I bought: Fit To Be Tied: Great Hits By Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and its my new favorite cd ever! She is awesome! When I saw it in the store I was thinking that his cd isnt going to have but one good song, since I have to admit that i had only heard of 2 songs by her, but then I put it in and all of it rocks!
It’s only recently that Joan Jett has received her due as a seminal figure, an uncompromising female rocker whose first allegiance is to rock & roll rather than feminist dogma. First as the spiritual center of ahead-of-their-time teen femme-rockers The Runaways’ and subsequently on her own, Jett has stayed true to her no-nonsense muse, and in the process has become an essential role model for a new generation of female musicians. This 15-song best-of contains such essential slabs of Jett-powered rock as ”I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” ”Bad Reputation,” ”I Hate Myself for Loving You,” ”Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!),” and her reworking of her old Runaways anthem ”Cherry Bomb.” –Scott Schinder
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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts have to be one of the best kept secrets in rock music. This selection has their best known songs, including their only real “hit”, I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL, from way back in 1982. If you’ve never heard the songs here, consider yourself deprived.A marvelously insouciant set, starting with “Bad Reputation”. At the time it was written, Joan Jett was fresh out of The Runaways — no contest here, they were [and remain] the all time best ‘chick band’ in rock history. And it gets better from there; with killer versions of “RoadRunner” (the song by The Modern Lovers, not the old Junior Walker tune of the same name), and “Cherry Bomb” [a Runaways tune], along with some movie songs; “Light of Day” and “Love Is all Around”. In between, there are some really great (but rarely-heard-on-radio) songs by The Blackhearts, including “I hate Myself For Loving You”, and of course “I Love Rock and Roll”. After listening to this CD, it ooccured to me that it really belongs on a 100-best-of-all-time list (where it could displace one of the obvious-filler CD’s that’s usually put on such lists).Dave Marsh’s liner notes got it right: Joan Jett is the female Chuck Berry.
Overachieving is defined as doing better than you are capable of. Of course this always flies in the face of the person judging the overachiever, as it’s their fault they UNDERestimated the person in the first place. I mention all of this babble because I just saw Joan Jett perform a few days ago, dusted off this cd, and because of both events, had a pretty good weekend.I mention overachieving because who wudda thunk that she would have produced such a good body of work in her career. This is someone who emerged in the music scene as part of an all-girl band (The Runaways) that was famous more for their looks than rocking ability. She goes off on her own, with no high expecatations, writes a bona fide rock-and-roll anthem, becomes the darling of bikers everywhere, and the rest is history. But unlike, say, Don McClean, who also wrote his bonafide anthem, and not that much more, Jett has a handful of other songs besides “I Love Rock N Roll” that are just as delightful to hear. “Bad Reputation”, Do You Wanna Touch…”, and “I Hate Myself For Loving You” are all numbers that sound great over and over again. These are not complex songs (back to that overachieving again), and they get your attention more my banging you over the head more than their musical virtuosity, but that’s what rock and roll is all about. Finally, throw in a couple of great covers, and you’ve got a gal who can live off her body of work for many years to come. “Crimson and Clover” is ok, “Everyday People” is fabulous, and who would have thought somebody could make a great rocker out of the theme from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (“Love is all Around”). More artists should overachieve this well.
The liner notes proclaim Joan Jett to be “the female Chuck Berry.” True in one sense, but overall, I reject the comparison because Joan Jett stands on her own. Joan Jett’s songs are percussion driven; the hard driving drums set the beat and the guitars fall fast into line, so in one sense, most of her songs are alike. “Bad Reputation,” “I Love Rock & Roll,” “Roadrunner,” and “I Hate Myself For Loving You” all showcase the intense drums and the hard edge in Joan Jett’s vocals. Critics might argue Joan Jett is in this respect a one trick pony, but if she is, what a trick it is, and a trick she does so well. The selection on this CD does, however, give some variety. Joan Jett’s version of “Crimson & Clover” is a livlier version of the original, and her staying true to the gender pronouns gives the song a naughty edge.
As “Fit To Be Tied” proves clearly, Joan Jett isamong the most quietly influential rockers, male or female, of thelast 20 years. What surprises is how, despite looking and dressing the punk part, how traditional her rock and roll was. She grabbed equally from Darlene Love, the Beach Boys, The Who, and Iggy Pop (all are thanked in the liner notes, along with Charles Bronson and the Baltimore Orioles) and created, with collaborator Kenny Laguna, a sound identitified only with her. Jett had song sense to spare. Her vocal on “Crimson and Clover” (she doesn’t change the gender protagonist) is true to Tommy James’ original but adds excitement and anticipation, paying off in the grinding rock that follows. Her versions of Sly Stone’s “Everyday People” and Wind’s obscure 1969 hit “Make Believe” add some guitar sting to what were pure pop hits. Her version of “Cherry Bomb,” originally done with her band the Runaways, actually outslaps the original. The only trouble with her redoing the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” theme is that it’s too short. Speaking of originals, her chart anthems are here too: “Do You Wanna Touch Me,” 1982’s #1 “I Love Rock n’ Roll,” the acidic, excellent “Fake Friends,” even Bruce Springsteen’s “Light Of Day” (Scott Litt’s production makes that one of the less effective tracks.) “Fit To Be Tied” is essential listening from a rock and roll survivor who loves,lives and breathes the music. (It can also be interesting viewing; its an enhanced CD that shows a Jett picture collage and links to her Web site.)