Meaning of I Love Rock and Roll & Song Story

On March 29, 2020, Alan Merrill died. The American vocalist and songwriter has died at the age of sixty-nine from complications of COVID-19. Over the years, Alan was a member of several rock bands and collaborated with many famous performers, but he entered the history of modern music, first of all, as the author of the legendary song I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Let’s honor Merrill’s memory with an article about his most famous work, which has become an anthem for true rock and roll fans.

History and meaning of the song I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll

Alan Merrill wrote the music and lyrics while playing in The Arrows.

In an interview with, he talked about what inspired him and briefly explained what the song “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is about:

It was a reflex response to It’s Only Rock and Roll by The Rolling Stones. I remember watching it on Top of the Pops. I met with Mick Jagger a couple of times and I knew that he was in contact with Prince Rupert Löwenstein [Rupert Loewenstein, финансовый менеджер The Rolling Stones – прим. Blimey] and other such people – the cream of society. It almost felt like he was apologizing to the princes and princesses he interacted with in It’s Only Rock and Roll. You know, before the aristocracy. It was my interpretation from a young person’s point of view: “Okay, I love rock and roll. What are you going to do about it?”

Song Facts

Alan said that he immediately believed in the success of the track:

I had a chorus that seemed like a future hit to me. I thought: “We need to compose something really unusual. I’ll write it so that the song separates from the verse.” After all, the real chorus is what sounds from the musical apparatus, and the hit is the song to which couples flirt at the disco.

It looked like The Twilight Zone to me. I was absolutely certain that I Love Rock and Roll was going to be a hit for The Arrows and I thought, “So we have a hit, but we need another hit within a hit. A fictional hit that plays in the chorus when people start singing it in the verse as their favorite song.”

When it became a really big hit with Joan Jett, my Twilight Zone concept came to life. But I don’t think a lot of people get that idea in the song. They just like the melody because it’s catchy. But it’s a really smart move that I’m proud of.

Song Facts

Recording and release

In July 1975, The Arrows released I Love Rock and Roll on the back of Broken Down Heart. This was insisted on by producer Mickey Most, who then liked ballads and blues songs more. A little later, the single was released again, changing the tracks in places, but the composition did not hit the charts.

The band then played I Love Rock and Roll on the TV show 45 produced by Muriel Young. He hosted a weekly The Arrows Show for the musicians, which aired for two seasons.

I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll – The Arrows

Studio Granada ITV filmed a music video for the song “I love rock and roll.” Filming took place in several areas of London.

I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll Joan Jett

Joan Jett heard the song on the aforementioned TV show. She bought a record and decided to record a cover version. At that time, she performed as part of the group The Runaways. Colleagues did not like the track, so in 1979 Joan performed the song without them, inviting Paul Cook (Paul Cook) and Steve Jones (Steve Jones) from The Sex Pistols.

She later recounted:

I recorded the earliest version with them. It was great to work with them, and no, there was not the slightest thrill on my part, although everyone around me told me that this is the most infamous band on the planet.

Uncut, 2010

In 1981, Joan Jett recorded I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll as part of her rock band The Blackhearts. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and other charts.

The song performed by Joan has received numerous accolades. So, it is included in the lists of the best tracks:

  • 500 Greatest Songs of All Time – Rolling Stone,
  • 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever! – Q,
  • Greatest Songs of All Time – Billboard.

In 2015, Joan Jett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This song seemed perfect for the event, but the singer did not want to perform it.

I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett

The music video was directed by Arnold Levine. On the set, which took place at New York’s Private Club, Joan wore a bright red suit. On the footage, the color scheme looked terrible, so the video was transferred to monochrome. The black and white video for I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll seemed more stylish and in keeping with the spirit of the song, so they settled on this version.

Next, you can watch the online video clip of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett.

The color video for I Love Rock and Roll was only officially released in 2003.

Other cover versions

Subsequently, the composition was recorded by many other musicians, including artists who have nothing to do with rock and roll. For example, in 2002 the single I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll by Britney Spears was released.

In December 2019, a comedy version of the song I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll was released by the British blogger LadBaby. His track I Love Sausage Rolls climbed to the top of the British hit parade.

Interesting Facts

  • In the original, I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll is performed from the point of view of a guy who meets a girl in a bar. Joan had to redo the lyrics.
  • The music video for I Love Rock and Roll starts with Bad Reputation by Joan Jett.

Who sang I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll better?

  • The Arrows
  • Joan Jett
  • Britney Spears
  • your answer in the comments

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Joan Jett I Love Rock And Roll Lyrics

I saw him dancin’ there by the record machine
I knew he must have been about seventeen
The beat was goin’ strong
Playin’ my favorite song
An’ I could tell it wouldn’t be long
Till he was with me, yeah me, singin’

I love rock n’ roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock n’ roll
So come an’ take your time an’ dance with me

He smiled so I got up and’ asked for his name
That don’t matter, he said
‘Cause it’s all the same
Said can I take you home where we can be alone
An’ next we were movin’ on
He was with me, yeah me
Next we were movin’ on
He was with me, yeah me, singin’


Said can I take you home where we can be alone
An we’ll be movin’ on
An’ singin’ that same old song
Yeah with me, singin’


I Love Rock And Roll lyrics by Joan Jett

I saw him dancing by the musical apparatus.
I realized that he was about seventeen.
The rhythm was powerful
My favorite song was playing.
I knew that very soon
He will be with me, yes, with me, singing …

I love Rock and Roll,
So put another coin in the machine, baby.
I love Rock and Roll,
So don’t hesitate, dance with me.

He smiled, I got up and asked him his name.
He said, “What’s the difference
After all, it doesn’t matter.”
And we immediately got down to business.
He was with me, yes, with me.
Then we got down to business.
He was with me, yes, with me, singing …


He said, “Can I take you home where we can be alone?
And let’s get down to business.
We’ll sing the same old song
Yes, with me, singing … “


Song quote

I think it is close to most people who love rock and roll. Everyone has a song that evokes delightful feelings and the desire to jump. I quickly realized, “This song is going to haunt you, so you either let it piss you off or you put up with it and be grateful that you are involved in something that affects so many people.

Joan Jett, Mojo, 2008

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