Danger! High Voltage

Album: Fire (2002)
Charted: 2
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Songfacts®:

  • "Danger! High Voltage" is the best-known song by the Electric Six, a Detroit rock band that can be very daft. They assume stage names: The lead singer is "Dick Valentine" and the guitarist on the track goes by "The Rock And Roll Indian." The song finds Dick full of burning desire, feeling a high voltage shock when he touches the woman who turns him on.

    In a Songfacts interview with Valentine, he said: "My motivation was just to have a few beers and let loose because I had a s--tty day job and I wanted something fun to do on the weekends."
  • That's Jack White of The White Stripes on backing vocals, repeating back the lines "Don't you wanna know how we keep starting fires?" and "It's my desire." White did it as a favor and wasn't paid - he did more than his part to help out other Detroit bands. When he did his vocals in 2000, The White Stripes had released two albums and were hailed in the UK as the next big thing, but they still weren't well known in America outside of Michigan. By the time the video for "Danger!" was released in 2003, The White Stripes had released their third album, White Blood Cells, and were a much bigger deal.
  • Jack White is credited on the track under the name John S. O'Leary, the name he used when booking hotels. The band claimed their guest singer only sounded like White, and was really an auto mechanic that won a competition to earn the spot.

    They obscured his identity for two reasons:

    1) To protect White from any controversy the Electric Six generated.
    2) So it wouldn't look like the Electric Six were riding his coattails.
  • "Danger! High Voltage" was recorded in 2000 and originally released in 2001 on the local label Flying Bomb Records. At the time, they were using the name The Wildbunch and lead singer Tyler Spencer was going by "Jackson Pounder." In 2002, they signed to the British label XL Recordings and changed their name to the Electric Six because another band was using the name Wildbunch. This is when Tyler Spencer became "Dick Valentine."

    XL re-released the song later that year as the first Electric Six single and funded the video; it was included on their 2003 debut album, Fire.

    In the UK, the song was a hit, debuting at #2 on January 18, 2003 (held off the top by "Sound Of The Underground" by Girls Aloud and one spot ahead of "Lose Yourself" by fellow Detroiter Eminem).
  • The music video looks like what would happen if you watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show on LSD. It's set in a mansion, where Dick Valentine and the 72-year-old actress Tina Kanarek get intimate in various guises with their private parts glowing and throbbing. She lip syncs Jack White's vocals.

    The video was directed by the team of Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire, known for their ventures into the hilarious and absurd. They also did the video for "Frontier Psychiatrist" by The Avalanches, and Kuntz later directed that Old Spice "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" spot.

    The video caused some conflict in the group because Valentine is the only band member in it - the rest of the band only show up in paintings on the walls. But it did the trick, getting the Electric Six lots of attention, so Kuntz and Maguire returned to direct their next video, for "Gay Bar." Again, Valentine was the only member who was part of it. After the tour to support the album in 2003, three members left the band, including The Rock And Roll Indian.
  • Dick Valentine wrote the lyric after hearing the track, which was written by the group's guitarists Surge Joebot (Joe Frezza) and The Rock And Roll Indian (Anthony Selph), along with bass player Disco (Steve Nawara). These were the three members who left in 2003.
  • This was featured in the 2003 film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle in a scene where Cameron Diaz puts the charms on Rodrigo Santoro.
  • The channel "Smash Hits" uses this song as the theme for a slot entitled "Warning! Pop Disasters" where they point out what they hate about certain songs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mjn Seifer - England

Comments: 4

  • TarynIt's not Jack White in the backups. It's a fan that won a competition. He's actually a mechanic!
  • Lily from Los Angeles, Caare they ripping of High Voltage by ac/dc?
  • Tj from Champaign, Il"Danger: Rock Science!" by Menthol was due for release in 1998 but did not come out until 2002, after this, because new wave was (supposedly) passé.
  • Eddie from Melbourne, AustraliaAWESUM song, thers no real meaning to this song but its great to listen to and makes u feel like getting up and dancing. Jack White supposedly DIDNT sing the vocals according?
see more comments

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