Page updated on October 31, 2013
All news is attributed to the source from which it was received so that readers may judge the validity of the statements for themselves.
Have Joan Jett news to report? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please include the source of the information so it can be validated. Get a First Look at New Video from Rock Legend JOAN JETT from: music.yahoo.com by Wendy Geller | Photo: Roger Erickson
Rock 'n' roll's legendary JOAN JETT released her first collection of new music in close to a decade, Unvarnished, at the end of last month. This marks the 14th studio album from Jett and her band the BLACKHEARTS' career, and there's no sign one of rock's edgiest gals has lost a bit of her sharpness.
Jett also miraculously seems to never age. Proof positive? Yahoo Music is thrilled to premiere the video for single "Any Weather" for your perusal. We think you'll agree that varnished or unvarnished, Jett simply rules.
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS Premiere "Any Weather" Music Video from: blackheart.com
JOAN JETT: Her 10 Essential Albums from: gibson.com by Russell Hall
The New York Times once described JOAN JETT as "the godmother to female musicians with loud guitars and idealistic dreams." Nearly four decades into her career, the ever-youthful Jett remains an inspiration for any girl--or guy--armed with three chords and a passion for rock and roll. Jett's latest release, Unvarnished, ranks among her very best. In the comments below, she shares her thoughts about her favorite albums.
1) The Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed
"Pure organic sound, and attitude with great hooks."
2) Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
"The greatest punk recording ever."
3) David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
"I never get tired of this record." [more] JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS Unvarnished from: music-news.com by John Reed
While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just announced their nominees for the Class of 2014, it was a sad and notable exception that JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS (and even The RUNAWAYS!) were not included (even though she was nominated in 2011 for the Hall of Fame's class of 2012, but was not inducted).
An unfortunate snub, as Jett is not just a pioneer in Rock, she has been putting out amazing records since she went solo in 1979 and has stayed loyal to her roots. Like AC/DC, she never bowed to any musical trends or fashions, but stayed true to her original guitar-rock driven vision.
"Unvarnished" is the tenth studio album for Jett and the BLACKHEARTS and comes after a trying time for her. Jett has stated in recent interviews that the past ten years have been a "decade of death," as she lost both of parents during that time. And while her track "Fragile" tackles some of her emotional rollercoaster of feelings, her collaboration with Dave Grohl on "Any Weather" celebrates the endurance of friendship, and is kind of autobiographical, as Jett has lasted through so much herself.
Still not one to hold her feelings back, she rallies against those who don't know when to stop talking and share too much with "T.M.I." ("Don't need to know just what your up too/What ya eat or who ya screw"), and contemplates the reality of growing up, but not really wanting too on, "Hard to Grow Up" ("I could be going wild/Too old to be acting like a child"). She also echo's the influence the Sex Pistols still have on her on the amazing, "Make it Back."
More than a solid effort, "Unvarnished" is a classic and a gem in Jett's musical catalogue and proof that her career will easily last into its fourth decade. While that is a long way off, betting again Jett not touring or putting out new material in ten more years would not be wise, as she appears to be more tenacious now than she ever was.
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS - Any Weather (606 Version) - Jay Leno 10-22-13 from: dailymotion.com
Unvarnished Record Release Party at Santos from: Blackheart.com
JOAN JETT, the BLACKHEARTS rock 'Unvarnished' from: goerie.com by Nick Cristiano, Philadelphia Inquirer
One of JOAN JETT's targets in the track "TMI" from her new CD, the aptly titled "Unvarnished," are those who "make a fashion of passion." The contempt is not surprising: For the pioneering female rocker, passion has never been an ordinary word (to paraphrase Graham Parker). When it comes to music, at least, Jett has always come across as someone for whom "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" is more than just a hit song lyric -- it's a statement of purpose.
So it goes on this, her first album in seven years. Jett's fire remains undiminished as she continues to make no concessions to fashion. Sure, strings turn up on two numbers, but otherwise it's Jett doing what she has always done so well -- crunchy riffs, catchy choruses, and attitudes that run the gamut from snarling to reflective. "I hope this train don't fall off the track," she worries on "Make It Back." Little chance of that.
Review: Unvarnished - JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS from: vintagevinylnews.com by John Reed
While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just announced their nominees for the Class of 2014, it was a sad and notable exception that JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS (and even The RUNAWAYS!) were not included (even though she was nominated in 2011 for the Hall of Fame's class of 2012, but was not inducted).
An unfortunate snub, as Jett is not just a pioneer in Rock, she has been putting out amazing records since she went solo in 1979 and has stayed loyal to her roots. Like AC/DC, she never bowed to any musical trends or fashions, but stayed true to her original guitar-rock driven vision. .
Unvarnished is the tenth studio album for Jett and the BLACKHEARTS and comes after a trying time for her. Jett has stated in recent interviews that the past ten years have been a "decade of death," as she lost both of parents during that time. And while her track Fragile tackles some of her emotional rollercoaster of feelings, her collaboration with Dave Grohl on Any Weather celebrates the endurance of friendship, and is kind of autobiographical, as Jett has lasted through so much herself..
Still not one to hold her feelings back, she rallies against those who don't know when to stop talking and share too much with T.M.I. ("Don't need to know just what your up too/What ya eat or who ya screw"), and contemplates the reality of growing up, but not really wanting too on, "Hard to Grow Up" ("I could be going wild/Too old to be acting like a child"). She also echo's the influence the Sex Pistols still have on her on the amazing, Make it Back..
More than a solid effort, Unvarnished is a classic and a gem in Jett's musical catalogue and proof that her career will easily last into its fourth decade. While that is a long way off, betting again Jett not touring or putting out new material in ten more years would not be wise, as she appears to be more tenacious now than she ever was.
JOAN JETT On Her 'Unvarnished' Reputation from: soundcheck.wnyc.org by Nick Cristiano, Philadelphia Inquirer | Photo by Roger Erickson
As a wise man named Dave Grohl once said, "JOAN JETT is the real deal. She is a real rock and roller." The founding member of the all-female '70s rock band The RUNAWAYS and longtime leader of her own band, The BLACKHEARTS, recently released her first album of new material in almost a decade. Titled Unvarnished, the record is a reflection of Jett's recent life experiences -- dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in her town of Long Beach; moving past the deaths of her parents; and reflecting on the place of social media in today's society.
We talk with Jett in the Soundcheck studio about her latest album, blasting through rock and roll stereotypes as a young female artist, and her thoughts on maintaining privacy throughout her career.
Interview highlights: On maintaining her privacy as a young artist:
Whether you're a girl or a guy, really the focus should be the music. I remember when I was maybe 16, right when the RUNAWAYS started, and we were doing interviews. And the interviewers would start to talk about more salacious issues -- about what we might personally be into, or other things that didn't have to do with the music. And I realized at that moment, if I start to talk about anything but the music, if I answer that question, that's going to be all they're ever going to want to talk about. They'll never talk about the music. So I put these boundaries -- I don't talk about anything else.
On the present-day media and pop culture interest in her band The RUNAWAYS:
There'll always be questions about The RUNAWAYS. There's not a lot of press, not a lot of moving pictures on The RUNAWAYS. I think people are really curious about this band. To me, it was one of the most magical times in my life. Three and a half years of beauty, and grief and struggle and all the things that make being in a rock and roll band special. i think any band goes through trials and tribulations, personality issues -- that's normal. But for some reason, with The RUNAWAYS, I don't know if it's because we're girls, or whatever, people try to make more of it than what it is.
On how songwriting has changed for her throughout her career:
Maybe in my very early songwriting career, things seemed to come a little more... maybe because you were just starting and you were filled up to the top, so it was earlier to have things spill out. Later on, especially maybe about 10 years ago, I had this sense that I had writers' block. But really, I didn't have writers' block -- it's just a matter of remembering, you've gotta sit down and work at it, just like you would anything. If you have a verse and an idea, sit down and play that. If it's only 10 minutes, great. Come back to it the next day.
JOAN JETT's music remains "Unvarnished" from: mysanantonio.com by Nick Cristiano, Philadelphia Inquirer | Photo By Mike Lawrie / Getty Images
One of JOAN JETT's targets in the track "TMI" from her new CD, the aptly titled "Unvarnished," are those who "make a fashion of passion." The contempt is not surprising: For the pioneering female rocker, passion has never been an ordinary word (to paraphrase Graham Parker).
When it comes to music, at least, Jett has always come across as someone for whom "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" is more than just a hit song lyric -- it's a statement of purpose.
So it goes on this, her first album in seven years. Jett's fire remains undiminished as she continues to make no concessions to fashion. Sure, strings turn up on two numbers, but otherwise it's Jett doing what she has always done so well -- crunchy riffs, catchy choruses and attitudes that run the gamut from snarling to reflective.
"I hope this train don't fall off the track," she worries on "Make It Back." Little chance.
Jett's seven-year itch from: nzherald.co.nz by Paula Yeoman
JOAN JETT is rock royalty - a living legend. She needn't put out an album of new material ever again. And yet, here she is, nearly four decades on since she first catapulted on the Los Angeles punk scene in the all-girl band The RUNAWAYS, doing precisely that - releasing her first record in seven years.
Why? Because she can and because a few years back it occurred to her that there were a few important things she needed to get off her chest.
"It's a significant amount of time," she says, acknowledging the gap between Unvarnished and her last record SINNER. [more] Bikefest and JOAN JETT from: kristv.com
CORPUS CHRISTI--The big weekend event known as Bikefest wrapped up on Sunday, but not without some more fun and fellowship.
Total numbers are still being calculated, but organizers of the 20th annual Bikefest are very happy with the results after moving the annual event to Corpus Christi.
They say more than 8,000 attended the concert Saturday night with JOAN JETT and over 1,000 bikes were involved in the parade earlier on Saturday.
Organizers say they plan to keep this event here in Corpus Christi every October for the foreseeable future.
Bikefest and JOAN JETT from: Kiiitv.com
Bikefest has been a big hit. Some ten thousand bikers have rolled into town for all kinds of events. Most showing up for the JOAN JETT concert at Concrete Street. 3 News First Edition Morning Anchor Michael Gibson and Morning Weather Anchor Alan Holt have the story.
KiiiTV3.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend JOAN JETT PASSES ROAD TEST WITH UNVARNISHED SONGS from: Artisan News Service JOAN JETT released her new album Unvarnished on September 30, and she talked about why it took over 7 years for a new album and how she makes sure the songs are ready-made classics before the recording process ends -- and sometimes even beigins.
JOAN JETT on Guitar Center Sessions from: guitarcenter.com
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS will be on Guitar Center Sessions on Direct TV Audience Channel December 6, 2013.
JOAN JETT Teaches Us How To Not Give A Damn About A Bad Reputation from: refinery29.com by SEIJA RANKIN | PHOTO: REX USA/MEDIAPUNCH INC
In case you haven't picked up on it, Reddit AMAs are pretty much the hottest thing on the Internet right now. It's a great way to find out the answers to all your amazing celebrity questions -- and peer into the psyches of Hollywood's finest, to boot. The latest personality to take to the stage is none other than JOAN JETT. The Runaway's frontwoman took to the site to interact with all her biggest fans, talk about her best tracks, and just generally be cooler than the rest of us.
While we're totally in awe of the rocker, we also have to give a shoutout to the AMAs participants for asking the hard questions. To kick things off, they pressed Jett on her band's eponymous movie and working with Kristen Stewart. "I do think she did a good job," said Jett. "I think she was extremely dedicated to it, chopped all her hair off and really immersed herself in everything she could find about The RUNAWAYS. And she really played the guitar too!"
She also spoke honestly about the perils of fame, in response to questions wondering how she knows a true friend to a hanger-on. "That's the sad thing about it, is you never know," she said. "You certainly don't know when you quickly meet someone. Obviously, you go on your gut feeling, but that can be wrong too. And it's terrible to have to be wary about people, because it is not my nature, but I've been burned a few times and you just have to careful."
Perhaps our favorite part of the AMAs came when Jett started doling out advice. As we all know, she's kind of an expert when it comes to, well, just not giving a damn. "You gotta not care about what people think in general about you," she said. "I'm not talking about bad stuff, if you're a nasty person, because I don't consider myself a mean person, I consider that I know what I want and I'm tough. A lot of people would say 'Well that's not a bad reputation.' But I am passionate about music and being taken seriously about my music, so if you're going to mess with that, we have a problem." You tell 'em.
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS perform on The View. from: abc.go.com by The View
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS
Episode 21 3:46 TV-PG Aired 10/07/2013 JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS perform on The View.
JOAN JETT roars back on 'Unvarnished' from: pasadenastarnews.com by Sam Gnerre
JOAN JETT comes roaring out of the box in fine style on "Unvarnished," her first album since 2006, immediately blasting her way hrough the chunky power-pop of its opening track, "Any Weather," with help from head Foo Fighter Dave Grohl.
Gotta be all downhill from there, right?
Wrong. As the album title hints, Jett has returned to the thumpingly catchy basic rock 'n' roll that catapulted her to stardom with "Bad Reputation" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" in the early 1980s.
The songs cover topics such as reality television, Superstorm Sandy and the death of her mother, but, regardless of theme, Jett pounds them home with vigor, style and, on "Different," lots of cowbell.
"It's getting schticky out there," she rasps during the anti-"Real Wives" rant "Reality Mentality," while "TMI," its thematically related twin, shows Jett's 1970s glam-rock roots, thundering along like Gary Glitter in his prime. [more] The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from: nbc.com
Joan and the BLACKHEARTS will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Tuesday, October 22nd.
Guests include Kristin Chenoweth, 13 Year-Old Chef Jack Witherspoon with musical guest JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS
The View - Monday, October 7th from: abc.go.com
Catch JOAN JETT on The View chatting about Unvarnished and performing "Any Weather" on Monday October 7th. The View airs weekdays at 11 am ET and 10 CT/PT on ABC.
JOAN JETT - Still rocking 30 plus years on! from: abc.net.au by Annie Reuss
JOAN JETT started making her brand of rock n roll in the late 70s with The RUNAWAYS and since then, along with her band the BLACKHEARTS, she's never been far from a stage.
But it's been ten years since her last originals CD, and today sees the release of her album "Unvarnished".
Sean Sennett and Kelly Higgins-Devine were lucky enough to get to chat with JOAN JETT about the movie based on her early years with the RUNAWAYS, if she likes the tag "feminist icon" and of course - about her new CD.
JOAN JETT Storms Back With New Album: Go Behind the Scenes of Her 'Any Weather' Video from: billboard.com by Matt Diehl | Photo by Emily Berl
"It came in fits and starts," JOAN JETT says of her eleventh solo album. "I'd think, 'I can't do this anymore' - but the more I just let go, things started pouring out." There's certainly a sense of catharsis to "Unvarnished," Jett's first album in seven years, and her first set of original songs in more than a decade. Though it retains the classic guitar crunch that's made Jett an iconic presence since "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" spent seven weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982, it's also the most autobiographical and political record of her career. "I had more life changes than just sex, drugs and rock'n'roll to comment on," Jett says.
In a sense, she's seen her world turned upside down. Unvarnished comes in the wake of her parents' deaths, as well as the devastation of Hurricane Sandy that Jett witnessed in Long Beach, N.Y., the beachside Long Island community that she calls home.
"Any Weather" -- the first single and a collaboration with Dave Grohl -- marries a rollicking ode to romantic resilience with an environmental cautionary tale. Jett speaks with Billboard on the shoot for the "Any Weather" video:
Elsewhere, "Soulmates to Strangers" explores abruptly failed relationships in a poignant rocker co-written with Laura Jane Grace, the transgender frontwoman of Against Me! "When I came out publicly as trans, Joan got in touch," says Grace, who then asked Jett to perform the Replacements' "Androgynous" with Against Me! on tour.
Despite her absence from recording, Jett remains both influential and relevant. "Joan is a heritage artist, but she's also very 'now,'" says Carianne Brinkman, VP of Blackheart Recordings-the indie label Jett formed in 1980 with longtime creative partner KENNY LAGUNA. "You see it at her shows-there'll be 16-year-olds, or younger, in the audience."
Jett's persona continues to reverberate throughout popular culture. Miley Cyrus (who duetted with Jett on a medley of her hits in a performance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show") and Avril Lavigne (who's covered Jett's "Bad Reputation") have both sung her praises. Grohl and Foo Fighters have brought her onstage everywhere from New York's Madison Square Garden to "Late Show With David Letterman," and included her as support for the Foos' 2012 South American jaunt. "We even ran into Alicia Keys at [New York rehearsal studios] S.I.R., and she went crazy," Laguna recalls. "She's from a whole different genre, and she said she drew courage from Joan."
The release strategy for Unvarnished pivots on Jett's balance between her established fan base and millennials. "You need exposure, but you can't blow the mystique," Laguna says. TV appearances provide a crucial reminder that Jett is back: "Any Weather" made its broadcast debut on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on Aug. 8, and Laguna says significant morning-show appearances are being negotiated-a first for Jett, as are social media initiatives. (Jett is now on Twitter, where she's likely to answer questions from fans in coming weeks.) [more] JOAN JETT: 'I've Gotta Grow Up' from: spin.com by Kenny Herzog | Photo by Roger Erickson
The icon explains how to live a rock'n'roll life and why bullies better watch out
Even during her teenage days in the RUNAWAYS, JOAN JETT sounded like she'd been around. Now, at 55, she's come fully into her survivor's rasp. That voice â€" and a series of dynamite guitar riffs â€" are etched into Jett's first LP in the better part of a decade, Unvarnished, recorded with her longtime backing band the BLACKHEARTS. Across 10 tracks punched up with defiant melodies, power chords, hand claps, and confessionals, the Long Island resident tackles loss, bad luck, and growing up without getting weary; in a recent interview, she shot straight with us about, among other things, working with both new and familiar voices â€" Unvarnished's guests include Dave Grohl and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace â€" and, of course, why she still loves rock'n'roll.
Everybody experiences life and death, and losing friends and parents.
I just had a chance to write about it. I just felt it was important to me to get it out as a person who's grown beyond being a teenager. I'm not a Runaway anymore. I've got more to say than just falling in and out of love or having sex and partying. That's all well and good, and we sing about that, too, but to a lesser degree on this record. It's more about some life situations. For all of us, it's hard when you realize, "Oh my God, I've gotta grow up. I'm not 18 anymore. I've gotta pay attention to what I do. I can't just screw around."
You're the same as the person in the audience.
You have to really be humble about that stuff, because once you start thinking about who you are, that is the death of you and the death of connection and the death of all the things that are important to music. For me, it's about connection. It's just I happen to be onstage, and the person in the audience isn't. Even though everybody's lives are different, in general we're all human beings, and we go through the same things: disappointments, the pleasures of life, life and death. That's always been a really big part of the show to me, making sure the audience feels connected, and that carries through to the album.
Whether working with Dave Grohl or Laura Jane Grace, it's not about just playing on the song, it's being part of it.
With Dave, I don't know how much he does collaborations. I got the sense that he doesn't really do that. So I had a chance to get in the studio with him, and I had an idea and asked him if he could work on it with me. And we were in a studio, and he played the drums, I played the guitar. The song wasn't finished, but we had a structure, so we just kind of laid it down, and then he played a bunch of other parts on it, so that's collaboration on the highest level. [more] Still rocking it! JOAN JETT, 55, shows off her muscular figure in red catsuit as she performs at Santos Party House
from: dailymail.co.uk by CASSIE CARPENTER
She penned The RUNAWAYS' Cherry Bomb in 1976.
And 37 years later, JOAN JETT still looked toned and taut in her red catsuit as she rocked out Santos Party House in New York Wednesday.
The 55-year-old guitarist - born Joan Larkin - finished off her signature slinky look with a silver belt and Converse high-tops.
Evergreen: JOAN JETT still looked toned and taut in her 'Cherry Bomb' red catsuit as she rocked out Santos Party House in New York Wednedsday
The Crimson and Clover singer pulled several faces while performing at the record release for her 10th studio album Unvarnished, which came out September 30.
Joan has a song on Unvarnished called T.M.I., which serves as her comment on modern musicians oversharing on social media sites.
'There used to be something called mystique that was a big part of show business,' Jett recently told Rolling Stone magazine.
Amazing! She penned The RUNAWAYS' Cherry Bomb in 1976 and 37 years later Joan has hardly aged at all [more] JOAN JETT 'Any Weather' Video Shoot: Behind the Scenes Photos from: billboard.com Photos by Emily Berl
'There used to be something called mystique that was a big part of show business,' she says.
Over the course of nearly four decades, JOAN JETT has made a lasting impact on rock & roll, first with her band the RUNAWAYS and then as a solo artist, recording timeless anthems such as "Bad Reputation" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" with her band the BLACKHEARTS. This week Jett released Unvarnished, the BLACKHEARTS' 10th studio album, which finds the band attacking phony people, defending outcasts and, as always, pounding out a riff-heavy classic rock sound. Rolling Stone recently spoke with Jett about the perils of social media, surviving Hurricane Sandy and working with Dave Grohl and Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace.
On Unvarnished, you have the song "T.M.I.," which seems to comment on modern musicians who post about their private life all over social media.
Well, I'm trying to not judge it. I'm just trying to comment on it, really. I've always been someone that has had boundaries. I realized very early in the RUNAWAYS â€" the writers would always ask us questions that didn't pertain to music. They would always ask us all kind of questions about sexuality, just stupid things that didn't pertain to music. I realized that if I started talking about that stuff instead of the music, that's all they would ask us. I'm not judging people per se, but I'm just saying, "You better watch it." It's great to talk about things when you're happy and you want to share good fortune with the masses, but once you open that door, that door is open. So, if something bad happens to you, they're gonna know about that, too, and you can't close that door.
Do you think that a part of social media addiction is that people are learning more about the artist so they can better understand the art?
No, not necessarily. I just think that there is so much info out there, that people are now used to grabbing as much info as they can on the person that they are looking up to. Whoever is their person, they want to know everything. There used to be something called mystique that was a big part of show business. You always wanted to keep something from people that they wanted to know. When they find everything out about you they go, "OK. I'm moving on to this next person." People devour information. [more] JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS â€" Unvarnished from: midwestmusicscene.net by Dave Rader
They're back! JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS are returning with their 14th studio album titled "Unvarnished" on September 30th. Everything we have come to know and love about the band is here â€" heavy guitars, the signature Blackheart drumbeat, catchy melodies and the unmistakable raspy vocals of Ms. Jett herself. This time around the lyrics take on a more serious tone covering topics from losing loved ones to Hurricane Sandy, social media and bullying.
The album kicks off with "Any Weather", a track written with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and recorded in his 606 studio. With its catchy melody and chorus it's no wonder this track is the first single and video from the album. Next up is "TMI", a song that begins with the notorious THOMMY PRICE drumbeat that drives the Blackheart sound. This infectious song is one of my favorites from the album with the lyrics tackling the seriousness of sharing too much on social media.
The 2nd guest songwriter on the album is none other than Laura Jane Grace from Against Me who co-wrote "Soulmates To Strangers". This is a great one that has already been released to college radio and I suspect may become the official 2nd single. [more] Album Review: Unvarnished by JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS from: playing-with-chaos.blogspot.ca by Martina Fasano
JOAN JETT is not back. She never left. This is a point I have to make on an on-going basis to my pop-music loving friends who listen to the deplorable noise known as mainstream radio. With Unvarnished, JOAN JETT reminds us who the Queen of Rock'n'Roll is, just in case some of us had forgotten.
Jett is not a time capsule. She's not an artist who had one or two great songs in the 1980's and put out a string of mediocre albums that sold millions of copies. We've got Bon Jovi for that. (Yes, I did go there. I'm ready for the backlash. That's also a JOAN JETT song title by the way. See how I did that?) In fact, for Ms.Jett the reverse is true. Yes, she's covered some great songs, but she's written an equally fair share of her own that deserved a lot more recognition than they've ever received. She's had to fight for every single record she has sold. And she's been writing, recording, and touring all this time. She never left. Never gave up on the dream.
That legacy began in her first band, which was the pioneering, female-powered RUNAWAYS. The 1970's weren't ready for what The RUNAWAYS had to offer. The world was not kind to the teenage girls that were judged among the rank and file of 20-30 year-old guys that made up "normal" rock bands. But they soldiered on. The RUNAWAYS were born in 1975 and they ended exactly 25 days before I was born, in January of 1979. JOAN JETT was one of the band members that rose out of those ashes and continued being a pioneer. She wrote songs, performed them with wild abandon, and if you were lucky enough to be in the audience, captivated you with her intense gaze. That was then, and this is now. [more] Top 10 JOAN JETT Songs from: ultimateclassicrock.com by Dave Swanson
JOAN JETT is a rock and roll pioneer and icon. From her teenage years with the legendary RUNAWAYS and right up to her brand new album, 'Unvarnished,' Jett has been rocking full throttle for the better part of 40 years now, and is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Whether as writer or interpreter, Joan knows her way around a good song. Drawing on inspiration from her beloved Glam era of Sweet, Slade and Gary Glitter, she crafted her own songs that sit proudly alongside those of her heroes. We salute Miss Jett with nods to the RUNAWAYS, her solo material as well as many of the cover songs that she claimed for her own. Get down ladies (and gents) you got nothin' to lose with out Top 10 JOAN JETT songs.
10 'Do You Wanna Touch Me?'
From: 'Bad Reputation' (1981)
The ugly (and self-created) problems over the last several years have cast an irremovable shadow over the fact that in his prime, Gary Glitter made some great rock and roll singles. Jett was a big fan, and took this classic Glitter hit, gave it a bit of 80s gloss and took it into the U.S. Top 20. The Glitter original flopped in the U.S., but had been a massive hit in the U.K. in early 1973, coming just shy of the No. 1 slot.
9 'Activity Grrrl'
From: 'Pure and Simple' (1994)
Solo JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS issued an album in 1994 called 'Pure And Simple,' which should have brought the band back to the top of the charts. Yes, it was that good! But sadly, the album kind of sunk without a trace. Maybe Jett's style of rock and roll was out of sync with the angst ridden 90s rock scene, or maybe someone dropped the ball in promoting it, but regardless, it is an album full of great songs like 'Activity Grrrl.' The song is a nod to the 'Riot Grrrl' movement that included such bands as Bikini Kill. In fact, Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill co-wrote this one with Miss Jett. It's a fired up rocker and one of the standout tracks on the LP.
8 'Fake Friends'
From: 'Album' (1983)
'Fake Friends' kicks off Jett's third album, the profoundly titled, 'Album,' and does so in fine style. Another in a long line of stomping rockers, 'Fake Friends' has all the usual bubblegum pop meets glam rock slash-and-burn that makes Jett's sound so irresistible. Though the single barely dented the Top 40, the album proved another hit for Joan and band, sliding into the Top 20 and selling millions. [more] JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS: Unvarnished from: pastemagazine.com by MARK LORE
After a prolific run in the '80s that saw her cranking out records and singles, JOAN JETT slowed things down, releasing as many albums over the past two decades as she did in her first seven years. But she's always been a road warrior, playing clubs, state fairs, casinos, stadiums, festivals--it doesn't matter--all the while her legend has continued to grow. That's just Jett's solo career. You can yammer on and on about the importance of The RUNAWAYS on rock music and their significance to every woman who's ever strapped on a guitar since.
Here we are in 2013--far from a perfect place, but definitely a changed world since Jett picked up a guitar some 40 years ago. Unvarnished--her first studio LP since 2006's SINNER--feels like the right record at the right time for the 55-year-old Jett. She's not reinventing the wheel musically, but Jett does continue to dig into more personal topics--it's less sex, drugs and rock and roll, and more love, life and death.
But you don't have to worry about things getting too heavy. Even when Jett tackles Hurricane Sandy ("Make It Back") or the death of her parents ("Fragile") it's still couched in the same '50s-inspired punk rock she was jamming in her early daze. "I'm at the point in life now, I think about/My own mortality and, how it all works out," she sings on "Fragile," over a buzzing guitar riff. Jett gets help from man-about-town Dave Grohl on the ripping opener "Any Weather," while "TMI" rolls out the classic hand-clap rhythm of classics like "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)."
The biggest surprise comes in "Everybody Needs a Hero," a ballad that incorporates strings and closes the album on a somber note. On first listen, it comes off a little sappy and melodramatic. But in the hands of Jett it feels real. Of course, that's always been her M.O.--play it from the gut. We know JOAN JETT loves rock and roll. Unvarnished reminds us again just how much rock and roll needs her.
Review: JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, 'Unvarnished'
from: journalstar.com by L. KENT WOLGAMOTT / Lincoln Journal Star
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, "Unvarnished." JOAN JETT has crafted another rock 'n' roll gem with "Unvarnished," her 13th album and first since 2006's "SINNER."
Produced by Jett and her producer/manager/co-writer KENNY LAGUNA and co-written with the rest of her band, the BLACKHEARTS, "Unvarnished" is personal, topical and filled with the crunchy guitars and backbeat- anchored rhythms that have anchored Jett's music since the RUNAWAYS in the 1970s.
There even are some strings and woodwinds, rarely associated with Jett's brand of rock 'n' roll.
But they fit perfectly, setting the mood for the soaring concluding ballad "Everybody Needs a Hero" and the delicate "Fragile."
That is one of two songs in which Jett addresses the death of her parents, especially her mother. "I wake up feeling crazy, keep losing people, just lost my mom/ So difficult to fathom that they're gone," the 55-year-old Jett sings on the anthem "Hard to Grow Up."
Other songs address relationships dissolving, the throbbing "Soulmate to Stranger," and forming, the churning "Bad as We Can Be." [more]