Most everyone knows that “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is by the badass Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Except, well, it’s not. The song was written and recorded by Arrows in 1975, a pop rock band from London that disbanded after only three years together.
Although the song was released as a single, it failed to garner much traction until it landed in the hands of Joan Jett seven years later, when she saw Arrow perform the song on television. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ version charted number one in multiple countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., and the Netherlands. The track received professional praise as well, and still does. Jett’s version has made it onto lists such as Q Magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
A version of the song that did not do quite as well? Britney Spears’ cover of the track, which was released as a European single in 2002. The cover was featured in the movie Crossroads, which starred Britney Spears. Spears’ character sung the track in a karaoke bar. The single was received about as well as the film, which is to say, poorly. Britney’s version was trashed by critics, but still managed to sneak into the Top 40 in many countries.
If that video wasn’t enough to make you cringe, noted Joan Jett fan Miley Cyrus added the song to her tour set a few years ago. Of course, she sung the song while suspended above her stadium audience on a red motorcycle. I suppose that’s rock and roll, but even more rock and roll? Breath control.