Joan Jett / Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Jett Rock: Greatest Hits of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

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Jett Rock: Greatest Hits of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts is the strongest collection of Jett's work to date. The fact that it was released only in Japan (and seems to be the only hits collection in print in 2003) is a real shame. Jett recorded some of the best hard rock of the '80s, and people should be able to get a hold of it easily. If you want to pay the money, there is (almost) nothing but excellent rock & roll on Jett Rock. The collection draws on her entire career starting with two tracks from the rare fan club-only release 1979 ("You Can't Get Me [Acoustic Version]") and ending with 1999's Fetish. In between it takes the best tracks from each of her albums (oddly only picking two from her best record, I Love Rock n' Roll, while picking three from the still good but inferior Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth) and throws in a couple of rarities like her rollicking cover of the Mary Tyler Moore theme "Love Is All Around," the previously unreleased "Watersign" (from an album she recorded in 1999 and is still on the shelf), a duet with Greg Graffin of Bad Religion on Cole Porter's "Let's Do It" originally intended for the Tank Girl soundtrack, and 2001's tribute to science fiction movies called "Science Fiction," which is easily the worst song on the record and should have been replaced by Jett Rock's most glaring omission: "Victim of Circumstance" from I Love Rock n' Roll. The rest of the disc rounds up all the hits ("I Love Rock n' Roll," "Bad Reputation," "Light of Day," "This Means War," "I Hate Myself for Loving You") as well as solid album cuts like her collaboration with Paul Westerberg ("Backlash"), her cover of CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" from her otherwise ill-advised covers album, the stomping "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" from Bad Reputation, and the tough "Spinster," which was co-written by Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna. Unlike most of the other Jett collections, all the songs are taken from the original albums. In other words, no live versions. The main problem with the disc is the track sequence, which seems to be entirely random and causes some unfortunate moments of whiplash like when the modern hostile sounding tracks "Fetish" and "Spinster" segue into her innocent cover of "Crimson and Clover." A simple chronological progression would have been much more logical and enjoyable. Despite this flaw, Jett Rock is a good document of a true rock & roller and is chock-full of classic rock & roll.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:35
2 3:28
3 4:07
4 2:24
5 3:34
6 2:55
7 2:28
8 2:50
9 2:39
10 2:41
11 3:47
12 2:22
13 3:32
14 3:12
15 3:34
16 5:46
17 3:16
18 3:23
19 2:45
20 3:18
21 3:31
22 3:35
blue highlight denotes track pick