Joan Jett / Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Real Wild Child: Video Anthology

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The expression "paved the way" could have been coined for Joan Jett. Back in the '70s, it was Jett and her fellow nymphs in the Runaways -- along with Suzi Quatro on the other side of the Atlantic -- who really laid down the blacktop for later female rockers to take the ride (e.g., the Go-Go's, Hole, L7, Bikini Kill, the Donnas, et al.). Jett, even more so than fellow Runaways alumna Lita Ford, made it OK to throw on the leather duds and raunch like a guy. Which all makes this two-DVD set pretty significant. Other DVDs exist of concerts by Jett and her Blackhearts band, but this mix of videos, live numbers, interviews, and even TV commercials is the definitive documentary of this talented rock & roll rowdy. In all, there are 37 chronologically ordered music videos here, with a variety of alternate versions paired up with originals. (But that provides welcome insight rather than overkill.) All of Jett's hits are repped, including "Everyday People," "Crimson and Clover," "Do You Wanna Touch Me?," "Light of Day," "I Hate Myself for Lovin' You," "Dirty Deeds," and her signature cover of "I Love Rock & Roll" (which was at number one for seven weeks back in 1982). Highlights are many and include the original color version of "I Love Rock & Roll," an interview with Jett and longtime musical partner Kenny Laguna, and a 2001 rendition of "Cherry Bomb" with former Runaways frontwoman Cherie Currie. Throw in all the extras and you get 144 minutes of pure 5.1 Dolby Digital, boots 'n' all bliss. A woman on top way before anyone ever breathed the term "riot grrrl,"Joan Jett cross-pollinated rock & roll, punk, and glam and gave it a refreshing female sneer. Real Wild Child is proof positive that the lady with the raspy vox and racoon eye makeup was always way underrated.