ARTIST: Joan Jett
TITLE: Bad Reputation
YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #51
SINGLES: You Don’t Own Me, Make Believe, You Don’t Know What You’ve Got, Bad Reputation (#48 US Rock), Do You Wanna Touch Me (#20, #21 US Rock),
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: She covered Shout and Wooly Bully
LINEUP: Joan Jett, Lea Hart, Jeff Peters, Paul Simmons, and on many tracks others helped out from the UK and US.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Former Runaway releases solo album that dies at first, then gets a second life with another record company, and later, a third life after she hit it big.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: More of a cult performer at first, Joan Jett survived the Runaways with her head held high and with help of her producer Kenny Laguna recorded her debut album and independently released it. It was finally picked up by Boardwalk records and re-released in 1981, but still languished until Jett became a mega-star.
Jett and her band (members of the Roll-Ups, but help from others) roll through 12 tunes with fervor. “Bad Reputation” is THE highlight – just a powerful broadside against the record company machinery and public images. The rest of the songs are more energy than anything, though her cover of Gary Glitter’s “Do You Wanna Touch” has the most radio friendly sound.
It’s not pretty, not polished – just rock and roll but you know, that’s all you kind of need if you’re reaching for Jett.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: It’s finally back streaming…along with the rest of her material.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, some other covers and a live cut.
GRADE: B: She don’t care about her reputation, and it shows. It’s a decent debut.