Almost there! #15 to #6 in the top 55 best “non-I Love Rock ‘N Roll” Joan Jett songs of all time, as voted on by you, for your listening pleasure. 🙂
#15 I Wanna Be Your Dog
The club is dark. You’re in the first row, directly in front of Joan’s mic stand. You’re sweaty; Joan is sweaty. Joan puts down her guitar for the only time this night–she clearly means business. Unencumbered, she leans into you, reaches out her hand, and asks you to bark. Who are you to say no?
Here’s another one… No barking this time, but you can’t beat the visuals.
The original version by The Stooges is on The Runaways official motion picture soundtrack, if anyone still cares. Hehe. 😉
#14 Pretty Vacant
I loved watching Kristen Stewart, as a teenage Joan in The Runaways movie, re-creating Joan’s home-made, spray-painted Sex Pistols t-shirt while this song played in the background. It’s a big part of Joan’s history, and she covered it with The Blackhearts on 1990’s The Hit List.
#13 The Only Good Thing (You Ever Said Was Goodbye)
When I tell someone to hit the road, I like to sway my hips while I do it. Thanks Joan! Written by Joan with Desmond Child and Diane Warren for 1991’s Notorious. This should have been a hit single.
#12 The French Song
David Mallet directed this video, along with “Everyday People” and “Fake Friends.” According to Kenny Laguna, of the three videos, “The French Song” used about 75% of the budget. It included the same cast of thousands as David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” video, which Mallet also directed.
Here’s Kenny and Joan talking about the video:
#11 You Got A Problem
Joan wrote this with Desmond Child and Kathleen Hanna for Pure and Simple. I think it’s the most aggressive track on that album. Joan recorded another version for Evil Stig, when she performed with The Gits, but I like the Pure and Simple version better. I wish The Blackhearts would play this live once in a while. It’s impossible to hold on to any anger after headbanging to this for a few minutes.
#10 Cherry Bomb
We know the legend by heart. Joan wrote this song with Kim Fowley, on the spot, so that Cherie Currie would have something to sing for her audition for The Runaways. I nearly cried watching Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning depict this crucial piece of Runaways history for us on the big screen. I also love Joan’s cover of it with The Blackhearts on Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth, mostly because the video shows Joan doing what we love the most: being cool to her fans.
#9 Don’t Surrender
On The Jett Age VHS tape I bought through the fanclub around 20 years ago, Joan talks about the inspiration behind this song. She wrote it for her friend, Jill Ireland, Charles Bronson’s wife, who died of cancer. That interview contains one of my favorite Joan Jett quotes of all time–I used it as my signature quote in my senior year bio for my high school newspaper.
When all the chips are down, and all the odds are against you, you gotta keep fighting. Because you really have nothing if you just give up.
I love this video, but I’m not a fan of the “extended dance mix”. The album track is much better without all the glitz.
#8 Baby Blue
Another gem to come out of the writing sessions with Kathleen Hanna in the 1990s. It was first released on the sexy compilation Fetish in 1999, and later on Naked and Sinner. Killer riff. Just killer.
Joan Jett and Kathleen Hanna. Again. 🙂 I can’t decide if I love Joan’s writing better with Kathleen or with Desmond Child. Good thing I don’t have to choose. From Naked, Sinner, and the 2006 Warped Tour Compilation. This song is really, really, fun to sing along with live.
#6 Love is Pain
This song is also fun to sing along with at a Blackhearts show, but it’s also a great tricep workout if you shake your fists in the air to the beat of the riff. (Go ahead, try it. No one will care if you jiggle.) Joan wrote this all by her lonesome, and if you want to believe this scene in The Runaways movie, she was in the bathtub while she did it. It’s the third track on I Love Rock ‘N Roll.
ONLY FIVE LEFT!! Can you stand the suspense?? 🙂
Part 1: #55 through #46
Part 2: #45 through #36
Part 3: #35 through #26
Part 4: #25 through #16
Wow! this is an INCREDIBLE piece of music journalism…I enjoy this very very much! Excellent attention to detail…. and video too! What more could you possibly do? Truly an outstanding piece of work – a real “gem”!
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