On a recent international flight, I watched a documentary about rocker Joan Jett titled “Joan Jett: Bad Reputation”. Like her music, this film was rocking and raw! I’ve always been a fan of her work with the Blackhearts, but her early days with The Runaways cannot be ignored or forgotten. The Runaways set the tone for women in punk rock and forged an even greater path for women in the world of rock music.
During her time with the all girl group The Runaways, who were all just teenagers including guitarist and now metal queen Lita Ford, they took on the male dominated world of punk rock and etched out a stellar, but short, rock and roll career that lasted from 1975 to 1979. They were the voice of rebellious youth.
After the band split up, Joan went solo and formed The Blackhearts. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts continued the rock-n-roll ride with Joan continuing to break barriers for women in rock. She is so much more than the single, “I Love Rock N’ Roll”, which is actually a cover of the English group Arrows. It was never a hit for Arrows, but Joan made it her own and it climbed the charts in the United States and became a #1 hit.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, and she definitely deserves the accolade and respect. However, what about The Runaways? Should they be in the Rock Hall? I say yes, they should. So c’mon Rock Hall, drop a Cherry Bomb on the music world and induct The Runaways in 2020!
And now, my top ten Joan Jett songs!
- Cherry Bomb (The Runaways)
- Bad Reputation (Blackhearts)
- I Love Rock N’Roll (Blackhearts) (Arrows cover)
- Crimson and Clover (Blackhearts) (Tommy James and the Shondells cover)
- I Love Playin” with Fire (The Runaways)
- I Hate Myself for Lovin’ You (Blackhearts)
- Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Blackhearts)
- School Days (The Runaways)
- Fake Friends (Blackhearts)
- Dead End Justice (The Runaways)
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