(Photo by Jeff Gentner/Getty Images)

Jack White is one of the most talented musicians of this millennium. For this Jack White birthday bit, we’re focusing on his White Stripes work.

John Anthony Gillis was born in Detroit on July 9, 1975. He’s the youngest of ten siblings; two of his older brothers were in a band together. This sparked an interest in music, and young John began playing the drums after finding a discarded set in the attic.

Like lots of lads who came of age in the ’80s, the future White was weaned on classic rock from Led Zeppelin and the like before discovering the artists those bands pilfered from: Son House, Blind Willie McTell, and other blues legends.

Jack White Birthday: John Begets Jack

After declining acceptance to a seminary in Wisconsin, John attended Cass Technical High School, playing drums and trombone in the band. He met Meg White his senior year. The two married in 1996, with John taking Meg’s name. Unconventional. I like that.

The couple became a band a year later, with Meg learning drums and Jack handling guitar and vocals. The duo–cheekily presenting themselves publicly as siblings–played their first gig in Detroit in 1997 and released their debut album in 1999.

Jack White Birthday: The White Stripes Years

The White Stripes would release a half-dozen albums between 1999 and 2007, finally breaking up in 2011 (as a band, that is; Jack and Meg divorced in 2000). The group also notched a half-dozen Grammys during their run. A half-dozen again, you say?

You see where I’m going with this. The Jack White birthday six-pack is six songs. So of course I’ll be nicking one from each of the White Stripes studio albums. Maybe next year I’ll do the same for Jack’s solo work and side projects.

  • "Suzy Lee"

    From the White Stripes self-titled debut album. Think of this one as the origin story for Suzy Lee, who gets name-dropped in “We’re Going to Be Friends” and gets a dedication in Get Behind Me Satan.

  • "You're Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)"

    The album-opener from 2000’s De Stijil. I’m a big fan of this album, as I’m a big fan of any album that puts an ass-kicker first in line. This wasn’t my introduction to the White Stripes, but it’s the album of theirs I go back to the most.

  • "Fell in Love With a Girl"

    This was my introduction to the White Stripes, as it might have been for you. White Blood Cells dropped in July of 2001, just as The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs were bringing back the garage sound in NYC. I think of this one as the echo back from Detroit.

  • "In the Cold, Cold Night"

    By the time Elephant trampled onto the radio charts and record stores in 2003, the Stripes were a household name. I saw them live at the Orpehum on Easter Sunday of that year. It was a religious experience: two musicians at the absolute top of their game. Meg slayed this one, as she usually did live.

  • "Blue Orchid"

    Get Behind Me Satan came out in June of 2005. “Blue Orchid” was the lead single, released to radio about six weeks before the album. It sounded little like anything the band had done to date; it sounded amazing. Still does.

  • "Conquest"

    Speaking of sounding “little like anything the band had done to date,” here we have their cover of Patti Page’s “Conquest” from 2007’s Icky Thump. Yes, it’s a cover. But it’s a great one and a fine way to wrap up this list.

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