Everything about the song I Love Rock 'n' Roll...
In March 2020 Alan Merrill - the author of the legendary rock'n'roll anthem - left us... The American singer and songwriter passed away at the age of 69, just over a month after his last birthday... At different times Alan was a member of several rock bands and managed to work with famous masters! However, in the history of world music his name is closely connected with the song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll"...
"...This song is very close to everyone who is really in love with rock 'n' roll... You know: for each of us there is one really special, infinitely beloved song that causes an irresistible desire to cheer up! So I Love Rock 'n' Roll is something unique! And you either go along with this track - admiring it over and over again, or it will haunt you for the rest of your days! I choose the former..." - Joan Jett.
Let's honor the talented musician with an article about his most famous masterpiece...
The Story of the Song I Love Rock 'n' Roll!
Merrill wrote this dynamic anthem as a member of The Arrows. "What inspired the musician to write it?" - this and many other questions Alan answered in his interview:
"...This song is a kind of answer to It's Only Rock and Roll by the Rolling Stones! I had crossed paths with Jagger a few times, and I knew he was in touch with the so-called "cream of society". In that song of his, it was as if Mick was apologizing to all that aristocracy for loving rock... And then I decided to make a statement on my part: "Okay, I love rock and roll! What are you going to do about it?"
Merrill also stated that he foresaw the success of his creation from the very beginning:
"...I already had a chorus written, and I saw it as a future hit! I was sure that I Love Rock and Roll was going to be a success... I thought, "Alan, get it together and write something truly extraordinary..." And I did! It's magical when the fans pick up your song on the fly and start singing along with you in unison..."
"...I created a mini-hit within the hit itself... I saw the chorus as a kind of 'Twilight Zone' that doesn't seem to exist, but that's what sets the mood for the whole song... I'm sure not all listeners saw that... Most people just like the music itself, because it's so damn sticky..."
I Love Rock and Roll came out in 1975, on the back of Broken Down Heart (so decided by the producer of The Arrows, who at that time was just crazy about love ballads and blues compositions...)
Joan Jett's version
After hearing "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" on the radio, young Jett fell in love with the track! But... her fellow Runaways rejected the song, so she didn't record her own version until 1979 (along with Paul Cook and Steve Jones)
Later, the singer recounted:
"...I liked working with the Sex Pistols guys! There were a lot of bad things about them, but they turned out to be great musicians! I wasn't the least bit worried about recording the original version of the song with them, even though everyone was saying that they were a real rock band with the worst reputation in the world!
Two years later the singer re-recorded "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" with her new band The Blackhearts. As a result, the track topped many prestigious charts!
In fact, it was Joan Jett who brought the rock 'n' roll hit the popularity it deserved. In 2015, the singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it seemed that the legendary composition was perfect for this event. But... for unknown reasons, Jett refused to perform it.