The second week of March in 1981 was the moment that a new rock anthem hit the radio playlists: I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.
The song was written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker for their band Arrows in 1975 and released their version of the song in the same year, a year before their only album release, First Hit in 1976.
According to Merrill the song was written in response to The Rolling Stones song It’s only Rock ‘n’ roll (but I like it). That same year, Joan Jett saw Arrows perform the song while touring with The Runaways.
In 1979, after leaving The Runaways, Jett recorded the song with two former Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, releasing it as a single with Vertigo Records.
Two years later, now with her new band The Blackhearts, Jett re-recorded I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll. Released in January 1982 by Boardwalk, this was the first single from the album of the same name, the song was a hot mover on the Billboard Hot 100.
In seven weeks, the band was given their first number one single on Billboard, and their best-known song of all time. The song’s stark black and white music video got heavy airplay on MTV and Canada’s MuchMusic, adding to the cool allure of the band with music fans.
The song hit number one in several countries including Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden. The song was certified platinum and has become a classic of rock radio well into the 21st century.