White Blood Cells

From Stripespedia

White Blood Cells
studio album by The White Stripes


Track Listing

Liner Notes




Holding these truths to be judged forever -- the mark, the string, the skin and the vibration all set and aiming to please. This sister with her hands, and this brother with his knees. The slide is in the pocket and this neighborhood is showing up more than that. Our friends aren't here to help, but maybe that's the best they could give. An old song is also best but sometimes too easy. "How else can we help you?", the brother said, and the sister replied "I don't know." The south is there and always will be. The north is home whether it's friendly or not. Something's going to let us know that these are the good days to remember, after children take up our time and take our place. But pride and happiness are always the same distance from our hands.

Release History


Band Quotes

  • Jack White: "We tried to keep it as unorganized as possible, we rehearsed for a week and then went to a Memphis studio we'd heard about and recorded for three days. We tried to rush this as much as possible to make [the sound] really tense. And it seemed to work. There's no blues on the new record. We're taking a break from that. There's no slide work, bass, guitar solos, or cover songs. It's just me and Meg, guitar, drums and piano."
  • Jack White: "It was cool because a lot of things had been sitting around for a long time, stuff I had written on piano that had been just sitting around not doing anything. And it was good to put them all together at once, put them all in the same box and see what happened. We keep getting put with this bringing-back-the-blues kind of statement as a label for the band, and I just wanted to break away from that because it's really hard to do that, being … where we're from, even though that's the music that we really love and that I'm really inspired by. Most of the songs that had been sitting around were these piano-written songs that were more 'songwriting' type songs. I wanted to make a whole album of that."
  • Jack White: "We completely avoided the blues on White Blood Cells on purpose. The thinking was, "What can we do if we completely ignore what we love the most?" On White Blood Cells we were strict about other things as well. We decided to record the album in three days, take no guitar solos, avoid slide guitar, and banish covers."
  • Stewart Sikes: "We just set up and they started going. Jack knew what he wanted. Meg didn't really think they should be recording -- she thought the songs were too new. Jack pretty much knows what he wants, has a really good idea what he's going for. Meg is pretty quiet. She sort of drank her bourbon and smoked a lot of cigarettes. I think Meg was a little nervous being in a big studio, bigger than what they were used to. The main thing I tried to do was make them comfortable so they could play well -- with Meg, making sure her part didn't totally suck. She was pretty self-conscious about it. They came for three days and did most of the songs, then came back for two days and then we mixed the thing the next day. Jack told me more than once not to make it sound too good. I knew what he was talking about from recording at their house to a 24-track studio. We didn't come close to using all those tracks. Basically he wanted it as raw as possible, but better than if it was recorded in somebody's living room. He steered me that way, and I ran with it. Are all of these songs new?"


  • There are many interpretations on what the album cover photo means. The most popular interpretation is that it shows the band getting almost attacked by a group of black-clad figures representing the paparazzi (which is what they appear to be when you open up the album). Jack has said about the album cover: ""Is the attention good or bad? When you open the CD, it's a picture of us with these cameras. Wondering if it's good or bad... the shadow-people might be bacteria coming at us and Meg and I are the white blood cells. Or maybe it means white blood "sells" and the bacteria are media and music lovers... or maybe it means nothing at all."
  • Jack has also said this about the picture on the back of the album: "Perhaps on the back cover Meg and I are blood cells... or perhaps she is on the dirty ground, and I am in happiness... or perhaps I'm dragging her into a place she doesn't want to be or maybe she's pulling me out of it."

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