It became the new #1 song in the USA on this day in 1982 (March 20, 1982). It’s this writer’s choice as the #8 love song oldie of all time. It spent seven weeks at #1 and went on to become the #4 single for 1982.
Two members of the Arrows--Jake Hooker and Alan Merrill--co-wrote the song as a direct response to the Rolling Stones' song, "It's Only Rock n' Roll (But I Like It)." Hooker said, "I know that they didn't really mean it in a derogatory way...It minimalized what I thought about rock and roll. My gut reaction on first hearing it was, 'What do you it's only rock and roll but you like it? I love rock and roll!'
It took two recorded versions for the Blackheart version to become a hit. After Jett's girl group, the Runaways, broke up, she recorded the song as the B side of "You Don't Own Me" (Yes, the Lesley Gore song) but it was released only in Holland. Then Jett formed the Blackheards as they toured Europe. Once they got back to the USA, they recorded "I Love rock 'N Roll" in Staten Island.
Joan Jett And The Blackhearts had eight top 40 hits, with two others making the top 10: "Crimson And Clover" (yes, the Tommy James song) and "I Hate Myself For Loving You.”
TOMORROW: MY CHOICE OF CASEY KASEM’S GREATEST STORY
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