The White Stripes, a.k.a. Jack and Meg White, were among the leading proponents of the garage rock revival of the late 1990s and early 2000s with their lo-fi brand of riff-rock. They shot three LPs into the top 10 of the Billboard 200 and more than ten singles into the upper regions of the Alternative Rock chart in addition to picking up multiple Grammy Awards. On December 4, the duo will team with Columbia Records and Jack White’s Third Man Records to release the first U.S. commercial collection of their hits. Simply entitled Greatest Hits, the anthology will be available on single CD, double 150-gram vinyl LP, and digitally. A limited vinyl edition containing the release’s only color variant is available exclusively through Third Man’s Vault subscription series. That package will also contain a bonus LP of “scattered B-sides” and other goodies (prints and lyric magnets).
Part of The White Stripes’ mystique came from their self-invented back story which has been recounted in the press release for this title:
Twentysome years ago, a brother and sister climbed into the third floor attic of their Southwest Detroit family homestead and bashed out a primitive cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream,” sparking something in both of them and leading them to take their simple guitar-drums-voice approach to a local open mic night on Bastille Day. In what feels like a whirlwind, they record and release two 7-inch singles for a local indie label. A not-so-local indie offers to put out a full-length album. They start touring. Another album. More touring. Another album. Folks REALLY start to pay attention. Crazy touring, more albums, accolades, wildest dream after wildest dream coming true. “World-renowned” becomes an appropriate descriptor, as does “long-building overnight sensation.”
The brother-and-sister relationship earned them some recognitions as “The Carpenters of rock” as Meg – like Karen Carpenter – played the drums and Jack handled the songwriting and multiple instruments. But in the grand tradition of such rock icons as Bob Dylan, the mythology wasn’t quite true. Jack Gillis met Meg White in their senior year of high school, and they married in 1996 – less than one year before they debuted onstage locally in Detroit as The White Stripes. The marriage didn’t last, and the couple divorced in 2000. But they continued to work together through late 2007, releasing a total of six studio albums. (A live series on Third Man Records has seen the release of a dozen concerts to date.) They gave a final live performance on television in 2009, and in early 2011 announced that they had officially split. Jack to this day retains Meg’s surname.
The collection is said to include 26 songs, but the band and labels haven’t confirmed the track listing beyond “Ball and Biscuit,” which they have shared in a live video from their October 22, 2003 Tokyo show. That video is now streaming and can be viewed either below or at this link. The Vault Package, # 46 in the series, will press the two discs on red and white platters with the bonus LP on “detonation” splatter vinyl. The White Stripes’ frequent collaborator Rob Jones will also provide unique artwork for the Vault edition. Target will carry an exclusive edition with a bonus slip mat.
Greatest Hits is the first release under an agreement between Third Man Records, Jack White, and Sony Music Entertainment. It covers the majority of White’s discography – not only with The White Stripes but also with The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather as well as his solo recordings. Greatest Hits is due on December 4, and you can find pre-order links below!
The White Stripes, Greatest Hits (Third Man/Legacy)
Track Listing TBA, includes “Ball and Biscuit”