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Joan Jett

By playing pure and simple rock & roll without making an explicit issue of her gender, Joan Jett became a figurehead for several generations of female rockers. Jett's brand of rock & roll is loud and stripped-down, yet with overpowering hooks -- a combination of the Stones' tough, sinewy image and beat, AC/DC chords, and glam rock hooks. As the numerous covers she has recorded show, she adheres both to rock tradition and breaks with it -- she plays classic three-chord rock & roll, yet she also loves the trashy elements (in particular, Gary Glitter) of it as well, and she plays with a defiant sneer. From her first band, the Runaways, through her hit-making days in the '80s with the Blackhearts right until her unexpected revival in the '90s, she hasn't changed her music, yet she's kept her quality control high, making one classic single ("I Love Rock 'n Roll") along the way.

Jett was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 12 years old. By the time she was 15, she had formed her first band and was performing around town. Kim Fowley, a Los Angeles record producer, discovered the band at one of their gigs and became their manager; soon, he renamed the all-female group the Runaways and secured them a contract with Mercury Records. The band released three albums that never had much commercial success in America, yet were very popular in Japan; the group was popular in both the Los Angeles hard rock and punk scenes, which led to Jett's production of the Germs' first record, (GI). The Runaways group broke up in 1980 and Jett moved to New York to begin a solo career.

Teaming up with producer/manager Kenny Laguna, Jett independently released her self-titled debut album in 1980 in America, since no labels were interested in signing her. The record was a more traditional rock & roll record than the punky Runaways, yet it retained her previous band's defiant attitude. The record sold very well for an independent release, leading to a contract with Boardwalk Records, who reissued the album under the title Bad Reputation; it soon climbed to number 51 on the American charts.

Jett formed the Blackhearts between Bad Reputation and her second album, 1981's I Love Rock-n-Roll; the group included guitarist Ricky Byrd, bassist Gary Ryan, and drummer Lee Crystal. Released at the end of 1981, I Love Rock-n-Roll became her greatest success, sending her into the Top Ten. Originally the B-side of an Arrows single, the title track was an enormous success, spending seven weeks at number one in the spring of 1982. The follow-up single, a version of Tommy James & the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover," went Top Ten as well; a single of Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)," taken from the Bad Reputation album, reached number 20 in the summer of 1982. Album, released in 1983, went gold yet had no hits that compared with either "I Love Rock 'n Roll" or "Crimson and Clover."

Jett starred in Paul Schrader's 1987 film Light of Day, which featured the Top 40 title song, yet she didn't have another Top Ten hit until 1988, when "I Hate Myself for Loving You," taken from the Up Your Alley album, hit number eight; the album became her second platinum record. After the album's success, her career had another slow period, with 1990's all-covers album The Hit List making it to number 36 and 1991's Notorious failing to chart. Between Notorious and 1994's Pure and Simple, a new generation of female rockers came of age and everyone from hard alternative rockers like L7 to the minimalist riot grrrl punk rockers like Bikini Kill claimed Jett and the Runaways as an influence. As a consequence, Pure and Simple received more press and positive reviews than any of her albums since the mid-'80s. In 1995, Jett recorded the live album Evilstig with the remaining members of the Gits, a Seattle punk rock band whose lead singer, Mia Zapata, was raped and murdered in 1993. Jett reunited with the Blackhearts for the 1999 album Fetish, and in 2006 Sinner, a return to her punk roots (and ten of whose 14 songs were found on the 2004 Japanese-only record Naked), came out. The next few years were spent touring with spots on the Warped Tour and as an opening act for bands like Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, and Green Day. When Jett returned with a new album, it was with touring guitarist Dougie Needles, longtime drummer Thommy Price, and even longer-time associate Kenny Laguna all on board. 2013's Unvarnished represented a stunning return to the form of the early days of the Blackhearts and featured a song produced and co-written with Dave Grohl. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

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Track List: Fit To Be Tied: Great Hits By Joan Jett And The Blackhearts

1. Bad Reputation

3. Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!)

4. Roadrunner

5. I Love Rock 'N' Roll

6. Victim Of Circumstance

9. Crimson And Clover

11. Make Believe

x

Track List: The Hit List

1. Dirty Deeds

2. Love Hurts

3. Pretty Vacant

4. Celluloid Heroes

5. Tush

6. Time Has Come Today

7. Up From The Skies

8. Have You Ever Seen The Rain

9. Love Me Two Times

x

Track List: I Love Rock N' Roll

1. I Love Rock 'N' Roll

2. (I'm Gonna) Run Away

3. Love Is Pain

4. Nag

5. Crimson And Clover

6. Victim Of Circumstance

7. Bits And Pieces

8. Be Straight

9. You're Too Possessive

14. Summertime Blues

x

Track List: Bad Reputation

1. Bad Reputation

2. Make Believe

3. You Don't Know What You've Got

4. You Don't Own Me

5. Too Bad On Your Birthday

6. Do You Want To Touch Me (Oh Yeah)

7. Let Me Go

8. Doing All Right With The Boys

9. Shout

10. Jezebel

11. Don't Abuse Me

12. Wooly Bully

13. Call Me Lightning

14. Hanky Panky

15. What Can I Do For You?

16. You Don't Own Me

17. Bad Reputation (Live)

x

Track List: Notorious

1. Backlash

2. Ashes In The Wind

3. The Only Good Thing (You Ever Said Was Goodbye)

4. Lie To Me

5. Don't Surrender

6. Goodbye

7. Machismo

8. Treadin' Water

9. I Want You

10. Wait For Me

x

Track List: Sinner

1. Riddles

2. A.C.D.C.

3. Five

4. Naked

5. Everyone Knows

6. Change The World

7. Androgynous

8. Fetish

9. Watersign

10. Tube Talkin'

11. Turn It Around

12. Baby Blue

13. 100 Feet Away

14. Bad Time

Comments

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I hate your people's mothers 4 raising u f*cks. Bless her worthless sole! That poor old bag!
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Saw Joan Jett this year and she looks great and can still belt out the vocals.
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I hate myself for loving Cole! But I still love him. I want to walk but I run back to him! I go a second without thinking about Cole. I wish he liked me.:(
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I saw her in concert and it was awesome ;)
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80's rock never gets old.
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AN ICON!!!!
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share
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Yeah good song I hate myself for loving you
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"I love rock 'n' roll" I really do
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I
I l
I lo
I lov
I love
I love J
I love Jo
I love Joa
I love Joan
I love Joan J
I love Joan Je
I love Joan Jet
I love Joan Jett
I love Joan Jet
I love Joan Je
I love Joan J
I love Joan
I love Joa
I love Jo
I love J
I love
I lov
I lo
I l
I




Report as inappropriate
Love u Joan cool chick.
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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I love it ��
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joffner8
Joan you are one of a kind that defines rock
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❤❤❤❤❤
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haydenf825
Rock forever
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haydenf825
I love rock n roll!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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U all wish u could be as wonderful, but no way !!! She kick's a** baby !!
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Ever
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Ever
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Greatest girl rocker
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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My favorite song ever by her ^-^
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kevinkopp5
You guys say bad things like you don't care. You would not like it if people said that stuff about you,so why should you say it to other musicians ? This is what I think of you! Stinky mean people!!!!!
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Owww
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Ur mean where's your picture? Matty
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All us girls wanted to be like her, back in the day!
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ppd7445
So Who/Whom, in the room doesn't think 'SHE'S A LADY' ???
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SHE CAN STILL ROCK UR FACE OFF- I saw her 16 YRS AGO n She Was Just As GOOD AS DEF LEPPARD, THEN I SEEN HER JAN 2016 AND SHE'S STILL PUTS OUT INCREDIBLE ENERGY!!! THAT WOMAN WILL ROCK UR FACE OFF!!! LUV YA J.J. KEEP ON ROCKIN!!!!!!
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dizzybitc
And I don't like her I love her
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dizzybitc
Matty ur a tool if u don't like her just change the damn song bet u go on YouTube and look up s**t to b**ch about
Report as inappropriate
Not sure how anyone can like her. She has that old raspy , cigarette smoking , bar whore voice. Deep throat another cigarette you leather face .
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Jone jet you have a fan that looks exactley like you she is alisa ables u should check her out and invite her for me to a concert
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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs are the quintessenti a l female fronted rock bands! So friggin' powerful!
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Joan Jett rocks
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Love this song. Joan Jett is one tough woman.
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Clinton No No No she hates all of our rights! !!!!!!!!!
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I'm ready for Sunday Night Football on NBC!!!!!!!
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One of the coolest, bad a** , woman rockers around. No nonsense rock n roll. Can you say ICON !
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Best female rocker ever. I love rock and roll, a true classic.
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garammasala1 9 6 8
Joan rocks harder than anyone and broke lots of barriers.
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Way cool song
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kevinkopp5
She is the best singer I ever have listened to!!!!!!!
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I LOVE ROCK "N" ROLL
Report as inappropriate
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
fght
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love ur music
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I love this song
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❤❤❤❤❤
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she grew up near me in philadelphia
Show more

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