Quintessential Songs of the ’00s: #1 “Seven Nation Army”

Is it too early to be nostalgic about music from the ’00s?

I heard this song in the car today and I thought it might be the start of a new feature — the quintessential songs of the noughts. Maybe in ten years, some twelve-year-old kid will stumble across this blog and get exposed to some good tunes. Who knows, maybe it will be my boy (who just turned two).

Here are a few fun facts from the song’s wiki page:

The song is known for its underlying riff, which plays throughout most of the song. Although it sounds like a bass guitar (an instrument the group had famously never previously used), the sound is actually created by running Jack White’s semi-acoustic guitar (a 1950s style Kay Hollowbody) through a Digitech Whammy pedal set down an octave. The riff was composed at a sound check before a show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne, Australia.

According to White, “Seven Nation Army” is what he used to call the Salvation Army as a child.

Italian football fans and ultras picked the song up when Roma played in and against Club Brugge for the UEFA Cup. [8] They often chant the song’s signature guitar riff ever since, most notably during Italy’s campaign in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. About 10 million Italians, all across the nation, were supposedly singing the song during celebrations following the final victory.

A few more tidbits from SongFacts:

This, along with the rest of [Elephant], was recorded on analogue equipment that was over 50 years old at Toe Rag Studios. Toe Rag Studios were set up in Hackney, east London in 1991 as a strictly analogue enterprise using only pre-1960 studio equipment. The success of Elephant established Toe Rag as a trendy antidote to digital music-making.

According to White neither the labels in America or in the UK wanted to put this out as the first single. They eventually relented and it became the White Stripes’ first Hot 100 hit in the US and Top 10 entry in Britain.

More Quintessential Songs of the ’00s.


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