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The Hit List

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Album Review

From Sly Stone's "Everyday People" to Tommy James & the Shondells' "Crimson & Clover," cover songs have long been one of Joan Jett's strong points. Covers can be a waste of time in the hands of some rockers; but they've always worked well for Jett, who's been wise enough to make sure that her own personality never became obscured when recording other artists' material. The one-time member of the criminally neglected Runaways embraces covers exclusively on The Hit List, tackling everything from the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant" to AC/DC's "Dirty Deed" to the Doors' "Love Me Two Times" with spirited, inspired results. While those investigating Jett's career would do better to start out with I Love Rock N' Roll or Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth, The Hit List was a welcome addition to her catalog.

Customer Reviews

DirtHy Deeds?

Uhm, not to bother anyone that works for iTunes, but note that "Dirty" is spelled as written, not "Dirthy".

A solid collection of covers.

This one deserves better than to have a single, two-star review define it for newbies. Sure there would be better widepread success with covers like "Crimson & Clover" and "Everyday People" (or more recently a great cover of The Replacements' "Androgynous"). Still, this is a solid collection, worth listening to for more than just a few cuts. My highlights are "Love Hurts" (vocals only surpassed by Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris) and "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" If you already have the hits, pick this and one of the more recent albums up to become a lifelong fan. Then go see a live show. You'll want to quit your job and follow her everywhere.

Solid rock fun

Remember how the 'Unplugged' phenomenon took overly-familiar hits and showcased the songs instead of the production? Well JJ similarly strips songs to their essentials, but without turning down the volume on the amps. Joan covers a wider variety of tunes than you'd expect. She takes an overplayed song like "Dirty Deeds" and makes it sound fresh again, revealing it for the badass blast of rock it is. Her raw voice takes any sappiness out of The Kinks "Celluloid Heroes", with a ragged beauty that perfectly evokes Hollywood Boulevard. It's perfect for the rock ache of "Have You Ever Seen The Rain". "Tush" is a nice surprise. Others are just fine. It's Joan. It's bare knuckle fun.


Born: September 22, 1958 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

By playing pure and simple rock & roll without making an explicit issue of her gender, Joan Jett became a figurehead for several generations of female rockers. Jett's brand of rock & roll is loud and stripped-down, yet with overpowering hooks -- a combination of the Stones' tough, sinewy image and beat, AC/DC chords, and glam rock hooks. As the numerous covers she has recorded show, she adheres both to rock tradition and breaks with it -- she plays classic three-chord rock & roll, yet she also loves...
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