Saturday, March 20, 1982

Joan Jett hit #1 for the first of 7 weeks with "I Love Rock and Roll"

I Love Rock and Roll

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Writer(s): Jake Hooker, Alan Merrill (see lyrics here)


First Charted: December 12, 1981


Peak: 17 US, 15 CB, 15 HR, 1 AR, 4 UK, 18 CN, 15 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 86.64 video, 106.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

When the Rolling Stones sang “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” the lesser known Arrows felt obligated to respond with their more celebratory message of “I Love Rock and Roll.” BR The American trio went unnoticed stateside, but garnered enough attention in England to warrant their own TV show. Still, they only recorded one album and this 1975 song didn’t even make it on; it was originally relegated to a mere B-side of a single. SF

The Arrows’ message eventually reached a mass audience, though. While Joan Jett was touring England as a member of the teenage girl group the Runaways, SF she saw the Arrows performing “I Love Rock and Roll” on a TV show. She wanted to cover the song, but was outvoted by her band members. SF After the Runaways’ demise, Jett cut the song herself. She shopped it to twenty-three record labels before finally getting the attention of Boardwalk Records, RS500 a new label formed by Neil Bogart, the “emperor of disco at Casablanca” MA and “king of bubble gum at Buddah and Cameo/Parkway.” MA

Even then, the song only surfaced in Holland as the flip side of a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.” BR Jett still believed enough in the song to buy the radio rights for $2500. RS500 She made a decent investment: today, the song that became the biggest pop hit of 1982, WHC is worth close to $20 million. RS500

In the Arrows’ hands, the song’s message about a guy picking up a girl and taking her home made for a fairly clich├ęd topic in a rock song. SF In Jett’s hands, though, the song became an empowering anthem about the woman aggressively pursuing the guy SF and shaped Jett’s image “as a tough, confident” SF “girl-rock icon.” RS500


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Joan Jett
  • BR Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 553.
  • MA Dave Marsh (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Page 300-1.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (12/04). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • SF Songfacts
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 11.

Last updated 4/24/2021.

Thursday, March 18, 1982

Asia released its debut album

Asia

Asia


Released: March 18, 1982


Charted: April 3, 1982


Peak: 19 US, 11 UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.1 UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: mainstream progressive rock


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Heat of the Moment [3:50] (4/3/82, #4 US, #46 UK, #1 AR)
  2. Only Time Will Tell [4:44] (5/1/82, #17 US, #54 UK, #8 AR)
  3. Sole Survivor [4:48] (4/3/82, #10 AR)
  4. One Step Closer(Wetton, Howe) [4:16]
  5. Time Again (Downes, Howe, Palmer, Wettton) [4:45] (7/31/82, #43 AR)
  6. Wildest Dreams [5:10] (4/10/82, #28 AR)
  7. Without You(Wettton, Howe) [5:04]
  8. Cutting It Fine (Wetton, Howe, Downes) [5:35]
  9. Here Comes the Feeling (Wetton, Howe) [5:42] (7/3/82, #40 AR)

Songs by John Wettton and Geoff Downes unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 44:22


The Players:

  • Geoff Downes (keyboards)
  • Steve Howe (guitar)
  • Carl Palmer (drums)
  • John Wetton (vocals/ bass)

Rating:

3.655 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The debut album from Asia was “the success story of 1982” TD logging 9 weeks atop the Billboard chart and being named the magazine’s album of the year. The album has sold an estimated 10 million copies worldwide.

Produced by Mike Stone, Asia’s strengths were the powerful vocals of John Wetton, the nimble, classically tinged guitar work of Steve Howe, Geoffrey Downes’ majestic keyboard playing, and anchoring the band, Carl Palmer’s propulsive drumming.” TD They made for a supergroup “with impressive pedigrees” TDJohn Wetton had been with King Crimson; Carl Palmer with Emerson, Lake & Palmer; and Steve Howe and Geoff Downes had just worked together on the 1980 Yes album Drama.

With backgrounds in progressive rock, they were definitely “going against the grain of the new wave styling of the day,” TD but they also adopted a more commercially savvy pop-rock sound. The group’s formula was “a precarious balance between arty rock ambition and bombastic pop appeal.” GG They definitely had their detractors: “the lyrics are overwrought at moments” TD and, as critic Robert Christgau said, the album is “pompous – schlock in the grand manner.” RC

Still, “there’s no denying the epic grandeur of the music, which provided some much-needed muscle to radio at the time, and did so with style.” TD Billboard magazine said “the caliber of the [band’s] playing is superb and the music sounds fresh and perfect fare for AOR.” WK

The lead single, Heat of the Moment, was a perfect introduction to the band. It was a #1 song on album rock and a top five pop hit. The follow-up, “the sweeping Only Time Will Tell,” TD was a top ten album rock hit and top-twenty pop song. Sole Survivor also hit the top ten on the album rock chart.


Notes: The B-side “Ride Easy” was added to later editions of the album.

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Yes
  • RC Robert Christgau (1990). Christgau’s Record Guide: The ‘80s.
  • TD Tom Demalon, All Music Guide
  • GG Gary Graff et al (1999). Music Hound – Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Visible Ink Press: Farmington Hills, MI.
  • WK Wikipedia


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 2/14/2008; updated 8/6/2021.

Friday, March 5, 1982

50 years ago: Louis Armstrong hit #1 with “All of Me”

All of Me

Louis Armstrong

Writer(s): Seymour Simons, Gerald Marks (see lyrics here)


First Charted: February 20, 1932


Peak: 12 US, 11 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2.27 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Detroit songwriters Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons wrote this jazz standard in 1931. The pair met when Marks was playing with a band at a summer resort in Lake Michigan. Simons, who’d written the hit “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze” a few years earlier, was impressed with a new song Marks played on the piano between sets and, with Marks’ blessing, added lyrics to it. SF The song featured a broken-hearted narrator who can’t imagine how to move on from his ex, singing, “You took the part that once was my heart, so why not take all of me?” SF

Marks and Simons couldn’t get anyone to publish the song, but offered it to vaudeville star Belle Baker who’d introduced “Blue Skies” in 1926. SF She performed it onstage at the Motor City’s Fisher Theatre. JS The song became a hit when the national press picked up on a story that Baker, who’d just lost her husband, broke down crying while performing the song. JS She then performed it on the radio in New York, SF thus introducing it to a wider audience.

On December 1 of that year, Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra recorded the song with Mildred Bailey on vocals. Their version went to #1 and was quickly followed by another chart-topping version by Louis Armstrong – the highest ranked version in Dave’s Music Database. Others to chart with the song included Ben Selvin (#19, 1932), Count Basie (#14, 1943), Frank Sinatra (#21, 1948), Johnny Ray (#12, 1952), PM and Willie Nelson (#3 country, 1978). Eric Clapton, Bing Crosby, Ruth Etting, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Frankie Laine, Dean Martin, Paul McCartney, and Sarah Vaughn also recorded the song. SF It was featured in the movies Careless Lady (1932), Meet Danny Wilson (1952), and All of Me (1984).

Critic Ted Gioia says the definitive version is by Billie Holiday in 1941: “She staked a claim of ownership that no one has managed to dislodge in subsequent years.” WK Legendary Columbia producer John Hammond, who discovered Holiday, was listening to her version when he died in 1987. SF


Resources and Related Links:

Last updated 4/23/2021.