Saturday, January 4, 2014

Joan Jett, "Love Hurts"

Like most people under the age of 50, I first heard the Everly Brothers' "Love Hurts" through Nazareth's wonderfully overblown version, a permanent fixture of bar screamalongs all over the world. But to honor the late Phil Everly today, I wanted something that could honor the gentle original while still giving it a kick. Enter Joan Jett.

It was almost a given that Joan Jett would release a covers album, on which "Love Hurts" appears--many of her big hits have been covers ("Do You Wanna Touch Me," "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Crimson and Clover," "Everyday People," "Roadrunner," "Dirty Deeds") and her seamless blend of punk, hard rock, pop and rockabilly casts a wide net of influences. She's an unforgettable interpreter (although even she, like everyone else, can't rescue "The Little Drummer Boy,") and I love what she does here. She's aching, but you still wouldn't mess with her. If we're all inevitably going to get wounded, may it be a little more like this.

For Phil Everly.

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