Sunday, March 7, 2010

JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS/Greatest Hits review

Seldom does an artist appeal to as many different musical genres as Joan Jett. 

Lovers of '70s rock and glam drool over her groundbreaking work with The Runaways.  
Punk fans love the Runaways and her gutsy, adrenaline fueled solo albums AND her production work on the Germs' sole album. 
Top 40, '80s and New Wave fans love her early '80s hits including "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", "Crimson & Clover" and others. 
Alternative fans love her for all those same reasons plus the influence she has had on scores of female-led bands that have followed in her wake.  
Classic Rock fans love her for her dedication to the true spirit of Rock 'n' Roll and for keeping the Rock flame alive, well and brightly lit. 

Me?  I love Joan Jett for all the above reasons... and for the fact that she has more killer songs than most bands before or since. There's not a Joan Jett album on the market that isn't filled with conviction, passion and fun.  You see, I love albums that sound as fun to make as they are to listen to and Joan might be a serious Rock 'n' Roller, but she always seems to be having fun. And whether or not you've thought of that, it is what makes a great record that much greater!

Joan Jett And The Blackhearts' Greatest Hits is one hell of a fun ride.  While all 20 tracks could have easily fit on one CD, the idea to break it up into a 2CD set is brilliant.  From the slightly 'vinyl worn' look of the CD  cover to the finely compiled set of tunes, this release puts the 'album'/LP experience back in the hands of the music buyer, no matter what format you purchase it on. (this release is also available on VINYL for those who are looking for the ultimate Joan Jett experience). 

All the hits are here including the aforementioned "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Crimson & Clover" plus true classics like "Bad Reputation", "I Hate Myself For Loving You", "The French Song", "Light Of Day", "Everyday People" and many more.  Personal faves include "Fake Friends", "Backlash" and "(I'm Gonna) Run Away", which are amazing Pop nuggets that are considered true classics at Casa Spaz.  In fact, every song here is a classic.  Not a dud in the bunch.  From Punk-fueled rockers to Power Pop gems, Joan Jett is the fucking bomb!

Amongst the 21 tracks are re-recordings of three songs ("You Drive Me Wild", 'School Days" and "Love Is Pain") plus the previously unreleased Punk gem "I Want You". Eight of these songs are due to appear in the forthcoming Runaways biopic.

Now, with said Runaways film set to debut, the spotlight is back on Joan.  But let's be honest, she's about the only real light in Rock 'n' Roll these days. Joan Jett has integrity.  And balls.  Well, not literally, but you know what I mean.

All hail Joan Jett.  Rock 'n' Roll survivor and savior.

End of my love letter to Joan Jett,
Stephen SPAZ Schnee

No comments: