Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"I Love Rock n' Roll" by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  0911
Date:  02/06/1982
Debut:  63
Peak:  1 (7 weeks)
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After the break-up of her previous band, the all-female The Runaways, Jett moved to England to start a solo career. She recorded a self-titled LP that saw release in Europe, but US labels wouldn't bite. After 20+ rejections, she and producer Kenny Laguna returned to the States and decided to invest money and press their own records. "Joan Jett" came out on Blackheart Records and was sold at concerts and other places and soon the demand for the record was too much for them to handle. Casablanca Records stepped in and signed Jett. They reissued the LP as "Bad Reputation" on the Boardwalk label and it performed well. During this time Jett assembled her backing group The Blackhearts and they would head back in the studio to do a follow-up. The "I Love Rock n' Roll" album was released the end of 1981 and this title-track single came out a few months later. The song took off and became a major #1 smash.

ReduxReview:  There are times I look back and wonder, "what was I thinking?" I totally disliked this song when it came out. I really don't know why. Maybe I thought it was a corny anthem or just plain silly. Whatever it was, I was wrong. This is a terrific song that sounds just as great now as it did then (despite my early hatred). The crunchy guitars and Jett's growling attitude more than sold the song and it ranks among the best rock anthems of the 80s (and beyond, really).

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Very few people knew that this song was actually a remake. While on tour with The Runaways in the UK, Jett saw this song on TV in its original version done by The Arrows. Written by group members Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker, the group issued the song as a single in the UK, but it did not reach the chart. They did have one Top 10 hit there with "Touch Too Much" in 1974. The group also had a weekly TV show in the UK in 1976 and 1977 called "Arrows." Jett first recorded the song in the UK with two of the Sex Pistols and it served as the b-side to her first single "You Don't Own Me" in 1979. She re-recorded it with the Blackhearts for her second album.


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