Icky Thump (album)

From Stripespedia

Icky Thump
studio album by The White Stripes


Track Listing

Bonus tracks

Liner Notes




I saw an image of someone I once knew today and it made me write down my first impressions. I don't normally tend to do that. Guess that makes me an impressionist:

Looks like there's a storm coming
Looks like somebody told you to smile
Looks like you're waiting there for someone
Looks like you'll be waiting there for a while
Guess you'd rather not think about it much
Guess you'd rather not think about much at all
Guess you know just what they like
Guess you don't know much at all
Feels like you're just passing the time---sometimes---
Feels like you never really were a friend of mine
Feels like ghosts do walk among us
And I guess, it looks, as if it feels
Like phantom pain from the bee that stung us.

I do like impressions though. I once saw a man completely impersonate another man who was not unlike himself if you thought about it. Which I did. 'Who would have thought' needs a question mark at the end of it, doesn't it? A lot of those symbols at the end of things bother me, actually I can't be bothered. They make a symbol in sheet music when the writer wants you to keep playing till the cows come home, but I forget what it's called. I like that idea though. Playing until someone 'decides' it's time to stop based on the feel of the room. What's the longest it could go on? I imagine that every time I see that symbol. What if there was a room that had just the right vibe in it, just the right amount of energy to push, and inspire, and invigorate a conductor and her entire orchestra, to hold that last note until...they couldn't even remember they held it that long? When there's a world record for something, it's an extreme thing. How big is the biggest of its kind? And how did it get to the point where the conditions called for something so massive to be constructed? It's baffling. Beautiful though. Icky thump.


Special Thanks

After ten, wonderful, fortunate, and tumultous years, The White Stripes would like to thank:

God, Electra, Tara and Star, Jasper, Elroy and Pigeon, and all the saints at the bar.
To Mexican Town in the southwest, and anywhere we called home,
In fact, to the words home, and bone, not to mention telephone.
And to the sounds of the Airline, and the Kay, and of course Silvertone,
To Muldoon for the tunes, and for Dominic in the room,
And to Chloe, Colleen, Jodie, Sarah, and Rich, for handling all of the press for us two,
To Baka, and Butch who was far past the norm,
Who made three fortunes in his life, but never saw us perform,
To Heather for scooting over, and Planet Ant for being open,
Swank and Walker for rocking, and all of the Teurs for rolling,
To Blackwell in the back of the van, and Baker in the front,
And to Ian at the helm of this beautiful bus,
To decisions, and planning, and minutia, and luck,
And to Tiff for the things that went unnoticed by us,
Rob Jones with the tones, and Michele with the phones,
Weise, Davidian, and Randy for their low-interest loans,
To anyone who had to endure hearing us moan,
And of course Kaplan and Warby, for booking us shows.
To Miss Stacy Fass, just for being bad ass,
And NO thanks to the lawyers who were shifty and crass.
To Peter, and Matthew, and James, and Mary,
And all the other apostles that made the road less scary.
To Russell, and Gershon, and Whalley, and Mills,
And to all the indie labels and their three dollar bills.
To Teresa, Theresa, Ciciley, Cathy, Kathy, and Kellie,
And all of the other mothers and handmaidens who put food in our bellies.
To Frozen for taking the pictures that move,
To the Heat for warming us up with their groove.
To every brother and sister we could muster to mention,
For every piece of advice that we truly needed,
And to need, the mother of all invention,
To Mo, Anne, Ray, Stephen, Joe, Barb, Leo, Eddie, and Alan,
For support by the truckload, and love by the gallons.
Again don't forget your mothers, turns out they have feelings too,
And fathers of all kinds, teaching us to be true,
To those who stayed home and blessed where we'd roam.
To Matt Pollack for not resting until speakers were blown.
To Liam, and Stewart, and to Kettle, and Joe,
The engineers that compressed us, and told the sound where to go,
To all we have loved, and all we have lost,
To those who stood by us and never thought of the cost,
To Krupa, and Mitchell, Buddy, Bonham, and Bellson,
To the Scarlett White hearted little queenie Miss Elson,
To the people who bought the records, and didn't let others concern it,
You are the ones who deserve your money back, if anyone, you've earned it,
We're sorry that we're never thankful enough for our daily bread,
And so sorry to anyone we didn't mention, or anyone else we've misled,
And lastly you're welcome,
To anyone who might've thanked us instead,
You're welcome to anything we've got left in our head,
It's more yours than it's ours, be it white, black, or red,
If it chooses to come out,
From now 'til we're dead.

This album is dedicated to Good Guy Gorm.

Release History

  • June 15, 2007: Germany, XL Recordings, CD
  • June 18, 2007: UK, XL Recordings, LP (XLLP 271)
  • June 18, 2007: UK, XL Recordings, CD (XLCD 271)
  • June 18, 2007: UK, XL Recordings, MP3 (XLDL 271)
  • June 18, 2007: Russia, Soyuz Music, CD (347868)
  • June 18, 2007: Poland, Sonic Records, CD (SON 214)
  • June 19, 2007: Aus/NZ, XL Recordings, CD (XLCD 271)
  • June 19, 2007: US, Warner Bros., LP (162940-1)
  • June 19, 2007: US, Warner Bros., CD (162940-2)
  • June 19, 2007: Canada, Warner Bros., CD (2 162940)
  • June 19, 2007: US, self-released, USB ("Jack") (WST59) (limited pressing of 3,333)
  • June 19, 2007: US, self-released, USB ("Meg") (WST59) (limited pressing of 3,333)
  • June 20, 2007: Japan, Warner Bros., CD (WPCR 12660)
  • August 29, 2009: US, Third Man Records, Mono LP (TMR 002) (released as part of Third Man's Vault Package #1)


Metacritic (80/100) / Entertainment Weekly (A) / Pitchfork (8.0/10) / allMusic (4/5) / PopMatters (8/10) / Sputnikmusic (3.5/5) / The Washington Post (positive) / Dusted (positive) / Stylus (B) / Tiny Mix Tapes (4/5) / IGN (8.5/10) / BBC (positive) / Imagine Echoes (A-) / A.V. Club (A-) / Contactmusic (9/10) / Robert Christgau/Rolling Stone (3.5/5) / Blogcritics (A) / Trees and Things (8.5/10) / No Ripcord (5/10) / Toy Piano (7/10) / AbsolutePunk.net (91%) / Tommo Eitelhuber (4.7/10) / Prefix (7.5/10) / Adrian Denning (8.5/10)

Band Quotes


  • The album does not feature marimba or piano (although it does contain several keyboards, including one of the earliest synths).
  • The album has the most guitar solos Jack White has ever recorded to tape.
  • The album marks the first time the band has performed with horns and bagpipes.
  • The album marks the first time the band has recorded and mixed an album in a conventional recording studio.
  • The album was still, however, recorded to reel-to-reel, and mixed to tape in complete analog fashion.
  • The album was recorded in three weeks, the longest the band have ever spent working on a record.
  • Icky Thump is the second longest album of the Stripes pantheon thus far, second to Elephant with more than 48 minutes in running time.
  • The title is derived from "ecky-thump", a Lancashire colloquial response of surprise, popularized by an episode of the 1970s UK comedy series The Goodies. On the show "Later... with Jools Holland" (broadcast June 1, 2007), Jack attributed the album's name to its use as an exclamation by his wife, Karen Elson, who is from Lancashire. He added that the deliberate misspelling was to make it easier for an American audience to identify with. Ironically, the pearly costumes that the band used for this album are traditional Cockney outfits, somewhat contrary to the Northern dialect of the title.
  • I’m Slowly Turning Into You” is possibly the first song to be written based on a video treatment. This was inspired by one which was given to the White Stripes by Michel Gondry which features Jack walking, followed by many other people. The people start off looking like Jack, and then slowly look more and more like Meg. At the end of the line of people is Meg.

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