Lazaretto (album)

Lazaretto is the second studio album by Jack White. It was released on June 10, 2014, through White's own label Third Man Records in association with XL Recordings and Columbia Records. The limited-edition "Ultra" LP features hidden songs, secret grooves and holograms that materialize when the record is being played. Lazaretto was partly inspired by a collection of short stories, poems, and plays White wrote when he was 19 years old and rediscovered years later in his attic. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 138,000 copies in its first week.[4]

Jack White - Lazaretto.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 10, 2014 (2014-06-10)[1]
ProducerJack White
Jack White chronology
Acoustic Recordings 1998–2016
Singles from Lazaretto
  1. "High Ball Stepper"
    Released: April 1, 2014 (promotional)
  2. "Lazaretto"
    Released: April 19, 2014
  3. "Would You Fight for My Love?"
    Released: June 30, 2014[2]
  4. "That Black Bat Licorice"
    Released: February 17, 2015[3]


Sessions for the album began in 2012 during gaps in touring for White's Blunderbuss album.[5] White told Rolling Stone in a February 2013 interview that he was working on "20 to 25 tracks." He explained of the new material, "it's definitely not one sound. It's definitely several. Like you heard in Blunderbuss, there're many styles there. I don't pick my style and then write a song. I just write whatever comes out of me, and whatever style it is what it is, and it becomes something later."[6] He hinted during a January 2014 chat session with fans on the Third Man Records message board that he was almost done with the record. "I'm producing two albums this month, and finishing them," White wrote. "One of them is mine."[7]

The Vault, Third Man's exclusive fan club subscription service, released a limited-edition version of the album on blue-and-white vinyl. It was packaged with a 40-page hardcover book, a fold-out poster, a National Archives photo that appears throughout the album art, and a 7-inch featuring demo versions of two songs recorded in Mexico, "Alone in My Home" and "Entitlement", the finished versions of which appear on the album.[8][9][10] The "Ultra LP" version contains hidden tracks that are pressed into the vinyl underneath the inner label on each side of the record, a song ("Just One Drink") that has two different intros depending on where the needle is dropped, continuous drones, and holograms that appear on the record's surface when it's being played.[11]


Songs on the album were inspired, in part, by short stories and plays written by White when he was 19 years old.[12] He found the writings in his attic and reworked them into new lyrics. ""Some of it's garbage, and I sort of laughed while I was reading it," he explained to Rolling Stone. "I was going to throw away a bunch of it, but I was just coming up with new styles of attacking songwriting for the album."[5] In April, a video of the instrumental song "High Ball Stepper" was released as a teaser for the album.[13] "Lazaretto", the title track, was confirmed as the album's first single.[14][15] White explained the song's meaning to NPR: "This was a rhyme about the braggadocio of some hip-hop lyrics — the bragging about oneself in hip-hop music. The character who's singing this song is bragging about himself, but he's actually bragging about real things he's actually accomplished and real things that he actually does, not imaginary things or things he would like to do."[16] The song "Just One Drink" premiered in May.[17]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [20]
The A.V. ClubA−[21]
The Daily Telegraph     [22]
Entertainment WeeklyB[23]
The Guardian     [24]
The Independent     [25]
Rolling Stone     [28]

Lazaretto was widely acclaimed by contemporary music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80, based on 46 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[19] Pitchfork's Stephen M. Deusner remarked: "Lazaretto makes all of his other projects sound a bit scrawny by comparison. It’s the densest, fullest, craziest, and most indulgent that White has sounded".[27] Phil Hebblethwaite of NME described it as "a varied album that lacks any monster riffs like the ones White used to write for The White Stripes, but includes enough intrigue, originality and plain weirdness to delight and, in some places, appal."[26] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian wrote: "On the surface, Lazaretto seems to be the work of someone who's furiously angry at everything from "children today" [...] to God", but because the album "possesses both a sense of humour" and "a sense of perspective", that makes the album "a rather more complicated business than it first appears."[24]

Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times described the album as "lyrically and musically challenging and filled with many fresh avenues of exploration, even as it nods to key tones and ideas from throughout the history of pre-rap American music."[30] Jason Pettigrew of Alternative Press called it "more jubilant, unbridled and manic" than Blunderbuss, and that "Lazaretto finds him simultaneously unbridled as a player, yet meticulous as both mad scientist and personal diarist."[31] At USA Today, Jerry Shriver found the release to be "highly-charged, wonderfully weird and typically eclectic treasure chest of tunes that rank with his best."[32] David Fricke of Rolling Stone noted how White's craftsmanship on the album comes "with a decisive attention to contour, color scheme and cagey, durable detail."[28] At The Oakland Press, Gary Graff illustrated how White "is, characteristically, more of a shape-shifter, engaging in gleeful sonic alchemy throughout its 11 tracks as he stirs together a dizzying array of influences, from garagey psychedelia to earthy Americana."[33]

Commercial performanceEdit

Lazaretto debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 138,000 copies in its first week. The vinyl LP sold 40,000 copies, which set the record for the most vinyl sales in one week for an album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. Pearl Jam's Vitalogy, which sold 34,000 vinyl LPs in its first week in 1994, previously held the record. Vinyl LP sales of "Lazaretto" during week one nearly matched the number of CDs sold, at 28.9 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Downloads were 41.1 percent of total first week sales.[4] With 87,000 vinyl copies shifted throughout the year, it was not only the year's top-selling vinyl LP in the US, but also the top-selling vinyl LP for any calendar year since SoundScan started tracking sales.[34] As of December 2014, Lazaretto has sold 325,000 copies in the United States.[34]

In 2014, it was awarded a double gold certification from the Independent Music Companies Association,[35] which indicated sales of at least 150,000 copies throughout Europe. [36]


At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album. The track "Lazaretto" was nominated for Best Rock Song and won Best Rock Performance.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Jack White, except "Three Women", based on the song "Three Women Blues" by Blind Willie McTell.

CD and digital download version
1."Three Women"3:57
3."Temporary Ground"3:13
4."Would You Fight for My Love?"4:09
5."High Ball Stepper"3:52
6."Just One Drink"2:37
7."Alone in My Home"3:27
9."That Black Bat Licorice"3:50
10."I Think I Found the Culprit"3:49
11."Want and Able"2:34


Personnel adapted from Lazaretto liner notes.[38]

  • Jack White – lead vocals (except track 5), electric guitar (tracks 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9), acoustic guitar (tracks 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 11), piano (tracks 1 and 11), maracas (track 7), shaker (track 7), percussion (track 9)



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[65] Gold 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[67] Silver 79,918[66]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hogan, Marc (April 1, 2014). "Jack White Unveils June Album 'Lazaretto' With 'High Ball Stepper'". Spin. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  2. ^ "Jack White – Would You Fight For My Love? (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  3. ^ "New single". Third Man Records. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (June 18, 2014). "Jack White's 'Lazaretto' Debuts at No. 1, Sets Vinyl Sales Record". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Jack White Reveals Everything You Need to Know About 'Lazaretto'". Rolling Stone. February 22, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Doyle, Patrick (February 26, 2013). "Q&A: Jack White on New Dead Weather and Solo Tracks, Radio City Walk-off". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  7. ^ McGovern, Kyle (January 6, 2014). "Jack White Is Close to Finishing a New Album". Spin. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Martens, Todd (April 1, 2014). "Listen: Jack White returns with 'High Ball Stepper'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  9. ^ Blistein, Jon (April 1, 2014). "Jack White Releases New Song for Upcoming Album 'Lazaretto'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  10. ^ "Jack White to release new solo album 'Lazaretto' in June – listen". NME. April 1, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "Jack White's new "ultra LP" has bells, whistles, secret tracks, monster riffs". The Washington Post. June 9, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  12. ^ Feeney, Nolan; Lansky, Sam (June 16, 2014). "The Culture". Time. 183 (23):47
  13. ^ Locker, Melissa (April 1, 2014). "Jack White Announces New Album Lazaretto, Out June 10". Time. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  14. ^ "Jack White Announces New Album 'Lazaretto'". Billboard. April 1, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  15. ^ Montgomery, James (April 1, 2014). "Jack White Rises Again With 'Lazaretto'". MTV. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  16. ^ Boilen, Bob (May 20, 2014). "Jack White's 'Lazaretto': The All Songs Interview". NPR. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  17. ^ "'Lazaretto' Premiere: Hear Jack White's Driving Blues 'Just One Drink'". Rolling Stone. May 16, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  18. ^ "Lazaretto by Jack White reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Reviews for Lazaretto by Jack White". Metacritic. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  20. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Lazaretto – Jack White". AllMusic. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  21. ^ Modell, Josh (June 10, 2014). "Jack White harnesses the power of Jack White on Lazaretto". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  22. ^ Hall, James (June 11, 2014). "Jack White, Lazaretto, review: 'laced with menace'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  23. ^ Anderson, Kyle (June 18, 2014). "Lazaretto". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  24. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (June 5, 2014). "Jack White: Lazaretto review – crushing riffs and grumpy fulminations". The Guardian. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  25. ^ Gill, Andy (June 7, 2014). "Album reviews: Jack White, First Aid Kit, OOIOO, Chrissie Hynde, Mary Gauthier, Open Mike Eagle". The Independent. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  26. ^ a b Hebblethwaite, Phil (June 6, 2014). "Jack White – 'Lazaretto'". NME. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  27. ^ a b Deusner, Stephen M. (June 9, 2014). "Jack White: Lazaretto". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  28. ^ a b Fricke, David (June 10, 2014). "Lazaretto". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  29. ^ Zwickel, Jonathan (June 10, 2014). "Old Man White Slathers Reasonably Rockin' 'Lazaretto' in Bummer Vibes". Spin. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  30. ^ Roberts, Randall (June 11, 2014). "Jack White's 'Lazaretto' taps Nashville for songs' wellspring". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  31. ^ Pettigrew, Jason (June 3, 2014). "Reviews: Jack White – 'Lazaretto'". Alternative Press. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  32. ^ Shriver, Jerry (June 9, 2014). "Jack White works his eclectic magic on 'Lazaretto'". USA Today. ISSN 0734-7456. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  33. ^ Graff, Gary (June 6, 2014). "The Listening Room: Jack White, Chrissie Hynde, more new releases". The Oakland Press. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  34. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (December 31, 2014). "Vinyl Album Sales Hit Historic High in 2014, Again". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  35. ^ "Award status" (PNG). Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  36. ^ "IMPALA Awards for European Independent Acts Hit Record Levels - Impala".
  37. ^ "Vault Package #20". Third Man Records. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  38. ^ "Lazaretto - Jack White - Credits – AllMusic". AllMusic.
  39. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  40. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  41. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  42. ^ "Jack White Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  43. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  44. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  45. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  46. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". SNEP - France. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  47. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Media Control. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  48. ^ "Artisti - Classifica settimanale WK 24 (dal 09-06-2014 al 15-06-2014)". Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Archived from the original on March 21, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  49. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  50. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  51. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  52. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  53. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  54. ^ "Jack White – Lazaretto". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  55. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  56. ^ "Jack White Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  57. ^ "Jack White Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  58. ^ "Jack White Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  59. ^ "Jack White Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  60. ^ "End of Year Charts – ARIA Top 100 Albums 2014". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  61. ^ "Top Canadian Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  62. ^ "Alternative Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2015. (subscription required)
  63. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  64. ^ "Top Rock Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard.
  65. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Jack White – Lazaretto". Music Canada.
  66. ^ Homewood, Ben (April 27, 2017). "Jack White signs first ever global publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group". Music Week. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  67. ^ "British album certifications – Jack White – Lazaretto". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Lazaretto in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External linksEdit