Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation


Click on song title links for the lyrics to that song.

Track Listing:

Released: 1993. Digitally remastered re-release, 1996 (Germany), 1998, 2004 (Japan)

Sometimes they ask, "Where you been?" and Joan always says, "I've been right here. My kind of music, straight ahead 3 chord rock 'n roll; descendant of Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Sex Pistols, is never quite in vogue and is often very in vogue. I don't ever change with the times because I don't care."

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Sometimes she clicks with the mainstream and that's great, but Joan always maintains a strong bond with her constituency, and that constituency and Joan always click together.

She's very much loved by some and not appreciated by others, but only a fool can fail to acknowledge her importance as an influence in music, fashion and as a role model for this generation.

She's always been an inadvertent feminist, a humanist, and perhaps ultimately, as Tony Parsons of the NME and many of his English peers have ordained: "Joan Jett is the last rock 'n roll star."

Real Wild Child (1997)
Produced by Joan Jett, Kenny Laguna & Tony Bruno
Jett: I was asked to do a version of "Revolution" for the 1997 Extreme games, but I didn't want to do a Beatles' song. When I heard the original "Real Wild Child," I was inspired, and I figured it was a great alternative theme song for the games.
Laguna: We were listening to some Buddy Holy basement tapes when we heard this early version of "Real Wild Child," sung by Buddy Holly's drummer (Jerry 'Ivan' Allison). It turns out Sonny Curtis was in the group that played it, and Sonny wrote Joan's 1996 hit "Love Is All Around." There are some strange connections between Joan and the Buddy Holly crowd from Nashville.

Hide & Seek (1984) (Bunker Hill)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: This was a song Kenny turned me on to, and I thought it was fun because the lyrics were all cues to musical changes. It's the first time I didn't play rhythm guitar until the last verse and chorus.
Laguna: In fact, it was my old friend, Scott Shannon, who told us about the song backstage at a Billy Idol concert at John Scher's Capitol Theatre in New Jersey. The next week he sent me a 45 of the song by Bunker Hill. By the time we recorded the song, Scott had the number one radio show in America and said he didn't remember anything about the song. We got so bummed, we canned the record.

Indian Giver (1990) (B. Gentry/R. Cordell/B. Bloom)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: Cool melody, one sided love song.
Laguna: A song from my past. Written by Ritchie Cordell and the late Bo Gentry and Bobby Bloom (who all wrote "Mony, Mony"), it was a top 5 record for The 1910 Fruitgum Co. It was an off the wall idea for Joan to sing; inappropriate for The Hit List, but too much fun to keep in the can forever.

I Hate Long Good-byes (1984) (J. Jett/K.Laguna)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: A song we wrote about saying good-bye. If you stay too long...
Laguna: I didn't even remember this one until we unearthed it in the archives.Cherry Bomb (live with L7, 1992)(J. Jett/K. Fowley)
Produced by L7 & Joan Jett
Jett: Performed live with the band L7 for a Rock for Choice benefit, this was a blast for me. Donita took verse one, I took the second and Jennifer took the third verse. We all did the choruses. Things do come full circle.
Laguna: L7 and their managers Warren Entner & Mark O'Donnell are really unusually wonderful people. Working with them was completely refreshing.

Fantasy (1984) (J. Jett/K. Laguna)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: Use your imagination. A Jett/Laguna composition.
Laguna: Although unreleased on record, this song was in Dennis Hopper's cult classic film, "The American Way."

Light of Day (1986) (B. Springsteen)
Produced byJimmy Iovine & Kenny Laguna
Jett: Written for the movie of the same title, and starring Michael J. Fox and myself. Also in the movie band were Michael McKean on bass and Paul Harkins on drums. We also did a real club gig in Cleveland during shooting.
Laguna: One of the most attractive benefits of Joan getting to do the movie was Bruce Springsteen customizing a song for Joan to sing as a title cut. Benmont Tench from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is playing a Hammond organ.

Gotcha (1985) (J. Jett/J. Allen)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: This song was a bit different for me, sound wise. Written for the movie of the same name, I wrote with a songwriter, Janna Allen, who I found to be a great writer, and I really like this song. Great, unbelievable riff. To me, anyway.
Laguna: Sadly, Janna died 08/25/93. Our first venture into soundtrack writing, and the movie guys were real assholes.

She Lost You (1987) (P. Gage)
Produced By Rick Rubin & George Drakoulious
Jett: For the movie "Less Than Zero." I love this song because I really enjoy singin' "bluesy,' if you can call it that. The Blackheart arrangement is very rhythmic. What any rhythm guitar player would love.
Laguna: This was a great obscure song by a just as obscure band, the Zephyrs. I used to perform this as a teenager when the most happening sound was the Night Owl Cafe stuff (Lovin' Spoonful, Blues Project, Blues Magoos). This was in that style.

MCA (EMI) (1984) (J. Rotten/S. Jones/G. Matlock/P. Cook)
Produced by Jimmy Iovine & Kenny Laguna
Jett: The classic Sex Pistols song. I was very angry with our label (certain aspects) so I changed the letters and vented my feelings in which the Pistols song "EMI," suited my situation perfectly.
Laguna: We were on MCA at the time, and Jimmy Iovine talked us into leaving in the can in the interest of discretion.

Rebel, Rebel (1983) (D. Bowie)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: A fave of mine since the glitter days of Rodney's English Disco, and I've always loved Bowie. This was a song I almost felt compelled to do. Not to mention the killer riff!
Laguna: David Bowie is great. He visited Joan backstage when she did her 1989 run on Broadway. It's about time we put out one of his songs.

Be My Lover
(1990) (M. Bruce)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: Song from my past...
Laguna: Recorded for The Hit List. The Blackhearts with The Uptown Horns.

Bring It On Home (1984) (S. Cooke)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: A Sam Cooke song. Beautiful to me. Ricky Byrd and I sung harmony lead together on this other fave of mine. Notice, no guitars, just a Wurlitzer keyboard and strings (real ones).
Laguna: Sam Cooke was the finest. It's the only song we ever did with no guitars. The vocals were live.

Play With Me (1985) (J. Jett/K. Laguna)
Produced by Thom Panunzio & Kenny Laguna
Jett: Another carefree, androgynous sex song. Or it could be "Let's go out for coffee" kind of playfulness. Depends on you.
Laguna: We made a big "Motown" production attempt with strings and horns. I think it's maybe more like Jay and The Techniques.

Activity Grrrl (1993) (J. Jett/K. Laguna)
Produced by Thom Panunzio & Kenny Laguna
Jett: A song I wrote the day after a Bikini Kill show. It was so intense, and taught me something, so I wrote the song the next day.
Laguna: This is a tribute to the fabulous Riot Grrrls, Bratmobile and Bikini Kill.

Heartbeat (1985) (J. Jett/J. Allen)
Produced by Joan Jett, John Aiosa & Kenny Laguna
Jett: "Gotta hear it" song written with Janna Allen.
Laguna: I didn't remember this one at all until John Aiosa (engineer, producer) found it in his studio. He was a best freind of Janna and is of Joan. He was with them when they wrote this and recorded it the same day.

Bad Reputation (Live 1981) (J.Jett/K. Laguna/R. Cordell/M. Kupersmith)
Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: It's really cool to hear the first gig we did with the band that played "I Love Rock N' Roll," "Crimson and Clover," "Everyday People," and "Fake Friends."
Laguna: This was the first gig we played after Joan had moved from LA right after our first tour of Europe. We were real nervous and Joan broke a toe three days before the gig. The doc said she should cancel, but she went on anyway and taped a bit of history for the punk movie, "URGH."

Black Leather (1986) (J. Jett/R. Griffin/E. Morris/W. Adler)
Produced by John Aiosa, Reggie Griffin, Scorpio & Kenny Laguna
Jett: With Scorpio, Melle Mel & Sugarhill Gang (Grandmaster Flash) early rap, mid-80's. Scorpio said he had this great song that was a combo of rap and rock and wrote it for me. The lyrics were so cool and rhythmic that being a rhythm guitarist, I was immediately turned on to it.
Laguna: The Def Jam guys (Larry Smith, Russell Simmons, etc.) had come in and re-recorded this. But the original demo was better.

I Love Rock 'n Roll (1979)(J.Hooker/A. Merrill)
Produced by Steve Jones & Paul Cook
Jett: With Sex Pistols-First recording session after Runaways break-up. Steve Jones, Paul Cook (Pistols) and I went into a studio in England and cut 3 or 4 songs. I had met them before so I felt fairly comfortable asking them to come and play and sing on the songs. Notice English accent in chorus.
Laguna: At the time the Sex Pistols were not the legends they have become, so we re-recorded this to make a stronger record. This version was good enough to be number one for the year (1981) on WLIR (now WDRE) off a tape with no release at all. Everyone said this must be a hit. I didn't believe it, but Joan did. In 1982, The Blackhearts' version became one of the biggest singles in rock n' roll history.

Right Til the End (1987)(J. Jett/J. Shear) Produced by Kenny Laguna
Jett: Written with Jules Shear. It's a song about doing things your own way. People going in different directions. Another great riff.
Laguna: Remember Jules and the Polarbears?

All songs licensed through BMI except Rebel, Rebel-(ASCAP) and MCA(EMI)-(ASCAP/BMI)

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