Song:I Love Rock 'N' Roll
Joan Jett scored her only number one hit with I Love Rock 'N' Roll in 1981. She started out as a member of the all girl rock group the Runaways and she probably had the greatest solo success of the members of that group. She was born Joan Marie Larkin Sept. 22, 1958 in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood, PA. She went to high school in Rockville, MD and then her family moved to West Covina, CA. She hung around the club Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco which is where she met drummer Sandy West in 1975 and formed the Runaways with the help of producer Kim Fowley. Cherie Currie was the main lead singer of The Runaways. Joan occasionally sang lead but mostly played rhythm guitar and wrote some songs. I think it was inevitable that Joan was going to leave The Runaways and go solo. But she took over as lead singer when Currie left to go solo in 1977. There were other issues including a split with Fowley and the Runaways split up in 1979. I Love Rock 'N' Roll was written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of the British group Arrow and they recorded it in 1975. Joan saw them perform it on TV while she was on tour with The Runaways in England. It was one of three songs she recorded with Paul Cook and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols in 1979. She moved back to LA to make a film about The Runaways that was never completed. She met producer Kenny Laguna who had been hired to write songs for the film. He once worked for Kasenetz-Katz and he played keyboards on Tommy James and the Shondells' Mony Mony. They went to his studio in Long Island and he produced the 1980 album Bad Reputation. After all the record companies rejected the album, they released it independently. This led to a record deal with Boardwalk Records which was Neil Bogart's new label after he sold Casablanca Records to PolyGram. Boardwalk re-released Bad Reputation and then Joan and Laguna auditioned musicians for The Blackhearts. The musicians on I Love Rock 'N' Roll were Ricky Byrd on guitar, Gary Ryan on bass and Lee Crystal on drums. The single I Love Rock 'N' Roll topped the charts and the album was certified Platinum. After Bogart died in 1982, Joan started Blackheart Records and signed a distribution deal with MCA. Crimson and Clover in 1982 and I Hate Myself For Loving You in 1988 were Joan's other top ten hits. This 2CD comp was released when the film The Runaways was released in 2010. Joan was executive producer of the film. Joan Jett continues to tour and her latest CD Unvarnished was released in 2013. She is known as The Godmother of Punk. Here's the video for I Love Rock 'N' Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.