Review Revue: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – Album


Hey everybody! It’s been a little while. I apologize sincerely for my two-week absence from the KEXP blogernet. It’s been a crazy, busy summer and I let some things slide. I’m not proud of it, but hopefully we can move past it together with some rock and roll.

OK, you know what’s one of my favorite facts about Joan Jett (aside from the obvious fact that she flippin’ rocks, that is)? In 1994, she invited one of my favorite bands, Dischord’s Lungfish, to tour with her. I really truly wish I could have been there to see the expressions on her audience’s faces as they were confronted with the visionary, lunatic, two-pairs-of-pants-wearing, pen-eating spectacle that is Daniel Higgs. Man, that must have been great. You need more evidence of Joan Jett’s awesomeness? How about this response in a 1996 interview to the question “what are you listening to?”: “Fugazi, L7, Paul Westerberg… Indian devotional music… Lungfish… Mudwimin, Stone Fox and many others.”

I told you… Joan Jett = awesome. But you probably already knew that, or could tell just by looking at this album cover.

“Pardon the hell out of me for liking JJ’s raucous Rock ‘n’ Roll… unfortunately this is not one of her best efforts… but save (a few) good cuts.”

“I agree”

“2-4 a remake of Runaways tune…”

“That one’s great.”

“Not so bad — Joan gets rowdy!”

“Joan gets Funky on her cover of Sly Stone’s ‘Everyday People.’ Good stuff!”

“‘The French Song’ — great vocals!”

“‘Tossin’ & Turnin’ — rocking cover of this great hit.”

“Bobby Lewis did the original.”

“This is cool. Go ahead, keep your narrow-minded ways while I expand my horizons…”

“‘Everyday People’ was #1 for Sly & the Family Stone in 1969.”

“‘I love Playin’ w/Fire’ (cover of Runaways song – former band) is the coolest song on this, I think. All the rest is candypop. ‘Everyday People’ is pretty cute.”

I love that there’s very little negative appraisal here, but a lot of people have to temper their praise of this album with defensive remarks (“pardon the hell out of me”; “keep your narrow-minded ways”…). Sometimes it’s tough to love a popular artist at a college radio station.

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