Pure And Simple Press Kit, 1994
The following is the original text and photos from Blackheart Record's Press Kit for "Pure And Simple" sent to media outlets in 1994:
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
In a world filled with wannabes and also-rans, Joan Jett stands as a true, and enduring, original. Her music defines an era, her attitude describes a generation, and her energy explodes preconceptions, pat answers and phoniness in all its forms.
Small wonder it's always been hard to describe what Joan Jett is all about. She's been called a rock 'n' roll diva, a punk pioneer, an alternative heroine. But labels never stick to true originality and through it all, she simply does what she does best -- be herself.
It's an individuality that has always expressed itself in music, pure and simple. Which, as luck would have it, happens to be the title of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts debut album on Warner Bros./Blackheart Records.
With Blackheart stalwarts Thommy Price on drums, Tony Bruno on guitar and Kenny Aaronson on bass, Pure And Simple boasts production and co-writing by Joan's long time creative and career partner Kenny Laguna, along with such stellar names as Jim Vallance, Desmond Child, Thom Panunzio and Ed Stasium. Kathleen Hanna from the hardcore punk outfit Bikini Kill was on hand for three key tracks while other friends, special guests, and co-conspirators included Kat Bjelland of Babes In Toyland, Mike Howe and John Marshall of Metal Church and Donita Sparks and Jennifer Finch of L7. It's tempting to say that the dozen songs comprising Pure And Simple are the best in Joan's extensive catalog. In truth, however, it's music right in line with her lifelong allegiance to what she calls "hard, raw, aggressive rock 'n' roll."
It's a sound she has championed from the word go, back with a groundbreaking group called The Runaways, on hits like "I Love Playing With Fire," "Wait For Me" and "Cherry Bomb." It's a sound that formed the foundation for her subsequent career as a solo artist and frontwoman for the Blackhearts, with an extraordinary run of classic albums from Bad Reputation to the smash I Love Rock And Roll to Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth to Up Your Alley to Notorious and beyond. It's a sound that has made her an international star, with rabid fans from Singapore to the provinces of France, from Sweden to the jungle of the Dominican Republic.
It's also a sound that has found a friendly home on her own independent label, Blackheart Records. Formed by Joan and Kenny is the early Eighties with the express purpose of breaking out of the music industry's business-as-usual mold, Blackheart has since become the prime example of what a truly independent record company can accomplish. A recent example is the Blackheart Records' re-release of Joan's first four albums, with additional tracks from the original sessions for the first time ever on compact disc. In 1993, the label also released Flashback, a collection of twenty-two rarities, B-sides and live tracks that spanned Joan's entire career. A cause for celebration among fans worldwide, the Blackheart re-releases also sparked a surge that sent "I Love Rock And Roll" back to the top of the charts in Europe and set off a frenzy when Joan and the band performed throughout Southeast Asia.
Blackheart Records is a prime example of Joan Jett's fiercely independent musical spirit. Another is her long and fruitful involvement in all manner of alternative, underground and just plain subversive projects.
Here, after all, is the women who produced The Germs' seminal punk album GI, who toured with The Ramones, recorded with The Sex Pistols and invited everyone from R.E.M. to The Butthole Surfers to open for her. More recently, she has produced tracks for the above mentioned Bikini Kill and Dischord's Circus Lupus. She has also attracted several promising young alternative bands to Blackheart Records.
Yet, as wide-ranging as Joan Jett's musical input and influence has been, she has always remained in touch with the basics of pure and simple rock 'n' roll.
It was that approach that, naturally, defined the recording of Pure And Simple, cut over the course of two years in New York, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles and elsewhere. "We had every intention of releasing the album independently on Blackheart," she reveals. "But when we were approached by Warner Bros., we were impressed with the artist oriented environment. We've been able to express ourselves in our own way and still have the awesome distribution that Warner Bros. can offer."
The result is Pure And Simple, an album that finds Joan Jett remaining true to her rock 'n' roll roots, even as she moves into some intriguing new territory. "There are songs that are built around relationships," she explains, "but there are also some tracks that come out of looking around at the state of the world and wondering if anyone else noticed what was going on. I've always wanted my music to reach people where they live."
With Pure And Simple, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts have done just that, with an album as honest, urgent and direct as the woman who made it.
Warner Bros. Records Inc. 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, California 91505 (818) 953-3223 / 75 Rockefeller Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, New York 10019 (212) 275-4500 / 1815 Division Street, Post Office Box 120897, Nashville, Tennessee 37212 (615) 320-7525
Joan Jett And The Blackhearts
Pure And Simple
Personnel: Joan Jett, Thommy Price, Kenny Aaronson, Tony Bruno
Producers: Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill), Kat Bjelland (Babes In Toyland), Donita Sparks (L7), Jennifer Finch (L7), Mick Howe (Metal Church), John Marshall (Metal Church), Arno Hecht (The Uptown Horns)
Featured Tracks: "Go Home" (single/video), "Spinster," "Torture," "As I Am"
Joan Jett rocks. Period. What more do you need to know? Pure And Simple is just what it sounds like: the sound of two guitars, bass, drums and a woman whose passion for rock at its rawest has made her a multi-platinum success and an icon of coolness for everyone from punks to headbangers to riot grrrls to Beavis and Butt-head.
The new album finds Joan in superb form, with some of the fiercest tracks she's ever recorded fitting in seamlessly alongside more melodic works. In addition to her longtime collaborator Kenny Laguna, Pure And Simple finds Joan working with some of the performers she's inspired, including Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna (who co-wrote four songs), Babes In Toyland's Kat Bjelland and L7's Donita Sparks. Joan has also worked up some new tunes with Desmond Child (Aerosmith) and Jim Vallance (Aerosmith).
You can expect to see Joan everywhere in 1994. She's recently been producing Bikini Kill, playing Rock For Choice benefits with Joey Ramone and L7 and made a stunning appearance at CBGB's anniversay bash. She'll be doing a ton of press and radio for the new album, as well as embarking on a major tour with The Blackhearts.
AOR and Alternative stations will each get on board immediately with this album, with pop radio to follow.
"Go Home" will be the first single and video.
The cassette version of the album features a bonus track, "Hostility," co-written with Donita Sparks of L7. The limited edition vinyl album also includes "Hostility," as well as "Here To Stay," co-written and performed with Kat Bjelland of Babes In Toyland, which is available nowhere else.
Item Of The Month: