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July 22, 2024

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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
I Love Rock & Roll (reissue) and Fit to Be Tied: Great Hits by Joan Jett (reissue) (Blackheart Records)

By: Randy Harward

Since reissues are essentially reruns and only benefit completists and latecomers, it's hard to review them objectively--unless you're a completist or a latecomer. I'll confess to being the latter (although I was always a Runaways fan). I remember when I Love Rock & Roll came out, but I was too enamored of Kiss, even in that lame period of Unmasked and Music from the Elder. I did, however, tap my foot to the two big singles (title track, the cover of Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover"). Taking an opportunity to pick up these reissues proved valuable, as it gave a clearer picture of Jett's mettle. She's one of scant women rockers from the 80s that had something to say and a kickass way of saying it (I say this fully aware of the great underground women artists of that time--I'm speaking in terms of the mainstream). Fit To Be Tied helps flesh out the picture a bit better, but I'm told I need to get Jett's Bad Reputation to fully grasp her talent. Based on these discs and my Runaways LPs, that'll be money well spent. (A- for both)
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