The Arrows wrote the Rock anthem
listen to a compilation of the 3 versions this article is about
The Arrows / Joan Jett / Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Band with a tv-show
The Arrows had a TV-show on British television in 1976 and 1977. Singer and guitar-layer Alan Merrill wrote the song “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” with “I Know It’s Only Rock ’n Roll (But I Like It)” by The Rolling Stones in mind. The track started as b-side but soon it was promoted to A-side on further pressings.
Joan Jett was with her former band The Runaways on tour in the UK and saw the song being played on tv.
When she went solo Joan recorded a first version of the song in 1979, together with Steve Jones en Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols. That became the B-side of her first single “You Don’t Own Me”. By the way that was her version of Leslie Gore’s 1963 hit.
In 1981 Joan recorded the definitive version with her band The Blackhearts.
So the song was a B-side twice before it was recognized as the marvelous creation it is.
Partly because of the amazing videoclip it became a word wide hit. TV company MTV was coming up and that ensured the song to be worldwide put under attention. The video was in black and white, while it was recorded in colour. According to the story Joan did not like the red jumpsuit she used in the video recordings and the solution was to release the video in black and white.
The Rock anthem for generations nows more shapes
Britney Spears recorded a version in 2002. Another version that got famous was that by boyband 5ive from 1998. They used parts of the lyrics as well as the melody of the song. Parody celebrity Weird Al Yankovic made a parody called “I Love Rocky Road” and it is about an American Ice cream brand.
The song goes a long way in different versions.