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Shane’s Music Challenge: JOAN JETT – 1980 – Bad Reputation

| 13 February 2014 | Reply

JOAN JETT – 1980 – Bad Reputation

Joan Jett - Bad Reputation cover

Joan Jett’s first solo album after the demise of The Runaways (and before she formed her band The Blackhearts), this one was originally self-released under the eponymous title Joan Jett in 1980, before she signed a deal with Neil Bogart’s Boardwalk Records who released it in 1981 as Bad Reputation, but with the identical track listing.

Bad Reputation is full of simple bar band boogies with a punk edge, propelled along with Jett’s awesome electricity – few people in rock exude effortless cool like Jett, right from the start she was a punk Keef Richards, an iconic style figure, and a role model for a million girls who wanted to crank 3 chords and say ‘Fuck You!’ to authority.

Jett’s next album I Love Rock n’ Roll would give her huge success with The Arrows’ I Love Rock n’ Roll and Tommy James & The Shondelle’s Crimson & Clover from the I Love Rock n’ Roll album, before, riding a high, Gary Glitter stomper Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) from this album was released as a single in 1982 to score another top twenty hit.

The Best Stuff: The title track remains a life-affirming moment for anyone determined to blaze their own trail and damn the consequences, and might be the most perfect album opener ever. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ll have heard it on such Hollywood movies as Shrek, Ten Things I Hate About You and a bunch of others. In 2009 VH1 voted it the 29th best hard rock song of all time – the highest place getter for a female artist. The Gary Glitter tracks Do You Wanna Touch and Doing All Right With The Boys (no jokes, please) stomp with the best of ‘em, whilst the 1963 Leslie Gore single You Don’t Own Me – featuring tinkling piano and produced with raw emotion by Sex Pistols Steve Jones & Paul Cook – is just great. Too Bad On Your Birthday is another song that proves Jett was the Queen of making cover songs burst with her own inimitable DNA, and also proving the maxim Keep It Simple Stupid – you may think these tracks are throwaways (23 record labels did and rejected her before she got picked up), but I defy anybody to do a better version of these tracks.

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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