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I Love Rock And Roll

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I Love Rock And Roll

The story of “I Love Rock N Roll” began in London England in 1975, where a band called The Arrows were trying to come up with a song for their fourth single. The Arrows recorded two songs, the titles were “Broken Down Heart” and “I Love Rock N Roll.” The band went into Morgan Studios in London in early ‘75 and recorded both songs. The Roger Ferris composition “Broken Down Heart” was worked on for many hours, and the band composed title “I Love Rock N Roll” was knocked out in a fast 45 minutes. When they were done, Mickie Most, who really wasn’t totally sold on the song from the get go, didn’t hear the energetic raw “I Love Rock N Roll” as a hit, instead putting the polished ballad “Broken Down Heart” on the A-side of the single.

I Love Rock and Roll

The Arrows lineup at the time of the recording was Alan Merrill lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, Jake Hooker on guitar, background vocals, and Paul Varley, drums, background vocals. A three piece band. The song “I Love Rock N Roll” was written by two of the Arrows band members, Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker.

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The Arrows

 

Joan Jett saw Arrows perform “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on their weekly television series The Arrows Show when 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 not released until 1993 in Flashback. 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, effectively launching Jett’s solo career.

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Alan Merrill

 

Jett recalled to Uncut August 2010 her version with the Pistols duo: “I did a very early version with them, it was great working with them, and no, there was no sense of trepidation on my part, despite the fact that everyone was telling me they were the most notorious band on the planet.”

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Joan Jett and Sex Pistols

 

In the Billboard piece Jake Hooker denigrates his own band The Arrows original 1975 version of the song, saying: “anyone could have done it better!“ Considering he wasn’t the lead singer of The Arrows, and also that he’s made a bundle of money as a co-writer of the song, Mr. Hooker is pretty ungrateful in his whimsical dismissal of his old band The Arrows.

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Jake Hooker

 

The fact is indisputable that The Arrows version of the song impressed and inspired Joan Jett enough for her to cover it, not just once, but twice. The Arrows 1976 televised performance of the tune must have been quite an epiphany for the young Ms Jett.

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Joan Jett

 

In the original version, the lyrics are about a guy picking up a young girl and taking her home, which was fairly typical Rock and Roll subject matter. When Jett covered this, however, it became a song about a girl who notices a guy next to a jukebox and brings him home to have sex. Other hit songs also had sexual overtones, but Jett sang about aggressively pursuing the guy, which for many women made this a female-empowerment anthem. This song helped shape Jett’s image as a tough, confident rock star and became an inspiration to many female musicians.

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It’s more as if it never even occurred to Jett that a simple song about loving rock & roll and getting laid could be performed with anything less than raucous, butt-kicking, life-affirming enthusiasm. And that assumption was a revelation to many female musicians who followed Jett, particularly in the riot grrrl punk movement, which hailed Jett as a pioneer and a role model.

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I Love Rock and Roll

 

At a time when traditional female roles in popular music were being subverted, re-imagined, or flat-out junked, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” declared rock’s sweaty machismo an integral part of the music itself, there to be claimed by any performer who wanted it.

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I Love Rock and Roll

 

Before being signed by Boardwalk, Jett’s demo tape for the song was rejected by 23 record labels.

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Joan Jett

 

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - I Love Rock’N’Roll lyrics


I saw him dancin’ there by the record machine,
I knew he must have been about seventeen.
The beat was goin’ strong playin’ my favourite song.
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long till he was with me, 
Yeah me, and I could tell it wouldn’t be long till he was
With me.
Yeah me - singin’

I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with me.


He smiled so I got up and asked for his name,
That don’t matter he said ‘cos it’s all the same.
I said “can I take you home where we
can be alone” -
Next we were movin’ on and he was with me, yeah me,
Next we were movin’ on and he was with me, yeah me - singin’

I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with me.


I said “can I take you home, where we
can be alone”,
Next we were movin’ on and he was with me, yeah me,
And we’ll movin’ on and singin’ that same old song,
Yeah with me - singin’

I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with me.
I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with
I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with
I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with
I love rock’n’roll
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
I love rock’n’roll
So come on, take your time and dance with me.

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Arrows - first released single

 

Last Updated (Saturday, 07 March 2015 09:48)

 

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