Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

Good Music Press Kit, 1986

The following is the original text and photos from Blackheart Record's Press Kit for "Good Music" sent to media outlets in 1986:

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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

The Album: GOOD MUSIC, on CBS Associated/Blackheart Records.

Good Music sums up its intent in the title single: ten Jett-powered tracks, each one inspired by and evoking a different strain of classic rock and roll. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts launch their slashing two-guitar attack on such memorable Jett originals as "This Means War," "Contact," "Good Music," and "If Ya Want My Luv". Three rock classics are given the patented Joan Jett treatment: the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun," Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner," and "You Got Me Floatin'," by Jimi Hendrix. On "Black Leather," Joan and the band are joined by street music wizard Larry Smith (producer of Whodini and Run-D.M.C.) and master rapper Scorpio of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. Good Music was recorded and mixed at the Record Plant in New York City.


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JOAN JETT began playing guitar at age 13, as a junior high school student in Rockville, Maryland whose family had already moved fourteen times. ("Maybe that's why I can't stay in one place for too long and love the road so much. I get restless.") In 1972, her family moved again, to Los Angeles, where Joan began hanging out at Rodney Bingenheimer's Hollywood disco and living on a steady musical diet of Bowie, Bolan, Sweet, and Gary Glitter. In 1975, she formed The Runaways, the first all-girl hard rock band. The Runaways released a half-dozen LPs and toured the world for five years--all this before Joan's twenty-first birthday.

Joan played a fierce rhythm guitar and wrote much of The Runaways' material, including their Japanese Number One hit, "Cherry Bomb". At an age when most young women are still sighing over their rock idols, Joan was one. When the Runaways disbanded in 1978, she remembers, "it was like my life was over. I had put so much of myself into the group, and suddenly I was all alone."

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But not for long. In 1979, Joan Jett met Meryl and Kenny Laguna. Kenny was a music business veteran who (with his partner Richie Cordell) had written, produced, and/or performed eighteen world-wide hits for the Ohio Express, Tommy James & The Shondells, Jay & The Americans, and the 1910 Fruitgum Company. A mutual love of simple, good-time beat music brought Kenny, Meryl and Joan together; the result was her first solo album, Bad Reputation. This record set the pattern for future LPs: a high-spirited blend of Jett originals and '50s/'60s favorites like Sam The Sham's "Wooly Bully," the Isley Brothers' "Shout," and Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me".

Joan formed a new band, the Blackhearts, to offer the kind of no-holds-barred performances for which the Philadelphia Inquirer dubbed Joan Jett "the toughest, grittiest, hardest-working woman in rock and roll." Initially issued on Jett's own Blackheart Records, Bad Reputation sold more than 20,000 copies even before being picked up for distribution by Neil Bogart's Boardwalk label.

With the release of I Love Rock And Roll in 1981, Joan's hard work and artistic integrity paid off in full. This multi-Platinum album spun off two Top Ten singles, the Double Platinum title hit (a Number One record for eight straight weeks) and "Crimson And Clover". Her 1983 release, Album sustained the hot streak with Gold sales and two more hit singles, "Fake Friends" and "Everyday People". The next year brought forth Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth, which Dave Marsh called "devastating hard rock, as unrepentant as its title." The album's highlights included an explosive remake of "Cherry Bomb" and the Gary U.S. Bonds standard "New Orleans," which the Los Angeles Times cited as "the most irresistible party song of the season".

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In 1986, Joan Jett was tapped by screenwriter/director Paul Schrader to co-star with Michael J. Fox in his new movie, Light Of Day. Joan shines in this powerful human drama, her feature film acting debut. She sings the title theme song, "Light Of Day" (written by Bruce Springsteen), and performs "This Means War" in an extended musical sequence. Light Of Day is scheduled to open in theaters across the country in February, 1987.

Not long after the release of Good Music, the Blackhearts underwent a personnel shift. Joan and Ricky Byrd remained on guitars, adding Brett Cartwright on bass and Paul Harkins on drums.

After ten years of professional music-making, Joan Jett still believes strongly in the rock and roll subculture and still adheres to the ethics on which the music was built. Each year, Joan receives and reads thousands of fan letters from around the globe. She personally responds to many of these, even calling those fans whose letters she finds especially touching.

In the first half of 1986, her filming and recording schedule kept Joan off the road. But live performance remains her first love: In 1985, a typical year, Joan Jett toured 14 countries on three continents, including headlining performances in 18 cities in Sweden alone (not to mention 14 in Texas, et al). Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were the first American act of any kind to perform in the D.D.R. (East Germany), and the first English-speaking rock band to appear in Panama and the Dominican Republic. In addition, Joan performs many goodwill concerts, and has appeared at U.S. Army bases throughout the world.

It's all for the love of GOOD MUSIC, the new album by JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS on CBS Associated/Blackheart Records.
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