On March 20, 1982, Joan Jett and the Blackheart’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” hit number one on Billboard’s pop chart. After the breakup of Jett’s band The Runaways, she previously had a modest hit from her first post-Runaways album Bad Reputation (1980) with a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.” But the title track of her second album, I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, gave Joan Jett & the Blackhearts one of the all-time classic songs about rock music.
This video for the song begins with a clip of Jett’s song “Bad Reputation,” which might remind some TV fans of the opening of “Freaks and Geeks.”
A British group named the Arrows had released “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” in 1975, but the song was not a hit in the U.S. Jett heard the song when she was touring with the Runaways, so years later she recorded her own version, taking it to the top of the U.S. charts. By then, the Arrows had disbanded.
Here is the original Arrows version.
Other artists seeking rock credibility have covered the song since Jett, including Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and a number of people on American Idol. Weird Al Yankovic turned the song into an ice cream song with “I Love Rocky Road.”
But of course, nobody comes close to the rock ‘n’ roll talents and attitude of Joan Jett, who still performs and heads her own record label, Blackheart Records. Rock on.
What is your favorite Joan Jett song? Leave your two cents in the comments.
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