Blunderbuss

Album: Blunderbuss (2012)
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Songfacts®:

  • The blunderbuss was an early muzzle-loading handgun, which was the weapon of choice for 18th century highwaymen and coach guards, who required a lightweight, easily handled firearm. This waltz-time off-loading of emotional baggage is the title track of the debut solo album by Jack White.
  • Blunderbuss was written, recorded and produced entirely by White in 2011 in Nashville; he is supported on this song by Fatz Kaplin on pedal steel and Brooke Waggoner on piano. During a pre-release playback for the album in London, England, White explained how his time in the home of Country music left an indelible mark on the LP. He admitted, "If I didn't live in Nashville, I don't think I would have ended up making this record, because the other element of it is that I've been producing 45s by other people for my record label Third Man for the last three years. Through all those 45s I've done, I've collected a humongous family of people – pedal steel players, violinists, harpists, everything there is in town." Blunderbuss was released on April 24, 2012 through White's own label Third Man Records in association with XL Recordings and Columbia Records. (Source of quote: The Quietus.)
  • White explained to NME how this tale of forbidden love indulged came to him in a dream: "I always loved that word," he said. "That song was also something that I woke myself up in the middle of the night to write it down because those characters were in a dream and that melody was too. It was a new rule I made for myself, if anything comes up in a dream, get up and write it down."
  • Blunderbuss was produced by Jack White and recorded by Vance Powell at Third Man studios in Nashville. The Grammy-winning engineer has worked with White since Icky Thump.
  • Speaking to UK newspaper The Sun, White explained the background to the song and album title. "I grew up in a part of south west Detroit which was near Fort Wayne, an old American Revolution fort," he said.

    "The streets had all these military names and one was Dragoon. I loved that word when I was a kid. I was like 'Did they spell dragon wrong?' I discovered that a dragoon was a small group of people who carried a small handheld blunderbuss."
  • Blunderbuss was White's first #1 album - he missed the top of the Billboard 200 with his other bands the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather. White's previous highest chart placing had been the White Stripes' 2007 album Icky Thump, which peaked at #2.
  • White told Stryker of LA radio station KROQ: "'Blunderbuss' was actually a melody and a story that I dreamed about this hotel, an old hotel in Detroit, and I couldn't figure out the time period of this hotel… It was about 5 o'clock in the morning. I actually got out of bed. It was not fun at the time but I was glad I did it."
  • Jack White is a notorious lover of vinyl, so he must have been pleased to learn that Blunderbuss was named as the biggest selling vinyl album of 2012 with sales of over 33,000 copies. The sales were the highest for a new album (not a catalog album) since Nielsen Soundscan specifically began tracking vinyl in 2008.

    In case you're wondering, the Beatles' Abbey Road held the top spot in 2011 - and also 2010 and 2009.

Comments: 1

  • Karen from Kennett Square, PaThere is something special about this song. I love it and can't get it out of my head. It's made a fan of Jack White in a different way.
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