Judged on good times generated and semi-refined hooligan charm it’d be REALLY hard to beat this Greatest Hits (released March 9 on Blackheart Records). For over 30 years, Jett and her co-conspirators have been spitting in the eyes of bosses, parents, record execs and anyone who tried to loom large over their carousing. No one has to remind you that rock ‘n’ roll is about rebellion or sex when Joan is calling the shots, and in case you’ve somehow forgotten these core truths, here’s 21 cracking reminders that should blast loudly from our car stereos all summer long, if we know what’s good for us!
Spread over two discs, the set begins with three tough remakes of Runaways faves that are pure razorblade bubblegum. Go just a step or two further and Love Is Pain, You Don’t Know What You’ve Got and others show a surprising pathos and real understanding of how it feels to lose and to stand outside of the norm, yet fully accept the costs of that choice. Oh sure, Jett brings the party – and hard – but what impresses beyond undying, shout-out-loud delights like Bad Reputation, Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) and I Hate Myself For Loving You is the complexity of identity, particularly gender politics, inside Jett’s work, particularly the less well-known recent material, which is uniformly excellent. It may be a party but it’s a party thrown by one of the smartest, undiluted rockers of all time.