Jack White has been a busy bee lately, producing records for Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson and now, Jerry Lee Lewis. We're starting to get the feeling he might view himself as a sort of Rick Rubin-type character, but instead of making older musicians darker and more introspective, he's just making them sound crunchier and louder. There's nothing wrong with that, and we certainly wish him the best of luck -- in fact, we've come up with a list of a few musicians we'd like to hear him take on.
5. Nancy Sinatra In 2004, Nancy Sinatra had a bit of a revival with her self-titled album that featured music from the likes of Jon Spencer, Pete Yorn, Thurston Moore, Bono and Morrissey. But even though the album was well received, it didn't re-launch her music career. That might be because she didn't want to re-launch it, but if Sinatra is like most musicians, chances are she'd take another chance if it was provided by the right person. We can't really imagine anyone better suited than Jack White for this one (save perhaps, RZA). He'd be able to recreate that sultry pop sound she was famous for updating nothing more than the production.
4. Bobby Gentry Much like Loretta Lynn, Bobby Gentry was the type of country singer that could bring you to your knees in under three minutes. More importantly, she's the perfect candidate for a career revival, as she hasn't made music in almost twenty years, lives a private life in Los Angeles and has an easily recognizable name and a great voice. Considering it has been a long time since she's performed, it would probably take some convincing to get the 66-year-old back into the studio, which would add to the fiction of the albums release and nearly guarantee its success.
3. Norma Jean For the most part Norma Jean has been quiet recently, but in the '60s she played an integral part in the female country singers movement. In 2005, Wanda Jackson recorded an album with her (Branson on the Road), so there's already that tenous connection to White -- but even that still doesn't really exemplify why we think this would work so well. First off, Norma Jean was well known for her darker country songs; second, she was an alcoholic that eventually committed herself to Christianity. Sound a bit familiar? Yeah, kind of like Johnny Cash (although Cash preferred prescription drugs), whose career was revived by Rick Rubin with amazing success.
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2. Dolly Parton Dolly Parton has remained one of the biggest names in music for nearly 44 years and although she hasn't any hits the size of "Jolene" or "9 to 5" in recent memory, she still attracts a star power rarely matched in country music. More importantly, she's clearly still interested in music and has about 800 running projects going on right now. None of them are really interested in capturing what made her great forty years ago. That's where Jack White could really make a solid difference. White's biggest strength was in his bombastic stage performances, live music sound on his recordings and his ability to make his music fun and enjoyable to anyone. Parton can already do that, she just needs to have the supervision of someone who's a little more hip than the country folk she's been working with.
1. Lou Reed If we're perfect honest with ourselves, we're willing to admit Lou Reed is in serious need of a little rock-revival. Sure, he's still active and interested in exploring noise in Metal Machine Trio, but that's not really the reason people gravitated toward Lou Reed. He's managed to keep his pop-friendly head on his shoulders enough to contribute to the Gorillaz, but what we'd really like to hear from Reed is a new rock album. Jack White wouldn't actually need to do anything here, as Reed is more than capable of writing and recording what he needs, but White could operate as a bit of a pusher to get Reed back into the rock game.