After revolutionary rock band The Runaways disbanded, the legendary Joan Jett went forward with her band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and their debut album Bad Reputation secured her title as a rock and roll icon. Built with a typical collection of originals and covers with influences from punk and glam rock, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts created one of the best-known hard rock albums of all time. She changed the game for female rock musicians and was a key influence in the underground riot-grrrl movement that continues to create iconic feminist punk. Here are some of the albums that were inspired by Joan Jett’s badass rock.
Bad Cop, Bad Cop – Warriors
Released in 2017 in the wake of the US election, Bad Cop, Bad Cop’s Warriors is an unwavering feminist punk dream. Each song is fast-paced and unrelenting in its rage against social inequality and its celebration of the people who fight against it. Tracks like ‘Victoria’ and ‘Kids’, although they are a brutal listen, are among the most powerful and authoritative punk songs in recent years. Every single song will get stuck in your head and the band’s high energy is always infectious. What highlights the band as formidable musicians are their flawless three-part harmonies and big melodies, injecting punk with new life in the fantastic Warriors.
The Distillers – Sing Sing Death House
No doubt the heaviest record on the list, Australia’s Brody Dalle changed the face of hardcore in the early 2000s Sing Sing Death House. Following a line up change after their self-titled debut in 2000, the Distillers went all out on this album with its razor-sharp punk and authentic lyrics. ‘Sick of It All’ is a screaming start to a chaotic album, and the 5-star tracks just keep on coming. ‘Bullet and Bullseye’ and ‘I Am A Revenant’ are bold and aggressive, while Brody Dalle’s rough vocals are more accessible on songs like ‘Seneca Falls’ and ‘City of Angels’. If hardcore punk rock is your thing, there’s no better album that Sing Sing Death House. And the best news of all is that The Distillers recently reunited, and with a few singles released already and a number of festival slots, we can probably expect more hard rock any day now.
Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out
Sleater-Kinney were one of the original bands at the forefront of the riot-grrrl genre which was inspired by musicians like Joan Jett. Giving punk some much-needed raw emotion, Dig Me Out is an alternative take on heartbreak by switching between personal and political themes. Most of all, the album is a rock and roll rebellion against the gender roles and heteronormativity that are so frequently found in the alternative scene. ‘One More Hour’ is by far the most powerful track on the album, recounting the breakup between band members Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker. The balance between their shared vocals in the belting chorus speak a thousand words about the emotion that these musicians are feeling as they sing. Lucky for us, Sleater-Kinney are still releasing music, and deliver as much of their trademark alternative sound as they ever did.