The White Stripes Biography
One of a new breed of back-to-basics Rock acts to emerge from Detroit, Michigan USA, The White Stripes comprises enigmatic bass-free duo Jack White, real name John Anthony Gillis on guitar+vocals and Meg White, born Megan Martha White on drums. The Whites, variously assumed to be husband and ex-wife or brother and sister, but both denied, formed their new band in 1997.
That same year, the couple recorded an indie-single titled "Let's
Shake Hands" and started gigging in the old motor city. Not long
after, they signed with Sympathy For The Record Industry, the track "The
Big Three Killed My Baby" was their debut single on that label, the
song was finally included on the duo's self-titled debut full-length disc
which was released in mid-1999 and they supported the release by opening
"De Stijl" followed in the summer of 2000, it was named after the minimalist Dutch art movement, which they cited as a source for the approach to their music and image; the album was well received by the indie press, of particular note was the duo's incredible reception in the U.K. where their music was lauded by a wide range of media outlets; the disc eventually cracked the top 40 of the Billboard Magazine's Independent Albums chart two years later.
Following the first overseas tour, the duo returned to the studio to cut their third LP. "White Blood Cells", which arrived in July 2001, took them to another level; in the U.K. The Whites scored three top 30 hits with the singles "Hotel Yorba", "Fell In Love With A Girl" and "Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground"; before the year was out, they inked a new deal with V2 Records who re-issued the album in America, the 16-track set cracked The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart reaching the #61 slot thanks to the alt-Rock radio success of "Fell In Love With A Girl" and "Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground" which peaked at #12 and #19 respectively on The Billboard Modern Rock chart.
Jack and Meg began recording their fourth album in Toe Rag Studios in Hackney, East London, the studio was specially decked out with equipment dated from before 1964 to give the recordings a naive, vintage sound. Meanwhile, "Elephant" was recorded in only ten days, in the tradition of early 60's recordings, it was released in the spring of 2003 and quickly shot to the top in Britain, rose to #5 in Canada and reached #6 on the U.S. Top 200 Albums chart spawning three Modern Rock top 30 hit singles including the #1 "Seven Nation Army", the #8 "The Hardest Button To Button" and "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself"; at the 46th annual Grammy awards, in early 2004, "Elephant" was named Best Alternative Music Album.
With a somewhat sinister title, "Get Behind Me Satan" was The White's fifth album; it was released in June 2005 and would eventually hit the #3 slot on both the U.S. and U.K. Sales charts; the first single, "Blue Orchid", peaked at #7 on The Modern Rock chart and also weighed in at #6 on the U.K. Top 40 chart. "The Denial Twist" hit the top 5 of The Modern Rock Tracks chart and "My Doorbell" followed reaching #13; both also made the top 10 in the British Singles chart. "Get Behind Me Satan" won Jack and Meg another Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in February 2006; only three months later Jack White was also responsible for releasing "Broken Boy Soldiers" another hit album recorded with his side project The Raconteurs.
In June 2007, The White Stripes released their sixth album, "Icky Thump"; the title-track, the first single off the new disc, shot into the top 10 of The Hot Modern Rock chart.