Joan Jett’s Greatest Hits is solid

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Greatest Hits
Blackheart (48337 53702)
★★★★★

By John M. Borack

This solid 21-song, two-disc set — compiled to coincide with the release of The Runaways motion picture — touches on most of Joan Jett’s important chart hits from her nearly 30 year solo career. As a bonus, Jett also covers three Runaways tracks: the iconic “Cherry Bomb” (from her 1984 Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth record), “You Drive Me Wild” and “School Days” (both newly recorded last year with Jett sounding as good as ever).

Jett’s stock and trade has always been combining melodic hard rock strut with a touch of glam and more than a little punk attitude, all of which are proudly on display on cuts such as the classic “I Love Rock n’ Roll,” the naughty “The French Song,” and her ace covers of Gary Glitter, Tommy James, Sly Stone and (especially) her kickin’ 2006 take of The Sweet’s “A.C. D.C.” Rarities include an appropriately heavy 2009 remake of I Love Rock and Roll’s “Love is Pain” and “I Want You,” a storming, Ramonsey punk ditty from 1979 that has previously been released only on a rare fan club CD. Even as the comp takes detours through near girl-group pop on “You Don’t Know What You Got” and workmanlike AOR on the Paul Westerberg co-write “Backlash,” it’s still never less than listenable and is more than redeemed by the inclusion of the Slade-like “I’m Gonna Run Away” and the finger-pointing raucousness of “Fake Friends.” Put another dime in the jukebox, baby.


For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• Download Goldmine’s Guide to The Beatles (PDF download)
• Get a Goldmine back issue of a Boston cover story (August 1, 2008) via digital download
• Check out a fun book on pop music: “The Everything Pop Culture Crosswords Book, Test your knowledge of trivia and trends with 150 pop culture puzzles!”

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