Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

Up Your Alley Press Kit, 1988

The following is the original text and photos from Blackheart Record's Press Kit for "Up Your Alley" sent to media outlets in 1988:

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The Album: UP YOUR ALLEY, on CBS Associated/Blackheart Records.

The Players: JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS, one of the world's toughest and purest rock and roll bands. Featuring Joan Jett (vocals, guitar), Ricky Byrd (guitar), Kasim Sulton (bass), and Thommy Price (drums).

The Songs: Nine originals, including the first single, "I Hate Myself For Loving You." Other great cuts: "Ridin' With James Dean" (a soaring salute to aimless individualism); "I Still Dream About You" (reminiscent of Joan Jett circa 1980); "Little Liar"; and "You Want In, I Want Out." Of course, no Joan Jett album would be complete without a couple of choice cover tunes. Up Your Alley's got The Stooges' 1969 bow-wowser, "I Wanna Be Your Dog," and Chuck Berry's little-known post-prison gem, "Tulane."

The History: In 1975, Joan Jett formed The Runaways, the first all-girl rock and roll band. The Runaways released a half-dozen LPs and toured the world for three years. Joan played fierce rhythm guitar and wrote much of the group's material, including "I Love Playing With Fire," "Wait For Me," and their Japanese Number One hit, "Cherry Bomb." The Runaways' music and attitude shocked many people at the time. But the band shattered male/female stereotypes, and paved the way for other female musicians. The Runaways disbanded in 1979.

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In 1979, Joan Jett met Meryl and Kenny Laguna. Kenny was no stranger to the music business, having written, produced, and/or performed (with Ritchie Cordell) eighteen international hits for The Ohio Express, Tommy James & the Shondells, Jay & the Americans, and The 1910 Fruitgum Company. The mutual love of simple, good-time beat music brought Kenny, Meryl and Joan together; the result was Jett's first solo album, Bad Reputation. This record set the pattern for future LPs: a high-spirited blend of Jett originals and classic 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 her "the toughest, grittiest, hardest-working woman in rock and roll." Initially issued on the Jett/Laguna label Blackheart, Bad Reputation sold more than 20,000 copies even before it was picked up for distribution by Neil Bogart's Boardwalk Records.

With the release of I Love Rock And Roll in 1981, Joan Jett's hard work and artistic integrity paid off in full. This multi-Platinum LP spun off the Double Platinum title hit (a Number One record for eight straight weeks) and the Top Ten single, "Crimson & Clover." Joan's 1983 release, the generically-titled 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; critic Dave Marsh called it "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."

In September, 1986, Joan Jett released her CBS Associated debut LP, Good Music. This set included top-flight Jett originals like "Good Music" and "This Means War" (the latter also heard in the motion-picture Light Of Day), along with customized covers of "Fun, Fun, Fun" (The Beach Boys), "You Got Me Floatin'" (Jimi Hendrix), and "Roadrunner" (Jonathan Richman).

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In February, 1987, Joan drew critical raves for her moving performance in the Paul Schrader film Light Of Day, in which she co-starred with Michael J. Fox. Time wrote that "Jett, rock star in her first movie role, is terrific...With her melodramatic dark eyes and mesmerizing surliness. Jett has the attitude and gives the performance. Try watching someone else when she is on screen. Can't be done." And USA Today added: "Though it's Fox who seems to have drawn the crowds, it is Jett, who plays rebellious single mother Patti, to whom the movie belongs." Joan sang the title theme song, "Light Of Day," written by Bruce Springsteen.

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After more than a decade 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. She has remained uncompromising in her commitment to the rudiments of pure rock and roll, and Up Your Alley is infused with those qualities which have enabled her to overcome the odds. Each year, Joan receives and reads thousands of fan letters from around the globe. Because Joan's supporters are extremely important to her, she often personally responds to these, even calling those fans whose letters she finds especially touching.

Live performance remains Joan's first love. In 1985, a typical year, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts toured 14 countries on three continents, including headlining performances in 18 cities in Sweden alone. The group was the first American act of any kind to be invited to play in the G.D.R. (East Germany), and the first English-speaking rock band to appear in Panama. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts have played everywhere, including a remote jungle site in the Dominican Republic.

JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS: On the move and Up Your Alley, on CBS Associated/Blackheart Records, Compact Discs, and Cassettes.


October 3, 1988

Single Hits Top Ten As They Join Robert Plant Tour

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Blackheart/CBS Associated recording artists JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEART have gone Gold--and are closing in on Platinum--with their chart-busting album UP YOUR ALLEY. It's the FOURTH Gold album of Joan Jett's career, and includes her ninth Top 40 single, the Top Ten smash, "I HATE MYSELF FOR LOVING YOU". Both album and single are paving the way for the band's October/November concert dates with Robert Plant.

For the week of October 3, "I Hate Myself For Loving You" stood at #8 in Billboard's Hot 100, and at 10* in Cashbox. The UP YOUR ALLEY LP moved to #21* in Billboard and to #27* in Cashbox. A new single from UP YOUR ALLEY is now slated for October 20 release. The song is "LITTLE LIAR," and on the flipside, Joan Jett fans will find a previously-unreleased track, "What Can I Do For You."

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS: Gone GOLD with UP YOUR ALLEY, on Blackheart/CBS Associated Cassettes, Compact Discs and Records.

For further information, contact:
51 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019/1801 Century Park West, Los Angeles, CA 90067

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