Today marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Joan Jett‘s most successful album, I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, which features the pop-punk legend’s signature song, her classic cover of U.K. glam-rock group The Arrows‘ 1975 tune of the same name.
I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll was Jett’s second album following the 1979 breakup of her influential all-female group The Runaways, and the first that she released with her longtime backing band The Blackhearts.
The original Blackhearts lineup featured guitarist Eric Ambel, bassist Gary Ryan and drummer Lee Crystal although Ambel was replaced early on during the sessions by Ricky Byrd.
The title track, which was written by Arrows members Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker, became a massive hit for Jett & the Blackhearts, spending seven consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 during the spring of 1982. It’s Jett’s only song ever to top the chart, and was the third-best-selling track in the U.S. in ’82 overall.
The album also included Jett & the Blackhearts’ second-highest-charting single, a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells‘ 1969 #1 hit “Crimson and Clover” that reached #7 on the Hot 100 for Joan and company.
The album, which was split between original tunes written or co-written by Joan and cover tunes, also included memorable renditions of The Dave Clark Five‘s 1964 smash “Bits and Pieces,” doo-woop group The Halos‘ 1961 hit “Nag” and the holiday classic “Little Drummer Boy.”
The I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 and has gone on to sell more than a million copies in the U.S.
In 2016, Jett & the Blackhearts’ version of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Here’s the album’s full track list:
“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”
“(I’m Gonna) Run Away”
“Love Is Pain”
“Crimson and Clover”
“Victim of Circumstance”
“Bits and Pieces”
“You’re Too Possessive”
“Little Drummer Boy”
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