1982 – Joan Jett Shows Up Her Critics

Written by on March 20, 2008

Rocker Joan Jett, whose career began with the 1970s girl-band “The Runaways,” hit #1 on this date in 1982 with her mainstream hit “I Love Rock and Roll.” Although this might have been my least favorite Jett tune (pre-“Hit List” of course), it showed the nation’s radio execs that women could rock without whining and looking prissy.


After putting the band together, she had been rejected by so many record labels that the group decided to print their own under the name “Blackheart Records.” The video for “Bad Reputation” is sort of a mini-movie telling that story. According to the video, company suits thought she wasn’t feminine enough to appeal to the record-buying public.

Joan Jett

“I Love Rock and Roll” would stay at #1 for seven weeks after today, which would be a victory for every rocker who tried to make a career out of covering a heck of a lot of Gary Glitter songs (although “I Love You Love Me Love” happens to be my personal favorite Blackhearts track).

Jett would go on to put out some excellent tracks like “The French Song,” “I Need Someone” and “Cherry Bomb (an old Runaways tune),” but never matched the mainstream success of “I Love Rock and Roll.” Unfortunately, her career took a turn for the worse after starring in the movie “Light of Day” with Michael J. Fox and covering a bunch of songs in “The Hit List.”

Joan Jett’s did, however, turn out to be more successful than her Runaways bandmates. If you listen hard, some radio stations might still play the Blackhearts’ version of “The Little Drummer Boy” during the Christmas season.

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