Joan Jett and Lita Ford are two of the founding members of The Runaways an American all girl band formed in 1975. Both went onto solo careers with varying degrees of success.Joan Jett has always played loud and stripped down rock n roll, with big hooks and heavy glam style drumming. The glam elements of her sound are also evident in her choice of cover versions “I Love Rock N Roll” originally by The Arrows and “Do You Wanna Touch Me” by Gary Glitter.
I Love Rock N Roll has become her greatest success, giving her a US number one in 1982. The single was at one time number 28 on Billboard’s list of the songs of all time.
Jett had first heard the song in 1976 while touring England with the Runaways, seeing the song performed by the Arrows on their TV show. She wanted to record it with the Runaways, but the rest of the band didn’t really like the song, so it was recorded when she eventually went solo a few years later.
It was first recorded in 1979 with Paul Cook and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, but was later re recorded in 1982 and released in its more familiar version.
“I think most people who love some kind of rock n roll can relate to it. Everyone knows a song that just makes them feel amazing and want to jump up and down.”Joan Jett, Mojo magazine January 2008.
Lita Ford uses a more ‘80’s metal’ musical template, with an image calculated to appeal to male, adolescent sexual fantasies. She is often accused of pandering to a ‘heavy metal’ female stereotype. But when playing good material she can rock with the best, as here, on her cover of the Sweet’s “Hell Raiser”.