Top 10 Joan Jett Albums

Joan Jett Albums

Photo: ceedub13, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Joan Jett albums ranked list looks back at all the great Joan Jett albums released during the rocker’s glorious and inspiring career. We choose our ten favorite Joan Jett albums to present on this list. Putting them in any sort of order was no easy feat because we are huge Joan Jett fans and we pretty much love every single one of her albums. For those youngsters who may be unfamiliar with the career of Joan Jett we feel this is a great place to start in checking out the music of this legendary rocker as well as our Top 10 Joan Jett songs list. We know you will not be disappointed when you hear the powerful rock and roll music and kicking attitude and energy from this brilliant rocker.

Joan Jett’s rock and roll career began when she became a founding member of The Runaways. Standing alongside lead singer Cherie Currie and guitarist Lita Ford, Joan Jett blew away young male teen audiences when The Runaways exploded out of the gate in 1976. In Japan they were treated like Goddesses. Over time Joan Jett began fronting the band when Cherie Currie quit to pursue a solo career. Eventually The Runaways broke up and Joan Jett along with Lita Ford embarked on solo careers. Since then Joan Jett has enjoyed one of the most successful solo careers a rock star could imagine.

Joan Jett released her first solo album entitled Joan Jett in 1980. The album was later renamed Bad Reputation after the hit single that was released from the album. However it was when Joan Jett released the album I Love Rock and Roll  is that she became a household name. The single “I Love Rock and Roll,” became one of the most famous rock singles of all time. Based on the popularity of the song Joan Jett would become one of the most famous rock stars in the world in 1981. That popularity would fuel the success of many more albums and singles to come.

Throughout her career Joan Jett has released 12 studio albums so far as of this writing in 2021. She has been a constant presence on the road doing what all real musicians do..perform. We will now take a look at our favorite Joan Jett albums.

# 10 – Notorious

We open up our Joan Jett albums list with her eighth studio album entitled Notorious. The album was released on August 20th 1991. There were two singles released from the record entitled “Don’t Surrender and “Treading Water.”

# 9 – Good Music

Continuing with our Jones a time as this we turn to the great Joan Jett record entitled good music. This was Joan Jett’s fifth studio album. Good music was released on December 9th 1986. Only one single was released from the album which also was the title track. While this might not have been her most popular album we really liked just about every song on the record making it yet another fabulous rocking Joan Jett album. At the time the Blackhawks consisted of Ricky Byrd on lead guitar, Kasim Sulton on bass, Gary Ryan on bass and Tommy price on drums.

# 8 – Sinner

In 2006, Joan Jett delivered her 11th album entitled Sinner. Joan Jett had not released a new album of material in the United States since the 1994 record Pure and Simple. So Joan Jett fans were ecstatic to receive a new Joan Jett album. Some of the standout songs on the record included “Riddles, Five, and Change The World.” Many of the songs on the album were originally released on her Naked album which was not issued in the US. Joan Jett also recorded some great covers including the Sweet classic “A. C. D. C.” and the Replacements song “Androgynous.”

# 7 – The Hit List

On every Joan Jett album she released, the legendary rocker always covered some classic rock and roll records that put her own spin on those tunes. So it made sense that Joan Jett would release an album of all covers. The Hit List was that record. The Hit List was released on January 16th 1990. The first single issue from the album was a cover of AC/DC’s classic song “Dirty Deeds.”The second single released was a cover of a Nazareth classic “Love Hurts.” Other standout tracks on the album included The Doors classic “Love Me Two Times,” the Jimi Hendrix song “Up From The Skies,”  ZZ Top’s intense song “Tush,” The Kinks tune “Celluloid Heroes,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s  classic “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” and of course what Joan Jett covers album wouldn’t be complete without an attempt at a Sex Pistols song  which for this album was called called “Pretty Vacant.”

# 6 – Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth

In 1984 Joan Jett release her fourth studio album entitled Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth. Easily our favorite Joan Jett album title. This was one of those great Joan Jett albums that just happened to not have any big-time hit singles. So what? Tt was a great record that opened up with a remake of the legendary Runaways song “Cherry Bomb.” that was worth the price of admission right there. And of course that one said quit into the Gary Glitter cover “I love you Love me Love,” which was actually released the first single but it didn’t do too well.

# 5 – Unvarnished

At the halfway point on our top 10 Joan Jett Albums list is that great Joan Jett album entitled Unvarnished. The album was released in September of 2013. It stands as the last Joan Jett studio album released as of this writing in 2021. This is a powerful album that defined that Joan Jett was still rocking out so many years after her debut in the Runaways.

# 4 – Pure and Simple

The Joan Jett album pure and simple was released in 1994. For this album Joan Jett there were some changes occuring in the Blackhearts. Bassist Kasim Sulton was replaced by Kenny Aaronson and guitarist Ricky Byrd was replaced by Tony “Bruno” Rey. The album was highlighted by Joan Jett’s great single “Activity Grrrl.”

How could you not love an album titled Album? Joan Jett faced a huge challenge in having to follow up her massive selling album I Love Rock And Roll.  The album’s lead single was the track “Fake Friends.” The most successful song from the record was Joan Jett’s cover version of the Sly and the Family Stone. songs “Everyday People.”

# 2 – Bad Reputation

At number two on our Joan Jett albums list is her debut album entitled Bad Reputation. The album contains one of our favorite Joan Jett songs in the title-track “Bad Reputation.” The album became a much bigger hit after it was reissued in 1981. Of course based on the success of I Love Rock ‘n Roll, her new fans dived into her catalog which really had only contained this album. We love the rawness of this record. The albums fourth single “Do You Want To Touch Me,” was probably the biggest hit off the album. Other great songs included the first single You Don’t Own Me, Too Bad on Your Birthday, Make Believe and side two album opener “Let Me Go.” Joan Jett also covered some of the big time party songs of the century including The Isley Brothers “Shout,” and the legendary “Wooly Bully,” by Sam the Sham.

# 1 – I Love Rock ‘n Roll

We close out our top 10 Joan Jett albums list with her biggest album of her career entitled II Love Rock ‘n Roll. The album was released on November 18th 1981. Joan Jett as well as anybody at her record company probably never realized how big the single “I love Rock ‘n Roll,” would become. The song was written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker. The song was first recorded by the Arrows in the late 70s. Joan Jett first took a stab at the song in 1979 recording of version with Steve Jones and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols. However, the song really went nowhere.

In 1981, Joan Jett recorded the song once again with her band the Blackhearts and everything changed from that moment on. The album’s debut single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It did not just hit number one for one week like most songs do, it stayed at number one for almost two months. It was the biggest song of  the Fall of 1981 and Winter of 1982. Not only did it hit number one in the United States, it hit number one in Sweden, South Africa the Netherlands New Zealand Canada and Australia.

Of course with the song that’s as popular as “I love Rock ‘n Roll,”and an album title the same name of the song, that song’s success is definitely going to fuel the album success. However, we did not put the I Love Rock ‘n Roll album into the number one spot just because of the single. There are so many other great songs on the I Love Rock ‘n Roll album. It was a combination of cover songs and Joan Jett originals. We love the Joan Jett originals  like “I’m Going To Run Away, Love is Pain, Be Straight, and  You’re too Possessive which was originally recorded by The Runaways. 

We also can’t fail to mention the great cover songs including the album second big hit single the Tommy James classic “Crimson and Clover.” Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘n Roll album stands as one of the great rock and roll albums of the early 80s and the album that really lifted Joan Jett’s solo career to a whole new level.

Top 10 Joan Jett Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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