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Joan Jett - Up Your Alley

Review: 013
Date: 28 Feb 01


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians: n/a

Tracks Listing:
1. I Hate Myself For Loving You
2. Ridin’ With James Dean
3. Little Liar
4. Tulane
5. I Wanna Be Your Dog
6. I Still Dream About You
7. You Want In, I Want Out
8. Just Like In The Movies
9. Desire
10. Back It Up
11. Play That Song Again


The trouble with you lot and Miss Jett is very simple, you take one look and go “Sex Bomb” and don’t go any further. This may be a fair gut reaction. However, stop, take a smell of the music because it rocks.

Released in 1988 and produced by long term mentor Kenny Laguna, “Up Your Alley” has been far more influential on the rock world than most would admit. All of the big hair poodle rock boys should give a doff of the hat to Joan Jett and her merry cohorts “The Blackhearts”. From “Bon Jovi” to “Motley Crue”, they’ve all obviously lent an ear, copying a few hints here and hear.

Everybody who’s been to a bar in Thailand knows the opening song, “I Hate Myself For Loving You”. Whether it is the original version by Joan or a Thai cover version the music is undeniably Joan Jett’s. The song opens with Thommy Price’s big drum sound before the guitars come crashing in. Joan gives one of her sexy little yelps and the chorus drags you dancing along. As with two other songs on this album, “Little Liar” and the love rejection song “You Want In, I Want Out”, it was co-written with Desmond Child. This does not diminish anything from the songs that Joan wrote with the rest of the band. There is not a ‘filler’ on the album. “I Still Dream About You” is an all time classic, with Joan throwing herself at you with some of the most Vulgar Lyrics ever recorded. The two cover songs are well chosen. First you have Chuck Berry’s free way madness anthem “Tulane” which just rocks, with Thommy Price’s drums again excelling.

The high point of the album though is Joan’s interpretation of the Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, which Joan makes her own. I want to be your dog, Joan?

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts have always been in your face Rock ‘n’ Roll. What the band play is what you get - the original garage punk. Nowadays, it’s all lip syncing to back up tapes and posing which is not really Joan’s thing. However, when the people want to rock again, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts will be there at the top of the pile singing about ‘sex’, ‘cruisin’ and ‘rockin’ reel hard. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts still play over 200 concerts a year and the last two studio albums, “Notorious” and “Pure and Simple” are phenomenal. It is Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven. Check it out.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew


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