Whenever a band I like splits up, the decision is met with sorrow, and I can’t say I’m happy that The White Stripes have decided to call it quits. However, there have been far, FAR too many situations where bands continue long after the magic is gone, and I give Jack and Meg props for stopping the train before it sputtered to a stop. Not that Jack is at a loss for employment-he’s got his hands full with The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather and his various production chores. Dude has more jobs than a Jamaican.
The Stripes announced their breakup with a classy post on the Third Man Records website. While the duo (who were already a divorced couple…you’d think that would preclude any further breakups, right?) will cease to be an active recording and touring act, there will be archive recordings released in the future-good news for Stripes fans (and I’d imagine there’s some pretty good stuff floating around in the vaults). There’s also no bad blood between Jack and Meg, so I wouldn’t be surprised if 5, 10 or more years down the line, the duo decided to give recording or touring another try.
I didn’t discover the Stripes until their breakthrough album, White Blood Cells, but they’ve turned out to be one of the most consistently solid musical acts to emerge over the past 15-20 years. My favorite album of theirs (and I’m sure many would disagree) is Get Behind Me Satan. I think when a band experiences commercial success for the first time, they can go one of two ways. They can either play close to the vest and carbon copy the sound that made them popular, or they can utilize their newfound freedom and confidence to go batshit crazy. The Stripes, fortunately, did the latter. Farewell, Stripes!
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