The 10 Best Jack White Songs

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Many Jack White Bands, Faces of Jack White, best Jack White Songs,

Editor’s note: This list was originally published in 2013, but with the release of the new Dead Weather record, we thought we would revisit one of our favorite lists and modern artists.

When Jack White releases something new, we are sure to break out all the bells and whistles to announce its arrival. Today, we update our best Jack White songs list with the new album and White’s last album in mind. While we certainly love a handful of songs on the new album (“High Ball Stepper”, “Temporary Ground”, “Entitlement”), the fact that we are still relatively new to these songs held them from back from making a stacked list.

So without further ado, the best of Jack White:

10. The Dead Weather- “I Cut Like a Buffalo”

Jack White, Dead Weather, I Cut Like A Buffalo, Best Dead Weather song,

Our one and only Dead Weather song, “I Cut Like a Buffalo” somehow manages to be completely menacing and totally groovy at the same time. Kind of psychedelic, dub metal and even some hip hop elements, making for the type of song only Jack White could concoct.

9. Jack White – “Trash Tongue Talker”

“Trash Tongue Talker” is our favorite solo Jack White song to this point, with the honky tonk energy and the rebellious spirit of the Stones.

8. The White Stripes- “A Martyr for My Love For You”

White Stripes, a martyr for my love for you, moody, Jack White,

We saw Jack White debut this song with the Stripes on his 2006 tour at Bonnaroo, and it is perhaps his most mesmerizing song. It pulls some of the country elements from his Dolly Parton “Jolene” cover, but gives the song his own tongue-twisting treatment lyrically. “Martyr” touches on the bittersweet nature of love, something he hits on a ton on Blunderbuss and perfected lyrically on “Love Interruption”.

7. The Raconteurs- “Carolina Drama”

The Raconteurs, band photo, Jack White, Carolina Drama, best Raconteurs song,

Our one and only Raconteurs song, which is collectively our least favorite Jack White project (though still good by industry standards), “Carolina Drama” stands out clearly as the best song in the Raconteur catalog. While the twists and turns in Jack White’s intricate storytelling may not be as encapsulating or as dense as R. Kelly’s legendary Trapped in the Closet series (which is returning), it is the next best thing.

6. The White Stripes- “The Nurse”

The first of two tracks off of our collectively favorite White Stripes album, Get Behind Me Satan, “The Nurse” also stands as one of the most experimental and avante garde tracks White did with the Stripes. Laying on a creaky bed of marimba and maracas crawls a piano trail amidst attacks by piercing guitar and crashing cymbals.

5. The White Stripes- “White Moon”

Probably the most subdued of all Stripes songs, “White Moon” is also potentially my favorite. I just picture Jack sitting alone in a room, coming up with phrases off the top of his head that only occasionally have meaning, but are always dripping with emotional sentiment. White’s knack for crafty wordplay and understanding of what it takes to write a great song make him a one-of-a-kind talent.

4. The White Stripes- “Death Letter”

In many ways I see Jack White as this generation’s Eric Clapton, and in many ways the White Stripes are the equivalent to Cream, his best known output and a refurbished version of the blues. “Death Letter” is a balls-to-the-wall cover of a Son House song, and if you ever catch the White Stripes live (which may never happen again), “Death Letter” is arguably the biggest show stopper.

3. The White Stripes- “Icky Thump”

The White Stripes, Icky Thump, album cover, top Jack White songs

Lead title tracks never get this good. For those foreign to the White Stripes, let “Icky Thump” serve as a perfect intro and swift kick to the short pants. You rarely hear guitar licks as thick and tasty as the one served up on “Icky Thump”.

2. The White Stripes- “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”

An absolutely iconic Stripes song, “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” leaves the lyrics to a minimum and lets Jack’s axe do the talking. “Dead Leaves” opens with an incredibly illustrative guitar riff, as the song continues strictly on the back of the Jack’s guitar play, which is heavy, yet melodic and measured.

1.       The White Stripes- “Ball & Biscuit”

Seven minutes in heaven.Ball & Biscuit” captures just about everything we love about Jack: the huge classic blues riff, crafty wordplay, bloody raw guitar solos, and an untouchable swagger.

Here are the three songs that were “Whited Out” off the list and just missed:

Todd: The Dead Weather- “Treat Me Like Your Mother”

Todd traded out his miss on this updated list trading out the White Stripes “Cannon” for the Dead Weather’s “Treat Me Like Your Mother”. There is an argument to be made that “Treat Me Like Your Mother” is the most head-banging go-nuts track of Jack White’s career, a camp Todd clearly falls under.

Wes: The White Stripes- “Hotel Yorba”

Jack White, Meg White, Hotel Yorba, White Blood Cells, band photo,

I had a hard time deciding between tracks in “Hotel Yorba” and the pure blues extravagance of “The Hardest Button to Button”, but I ended up settling on “Hotel Yorba”, for its scrappy, feel-good nature that plants itself in your brain.

Austin: The White Stripes- “300 mph Torrential Outpour Blues”

Another near make for our list, “300 mph” is just one more song where Jack White seemingly lulls you into a comfort zone before kicking things up to 11. Austin’s deep love for Icky Thump is shown with this choice.

So there is the list. Let us know what we unforgivably missed, or got right, but still feel free to just rip on us in general …

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Author: Wes

Hoosier. Writer. Music Buff. Media Man. Tourist. Polar Bear.

19 thoughts on “The 10 Best Jack White Songs”

  1. No Black Math? Or Seven Nation Army? I’m with Todd on Hotel Yorba too! Actually, there are so many great – and varied – songs that we will all have wildly different choices.

    1. Both tracks were incredibly hard to leave off, believe me. Honestly John, this was one of our hardest lists to narrow down. I feel like anyone could make a fairly valid argument for almost any Whites Stripes song.

  2. Wow. I was introduced to Jack White via a Raconteurs album a friend lent me but I haven’t listened to The White Stripes much yet. Thanks for this list; he seems like a really awesome musician.

    1. You can’t really go wrong with any of the White Stripes albums, but the tracks above are a good place to start. Thanks for the comment.

  3. This would be a very hard list to make! I don’t think I could narrow mine down to 10 favorites, but Ball & Buiscuit would be close to #1 on my list too. Canon would have definitely made my top 10, along with my absolute favorite Raconteurs song – These Stones Will Shout.

  4. I agree that all Jack White workings are incredible. Every last one of them. But no top 10 list of his songs should be without We Are Going To Be Friends in my opinion. So simple a song, but so good. My favourite anyway.

  5. Aw, c’mon! No ‘Seven Nation Army’? And only one Dead Weather song? How about ‘Blue Blood Blues’ from that band? A list like this is bound to be divisive – but you knew that, didn’t you? :-)

    1. Cold Mountain is such an underrated movie…absolutely beautifully shot. And you’re right, Jack does a great job in that role.

  6. Carolina Drama! Yes please. The Dead Weather’s Hang You from the Heavens is a favorite of mine as well. With Jack White I think it is hard to pick only the ten best :) Nice list!

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