I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………..on March 20th of 1982 Joan Jett And The Blackhearts started a seven week run at #1 on the US singles chart with “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”. It was a #4 hit in the UK.This was originally recorded by a British group called The Arrows in 1975, and it was written by their lead singer Alan Merrill and guitarist Jake Hooker. The song was released as a B-side with The Arrows’ “Broken Down Heart.” The group was recording for RAK Records, which was run by Mickie Most. As Merrill explains, “I Love Rock And Roll” didn’t suit his current tastes, as during that time Most preferred ballads and blues. Most’s wife Christina Hayes encouraged him to flip the sides, but the song didn’t catch on, as it suffered from a poor run of luck at the time of its release. First, it had to be re-released as an A-side. Second, the song came out during an English newspaper strike, so new songs weren’t getting the exposure they’d normally get. Third, The Arrows were feuding with their record label. As a result, the song didn’t chart and was banished to obscurity. Jett was touring England as a member of an all teenage girl group called The Runaways when she discovered this song. She wanted to record it with The Runaways, but the other members didn’t like the song and made the mistake of passing it up. So, in 1979, Jett recorded it with Paul Cook and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols and released it as a B-side. Finally, in 1981, Jett recorded the song with her band The Blackhearts, resulting in a monster hit. This seems like a perfect fit for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance, but when Jett was inducted in 2015, she didn’t play the song. Although it is by far her biggest hit, Jett has downplayed it throughout her career, typically performing it in the middle of sets while typically using “Bad Reputation” and “I Hate Myself For Loving You” as bookends.