Fell In Love With A Girl – The White Stripes

Have we never had a White Stripes song on SteveForTheDeaf before? I’m looking through the archive… Not even one of their covers? Not even Jolene? Blimey. This duo kind of owned the first decade of the 20th Century in alternative music. You know them. I don’t need to talk you through Jack and Meg and the Wife/Sister media ruse. The strict wardrobe choices and five albums of old school blues dressed as something new.

Jack White always told anyone who would listen that his influences were of a considerable pre-digital vintage. Pre-colour photography sometimes. Meg White wore her pigtails and a smile constantly and bashed away at half a drum kit playing her role as the Stanley to his Ollie.

I still hear a whole lot of Angus Young in Jacks guitar as loud and clear as all his dear bluesmen and country legends. Like many a duo band to follow (Black Keys, Royal Blood, Slaves, The Kills) they had a formula that became a straight jacket as the albums went on. In 2001 though. Album number three, White Blood Cells. That hit the zeitgeist of the post millennium reach for something simpler and real right on cue. They were headliners by the time album four was due for release.

Fell In Love With A Girl was the first single of three from the breakthrough album. A rapid fire thrash with an almost hip hop style delivery to its lyrics. The stop start structure of the song hardly a breakdown, more a catastrophic mechanical failure. Like bump starting an old banger on a steep hill. I should know that’s how I spent 2001 into 2002. Driving bad cars. One with a CD player I installed myself that was so poorly holding together, the thief proof face plate would fall off every time it hit a bump. White Blood Cells sat in the central console along with Sum-41‘s All Killer No Filler, SOAD Toxicity and QOTSA’s Rated-R.

The song was covered to great transformative effect by Joss Stone almost immediately. She rode it into the pop charts in the U.K going main main mainstream with a quick gender switch (for the song, not for Joss) and a 60’s soul makeover. Joss Stone released The Soul Sessions at 16 years of age. It’s a classic piece of modern retro-pop and a bit of a mini-soul classic. She became a megastar and went on to work in a super-group with Mick Jagger, Damien Marley and that bloke from The Eurythmics in later years. So it was that Joss made her mark and her name as one of the pop stars of the age before the red, white and black duo peaked on the world stage with Seven Nation Army from album number four Elephant a swift couple of years later.

As a single FILWAG was accompanied by Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground & Hotel Yorba (I’ve never posted Hotel Yorba? Blimey) on small pieces of red and white vinyl. The album included other all time live staples Little Room, I Think I Smell A Rat, We Are Going To Be Friends and the Citizen Kane referencing The Union Forever.

Lo-if, alternative cottage industry indie was all the rage. The iffy cover art and poor typesetting, the sardonic record label name (Sympathy For The Record Industry) and the finesse free guitar, drums and voice felt vital. He wasn’t much of a singer. She wasn’t much of a drummer. The racket though. It was right on the moment.


6 thoughts on “Fell In Love With A Girl – The White Stripes

  1. Another (Detroit) Michigan boy. I love White Stripes music, including Jack’s singing. Cmon man! He’s a first class guitarist with so much raw talent, he makes it look easy. I have the first 6 or so albums of theirs (courtesy of a friend) but haven’t listened to them ever religiously. I do remember being shocked to learn it was just 2 people in the band. All good youtube selections, the last one was “unavailable.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tuuuuune – I didn’t realise it was a slight take on Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty, and now I love both.

    Saw these two at Glasto 2002, pretty near the front as well, and at the age I was then (let’s not reveal that today) it was EVERYTHING. And those years were a lot of fun as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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