Jack White: The Lightning Bolt of Inspiration That Is Blunderbuss

Third Man Records TMR-139

The Lightning Splodge of Blunderbuss

Jack White‘s Blunderbuss was one of my Records of The Year in 2012.

I was therefore pleased to receive an early Christmas present this morning: a little parcel from Third Man Records.

For the princely sum of twenty American dollars I picked up a nice copy of his solo album Blunderbuss – something I had resisted until now. I’m glad I did as this particular issue comes in a rather fetching light blue shade of vinyl and has what Third Man Records describes as an “inverted lightning bolt” through it, which is a rather romantic way of describing what looks remarkably like a “black splodge” to my eyes, but perhaps I’m being rather picky. Lightning Bolt or Lightning Splodge, it’s very nice. The package comes complete with lyric sheet, download codes and a very nice matt gatefold sleeve.

Honestly, there’s something about a well packaged album that warms the heart.

I say that despite the rather odd image on the cover, which features Jack White doing his best impression of the film Kes, only with a rather grim looking vulture rather than a kestrel. All very strange. Perhaps they’d run out of parrots at the store? Even stranger is that the vulture is rather dubiously called Cupcake and has it’s own Facebook page with over a hundred followers.

Inverted Third Man Records TMR-139

A grim, moody, hollow eyed creature… with a vulture on his shoulder

So well done Mr White. Indeed, the setting up of his Third Man Records business – releasing vinyl in an age of digital downloads – has proven to be the best commercial decision taken since Steven Spielberg decided his script for a seventeenth century period drama about badger control should be re-written, set at sea and called “Jaws”

This Blunderbuss release follows September’s Third Man Records Vault #13 release of an LP featuring a live recording of The White Stripes first ever show complete with White Stripes branded Tote bag (yes – really) and the forthcoming Vault #14 release of a Jack White double live album (with black and blue vinyl and sleeve that changes image depending upon the angle you view it!), a blue vinyl 7″ of unreleased demos from Blunderbuss and a Dead Weather photo book. Such releases show Jack White and Third Man Records are proving to be the masters of producing very nice things I probably don’t really need. It’s not easy to successfully run the thin line between nicely produced goods and unnecessary tat that will only clutter up the place. Third Man Records are running this gauntlet very laudably indeed. I’m a big fan.

I’m not much of a record collector – I buy records to play them – and generally speaking I am happy for nice things to exist without feeling the need to own them. I’m no completist. But given the choice between a plain version and one in a pretty colour? I’ll go for the fun version.

The Vault is a quarterly record club that features rarities – usually consisting of an LP, a single and a Dvd or T-shirt. The first Vault Release from Third Man Records was a very desirable mono version of Icky Thump that is currently on eBay for $250. Sadly I chose not to invest at the time (you had to pay before knowing what was on offer in those days). At that price, I think I’ll just have to unplug one of my speakers.

Little Willie John I'm Shakin'  Patti Page cover versions White Stripes

The Uncut Magazine CD

In other Jack White related news, the free CD that came with Uncut magazine a month or so back has been getting quite a few plays on my stereo. It contains the original versions of some well known White Stripes songs, and that of Jack White’s latest single I’m Shakin’ by Little Willie John (I didn’t even realise this was a cover version).

Other highlights are Blind Willie McTell‘s Southern Can Is Mine and Lord Send Me An Angel, Marlene Dietrich‘s Look Me Over Closely and Son House’s John The Revelator. Not to forget Patti Page’s Conquest – which I had heard before, but which is almost as crazy as The White Stripe’s version.

Given that we’re all about the music here at Every Record Tells A Story, here’s that version of I’m Shakin’ by Little Willie John:

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Record #129: Little Willie John – I’m Shakin’


Categories: Indie

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. Oh man! That is one pretty, pretty vinyl!


  2. Nice…Jack is the best.
    I want one.


  3. Damn it, why did you go and tell me about Third Man’s The Vault? I keep staring at the website…my debit card in my hand…


  4. You know, when this album came out I didn’t give it a fair shake. I’m re-listening to it now and I’m more impressed: this is good shit!

    Still wish The White Stripes would come back.


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