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Throwback: Joan Jett

No. 1 today in 1982: 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll'

Joan Jett

Everybody wanted to put another dime in the jukebox, baby, when Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" topped the pop charts 35 years ago today.

The catchy anthem was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in the spring of 1982, until it was upended by an unlikely rival: the theme from the Oscar-winning Best Picture, "Chariots of Fire."

"I Love Rock 'n' Roll," a retort to the Rolling Stones' "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)," was written in 1975 by two members of the British band Arrows. Jett, now 57, says she discovered the rollicking number a year later while touring England with her infamous teenage band, The Runaways. The other girls, however, didn't exactly love that kind of rock 'n' roll and shot it down.

Jett finally recorded it in 1979 with the Sex Pistols' Paul Cook and Steve Jones, but that version was relegated to the B-side of "You Don't Own Me."

Persistence paid off two years later when Jett convinced the Blackhearts to give it a go. The single went platinum, selling more than 2 million copies, and propelled the album of the same title to No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

This year, Jett's signature song was inducted in the Grammys Hall of Fame. So what if dimes and jukeboxes ain't what they used to be.

Photo by Pete Cronin/Redferns via Getty Images