Third Man Records is an eclectic, vinyl-focused independent record label founded and owned by Jack White, Ben Blackwell, and Ben Swank. The company operates out of three locations—Nashville, Detroit, and Soho in London—with multiple entities expanding upon the offerings of a traditional record label, including multiple live music venues, vinyl pressing plant, film studio and dark room, guitar pedal and gear company, mastering studio, vinyl subscription service, and a publishing arm.
|Third Man Records|
|Founder||Jack White, Ben Swank, Ben Blackwell|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||623 7th Avenue South|
441 West Canfield Street
1 Marshall Street
|Official website||Official website|
In 2001, while Jack White was gaining regional notice in the White Stripes in Detroit, he registered the label Third Man Records, proceeding to trademark the name in 2004. It wasn’t until 2008 when the White Stripes stopped touring and recording, and after White had reclaimed the rights to the band's earlier music, that White turned his focus to the label.
White recruited his nephew, White Stripes archivist and Dirtbombs drummer Ben Blackwell and his lifelong friend, Ben Swank, then the drummer for the Soledad Brothers and a promoter in London, to create a working business on March 11, 2009. White conceived the expansion idea in October 2008, phoning Swank and Blackwell to say the venture should first concentrate on releasing White Stripes' back catalog on vinyl. Blackwell moved from Detroit and Swank from London to establish the business. The Nashville location is a record store, label and has publishing offices; The Blue Room live venue and bar; photo studio/darkroom, master recordings vault, and a fulfillment center. To commemorate the opening of Third Man Records in Nashville, White debuted his new project, the Dead Weather, performing a short set for the 150 invited guests and coining the label's motto, "Your Turntable's Not Dead."
The label's name incorporates several elements of personal significance to White. His fondness for the number three is well documented. It refers to Carol Reed's The Third Man starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. White's pre-White Stripes upholstering company, which he continues to maintain as a hobby and artistic outlet in the present day, is named Third Man Upholstery and is similarly identified by the colors yellow and black and the motto “Your Upholstery’s Not Dead.”
Third Man has since reissued all six White Stripes studio releases on vinyl. The label’s catalog has grown to over 800 releases including albums by White’s other acts, contributions from Billie Eilish, Neil Young, Sleep, Metallica, Margo Price, Coldplay, and Jay-Z, as well as many developing artists.
Nashville location edit
The label's headquarters is located in a less prosperous neighborhood which is home to the Nashville Rescue Mission, the largest homeless shelter in the city; a transitional housing and recuperation center, and an affordable healthcare clinic. White's presence has raised the area's prominence, motivating the city and business owners to rezone the area with more commercial ventures, including multiple mixed-use developments, a Ritz Carlton Hotel, and a members' club. White opposes the idea, calling the environment "a solid neighborhood [where] everyone looks out for each other." The location is organized around five dedicated sections: the record store, a "novelties lounge", the label's offices and distribution center, a live venue and bar (The Blue Room), and a darkroom/photo studio.
The Novelties Lounge, located within the record store, debuted on November 23, 2012. The space contains a collection of vintage novelty machines. "Among the attractions in the new wing is a Scopitone machine—a video jukebox using 16mm film that had its greatest prominence in the 1960s. Third Man has loaded their Scopitone with 36 videos from the label catalog, and bill it as 'the world's ONLY Scopitone machine fully loaded with modern music.' Other highlights include a "Wax-O-Matic machine", which makes bright red wax molds of White's Airline guitar, and a full-color photo booth." On April 20, 2013, in celebration of Jack White's role as Record Store Day Ambassador, The Third Man Recording Booth, "a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph machine that can record up to two minutes audio and press it onto 6-inch phonograph discs" was introduced as an addition to the Novelties Lounge. This voice-o-graph was used in the creating of Apple's 2014 holiday ad as shown in the behind the scene video. In August 2017, Third Man celebrated the total solar eclipse happening event "Occulting the Sunn", in Nashville.
Detroit location edit
In 2015, White partnered with Shinola—a lifestyle brand most known as a watch manufacturer—to open a retail location in Detroit. Third Man opened its first branch location at the former Willy's Overland Motorland Company in Detroit's Cass Corridor by Record Store Day's Black Friday event on November 27, 2015.
Third Man Pressing edit
In February 2017, the Third Man Pressing plant opened in Third Man Records' Detroit location, the first pressing plant to open in the city since 1965. The plant began with eight Newbilt presses imported from Germany. In 2019 it expanded adding Third Man Mastering, which provides audio mastering services as well as vinyl lacquer cutting.
London location edit
In September 2021, Third Man Records opened a third retail location, live venue, and label office in London's Soho neighborhood. During the grand opening, White performed in the basement venue as well as from the balcony belonging to visual artist Damien Hirst, whose building sits at the end of the street.
Rolling Record Store edit
On March 9, 2011, Third Man Records announced its newest creation, the Third Man Rolling Record Store. It is a yellow step-van outfitted with a sound system and Third Man Records inventory. It was built by C. Cook Enterprises in Erlanger, Kentucky. It made its first appearance in Austin, Texas at SXSW 2011. Third Man has since brought the mobile store to concerts, festivals, and other events with anywhere from weeks to only a few hours’ notice.
Third Man Records Vault edit
The Third Man Records Vault is a "rarity-excavating" quarterly subscription service that began in September 2009 as a way to release special and otherwise unreleased content. Platinum members of the Vault receive a package containing limited-edition vinyl records and merchandise every three months. Generally each cycle's offerings have included a 12-inch record, a 7-inch record and a "bonus item" (this many include, a poster, book, pins, etc...), although the format has been deviated from multiple times.
|Year||Quarter||Vault #||Title||Artist||Vault Package Contents|
|2009||3||1||Icky Thump (mono)||The White Stripes||The Dead Weather - Forever My Queen 7-inch, Third Man T-Shirt|
|2009||4||2||Live London||The Raconteurs||The White Stripes - Let's Shake Hands (Alternate Take) 7-inch, The Dead Weather Print|
|2010||1||3||Third Man Single Releases 2009 Volume One||Third Man Records||The Dead Weather - No Horse (First Take) 7-inch, Third Man Records Postcards|
|2010||2||4||Under Great White Northern Lights||The White Stripes||The Raconteurs - Top Yourself (Rehearsal Demo), The Dead Weather T-Shirt|
|2010||3||5||Sea of Cowards Live at Third Man Records||The Dead Weather||Live at Third Man Records Encore 7-inch, Live at Third Man Records DVD|
|2010||4||6||Boscobel Blues||The Greenhornes||Hello Operator by The White Stripes (7-inch Picture Disc), The White Stripes & The Greenhornes Vault T-Shirt|
|2011||1||7||Third Man Records Singles Compilation 2010||Third Man Records||Party of Special Things to Do by The White Stripes 7-inch, Great Balls of Fire by The 188.8.131.52’s 7-inch|
|2011||2||8||Live in Mississippi||The White Stripes||Signed DC 7-inch, Under Moorhead Lights All Fargo Night DVD|
|2011||3||9||Live at Third Man Records||Wanda Jackson||The Big Three Killed My Baby by 2 Star Tabernacle 7-inch, Live at Third Man Records by Wanda Jackson DVD|
|2011||4||10||Live at Third Man Records||The Raconteurs||White Stripes Remixes by Beck, Josh Homme & Mark Lanegan 7-inch, Third Man’s 2010 Devil’s Night w/ Elvira, The Greenhornes & The Black Belles DVD|
|2012||1||11||Third Man Records Singles Compilation 2011||Third Man Records||Dead Leaves by The White Stripes 7-inch|
|2012||2||12||Live at Third Man||Karen Elson||Open Your Eyes by The Raconteurs 7-inch, Under New Zealand Lights by The White Stripes DVD|
|2012||3||13||Live at the Gold Dollar||The White Stripes||Live on Bastille Day ’97 7-inch, Peppermint Logo Tote Bag, Set List & Flier Replica|
|2012||4||14||Live at Third Man Records||Jack White||Blunderbuss Demos by Jack White 7-inch, Shark Infested Soda Fountain by Alison Mosshart Photobook|
|2013||1||15||Live on the Garden Bowl Lanes||Jack White & The Bricks||Demos by Brendan Benson & Jack White 7-inch, White Heat Tour by Whirlwind Heat & The White Stripes DVD|
|2013||2||16||Nine Miles from The White City||The White Stripes||I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother’s Heart by The White Stripes 7-inch, Pictures from Elephant by David Swanson (Photobook)|
|2013||3||17||Live at Third Man Records||Willie Nelson & Friends||Red Headed Stranger (from Third Man Record Booth) by Willie Nelson & Jack White 6", Double-Sided Foldout Metallic Poster of Willie Nelson, 3D Tesla Tower turntable topper|
|2013||4||18||Live at The Ryman Auditorium||The Raconteurs||Open Up (That’s Enough) b/w Rough Detective by The Dead Weather 7-inch, Live at The Ryman Auditorium by The Raconteurs DVD|
|2014||1||19||The Elephant Singles Box||The White Stripes||Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes 7-inch, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself by The White Stripes (7-inchVinyl), The Hardest Button to Button by The White Stripes 7-inch, There’s No Home For You Here by The White Stripes 7-inch|
|2014||2||20||Lazaretto||Jack White||Lazaretto Demos by Jack White 7-inch, Lazaretto Companion Book by Jack White|
|2014||3||21||Live Under The Lights of the Rising Sun||The White Stripes||Buzzkiller b/w It’s Just Too Bad by The Dead Weather 7-inch, Third Man Records Flag|
|2014||4||22||Live From Bonnaroo 2014||Jack White||Live From Bonnaroo 2014 by Jack White DVD, Custom Television USB with Exclusive Content, Jack White TV Patch, Replica Backstage Pass Sticker, Surprise Tour Poster, Four 8x10 Photorgaphs|
|2015||1||23||Under Amazonian Lights||The White Stripes||Let You Down / Ain't No Sweeter Than Rita Blues by The White Stripes 7-inch, Under Amazonian Lights by The White Stripes DVD, Death Head Monkey Pin, Rob Jones Postcards, Silkscreened Poster|
|2015||2||24||Van Lear Rose||Loretta Lynn||Rated X B/W Whispering Sea by the White Stripes 7-inch, Remembering Van Lear Rose DVD, Bonus Enamel Van Lear Rose Pin, Photographs from Van Lear Rose Photoshoot|
|2015||3||25||Dodge and Burn||The Dead Weather||I Feel Love / Cop and Go by the Dead Weather 7-inch, The Dead Weather Playing Cards, The Dead Weather Poster|
|2015||4||26||Live At The Gold Dollar Vol III||The White Stripes||Impossible Winner b/w Mile Markers by The Dead Weather 7-inch, Third Man Records Enamel Pin, Original Show Flyer Iron-On Decal|
|2016||1||27||Live At The Gold Dollar||Jack White & The Bricks, Two Star Tabernacle, and The Go||Let Me Through b/w Be Still by The Dead Weather 7-inch, Third Man Challenge Coin|
|2016||2||28||Acoustic In Idaho||Jack White||Acoustic In Alaska by Jack White DVD, Two Risograph Photo Prints, Pictures from Unknown States from Third Man Books|
|2016||3||29||Live To Acetate At TMR||Pearl Jam||Record Booth 7-inch Single by Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam @ TMR Patch, Pearl Jam Live At TMR Photo Book, Pearl Jam @ TMR Metal Pin|
|2016||4||30||Live At Irving Plaza||The Raconteurs||The Dead Weather, The Kills and William Tyler Live at Disgraceland LP (12-inch Vinyl), Love Is The Truth (Acoustic Mix) b/w City Lights by Jack White and The White Stripes 7-inch, Nashville Pennant|
|2017||1||31||Live at the Hamilton||Margo Price||Blue Room Sessions 7-inch by Margo Price 7-inch, Enamel Collar Pin with Chain, Live At Austin City Limits DVD by Margo Price, 2017 Challenge Coin|
|2017||2||32||Live at the Mayan||The Dead Weather||Three Dollar Hat B/w Lose The Right 7-inch, 7-inch Series Dodge & Burn Single Box by The Dead Weather (Box Only), Live at the Mayan by The Dead Weather DVD, Oroboros Key|
|2017||3||33||Icky Thump X||The White Stripes||Icky Thump 12-inch, The Red Demos 12-inch, Icky Thump B-Sides 12-inch, Icky Thump X Telescoping Box, Pictures from Icky Photo Book, Horse Double Pin Set, Mysery Rob Jones Print|
|2017||4||34||Live In Detroit||The White Stripes||Live at the Magic Bag July 30, 1999, Live at the Magic Stick August 18, 2000, Live at the Gold Dollar IV June 7, 2001, Show Poster Reproduction Prints|
|2018||1||35||Boarding House Reach||Jack White||Infected By Love b/w Why Walk A Dog? by Jack White 7-inch, Three David Swanson Photographs from Boarding House Reach sessions, Three foil-stamped poetry broadsides, 2018 Challenge Coin|
|2018||2||36||Trout Mask Replica||Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band||Double Fruitcake Fish-Scaled LP, Pachuco Cadaver b/w Wild Life by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band 7-inch, Trout Mask Replica tote bag, Replica Trout Mask, Jack White's Epitaph for Don Van Vliet, Trout Mask Replica Patch|
|2018||3||37||Live at Third Man Records Nashville and Cass Corridor||Jack White||Logo Flag, Black LP, Blue LP, White LP and 8x10 Photos|
|2018||4||38||Consolers of the Lonely||The Raconteurs||Patch, Double Copper Foil LP, Mixed Metal 7-inch and Sticker Set|
|2019||1||39||Live at Third Man Records||Sleep||Poster, Purple LP, Orange LP, Blue LP, Green LP and Patch|
|2019||2||40||Help Us Stranger||The Raconteurs||Bandana, Marble LP, Black 7-inch and Slipmat|
|2019||3||41||Whatcha Doin’: 20th Anniversary Remix Redux||The Go||Photo Book, Summer Sun LP, Mottled Carpet Remnant LP, and Black 7-inch|
|2019||4||42||The White Stripes XX: 20th Anniversary||The White Stripes||Hardcover Case, Booklet, Red LP, White LP and DVD|
|2020||1||43||Live in Tulsa||The Raconteurs||Tri-fold Jacket, Copper LP, Green LP, Black LP, DVD and Flexi-disc|
|2020||2||44||The Accompaniment to De Stijl: The White Stripes’ Sophomore Album||The White Stripes||Hardcover Case, Booklet, White LP, Red LP and DVD|
|2020||3||45||Johnny Cash: A Night To Remember||Johnny Cash||Gold Foil LP Jacket, 2X Vintage White LP, Gold 7-inch and DVD|
|2020||4||46||The White Stripes: Greatest Hits||The White Stripes||Gatefold LP Jacket, White LP, Red LP, Detonation LP, Three Mystery Rob Jones Prints and Lyric Magnets|
|2021||1||47||Jack White: Live at the Masonic Temple||Jack White||Slipcase, White LP, Blue LP, Black LP, Marbled Blue Mix LP and SNL Black 7-inch|
|2021||2||48||White Blood Cells XX||The White Stripes||Slip Case, 2 LPs (Demos and Live at Headliners) DVD of Behind the Scenes Production, Album Photo Booklet, Info Card|
|2021||3||49||Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 1980-1985||Bob Dylan||Slip Case, 4 Jackets, 4 LPs, Line Notes/Track Notations Booklet, Info Card|
|2021||4||50||Live At The Detroit Institute Of Arts||The White Stripes||Gatefold Jakcet, 2 LPs, DVD w/ Case, 4 Photo Prints, 7" w/ Jack White's "Taking Me Back" and "Taking Me Back (Gently)," Info Card|
|2022||1||51||Carole King Home Again||Carole King||Custom Gatefold Jacket, Custom Inner Sleeves, 2 Brick Red LPs, DVD w/ Case, 7” w/ Lucy Dacus’ “Home Again” b/w “It’s Too Late,” and Info Card|
|2022||2||52||Dopesmoker||Sleep||Custom Slipcase, 4 Jackets, 4 Green Kush Vinyl LPs, 7" w/ SLEEP's "Dopesmoker" Radio Edit b/w "Weedian," 2 Posters|
|2022||3||53||The Revenant Juke A Collection of Fables and Farce||Primus||Six colored 7" records housed in custom box set case. Soft Purple, Bitter Lime, Fermented Orange, Bruised Peach, Ducky Yellow, Generic Turquoise.|
|2022||4||54||The Supply Chain Issues Tour||Jack White||Trifold LP Jacket with 3 LP's Black/Blue/White and a Glitter Blue 7" single|
|2023||1||55||Elephant XX||The White Stripes||Custom Slip case with booklet, 2 LP's Red/White, 7" record and DVD|
|2023||2||56||Fearless||Miles Davis||Three LP's Deep Red/Red/Pink, 7" record, bumper sticker and patch|
|2023||3||57||The Solo Works of Syd Barrett||Syd Barrett||Three LP's The Madcap Laughs/Barrett/Opal, 7" record in custom slip case|
In addition to pressing titles on regular black vinyl, most releases have an exclusive and/or limited sister pressing on colored or multicolored vinyl. Beginning with TMR-003, a limited edition handmade batch of 100 tri-colored 7-inch vinyl, in equal parts black, yellow, and white, were produced for exclusive distribution at Third Man's Nashville location. Beginning with TMR-009, an additional 50 tri-colored vinyl have been pressed for random distribution in Third Man mail orders. Certain single releases have been sold on tri-colored vinyl available at record stores in the artist's hometown instead of at the Nashville store. An additional 50 are still randomly distributed in mail orders.
Recordings from live shows in the Blue Room (recorded either directly to analog reel-to-reel tape or direct-to-acetate) are made available in black and blue vinyl in varying quantities. The split-color records are available only to show attendees, and each LP is sealed with a concert-specific label on which the purchaser's name is written.
Third Man is known for pushing the boundaries with vinyl record production, and with the help of United Record Pressing (their main partner in manufacturing records prior to the opening of Third Man Pressing), their innovations include the following unique record pressings: Glow In The Dark Record, Triple-Decker Record (a 7-inch within a 12-inch), Texas-Sized Record (8" and 13" records), Metallized Record, Liquid-Filled Record, Scented Record, Rose Petal-Filled Record, Playable Etching Record, 3 RPM Record, Lightning Bolt Record, Bolt-A-Trope Record, and the Flex-Ray Record (a flexi disc made from an x-ray).
Two albums released by Third Man Records have received sales certification awards from the Recording Industry Association of America: White Blood Cells by the White Stripes was certified Platinum with sales of at least 1 million units and Blunderbuss by Jack White was certified Gold with sales of at least 500,000 units. Additionally the DVD release of the White Stripes documentary film Under Great White Northern Lights was certified Gold for longform video sales of at least 50,000 units.
See also edit
- "Third Man Records Signs New Distribution Agreement with the Orchard: Exclusive". Billboard. 29 May 2019.
- Corinna Burford (2017-11-06). "How Jack Whiteâ€™s Third Man Records Made a Mark on Nashville". Vulture.com. Retrieved 2022-05-08.
- Havens, Lyndsey. "Third Man Records Announces New Co-Owners With Jack White | Billboard – Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2022-05-08.
- Lyndsey Havens (2019-09-03). "Third Man Records' Co-Founders Ben Blackwell & Ben Swank on Beats 1 Takeover Show | Billboard – Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2022-05-08.
- Lewis, Tim (31 May 2014). "Jack White: 'I'm like Larry David, Alan Partridge and Chris Rock in one person'". The Observer. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
- Killingsworth, Jason. "The White Stripes Play Us a Little Number." Paste Magazine. Retrieved on August 5, 2014.
- de la Manzana, Tobias (May 2003). "Jack White: Your Furniture Is Not Dead" The Believer. Retrieved April 12, 2006.
- Doerr, Elizabeth (June 2, 2015), "Jack White And Shinola Purchase Flagship Building in Detroit's Cass Corridor". Forbes. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- Hogan, Marc. "Red Stripe: Jack White Launches 'Third Man Novelties Lounge,' Ends Communism". Spin. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- Paulson, Dave (2012-11-20). "Third Man Records opens 'Novelties Lounge' on Black Friday". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- McGovern, Kyle. "Jack White's Third Man Recording Booth: Coming Soon to Hipster Weddings Everywhere". Spin. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- Video unavailable. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-10 – via YouTube.
- "Third Man Records Announces "Occulting The Sunn" Solar Eclipse Event". Music Connection. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
- Young, Alex (June 2, 2015). "Jack White's Third Man Records expands to Detroit". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- Third Man Records - Detroit Storefront
- Zlatopolsky, Ashley (24 February 2017). "Inside Jack White's New Vinyl-Pressing Paradise". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- Doyle, Patrick (15 January 2019). "Third Man Records Adds Mastering Studio to Detroit Complex". www.rollingstone.com. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- "Third Man Goes Global: Inside Jack White's New London Venue". Rolling Stone. 26 September 2021.
- "Jack White review – an ecstatic rock'n'roll augury". TheGuardian.com. 26 September 2021.
- "Third Man Rolling Record Store Debuting at SXSW." Buzzgrinder. 9 March 2011. Retrieved on 24 June 2011.
- McGovern, Kyle. "Jack White Spares 1999 Bowling Alley Gig for Third Man Vinyl Vault Series". Spin. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- "Vault 33". Archived from the original on 2017-07-26.
- "Vault 22".
- Sterling, Ellen (January 30, 2012). ""Your Turntable's Not Dead:" Jack White's Third Man Records Is Living Its Motto and Keeping Vinyl Alive". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- "Catalog". Third Man Records. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- Eakin, Marah (May 23, 2012). "Beck releasing new single on Jack White's Third Man Records". A.V. Club. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- Smadja, Jez (April 6, 2015). "We take a tour of Music City Nashville". Gulf News. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- Eells, Josh (April 5, 2012). "Jack Outside the Box". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- "Gold & Platinum: Third Man Records". RIAA. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
- "Gold & Platinum". RIAA: Third Man - All releases. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
- "Catalog." Third Man Records.