The White Stripes (album)

The White Stripes
Studio album by The White Stripes
Released June 15, 1999 (1999-06-15)
Recorded January 1999 at Ghetto Recorders and Third Man Studios, Detroit, Michigan
Genre Alternative rock, garage rock, blues rock[1]
Length 43:38
Label Sympathy for the Record Industry
Producer Jack White, Jim Diamond
The White Stripes chronology
The White Stripes
De Stijl
Singles from The White Stripes
  1. "The Big Three Killed My Baby"
    Released: March 1999

The White Stripes is the debut studio album by American alternative rock duo The White Stripes, released on June 15, 1999. The album was produced by Jim Diamond and vocalist/guitarist Jack White, recorded in January 1999 at Ghetto Recorders and Third Man Studios in Detroit. White dedicated the album to deceased blues musician Son House.

Recording and production

Johnny Walker of the Soledad Brothers played slide guitar on two songs: "Suzy Lee" and "I Fought Piranhas". Walker is credited with having taught Jack White how to play slide, a technique featured heavily on the White Stripes' first two albums. Walker explains, "[Jack] had a four track in his living room and invited me to come by and do some recording. In return, I showed him how to play slide."[2]

The duo covered "St. James Infirmary Blues" after, according to Jack, he and Meg were introduced to the song from a Betty Boop cartoon.[3]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Pitchfork Media8.3/10[4]
AllMusic [1]
Rolling Stone [5]

The album received mostly positive reviews. Norene Cashen of The Metro Times said the LP "serves better to remind us that [Detroit's] local identity has more options than a membership card to the latest cliché...or a one-way ticket to the coast."[6]

Much of the media feedback came two or three years later its initial release, after the duo's fame spread beyond Detroit. AllMusic said of the album, "Jack White's voice is a singular, evocative combination of punk, metal, blues, and backwoods while his guitar work is grand and banging with just enough lyrical touches of slide and subtle solo work... Meg White balances out the fretwork and the fretting with methodical, spare, and booming cymbal, bass drum, and snare... All D.I.Y. punk-country-blues-metal singer/songwriting duos should sound this good."[1]

John Peel, the late, influential DJ for the BBC, first spotted the album in a record store and said, "I just liked the look of it and I looked at the titles - you develop an instinct, d'you know what I mean? And it looked like the sort of record I would like, so I took it out and I did like it, and started playing it."[7] His endorsement was key in heightening their popularity in the UK.[7]

Track listing

All tracks written by Jack White, except where noted [8].

1."Jimmy the Exploder"  The White Stripes2:29
2."Stop Breaking Down" (originally written/composed and performed by Robert Johnson) 2:20
3."The Big Three Killed My Baby"   2:29
4."Suzy Lee"   3:21
5."Sugar Never Tasted So Good"   2:54
6."Wasting My Time"   2:13
7."Cannon" (Influenced by Son House (See: John the Revelator)) 2:30
8."Astro"   2:42
9."Broken Bricks" (Jack White, Stephen Gillis) 1:51
10."When I Hear My Name"   1:54
11."Do"   3:05
12."Screwdriver"   3:14
13."One More Cup of Coffee" (originally written/composed and performed by Bob Dylan) 3:13
14."Little People"   2:22
15."Slicker Drips"   1:30
16."St. James Infirmary Blues" (Traditional) 2:24
17."I Fought Piranhas"   3:07
Japanese edition
18."Let's Shake Hands"  2:01
19."Lafayette Blues"  2:15


The White Stripes
Additional personnel


Chart (2004) Peak
French Albums (SNEP)[9] 159
UK Albums (Official Charts Company)[10] 142

Release history

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States June 15, 1999 Sympathy for the Record Industry LP album SFTRI 577
Compact Disc SFTRI 577
United Kingdom November 26, 2001 XL Recordings Compact Disc XLCD 149
LP album XLLP 149
United States June 11, 2002 V2 Records Compact Disc 63881-27131-2
Japan March 19, 2003 V2 Records Japan Compact Disc V2CP 148
United States November 30, 2010 Third Man Records LP album TMR-042


  1. 1 2 3 Handyside, Chris. "The White Stripes" at AllMusic. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  2. Soledad Brothers: Band History Soundclick, (accessed June 20, 2008).
  3. Series 40, episode 2, Later...with Jools Holland. Series 40. Episode 2. April 24, 2012
  4. Bowers, William (June 17, 2002). "The White Stripes: 'The White Stripes' and 'De Stijl'". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  5. "White Stripes: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  6. Cashen, Norene (May 26, 1999). "Detroit duo White Stripes mixes basic elements into simple beauty", The Metro Times
  7. 1 2 White Stripes, Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  8. BMI Entry
  9. " – The White Stripes – The White Stripes". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  10. Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: Kristine W – Tammy Wynette". Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
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