Bad Reputation (Joan Jett album)

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Bad Reputation
Studio album by Joan Jett
Released 1980 (Joan Jett)
January 23, 1981
(Bad Reputation)
Recorded March 1979 – March 1980
Genre Punk rock, hard rock, new wave[1]
Label Boardwalk (37065)
Producer Kenny Laguna,
Ritchie Cordell;
Steve Jones and Paul Cook on "You Don't Own Me" and "Don't Abuse Me"
Joan Jett chronology
Bad Reputation
I Love Rock 'n' Roll
Singles from Bad Reputation
  1. "You Don't Own Me"
    Released: 1979
  2. "Make Believe"
    Released: 1980
  3. "You Don't Know What You've Got"
    Released: 1980
  4. "Bad Reputation"/"Jezebel"
    Released: 1981
  5. "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)"
    Released: 1982

Bad Reputation is the debut solo album by Joan Jett, originally self-released in 1980 as Joan Jett after her previous band The Runaways disbanded, then re-issued on Boardwalk Records in 1981 as Bad Reputation.


Recorded before Jett formed The Blackhearts, the majority of the album features Jett backed by members of the Roll-Ups, with Lea Hart on guitar, Jeff Peters on bass and Paul Simmons on drums. Other tracks include well known musicians, such as the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and Paul Cook, Blondie's Clem Burke and Frank Infante.

After independently recording the album with producer Kenny Laguna, Jett took the record to a number of major record labels, all of which were uninterested in releasing the project. Rather than continue to hunt for a willing label, Laguna and Jett decided to fund the pressing of the album themselves. The original, self-released, version of the album was simply titled Joan Jett and was sold directly to concert-goers and record stores out of Laguna's trunk.[2]

The album sold relatively well, prompting its re-release a year later as Bad Reputation on Boardwalk Records, with identical tracklisting. Jett said that the new title referred to the bad reputation that she had as a former member of the Runaways.[3]

When the album's European rights were secured through Ariola Records, "Hanky Panky" replaced "Wooly Bully" as the final song on Side 2. When the record was issued through Boardwalk in the US under the title "Bad Reputation", the label stuck with "Wooly Bully" as the final track, making the "Hanky Panky" import version a real collector's item. However, the song was later included as a bonus track on CD re-releases.

Rolling Stone magazine named the album No. 36 on their '50 Coolest Albums of all Time' List in 2005.[4] The original Australian release featured a completely different cover and "Hanky Panky" replaced "Shout". "Do You Wanna Touch Me" was also a huge hit in Australia when it was released hot on the heels of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Crimson and Clover" from Jett's 1982 album. In 1999, the album was again re-issued, this time on CD with several bonus tracks and a remastered version of the original album.


  • "You Don't Own Me" was released as a single prior to the album in 1979, and features the same version of that track that appears on this album. The b-side was an early version of "I Love Rock 'n Roll", which was successfully re-recorded for Jett's next album, and first with the Blackhearts, I Love Rock 'n' Roll. The original b-side version was later released on the rarities album Flashback.
  • "Make Believe" was released as a 7-inch single on the Ariola label. The record was accompanied by a fold-out mini-poster sleeve featuring the album cover photo. The record's B-side was a cover version of "Call Me Lightning" which eventually turned up the rarities album Flashback as well as CD versions of Bad Reputation
  • "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" was released as a Boardwalk single following the success of Jett's versions of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Crimson and Clover". The B-side was "Victim of Circumstance" which was culled from the later album.
  • Boardwalk also released "Jezebel" as a single (which had been successful overseas), but the song was ignored by US rock radio.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
The Village Voice A–[6]
  • "Joan Jett's debut album is an infectious romp through her influences, ranging from classic '50s and '60s rock & roll through glam rock, three-chord loud'n'fast Ramones punk, and poppier new wave guitar rock." (Steve Huey, Allmusic)[1]
  • "Unfortunately, Bad Reputation is flawed by its literal-mindedness – the arrangements pump along gamely yet rarely swing or soar – and by some unresourceful material. But in its mood and feel, Joan Jett's first solo album is a determined retelling of what sometimes seems like the truest rock story there is." (Tom Carson, Rolling Stone)[5]
  • "Producers Kenny Laguna and Ritchie Cordell make the old glitter formula of readymade riffs 'n' blare sound suitable for albums, and they get plenty of help from reformed Runaway Jett, who has writing credit on four of these twelve tunes and comes on tuffer than any gurl in history." (Robert Christgau, The Village Voice)[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Bad Reputation" (Jett, Ritchie Cordell, Kenny Laguna, Marty Joe Kupersmith)
  2. "Make Believe" (Joey Levine, Bo Gentry)
  3. "You Don't Know What You've Got" (Jett, Ritchie Cordell, Kenny Laguna)
  4. "You Don't Own Me" (John Madara, Dave White Tricker)
  5. "Too Bad On Your Birthday" (Charlie Karp, Arthur Resnick)
  6. "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" (Gary Glitter, Mike Leander)[note 1]
  7. "Let Me Go" (Jett, Ritchie Cordell, Kenny Laguna)
  8. "Doing All Right With The Boys" (Gary Glitter, Mike Leander)
  9. "Shout" (O'Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley)
  10. "Jezebel" (Jett, Kenny Laguna)
  11. "Don't Abuse Me" (Jett)
  12. "Wooly Bully" (Domingo Samudio)[note 2]
  1. ^ "Do You Wanna Touch Me" listed on the cover as "Touch Me"
  2. ^ "Wooly Bully" was misspelled on the album cover as "Wully Bully"

Bonus tracks[edit]

1992 release[edit]

  1. "Call Me Lightning" (Pete Townshend)
  2. "Hanky Panky" (Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry)
  3. "Summertime Blues"
  4. "What Can I Do for You?" (Kenny Laguna)

2006 release[edit]

  1. "Call Me Lightning" (Pete Townshend)
  2. "Hanky Panky" (Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry)
  3. "What Can I Do for You?" (Kenny Laguna)
  4. "You Don't Own Me" (previously unreleased version)
  5. "Bad Reputation" (live with "The Remains" of the Ramones)


  • Joan Jett – guitars, vocals[7]
  • Lea Hart – guitars, vocals
  • Jeff Peters – bass, vocals
  • Paul Simmons – drums, vocals
  • Jeff Bannister – piano
  • Clem Burke – drums
  • Buzz Chanter – guitar
  • Commander Goonwaddle – tubular bells
  • Paul Cook – drums, producer
  • Ritchie Cordell – sound effects, vocals, producer, photography
  • Lee Crystal – drums
  • Richard d'Andrea – bass
  • Johnny Earle – saxophone
  • Mick Eve – saxophone
  • Micky Groome – bass
  • Frank Infante – guitar
  • Steve Jones – bass, guitar (rhythm), multi instruments, producer
  • Kenny Laguna – organ, piano, keyboards, tambourine, vocals, clavinet, multi instruments
  • Lou Maxfield – guitar
  • Joel Turrisi – drums
  • Sean Tyla – guitar (12-string and acoustic)
  • Martyn Watson – vocals

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200[8] 51


  1. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. Bad Reputation – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Siwek, Daniel. "Joan Jett". Music Connection Magazine. Retrieved April 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ "She Loves Rock And Roll". Philadelphia Inquirer. August 20, 1983. Retrieved April 7, 2011. "That's where the title of the album came from – from the bad reputation I had at that point, for no reason other than my association with the Runaways". 
  4. ^ Rolling Stone – 50 all-time Coolest albume
  5. ^ a b Carson, Tom (April 30, 1981). "Bad Reputation". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 8, 1981). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Credits for Bad Reputation". Allmusic. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  8. ^ Bad Reputation – Charts at AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2011.

External links[edit]