It begins and ends with “Ball and Biscuit,” and by “it,” I mean “Western civilization.” The 21st century’s most astounding, most wryly pornographic, most brain-meltingly electrifying blues song. Did the electric guitar even exist prior to “Ball and Biscuit”? Did distortion? Did hype? Did critical praise? Did the colors red and white? Did outlandishly oversize declarations of virility? Has there been a single memorable guitar solo performed anywhere, by anyone, in the decade since its release? “Ball and Biscuit,” all 439 stomping, seething, snarling, Sam Ash-smiting seconds of it, is what we should broadcast out into deep space if we wish to communicate to uncouth aliens the idea that they should not fuck with us, ever. It is a song to repel interstellar invasions, to vaporize asteroids, a preemptive strike so comically priapic it renders everything in its path limp and docile.
- Rob Harvilla, on the 10th anniversary of The White Stripes’ Elephant