2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

As we get closer to the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, I’ll share short and sweet profiles of the inductees and some lesson ideas. Bookmark it.

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After previously fronting an all-girl punk band, Joan Jett formed the Blackhearts in 1982 and in an era dominated by synthesizer pop and rock, they thrived with a more traditional set-up and sound. Elements of punk, hard rock, glam and other popular forms were merged by the group to cut through what Jett would call the “boring” or “homogenized” noise. More than that, though, she knew how to powerfully sing a great hook.

Their song “I Love Rock and Roll” is an anthem still played today on various radio formats. Jett was an inspiration for the Riot Grrrl movement in the 1990s.


“I Love Rock and Roll”
Their most famous song, it was number one for seven weeks. Fewer people know the original cut by The Arrows (1975). It features a sweet hook and is definitely a study in repetition in form.

“Crimson and Clover”
A cover version of a previous number 1 by Tommy James and the Shondells, I particularly enjoy this music video. It’s also a good example of lack of musical ornamentation by punk musicians where even the guitar solos are simple. (We can’t be letting people know we practice, now.)

“Bad Reputation”
Another anthem that has stood the test of time, this song is featured in numerous television shows and movies and will be familiar to your students. It’s the first song on her first commercially released album (prior to forming the Blackhearts).

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2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

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