Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, March 20th

On this day in 1980: 28 year- old Joseph Riviera held up the Asylum Records office in New York and demanded to see either Jackson Browne or the Eagles. Riviera wanted to talk to them to see if they would finance his trucking operation. He gave him-self up when told that neither act was in the office at the time

On this day in 1982: Joan Jett And The Blackhearts started a seven week run at #1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.’

“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a song written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker nd first recorded by the Arrows in 1975. It is best known for its 1982 cover version by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, which was released as the first single from her album of the same name. Jett’s rendition became her highest-charting hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot and becoming the #3 ranked song for the entire year of 1982. The single was certified platinum by the RIAA, representing two million units shipped to stores. Jett’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016.

Joan Jett saw the Arrows perform “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on their weekly UK television series Arrows while she was touring England with The Runaways in 1976. She first recorded the song in 1979 with two members of The Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. This first version was released on vinyl in 1979 on Vertigo records as a B-side to “You Don’t Own Me”. In 1981, Jett re-recorded the song, this time with her band, The Blackhearts. This recording became a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks.

The black-and-white music video for “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” received heavy play by the fledgling MTV network. It featured Jett and the Blackhearts traveling to a small, dingy bar and then exciting the drunken crowd by performing the song and yelling out its chorus. A snippet of Jett’s 1981 hit “Bad Reputation” can be heard at the beginning of the video. The video was originally in color, but it was converted to black and white because Jett hated the look of her red leather jumpsuit in color.

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1982:

1 3 I LOVE ROCK ‘N ROLL –•– Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (Boardwalk)-7 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 2 OPEN ARMS –•– Journey (Columbia)-10 (2)
3 1 CENTERFOLD –•– The J. Geils Band (EMI-America)-20 (1)
4 5 THAT GIRL –•– Stevie Wonder (Tamla)-10 (4)
5 6 SWEET DREAMS –•– Air Supply (Arista)-15 (5)
6 7 WE GOT THE BEAT –•– The Go-Go’s (I.R.S.)-8 (6)
7 17 MAKE A MOVE ON ME –•– Olivia Newton-John (MCA)-6 (7)
8 8 MIRROR, MIRROR –•– Diana Ross (RCA)-11 (8)
9 4 SHAKE IT UP –•– The Cars (Elektra)-18 (4)
10 12 PAC-MAN FEVER –•– Buckner and Garcia (Columbia)-11 (10)

11 11 SPIRITS IN THE MATERIAL WORLD –•– The Police (A&M)-10 (11)
12 14 BOBBIE SUE –•– The Oak Ridge Boys (MCA)-10 (12)
13 16 KEY LARGO –•– Bertie Higgins (Kat Family)-19 (13)
14 18 CHARIOTS OF FIRE – TITLES –•– Vangelis (Polydor)-15 (14)
15 9 LEADER OF THE BAND –•– Dan Fogelberg (Full Moon / Epic)-17 (9)
16 10 TAKE IT EASY ON ME –•– Little River Band (Capitol)-16 (10)
17 19 SHOULD I DO IT –•– The Pointer Sisters (Planet)-9 (17)
18 29 FREEZE-FRAME –•– The J. Geils Band (EMI-America)-5 (18)
19 22 TAKE OFF –•– Bob and Doug McKenzie (Mercury)-8 (19)
20 21 TONIGHT I’M YOURS (Don’t Hurt Me) –•– Rod Stewart (Warner Brothers)-9 (20)

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