This is someone who has been considered to be a pioneer in her genre for rather a long time now, but she has had surprisingly few hit singles in the UK. Joan Jett is an American rock singer, and her real surname is Larkin, although as far as I know, she isn’t related to anyone in the cast of The Darling Buds Of May, partly because they’re not real. And she was born in September 1958, the day before Danielle Dax, would you believe it??!!
Joan started out in the mid-70s in the group The Runaways, but by the 80s, she was the frontwoman of The Blackhearts. In April 1982 “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” was released, and this reached no. 4 (and re-entered the chart in 1994). It is a surprise to realise that this is her first and only Top 40 hit single in the UK. This also spent seven weeks at Number One in America, and it is one of those songs that is so successful, that rather awkwardly it has always overshadowed the rest of her career.
In May 1982, the album “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” made the Top 30, making this her highest-charting album in the UK. And it was also in this month that Joan appeared on the cover of Record Mirror. In July 1982, a cover of “Crimson And Clover” was released, but this reached only no. 60. And there was more evidence of how great it must’ve been to be a singer in the 80s because her TV appearances included being interviewed on satellite channels that were watched by next to nobody by Pat Sharp!
It would be six years before Joan returned to the UK chart. In August 1988, her next hit single was “I Hate Myself For Loving You”, which reached no. 46. Her music is in a genre that I’m not usually a fan of, but when I was watching some old The Chart Show clips from the 80s online (as I often do), the video for this one turned up, it definitely caught my interest and made me want to find out more about her career.
So I was rather amused when “I Hate Myself For Loving You” was referenced in an episode of Family Guy, but then, it was something that happened in the 80s, so it was going to be sooner or later really. Joan would go on to have one more minor hit in the UK in 1990, but although she has also had success as an actress and released many more albums over the years, she never reached her 80s levels of pop fame again.