Video of the week: LITA FORD sings I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll

To celebrate “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”, which reached number 1 in March of 1982, here’s LITA FORD singing “I Love Rock N Roll” at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp! (This is epic–I hope we get to hear Joan sing “Kiss Me Deadly” or “Back to the Cave” someday.)

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And here’s a recent interview with Jake Hooker, who co-wrote the song and performed the original version with The Arrows.

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2011 Greatest Joan Jett song of all time POLL RESULTS, part 1

After years of being told by the media that “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” is the only Joan Jett song that deserves to be on any of their countdown lists, I decided to ask YOU, the Jettheads, what song YOU would pick if you were ever given the chance. No holds barred, every vote counts.

I wanted to only accept write-in votes, to keep it pure, but Polldaddy won’t allow anyone to create a poll without providing at least three choices. I was therefore stuck with allowing you to also choose between “I love them all equally and cannot choose a favorite!” (your #1 choice), and ILRNR itself, which came in at #2. Big surprise, right? 😉

But what the results lacked in drama, they made up for in creativity. The write-in option garnered votes for a staggering 55 different songs! Most of them had the same number of votes, so rather than have a 15-way tie for #8, for example, I’m just going to count down each group of tied songs in alphabetical order within the group. Remember, even if a song only gets one vote, it counts! (My poll, my rules. 🙂 )

So, let’s get started with #55 through #46!

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I Love Rock-n-Roll turns 30 this year! (Gibson.com)

Gibson.com just reminded me that I Love Rock-n-Roll turns 30 this year, because, technically, the album was released in 1981. I need to sit down. Hold on a sec.

*passes out* … *comes to*

Whew, OK. In a feature released today (“Joan Jett: 30 Years of Rock and Roll”), Gibson.com celebrates the 30th anniversary of ILRNR, and the Gibson Melody Maker guitar that brought this iconic album to life. Here’s a snippet:

To get a close-up look at how Jett and her scalding tone are wired, check out the album that elevated her from the club scene to arena and festival stages, I Love Rock ’n’ Roll, which was released 30 years ago but still smells like a fresh power-pop bouquet.

The disc featured the twin six-string attack of Jett and Ricky Byrd, although it’s Jett’s raging rhythms that drive the entire affair. Jett is known for using a Mesa-Boogie Mark III head with Marshall or Mesa cabinets as well as a Vox AC-30 in tandem, but, according to her current guitar foil Dougie Needles, she used a MusicMan 2×12 combo for her power playing on the album’s title track, turned up to “stun.”

Jett’s grounding in punk rock and her scholarly knowledge of ’60s garage rock and pop created the album’s overall blend of punk-inspired heat balanced by concision and mainstream accessibility.

The Arrows weren’t the only group from the past that Jett tapped for material. As the crafty hooks, classic pop length and focus on melody at the core of her own writing indicate, she is a student of great ’50s and ’60s pop-rock. So the I Love Rock ’n’ Roll album also features tunes originally cut by Tommy James and the Shondells (“Crimson and Clover”), the Dave Clark Five (“Bits and Pieces”), the Kingsmen (“Louie Louie”), Eddie Cochran (“Summertime Blues”) and the Coasters (“Nag”). That the album’s original songs like “Love Is Pain” and “Be Straight” hold up to the chestnuts Jett covered is tribute to how well she absorbed the lessons of the past.

When it comes to guitar playing, Jett’s mantra remains “keep it simple, but effective.” Few artists have gotten, or continue to get, as much mileage out of down-stroked trimmed-to-the-core rhythm guitar as she does. Today Jett’s discography includes 14 studio albums, including 1995’s Evil Stig backed by the Gits, and half as many compilation discs.

Read the rest here: http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/joan-jett-0127-2011/

Read more about the history of I Love Rock-n-Roll HERE. The album was released just before Christmas in 1981, so we have all year to plan the celebration! 😀

Joan Jett’s Cover Tunes: Appreciating the Originals

Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘N Roll is a classic love story: Girl meets song, girl falls in love with song, girl records song and changes history forever. It’s a legend that Jettheads know by heart. Joan saw the original performed by The Arrows on UK television while on tour there with The Runaways. The rest of the band members weren’t interested in recording the song, but Joan could not forget it. After The Runaways broke up, the girl and the song were magically reunited when Joan recorded it with The Blackhearts. It dominated the charts for two months in 1982 and is now regarded as one of the greatest songs of all time. Fuck Cinderella, this is the stuff fairy tales should be made of.

I Love Rock ‘N Roll was not the first or last time that Joan Jett would record a cover song. They actually make up a significant percentage of Joan’s music. History-making or not, all of Joan’s cover tunes have a way of making us forget the originals. But we shouldn’t. Because even though the song is never the same without the girl, the girl is also never the same without the song. We should remember where they came from, because they are where Joan comes from.

Here are just a few of my favorites. Check them out and compare them to Joan’s versions and let me know what you think.

1. I’ll start with the big guns: I Love Rock ‘N Roll, by The Arrows (J. Hooker/A. Merrill, 1975). You can read a detailed history of the song and see who else has recorded it at www.iloverocknroll.org.

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