Happy Birthday To Joan Jett

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joan jett Happy Birthday To Joan Jett

(Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Today is [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Joan Jett[/lastfm]’s birthday!!

And to celebrate, Jack FM will be wearing our black leather pants and putting dimes in the jukebox, baby.

After the breakup of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Runaways[/lastfm] in 1979, singer and guitarist Joan Jett decided to try her hand at a solo career.  She released her self-titled debut album in Europe in May 1980.  However, in the States, the album was rejected by 23 different record labels.  Not one to give up, Joan and producer Kenny Laguna released Joan Jett independently on their own label, Blackheart Records.

It was at this time that Joan decided to form a new backup band.  After placing an ad in L.A. Weekly looking for “three good men,” the Blackhearts were born.  They embarked on their first world tour and quickly developed a cult-like following.  Because of this new-found popularity, record labels were eager to sign Joan.  She went with Boardwalk Records and in 1981, Joan Jett was re-released as Bad Reputation.  This time, the album was a moderate success, peaking at #51 on the Billboard 200.  It spawned the Top 20 hit, “Do You Wanna Touch Me,” as well as Jack’s Song of the Day, “Bad Reputation.”  The latter was named the 29th Best Hard Rock Song of All Time by VH1 and was also used as the theme for NBC’s Freaks and Geeks.

In November 1981, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts released their most commercially successful album, I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.  It went all the way to #2 on the charts and sold over 10 million copies on the strength of the title track.  “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a cover of a 1975 [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Arrows[/lastfm] song, peaked at #1 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 and stayed in the top spot for seven weeks.

Over the next five years, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts released three more albums: Album, Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth and Good Music.  However, none matched or surpassed the success of I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.

In 1987, Joan Jett made her acting debut alongside Michael J. Fox in the film, Light of Day.  She was praised for her performance and scored a Top 40 hit with the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bruce Springsteen[/lastfm]-penned “Light of Day.”  A year later, Joan and the Blackhearts released their sixth studio album, Up Your Alley.  It went to #19 on the Billboard 200, and the single, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” became a Top 10 smash.

However, Joan Jett’s return was short-lived.  Since 1990, her albums have failed to chart or produce any hit singles.  But that hasn’t stopped her.  Today, Joan continues to act, tour and make music.  In 2006, she was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame and is ranked at #87 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Here’s Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performing “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”  And for some odd reason, Jack FM just got the urge to watch Sunday Night Football…

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