December 20, 2014
4. Jack White
High Ball Stepper / Lazaretto (Fastest ever 7”)
(Third Man Records)
This man churns out rarities faster than you can say ‘phonographic recording booth’, and with a fanatical following to match who can blame him. While his ‘world’s fastest Studio-To-Store Phonograph Record” 7” claimed the headlines, available only to those in the Record Store Day audience in Nashville, it was a promo for the same album named High Ball Stepper which has been the year’s big White rarity. Sent out to radio stations another thirty of the one sided 7” singles were sent to Third Man Records subscription holders, who cooed over the blue felt label, etched b-side and run out groove that reads “Mountain of the true God”.
Purveyor of a seemingly endless run of novelty records, High Ball Stepper stands out as a true Jack White rarity, tantalising completists in the way that radio-only promos used to. He may have chosen not to release this 7” more widely but the fact that there are people out there who’ve parted with £300 for the single show just how much sway he holds. That said, the fact that no-one is currently willing to part with their ‘fastest record’ on Discogs may finally be an example of a release that has found its way into the hands of fans more interested in the objects themselves than their commercial value.