I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Posted on July 7, 2011

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - I Love Rock and RollThe opening article on this blog was called Queen Meets Waynes World and was basically QueenQueen Meets Waynes World AKA Bohemian Rhapsody. Read more ... »’s ‘Bohemian RhapsodyQueen Meets Waynes World AKA Bohemian Rhapsody. Read more ... »’. So in a way this is the 2nd time I have a featured a track from a common source, although this time it is the film ‘Waynes WorldQueen Meets Waynes World AKA Bohemian Rhapsody. Read more ... »’, and rather than Queen it is the fabulous Joan Jett and her Blackhearts performing ‘I Love Rock and Roll‘.

Originally written in 1975 by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of Arrows, who also recorded the first released version of the track. It only really made to the big time however when Joan and the Blackhearts did a cover in 1981 which went platinum. But there is another twist to the tale because the video shown here is the version of the song used as part of the Wayne’s World 2 soundtrack in 1993. There are several scenes from the movie with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey mixed with Joan and her band playing in a concert. This sort of follows the approach used in the original Waynes World where Bohemian Rhapsody proved such a big success, both for the film and for Queen. So it is fair to say that cover versions of ‘I Love Rock and RollWhat Have I Done to Deserve This - Dusty Springfield and the Pet Shop Boys. Read more ... »’ have been a lot more successful than the original Arrows version. Well it might be fair to say it, but its not particularly fair for the Arrows, unless they got royalties of course.

Now I have to be honest with you, I haven’t actually bought an album of Joan Jett’s, well not yet anyway. But looking down the list of their Greatest Hits below, there are another one or two that definitely used to get an airing at some point in the local discos we used to frequent as teenagers and in our early twenties. I Love Rock and Roll is probably the most recognisable, but ‘ Do You Wanna Touch Me’ was definitely up there along with it. Anyway I guess I need to get the album to see which other ones I can remember, but the one I will never forget is ‘I Love Rock and Roll’, classic.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Greatest Hits

1. Cherry Bomb 2:33
2. You Drive Me Wild 3:52
3. School Days 3:02
4. Love Is Pain 3:30
5. Bad Reputation 2:47
6. You Don’t Know What You’ve Got 3:42
7. I Want You 2:42
8. I Love Rock N’ Roll 2:55
9. (I’m Gonna) Run Away 2:28
10. Crimson and Clover 3:16
11. Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) 3:43
12. The French Song 3:35
13. Everyday People 2:39
14. Fake Friends 3:16
15. Light of Day 3:31
16. I Hate Myself For Loving YouLeah McFall Does Loving You by Minnie Ripperton. Read more ... » 4:07
17. Backlash 3:28
18. Activity Grrrl 3:27
19. Love Is All Around 1:00
20. Androgynous 3:08
21. A.C.D.C. 3:24

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Categories: 80's Music, Films & Entertainment


2 Responses

  1. JoJo:

    The Arrows single started out as a b-side, so it’s hard (impossible) to have a hit single with a b-side. You probably don’t know that Joan Jett’s first 1979 released version of the song was also a b-side and did even worse commercially than the Arrows 1975 version in the British charts.
    But, The Arrows version was broadcast once on TV after it was re-recorded and released as an a-side, 6 weeks after it was issued as a b-side in 1975. That TV show (“45”) appearance was so good according to producer Muriel Young it got the band their own weekly TV series, so the song served them well. Never mind that their record label didn’t back the Arrows version with decent promotion. The band had already had two top 30 UK chart hit singles, “Touch Too Much” (1974) and “My last Night With You” (1975).
    You have failed to note that although Joan Jett and the Blackhearts made it to # 1 in the USA for about two months in the American charts in 1982, “I Love Rock N Roll” only made peak position of # 4 in the UK charts, because everybody there knew the song to be an Arrows cover, and it wasn’t new material to the English market.
    The fact is if the Arrows hadn’t performed the song on the show “45” they would never have got a weekly TV series and Joan Jett would not have seen them perform the song on TV the following year in 1976 when she was on tour with the Runaways. Ms. Jett bought the Arrows record as a result and it was a life changing move for her.
    It seems Joan Jett was far more impressed by the Arrows than Amercians give the band credit for, wanting to believe in the Jett myth that has been created and crafted carefully in the US media over decades.

    Promotion is the key to the success of a good song, and in expert industry veteran Neil Bogart of Boardwalk records Joan Jett found the key to success in 1981. The song always had hit potential, but without promotion a record will lay still and die. For you to believe otherwise is naive.
    The good side of the story is the Arrows do get paid for every cover of the song (Joan Jett does not own any part of the writer’s share of the song, it belongs to the Arrows publisher RAK Music Ltd.), so the Arrows story has a very happy and lucrative ending.
    Here is a fan cam video of the Arrows singer performing the song in England just last month, Nov, 5th, 2011 at the Lexington in Islington. Does he look unhappy performing his original song?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUJ-lOG2wWE
    The audience seem very pleased.
    PS-
    Exhibit A (Side)-
    http://www.iloverocknroll.org/Ilovernr.jpg
    All the best,
    Jo

    17.12.2011 18:13 Reply

    • music4me:

      I am not going to argue with you, sounds like you know your stuff. I was tempted to use this comment as a post. But this way at least you get the credit for your knowledge. Thanks for commenting.

      17.12.2011 18:22 Reply

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