitor. The inhibitor blocks the activator.

By itself, that system doesn’t do much. But if the substances diffuse through tissues at different speeds and some random fluctuations are introduced, it can yield a pattern of stable spots on fur, feather or scale. Say the activator is randomly turned on in various places — it diffuses from its source, turning on more of itself and the inhibitor as it moves. If the inhibitor diffuses faster than the activator, there won’t be enough locally to block all the activator activity. This can result in stable, evenly spaced activator spots surrounded by zones of inhibitor.

Changing the parameters of the system, such as how quickly the morphogens are generated or travel, or the size and shape of the space in which they move, can alter the final pattern. For example, a cheetah’s tail is long and skinny; in that narrow space, the spots coalesce into stripes. “A simple mechanism can create an amazing, diverse and rich variety of patterns,” says Seita Miyazawa, an evolutionary biologist at Osaka University in Japan.

Way to go, Alan.

Watch this video for a more in-depth explanation of Turing patterning.


But sometimes Turing’s ideas alone aren’t sufficient to explain nature’s magnificent patterns. Scientists must invoke additional players. Rather than simple diffusing chemicals, cells themselves may get in on the act. Or animals might need additional tricks to transport the morphogens across tissues, or to make patterns sharp and crisp. Scientists also see dizzyingly complex instances where Turing patterns are overlapped with additional patterning mechanisms or have more than just two interacting morphogens.

The zebrafish, one of developmental biologists’ favorite workhorses, sports clean, black-and-yellow stripes from head to tailfin. In this case, it’s not so much diffusing substances that create this pattern, but more complex interactions between the pigment cells themselves. The cells come in two key types: black melanophores and yellow xanthophores. At short range, they kill or repel each other , a rivalry that separates them into distinct stripes along the fish body. But at the same time, the black cells will die if they don’t receive some substance, as yet unidentified, from the yellow cells. Thus, they linger at a safe distance.

By Turing’s theory, the substance the black cells need from the yellow cells would arrive via diffusion, but there’s a problem, says Cheng-Ming Chuong, a biologist at the University of Southern California. The yellow-cell stuff would have to cross molecularly vast distances — more than 200 micrometers, or the length of about 20 cells — to reach the black cells. That’s just too far for diffusion to be efficient. Scientists found the zebrafish’s solution in long, skinny appendages that the black cells extend into the yellow areas , like arms reaching for that necessary substance. And it turns out that when the stripes are first forming, the developing yellow cells also make projections toward black cells, delivering another mysterious factor that pushes the black cells together into stripes.

That’s all cool, but it only explains how the cells minimize the distances those special substances have to travel, not how the goods get from one cell to the other.

This oddball zebrafish suggested an answer. It’s a mutant version of the fish, called “leopard” because it has spots instead of stripes. The gene that’s broken in the mutant is involved in making little channels , called gap junctions, between cells. So it may be that the fish needs not just long cellular limbs but also gap junctions to move the substances that create the stripes.

Some birds also seem to use skinny cellular projections and gap junctions in their patterning. Chuong and colleagues have found that both features are involved in the head-to-tail stripes in Japanese quail . When the researchers grew quail skin in a dish, visible yellow and black stripes formed, but the yellow stripes got very skinny when the gap junctions were shut down with a chemical inhibitor. Gap junctions also contribute to the complex feather striping mutation known as Melanotic in chickens . Leif Andersson, a geneticist at Uppsala University in Sweden and coauthor on the chicken study, thinks there may be some unknown morphogen that travels — or fails to travel — through the gap junctions to create the feather patterns.

The ornate boxfish with its crisp hexagons seems to have its own solution to the diffusion problem. Presumably, if the morphogens that control its pattern had to diffuse across tissues, they couldn’t create such neat, angular lines. Think of a dye spreading in a thick liquid: Droplets of different colors would eventually become fuzzy blobs.

Fuzzy patterns were just what resulted when chemical and biological engineer Ankur Gupta at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his then research assistant Ben Alessio tried to simulate hexagonal patterns in a computer Turing model. They were nothing like what nature produces. But the scientists found a solution in a concept called diffusiophoresis, in which small molecules push or pull bigger ones; it’s how small soap molecules yank big bits of dirt from your clothes in the washing machine. When the researchers added diffusiophoresis to their models, the patterns looked a lot more like the boxfish’s scales , though they were still far from perfect.

The researchers suspect that some small Turing morphogen is dragging the fish’s pigment cells into place, and that the fish uses other patterning methods, too. “Absolutely, there are other factors that might be at play,” says Gupta.

The brown anoles found throughout the Caribbean created a different sort of Turing puzzle for Nathalie Feiner, an evolutionary biologist at Lund University in Sweden. All the males appear to use the same tailor: They have dark chevrons all down their backs. But females come in two fashions: chevrons like the boys, or a pattern of light diamonds flanked by darker triangles. Feiner thinks that a Turing-type pattern could easily explain the diamonds, with cells of different colors migrating outward from the site where the spine will eventually form. But with the chevrons, it looks like those diamonds are smearing toward the tail. Why so?

Genetics often provides clues to patterning mechanisms, and Feiner discovered the roots of anole fashion in a gene called CCDC170 . One version of the CCDC170 gene generates diamonds, and another chevrons. The diamonds dominate, so any female with at least one diamond version will be a diamondback. But it happens that females make more CCDC170 protein overall than males. Thus, even if males have the diamond version of the gene, they don’t seem to be able to muster up a diamond pattern.

The function of the CCDC170 protein also provided a clue: It affects how cells move around . The scientists don’t understand exactly how different versions of the gene change patterning, but they speculate that CCDC170 might manage the direction that pigment cells take as they migrate from the future spine line — with those that move sideways producing diamonds, and those that move outward and tailward at the same time creating chevrons.

Ultimately, the anoles use Turing periodicity plus an extra mechanism: the option to spread the pigment cells tailward and create something different. Instead of just Turing patterning, it’s Turing-plus.

Some fish have hit upon another way to complexify Turing spotting, by mixing two versions of the same type of Turing pattern together — call it Turing-squared. Computer models predict that a mashup of black spots on a white background plus white spots on black should create a mazelike distribution of black-and-white lines and curlicues.

In fact, many such labyrinthine fish exist in nature. Miyazawa in Japan analyzed thousands of fish species for spotted and mazelike patterns. In fish families where there are species with both kinds of spotted patterns, there is often a labyrinthine version too. Presumably, these fish wearing maze fashions reflect what the math predicts, a cross between dark spots on light and light spots on dark.

Scientists are also investigating how a creature’s pattern gets laid down early in development. In many cases, developing animals first lay down a colorless prepattern — like the lines in a coloring book. Later on, pigment cells come along to fill in the colors . Cats can serve as prime examples, thanks to the work of Greg Barsh, a developmental geneticist at Stanford University, and colleagues. Cat breeding by people has created an astonishing variety of looks — striped and spotted tabbies, color point Siamese, “ticked” Abyssinians with alternating bands of color on each strand of fur, and so on. In 2012, by examining the skin of developing felines such as tabby housecats and the boldly splotched king cheetah, the researchers began to suss out the elements of the prepattern. They reported that a prepattern is laid down in felines well before pigment cells arrive on the scene.

When those pigment cells finally arrive, there’s only one kind — one “crayon” — that shows up in mammals. It’s called the melanocyte and it deposits pigment in skin or hair cells. Depending on factors such as the signals received by the melanocyte, it can make two kinds of pigments that yield either shades of black/brown or yellow/red. A lack of pigment produces white.

The team recently took their work further, identifying a gene called Dkk4 that seems to produce a Turing Inhibitor; it’s turned on in the skin of fetal cats before any coloring-in takes place.

Genetic studies of adult cats of varied patterns suggest that Dkk4 normally acts to promote wide stripes. Here’s the evidence: Wild servals, found in Africa, have two normal copies of the Dkk4 gene, and they have large, clear stripes and spots, like a tabby. Felines with one normal and one mutant Dkk4 gene — and so a 50 percent dose — have small, numerous spots. And housecats with two broken versions of Dkk4 , such as Abyssinians, have ticked fur. Thus, Barsh and colleagues suggest that the Abyssinian’s ticks are really super-thin tabby stripes squished tightly together on each strand of fur .

The protein produced from Dkk4 and related proteins often work in conjunction with another group of proteins, those in the Wnt family . The pair have been linked to Turing patterning in a system not directly related to color: In mice, interactions between Wnts as activators and Dkks as inhibitors lead to evenly spaced hair follicles in the developing skin.

The African striped mouse also seems to rely on Wnt and Dkk proteins, as well as other players, to outline its chipmunk-like racing stripes . Developmental biologist Ricardo Mallarino and colleagues at Princeton University discovered that the striped mouse’s prepatterning — and the chipmunk’s, too — is a result of a Turing system overlaid with something else: in this case, a simple gradient of molecules that are present in high amounts at the spine and lower amounts toward the belly.

Mathematicians had long predicted that the overlay of a simple gradient on top of Turing spotting would generate alternating strips of dense or sparse specks. Imagine a pond with evenly spaced lily pads (the specks), and then drop a rock in the middle. The single wave (the gradient) coming out from the rock would create ripples, with most, but not all, of the lily pads settling in the valleys of the ripples. In biological systems, the math predicts that Turing spotting plus a gradient would, similarly, generate stripes with lots of specks alternating with stripes that have few specks.

In the skin of the developing African striped mice, those lily pads are like the specks where hair follicles will appear — thanks to Wnt proteins. The specks show up first in the areas that will become light stripes, and two days later, in areas destined to be dark. That distribution is created not by a falling rock but by that added gradient, a waning concentration of several Wnt -regulating proteins from spine to belly. The discovery in the striped mice was the first living example of this Turing-plus-gradient pattern that mathematicians had long predicted, says Mallarino.

That’s how the striped mouse makes the prepattern — the coloring-book lines. The colors themselves are the result of another gene that manages how the melanocytes mature : Some get stuck in arrested development and aren’t able to make pigment, so they create light stripes. The ones that do mature fill in the dark stripes.

Turing’s ideas have staying power, even decades after he proposed them. But he didn’t have all the information, and evolution layered complexity over his simple activators and inhibitors.

“The Turing pattern is definitely important,” says Yipeng Liang, a biologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. But, he adds, “nature is more complicated than we thought.”

This article originally appeared in Knowable Magazine , an independent journalistic endeavor from Annual Reviews. Sign up for the newsletter .

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On the heels of raising $102 million earlier this year, Bugcrowd is making good on its promise to use some of that funding to make acquisitions to strengthen its security chops. The company -- which crowdsources skills from more than half a million hackers to find and fix security vulnerabilities and other operational loopholes in companies’ networks and apps -- has acquired Informer, a specialist in assessing and maintaining attack surface management (ASM). ASM, which is a critical aspect of how security technology works these days, involves the use of a variety of techniques to continuously monitor potential attack vectors in an organization's IT environment.

The White Stripes

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Past Events

Here are the most recent UK tour dates we had listed for The White Stripes. Were you there?

  • Fri 15 Jun Leeds, Harewood House The White Stripes, Queens Of The Stone Age, Air, Satellite Party, The Bees, Detriot Cobras, The Sounds, Dredg, The New Pornographers, Polytechnic …
  • Thu 14 Jun London, Hyde Park The White Stripes, Queens Of The Stone Age, Air, Satellite Party, The Bees, The Thrills, The Sounds, Dredg, Modest Mouse, The Only Ones …
  • Tue 12 Jun London, Rivoli Ballroom The White Stripes
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The 12 Best Style Releases to Buy This Week: Stüssy, 424, Essentials, and More

From Stüssy Summer 2024 to 424's latest collection, here is a closer look at all of this week's best style releases.

Hopefully, you already have your Memorial Day weekend outfits in order. But there are still plenty more summertime events ahead that you'll need to plan for. This week is full of great drops from some of our favorite brands that you should definitely be considering.

Stüssy, 424, and Essentials are all releasing their latest season. There are also great drops from Barriers that celebrate Malcolm X, a new hiking boot by 18 East made in collaboration with Padmore & Barnes, some new logo pieces from Denim Tears, and even a new line of lightweight outdoor gear from The North Face if you'll be hitting the campsite soon. 

Check out how to buy all of this week's best style releases below. 

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Release Date: May 24 Where to Buy It: Stüssy Chapter stores and stussy.com Price: TBD

Stüssy returns with another season full of staples pieces perfect for your summer wardrobe. Baggy denim shorts, mesh jerseys, lightweight flannels, faded logo zips, nylon camo pullovers, and more will be up for grabs.

View this photo on Instagram

Release Date: Available now Where to Buy It: 424 Melrose Place and fourtwofour.com Price: $160-$2,300

Gulliermo Andrade's 424 recently released an impressive Spring/Summer 2024 collection. The best pieces are a camo suede jacket and matching Bermuda shorts. Other standouts include soccer jersey-inspired striped tops accented with religious patches, a bleached trench coat, and a hooded leather bomber jacket. Basics like hoodies, T-shirts, and zip-ups are also available in a variety of colors from black to baby blue.

Barriers Worldwide

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: Available now Where to Buy It: barriersworldwide.com Price: $65-$300

Barriers' latest collection is inspired by Malcolm X to celebrate what would have been his 99th birthday. Illustrations of the civil rights leader are positioned beside some of his memorable quotes on all-over print T-shirts and hoodies. Other pieces feature a special logo that places Barriers branding atop his signature "X" insignia. A vintage-inspired "X" snapback and Malcolm X action figure limited to 50 pieces round out the offering. 

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: May 22 Where to Buy It: fearofgod.com Price:  $35-$205

Fear of God's popular sub-label, Essentials, just released its latest collection. A wide variety of items like hoodies, T-shirts, nylon overshirts, knit polos, and sweat shorts are available in a range of earth tones. Most items feature a minimal rubber label. A lightwashed denim work jacket and jeans round out the latest drop. 

Denim Tears

Release Date: May 24 Where to Buy It: African Diaspora Goods and denimtears.com Price: TBD

Tremaine Emory's Denim Tears is dropping some new logo pieces on Friday. The African Diaspora Goods branding appears on hoodies, T-shirts, sweatpants, and caps in various colors. Crewnecks sport collegiate-styled "Denim" script across the chest. Rugby sweaters and black sweatsuits with red, green, and yellow logos down the sleeves and legs will also be available. 

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: May 24 Where to Buy It:  basketcase.gallery Price: TBD

Basketcase is opening its web store back up this weekend to release its Uniform collection. The drop puts an emphasis on denim with baggy shorts, flaired jeans, and straight-leggged slacks all available in a variety of washes. A limited series of vintage work shirts and flannels that have been tweaked with Basketcase branding and other embroidered graphics will also be up for grabs. 

18 East x Padmore & Barnes

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: Available now Where to Buy It: 18 East and 18east.co Price: $325

18 East has created its own footwear silhouette with Padmore & Barnes. The Oakledge Hiker Low features an Italian suede upper, Cordura fabric collar and and tongue, silver speed lace loops, co-branded orange leather insoles, and an all-weather Vibram Bifida sole. Brown and black colorways are both currently for sale.

Levi's Vintage Clothing

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: Available now Where to Buy It:  Levi.com , Levi’s app, and select Levi’s stores Price: $495

Levi's Vintage Clothing has recreated the oldest pair of blue jeans in its 171-year old archive that is believed to be from the 1870s. The 9Rivet, as its name suggests, has only nine rivets. Traditionally, jeans have 11 rivets. It is made with nine-ounce Plain Selvedge Cone Mills White Oak Denim. Details include one back pocket, an unriveted center-back cinch, and leather patch that predates 1875. Only 800 pairs have been produced. 

Awake NY x Happy Socks

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: Available now Where to Buy It: Awake NY flagship store and awakenyclothing.com Price: $28

Awake NY has teamed up with Happy Socks once again to create the perfect everyday pairs of socks. The classic white crew socks are available with green, blue, or burgundy stripes wrapping the ankle. A small "A" logo is also embroidered on each.

The North Face

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: Available now Where to Buy It:  Select The North Face stores and thenorthface.com Price: $40-$80

The North Face has introduced its new Lightrange line. The line of performance gear is constructed using a micro-grid weave technology that offers breathability and ultraviolet protection ratings above UPF 40+. Lightweight hoodies, T-shirts, running caps, bucket hats, and long sleeves are available in multiple colors. 

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: May 22 Where to Buy It: mschf.com Price: $40-$295

MSCHF's latest drop is inspired by the world's game. It includes a soccer ball complete with wavy logo hits made in collaboration with Umbro, pairs of socks, and a brand new warped sneaker nodding to classic soccer shoes. Unfortunately, it appears that the amazing jerseys that MSCHF has created are currently unavailable. 

Concepts x Sperry

white stripes australia tour

Release Date: May 24 Where to Buy It: CNCPTS stores and  cncpts.com Price: $150

For its latest footwear drop, Concepts has put a spin on Sperry's classic boat shoe. Each pair features a hairy suede upper and has been remixed with new sneaker elements like a lace toggle, translucent rubber sole, and reflective details. Orange, pink, green, blue, and purple colorways will be sold.


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  1. The White Stripes

    white stripes australia tour

  2. 2006 The White Stripes

    white stripes australia tour

  3. The White Stripes release remastered videos of two 2005 live performances

    white stripes australia tour

  4. The White Stripes Release Their Final Concert Online

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  5. Live album of The White Stripes’ final concert in 2007 released

    white stripes australia tour

  6. THE WHITE STRIPES : un live inédit de 2005 !

    white stripes australia tour


  1. The White Stripes

  2. The White Stripes "Live In Australia" (2002) 2004 *Side A*

  3. The White Stripes CNN Music Room

  4. Simon Hawkes wins WA Open


  1. The White Stripes Concert & Tour History

    The White Stripes tours & concert list along with photos, videos, and setlists of their live performances. Search ... 2002 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Uploaded by Tokyo Fox. Slipknot, Leeds Fest, 2002. Leeds Festival (and Reading Festival) 2002 (Complete Line Up from flyer - not all bands were at both festivals) ...

  2. Home

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  3. The White Stripes Tour Dates & Concert History

    List of all The White Stripes tour dates and concert history (1997 - 2007). Find out when The White Stripes last played live near you. Live streams; Chase City concerts. ... The White Stripes have struck upon a way of capitalising on their minimalism, mainly down to having a vast array of tunes such as "Seven Nation Army," "Hotel Yorba" and ...

  4. The White Stripes

    THE WHITE STRIPES. 2000 November 06 - Corner Hotel, Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria 07 - Hotel Esplanade, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria ... South Australia 03 - Claremont Showground, Claremont, Perth, Western Australia (all 2002 shows except * as part of the Big Day Out Festival) 2003 October 10 - Enmore Theatre, Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales ...

  5. The White Stripes' biggest hit was born in Australia. Then it became a

    'Seven Nation Army' isn't so much a song anymore as a cultural tour de force. It's a muscular rock anthem that transformed The White Stripes from best kept garage rock secret into the biggest band ...

  6. The White Stripes Setlist at Big Day Out Sydney 2002

    Use this setlist for your event review and get all updates automatically! Get the The White Stripes Setlist of the concert at Olympic Park, Sydney, Australia on January 26, 2002 from the White Blood Cells Tour and other The White Stripes Setlists for free on setlist.fm!

  7. The White Stripes

    The White Stripes were an American rock duo formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1997. The group consisted of Jack White (guitar ... the White Stripes began their cross-Canada tour by playing a 40-minute set for a group of 30 kids at the Creekside Youth Centre in Burnaby. The Canadian tour was also marked by concerts in small markets, ...

  8. The White Stripes Setlist at Big Day Out Gold Coast 2006

    Get the The White Stripes Setlist of the concert at Gold Coast Parklands, Gold Coast, Australia on January 22, 2006 from the Get Behind Me Satan Tour and other The White Stripes Setlists for free on setlist.fm!

  9. The White Stripes, 'Seven Nation Army'

    By the time he finished the lyrics, which addressed people gossiping about who he and his ex-wife, White Stripes drummer Meg White, were dating, he gave the term new life: "I'm gonna fight 'em all/A seven nation army couldn't hold me back.". Same goes for the riff.

  10. The White Stripes : NPR

    The White Stripes The White Stripes artist page: ... D.C. during his Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images hide caption. ... Meg White performs in Australia in 2003.

  11. Photos: The White Stripes on Tour in 2001

    By Rolling Stone. November 1, 2010. Rock N' Roll Photograph by Ewen Spencer from the series Three's A Crowd. The White Stripes perform their second show in the UK, to an audience of around 150 ...

  12. The White Stripes

    The White Stripes' White Blood Cells Receives Deluxe Edition for 20th Anniversary: Stream. The expanded set features a full live performance of the album. June 25, 2021. Advertisement. Get the latest news on The White Stripes, including song releases, album announcements, tour dates, festival appearances, and more.

  13. The White Stripes Tickets, 2024 Concert Tour Dates

    White Stripes was Amazing! by Rachelle857 on 3/2/12Agganis Arena - Boston. The music is unique and soulful, played by very talented musicians. Please come to Boston again!.... (at least New England!) Buy The White Stripes tickets from the official Ticketmaster.com site. Find The White Stripes tour schedule, concert details, reviews and photos.

  14. The White Stripes Concert Map by tour: Elephant

    View the concert map Statistics of The White Stripes for the tour Elephant!

  15. News

    The White Stripes on the June 2023 cover of Musikexpress hits stands this Friday, May 12, and includes an exclusive 7" in honor of the album's 20th anniversary featuring "Seven Nation Army" / "Little Cream Soda" (Live at The Aragon Ballroom - July 2, 2003) from The Elephant Tour.

  16. The White Stripes discography

    The American duo the White Stripes has released six studio albums, two live albums, four video albums, one extended play, 28 singles, and 20 music videos.. After three singles, the White Stripes released their self-titled debut album in June 1999. Their second studio album, the well-received De Stijl, followed in June 2000. The band's third studio album, White Blood Cells, became their ...

  17. Jack White Tour Announcements 2023 & 2024, Notifications, Dates

    Fri 19 Jan 2024 Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing ArtsParry Sound, ON, Canada. The Nude Party. Sun 31 Dec 2023 World Cafe LivePhiladelphia, PA, US. The Record Company. Tue 12 Mar 2024 Domino RoomBend, OR, US. The Record Company. Sat 20 Jan 2024 White Oak Music HallHouston, TX, US. The Record Company.

  18. The White Stripes

    The White Stripes. There are no upcoming events. Find concert tickets for The White Stripes upcoming 2024 shows. Explore The White Stripes tour schedules, latest setlist, videos, and more on livenation.com.

  19. The White Stripes Plan U.S. Tour

    Here are the White Stripes tour dates: Feb. 27: Utrecht, Netherlands (Tivoli) ... Taylor Swift Dominates, Doubles-up on Australia's Charts 02/15/2002 Explore Explore

  20. Licks Tour

    A Bigger Bang Tour. (2005-07) The Licks Tour was a worldwide concert tour undertaken by the Rolling Stones during 2002 and 2003, in support of their 40th anniversary compilation album Forty Licks. The tour grossed over $300 million, becoming the second highest-grossing tour at that time, behind their own Voodoo Lounge Tour of 1994-1995.

  21. The Great White Stripes North

    Jack White admits there's little that makes sense about the White Stripes' upcoming tour through Canada: an ambitious journey that involves stops in every province and territory, including ...

  22. Newcastle 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1: Trippier's withdrawal, penalties and

    Newcastle United's controversial (and bizarre) post-season tour to Australia began with a penalty shootout victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of a crowd of 78,419 at the Melbourne Cricket ...

  23. Beautiful Garbage World Tour

    The Beautiful Garbage World Tour was the third world concert tour cycle by American/Scottish alternative rock group Garbage, which took the band throughout North and Central America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand in support of its third album Beautiful Garbage.. The Beautiful Garbage tour takes in headline performances, support performances for U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers and No Doubt ...

  24. Spots, stripes and more: Working out the logic of animal patterns

    There's a reason fashion designers look to animal prints for inspiration. Creatures have evolved a dizzying array of patterns: stripes, spots, diamonds, chevrons, hexagons and even mazelike designs.

  25. The White Stripes tour dates & tickets 2024

    Thu 14 Jun. London, Hyde Park. The White Stripes, Queens Of The Stone Age, Air, Satellite Party, The Bees, The Thrills, The Sounds, Dredg, Modest Mouse, The Only Ones …. Tue 12 Jun. London, Rivoli Ballroom. The White Stripes. Rated Excellent. The White Stripes live shows. Find tour dates near you and book official tickets with Ents24 - rated ...

  26. Best Style Releases: Stüssy, 424, Essentials

    Price: $35-$205. Fear of God's popular sub-label, Essentials, just released its latest collection. A wide variety of items like hoodies, T-shirts, nylon overshirts, knit polos, and sweat shorts ...