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Jett, Joan (And The Blackhearts) - 1981 I Love Rock N Roll

ARTIST: Jett, Joan (And The Blackhearts)
ALBUM: I Love Rock N Roll
LABEL: Boardwalk
SERIAL: NB1-33243
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: Reissue List..


LINEUP: Joan Jett - vocals, guitar * Ricky Byrd - guitar * Gary Ryan - bass, backing vocals * Lee Crystal - drums * Eric Ambel - guitar on tracks 5 and 10

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Love Rock N Roll * 02 I'm Gonna Run Away * 03 Love Is Pain * 04 NAG * 05 Crimson And Clover * 06 Victim Of Circumstance * 07 Bits And Pieces * 08 Be Straight * 09 You're Too Possessive * 10 Little Drummer Boy


It's one of the most common catch-cries of rock music isn't it? And ex Runaways member Joan Jett made it her own during the latter part of 1981 then heading into early 1982 where this album and the single went high into the Billboard charts. Sure, the song was all over radio everywhere you went, and as much as I appreciated Joan and her Blackhearts, I didn't did get around to purchasing any of the vinyl back in the day. And when you look back, she sure did release a bucket full of albums, and by the time the 90's rolled around and grunge was in full swing, she was still there, helped by more releases and a couple of carefully placed compilation sets as well. But probably, this is where it started, though it wasn't her debut album, that prize goes to 1980's 'Bad Reputation'.

The Songs
Following on from the demise of The Runaways, Joan traveled back and forward between Los Angeles and Long Island, NY; having settled into a groove with producer Kenny Laguna, who would help in setting up the Blackheart Records label. 'Bad Reputation' was the first release for the fledgling label, after two dozen record labels failed to take up the offer. Imagine how they felt when the second LP 'I Love Rock N Roll' went to no#1 on the singles charts, and has since sold over 10 million copies as an album. The only bloke who made the wise call was Casablanca Records head-honcho Neil Bogart, who signed Joan to his new imprint Boardwalk Records. The proof was in the pudding. 'I Love Rock And Roll' co-written by Alan Merrill from UK band Arrows back in 1976 must have raked in the millions from royalties over the years. Lucky guy! To a lesser extent, Tommy James co-wrote 'Crimson And Clover', which was another huge single for Joan. The third cover is 'Bits And Pieces', an old Dave Clark Five tune from 1964.

In Summary
Overall, the album is a fun-time romp, with a subtle punk/pop vibe. It was suited to radio for the time, and the kids of the day lapped it up. There's enough melody to keep regular GDM readers interested, so you may (like me) investigate JJ's back-catalogue. There's enough material to keep you busy. Expect more reviews to follow. [word count 390]

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