Joan Jett saw the Arrows perform “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” on their weekly UK television series Arrows when she was touring England with the Runaways in 1976. She first recorded the song in 1979 with two 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.
Released on January 19, 1982, the single peaked at No 4 in the UK for three consecutive weeks.
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