You’re a teenager, you are still experimenting with different types of music. One day you turn the TV, tune in to the Dutch music show TopPop, and you see this lady with a guitar, There are a few drumbeats at the start and then a kick ass guitar riff. You are hooked, you found the music you like. That’s basically how I started my lifelong addiction to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and it was all because of a lady called Joan Jett.
“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a rock song written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker and first recorded by the Arrows, a British rock band, in 1975.
It was originally recorded and released by Arrows in 1975 on Rak Records, with Merrill on lead vocals and guitar and Mickie Most producing. Merrill wrote both the music and lyrics but gave a co-writer credit to Hooker as part of settling a debt. In an interview with Songfacts, Merrill said he wrote the song as “a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones’ ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)’.” This version was first released as a B-side, but was soon re-recorded and flipped to A-side status on a subsequent pressing of the record. Arrows performed the song in 1975 on the Muriel Young-produced show 45, after which Young offered Arrows a weekly UK television series, Arrows, which was broadcast on ITV starting in March 1976.
Joan Jett saw the Arrows perform “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on their weekly UK television series Arrows while she was touring England with the Runaways in 1976.She first recorded the song in 1979 with two of the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. This first version was released on vinyl in 1979 on Vertigo records as a B-side to “You Don’t Own Me”. In 1981, Jett re-recorded the song, this time with her band, the Blackhearts. This recording became a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, being the only one for the band.
The rest as they say is history. To those of you who had to endure the many hours of rock music I played throughout the years, you can blame Joan Jett for that.
Finishing up with the aforementioned performance om TopPop.
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