Jack White's 10 best guitar tracks of all time
Credit: Kris Krug

A 231-track playlist chronicling the career of Jack White

As one half of The White Stripes, he brought a filthy rock and roll sound to a new and adoring generation. Unadulterated, unfiltered and fully-leaded, Jack White has been a leading figure of the music scene for many years now and his guitar ranks among the finest of a new generation.

White achieved the feat of becoming the leading light in garage rock in the early noughties. Not only lending his hand to some of the best rock bands of the last two decades, from The White Stripes to The Raconteurs and Dead Weather to his solo work, but also by being a never-ending student of his craft. As a studious member of the rock student body, White has slowly ascertained his own ‘legend’ label and, below, we’re trawling through his entire back catalogue as a quick reminder of his talent.

When we look back at some of the greatest guitarists to have ever lived it is easy to stop looking after 1980. The stock of impresario guitarists in the sixties and seventies was so good that it almost felt like guitarists gave up during the eighties and nineties. Of course, there are reams and reams of names to be listed off as wonderful guitarists. While most of those players are technically proficient and masterful musicians, White had something different. He had chutzpah, talent and the grit to get him and the bands he chose over the line.

The late nineties were a tough time for rock bands in America and, with very few managing to dislodge Nu-Metal as the genre du jour, the scene looked grim—that is until one band emerged from the primordial goop and delivered on the promise of rock ‘n’ roll. Of course, it would all begin with Meg White and The White Stripes. The greasy Detroit dwellers quickly made a name for themselves as the dirty side of rock music, releasing their self-titled debut album in 1999.

What followed was four years of intense production. White was the man in charge and drove the band toward worldwide success. First, the band released De Stijl the, a year later, they shared the seminal record White Blood Cells. That was the record that cemented The White Stripes as not only your new favourite band but quite possibly the saviours of the entire rock ‘n’ roll scene. While the group would certainly get help on that front, helping to fight the garage rock revival alongside The Strokes et al, The White Stripes always sounded unique.

In fact, throughout the entire discography shared below as a 231-track playlist of Jack White’s career, the musician has always made music that sounds exactly like ‘Jack White’. The guitarist is the best at transferring what is either technically or sonically sound into something digestible and evocative. Jack White transcends musical nouse and delivers in spades a whole heap of what music should be about; feeling. It’s something he has done not only on his own or with The White Stripes but his two supergroup side projects.

Also featured in our playlist is his work with the acclaimed band of bruisers The Raconteurs, the group he shared primarily with Brendan Benson. While there is, of course, the brilliant debut Broken Boy Soldier, there is also the superb live album from this year Live At Electric Lady to consider. In between these moments, White has even found time to share a band with The Kills’ own Alison Mosshart as The Dead Weather. Also producing three albums in their time, with Dodge and Burn being the favourite of the bunch.

Looking at the songs below it is easy to see how Jack White has become the commander of the current rock scene. Perhaps unwilling to take the moniker and hint at his long time in the business, if you spend 20 years at the top of the game, the chances are you will soon be seen as the caretaker of it all. If two decades at the top of the rock music mountain provides this incredible array of songs, then be rest assured that, as Jack White has, you have entirely earned it.

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