Jack White’s Third Man Records does vinyl right 

click to enlarge A recording of Jack White’s 2014 performance at Bonnaroo Music Festival is a highlight of Third Man Records’ Vault package No. 22. - COURTESY  PHOTO
  • A recording of Jack White’s 2014 performance at Bonnaroo Music Festival is a highlight of Third Man Records’ Vault package No. 22.
Subscription services are a booming business these days. From geek items to coffee-of- the-month clubs, there are boxes for everything. Vinyl is no different.

Even though I’ve previously mentioned Vinyl Me, Please, it’s not the best subscription value when it come to vinyl.

For me, Third Man Records’ Vault package earns that honor. This quarterly subscription — $60 four times a year — is best for all things Jack White. Packages usually are based around three things: music, a collectable and another small item.

The most recent Vault package, No. 22, is the most expansive and impressive the service has offered since it began around five and a half years ago.

Celebrating White’s 2014 headlining performance at Bonnaroo Music Festival, this three-album, 27-song set is a two-hour retrospective on his nearly 20-year career. Massive and impressive, the package is housed in a soft-touch cardboard box and the vinyl is blue, white and black. The material includes covers of Led Zeppelin and White’s catalog of White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather tunes.

Three professional photos from the show, a concert DVD, an exclusive USB with more photos, a patch and a replica backstage pass also are in the set.

The music, though, is the true gem. Recorded beautifully, it captures the atmosphere at the concert and White’s extensive catalog.

In the beginning, White tells the crowd it’s his welcome home show, and his setlist reveals his appreciation. If there is a White Stripes song you want to hear — “Seven Nation Army,” “We’re Going to be Friends,” “Hello Operator” — you can find it here. The only true bummer is he didn’t play his wonderful cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene, a staple in White Stripe shows in the last decade.

The songs – originally conceived with just guitar and drums — come alive with his backing band. It’s amazing what a bass can do. Elsewhere, White’s solo songs shine in the live setting, much more than on his studio releases.

More than anything, No. 22, wonderfully showcases how Third Man Records looks back as much as looks forward, celebrating its fans and history.

The Vault may be pricey, but every three months you remember why it’s worth it. In the end, what else can you ask?


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