Fav Five White Stripes Cover Songs

Since their debut album, up through their final work together, the White Stripes have covered some great tunes and helped a generation rediscover some lost classics.  These are some of my favorite songs which The White Stripes cover.

Meg and Jack White.

Meg and Jack White.

 

5: I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself:

 

A Burt Bacharach classic! Originally performed by the lovely Dusty Springfield, who vocals were radio friendly but a little too upbeat to really leave the listener with the impression that she understands the loneliness expressed by Bacharach’s lyrics, Jack White vocal track however screams of desperation and melancholy, and swings between a range of emotions, and while the original was produced to compete with 60’s pop, Jack’s heavy guitar track, and Meg rock steady drums make it sound as fresh as… um…. D.J. Jazzy Jeff’s MC? And the video is one I should have wiggled into my Fav Five White Stripes video… c’est la vie! (That’s French for “That is the life”… I’m kind bilingual like that). KATE MOSS POLE DACNING!!! THAT’S A BINGO!!!!!

 

 

4: Death Letter:

 

Originally performed by Son House (aka Eddie James “Son” House), and many blues enthusiasts will prefer the original, folksy blues track, as well as House’s vocals, and I wouldn’t argue the case, but The White Stripes version trades the acoustic guitar in for a heavy electric guitar track and Jack White’s vocals are more of a screeching blues, rather than House’s soulful, gospel rendition. Which ever you like better (I prefer the original), both are great, and I hope that this cover by The White Stripes opened some young ears to some classic blues.

 

3: Jolene:

 

This Dolly Parton classic is beautifully covered. Jack White pays homage to Parton’s lyric writing be refusing to alter the lyrics to suit a male vocalist, and Parton’s panicked, soothing voice is traded for Jack White’s crying, blues voice, and Parton’s Nashville production style is pared down to the basics, her funky bass line is transferred to the guitar (I think?) and Meg Whites drum line plays into Jacks soulful and bluesy guitar and vocals.

 

2: One More Cup of Coffee:

 

Like most of their cover songs the White Stripes didn’t make a video for this song, but a fan decided to use some stop-animation (no doubt inspired by The Hardest Button To Button and Fell In Love With A Girl videos). It is a cover of a obscure Bob Dylan track (if there is such a thing as an obscure Bob Dylan track, regardless, it is not one of Dylan’s more popular songs). Dylan’s harmonica laced guitar and gravelly voice track is replaced by Jack Whites bluesy guitar and vocals and accompanied by a suiting organ. It spells perfection!

 

1: The Union Forever:

 

In combining the Jazzy/Blues song “It Can’t Be Love” (which is played briefly during the camping scene in Citizen Kane), with the catchy pop song written about Charles Foster Kane of the same film, with some memorable quotes from said film, the White Stripes have created one of the most unique examples of post modern appropriation and my favourite cover song which the White Stripes ever performed. The youtube link is not made by the band, but rather by a fan who compiled clips form the movie.

 

Honourable mention to Conquest:

Here is the original:

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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