Thursday, September 12, 2019

"Good Music" by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Song#:  2889
Date:  10/11/1986
Debut:  97
Peak:  83
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Jett was last on the Pop chart in 1983 with the #35 "Fake Friends." It was the second single from her third LP titled Album, which ended up being a #20 gold seller. She and her band followed it up a year later with Glorius Results of a Misspent Youth. Unfortunately, singles from the album failed to get any attention and the album halted at #67. Jett then took two years to issue out her next album, Good Music. The title track would be the first single issued out, but it just couldn't get a foothold anywhere. The song completely missed the Rock chart while faltering near the bottom of the Pop chart. A second single, a cover of the Modern Lovers' garage rock classic "Roadrunner," reached a minor #46 at Rock while missing the Pop chart. With little to support it, the album tanked at #105. Luckily, her career would get a boost in '87 thanks to her taking a role in a high-profile film.

ReduxReview:  This sounds like one of those old-fashioned sing-a-long songs from the 50s or 60s amped up in a hard rock way for the 80s. The appearance of members of the Beach Boys and Darlene Love (see below) is appropriate and they give the song a little authenticity. Yet despite a catchy chorus it's not that great of a song. It doesn't come close to the classics it was paying homage to. Jett was caught between being honest to her hard rock roots and trying to please her label and the mainstream. It was a tough position and I think she was trying to figure it out with this tune, but it didn't quite work. Even rock radio ignored the tune, which was not a good sign. Although it is not a bad song, it just wasn't what Jett needed at the time. She'd finally figure it all out with her next album.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Jett and producer Kenny Laguna. The background vocals were done by Darlene Love and The Beach Boys. The appearance of The Beach Boys was particularly surprising since it came during one of their periods of not getting along. Laguna wanted to have them on the record, but was told it was virtually impossible to assemble them in the same session. So Laguna thought he'd at least ask Carl Wilson to supply a guitar part. Wilson agreed and then brought along with him Bruce Johnson. Somehow Mike Love got wind of the session and showed up followed by Al Jardine. In the end, Jett and Laguna got what they originally had wanted with nearly a full compliment of Beach Boys doing vocals on the track.


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