I Love Rock 'n' Roll

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Spears 'rocking' in the music video

"I Love Rock 'N Roll" is a rock and roll song, written in 1975 by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of The Arrows. It is arguably one of the most famous rock songs of its time.

The song was originally recorded and released by the Arrows in 1975 on RAK Records, produced by Mickie Most. This version was first released as a B-side, but was soon flipped to A-side status on a subsequent pressing of the record.

Although not a chart hit in its original version as a result of non-existent promotion by the band's label, the song has come to worldwide prominence due to very successful cover versions that have been recorded.

I Love Rock 'N Roll" is on the list of top 100 songs of the twentieth century, according to The National Endowment for the Arts. The song was ranked at number 484 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs.

Joan Jett version

"I Love Rock 'N Roll" was discovered by Joan Jett, who saw The Arrows perform it on a TV show when she was touring England with The Runaways. She first recorded it in 1979 with two of the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. This first version was not a hit. In 1982, Jett re-recorded the song, this time with her band, the Blackhearts, and this recording became a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, effectively launching Jett's solo career. Its success propelled Jett's I Love Rock 'N Roll album to number two in the U.S.

"I Love Rock 'N Roll"'s gritty, black-and-white music video received heavy play from the then-young MTV network. In it Jett and the Blackhearts travel to a small, dingy bar and proceed to excite the drunken crowd by performing the song and yelling out its famous chorus. Jett followed "I Love Rock 'N Roll" up with another cover — her version of Tommy James & the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover" was a top-ten U.S. hit.

In March 2005, Q magazine placed Jett's version of the song at number 85 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.

A cover version based on the 1982 recording with The Blackhearts was later recorded to appear in the Playstation 2 video game Guitar Hero.

Britney Spears version

"I Love Rock 'N Roll" is the fourth single released in Australia and the UK by Dance-pop singer Britney Spears from the album Britney during the second quarter of 2002. The song was used in her 2002 movie Crossroads. Spears performs it in a karaoke bar.

Spears has publicly admitted the original song to be one of her favorites. Spears listened to The Arrows' original Mickie Most-produced version just before she recorded the song, according to her Jive A&R man Steve Lunt. When promoting the single's release she infamously attributed the hit version of the song to Pat Benatar instead of Jett, although she claims this was a remark made in sarcasm rather than a mistake.[1]

Music video

Directed by Chris Applebaum, the music video for "I Love Rock 'N Roll" features Spears in a tight-fitting leather getup. Straightforward, it features Spears jamming in a large red room, complete with her own band, a stack of speakers, and flashing lights. She crawls along on the floor, and plays air guitar before smashing the speakers with a real guitar. Spears also dances on a rotating motorcycle and gets covered with confetti.

A special edit of the video was made, including parts of the Karaoke Bar scene from the movie Crossroads. This version was made especially for Latin America and other markets where the movie was premiered.

"I Love Rock 'N Roll" ended up becoming Spears' biggest commercial failure as the single failed to make the top ten in most countries. Still, the track was not by any means a flop, as it made at least top forty placement in most regions. "I Love Rock 'N Roll" was successful in the UK, where it peaked at number thirteen (which is, in fact, her "lowest"-charting single there). The single sold a total of 51,000 copies. A U.S. release was scheduled, but the plans were eventually scrapped.

Additional cover versions

"I Love Rock 'N Roll" is an oft-covered song, and has been notably recorded by such artists as:

Britney Spears Tracklisting/Formats

UK CD Single

  1. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Album Version) 3:06
  2. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Karaoke Version) 3:06
  3. Overprotected (Darkchild Remix Radio Edit) 3:06
  4. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Enhanced Music Video) 3:06

EU/AUS CD Single

  1. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Album Version) 3:06
  2. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Karaoke Version) 3:06
  3. Overprotected (Darkchild Remix) 3:20
  4. I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman (Metro Remix) 5:25

GER CD Single

  1. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Album Version) 3:06
  2. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Karaoke Version) 3:06
  3. Overprotected (Riprock ‘n’ Alex G. Remix) 3:25
  4. I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman (Metro Remix) 5:25

JPN EP (Extended Play)

  1. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Album Version) 3:06
  2. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Karaoke Version) 3:06
  3. Overprotected (Darkchild Remix) 3:20
  4. I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman (Metro Remix) 5:25
  5. I’m A Slave 4 U (Thunderpuss Radio Mix) 3:18
  6. I’m A Slave 4 U (Miguel Migs Petalpusher Vocal) 5:30
  7. I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman (Spanish Fly Dub Mix) 5:55


Joan Jett and the Blackhearts version

Chart (1982) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Hot Dance Club Play 31
UK singles chart 8

Britney Spears version

"I Love Rock 'N Roll" became the first Britney song that has charted on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart (the chart archive only goes back to 2002 though it exist longer).

Chart (2002) Peak
Australian ARIA Top 50 13
Austria Top 75 9
Belgium Top 50 21
Canadian Top 100 33
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 21
Europe Top 100 35
German Top 100 7
Hungarian Single Charts 6
Indonesia chart 7
Irish Top 20 8
Italy Top 50 20
Japan 'Tokio Hot 100' 47
Dutch Top 40 17
Mexican Top 100 1
Philippines Top 20 1
Portuguese Top 20 2
Sweden Top 60 15
Switzerland Top 100 15
UK Singles Chart 13

See Also

Rock and roll anthem

External links

Preceded by
"Centerfold" by J. Geils Band
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Joan Jett version)
March 20 1982
Succeeded by
"Chariots of Fire" by Vangelis