Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pure and Simple

Pure And Simple is the tenth studio album by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, released on June 14, 1994. From its title to its tough core, Pure and Simple was a return to form for Joan Jett. Encouraged by a new generation of riot grrls who held her early work up as the inspirational lightning rod it was (including L7 and Bikini Kill, who contribute wring credits on a couple songs on this album), Jett shook off the doldrums and found her way back to the nails-for-breakfast, queen-bitch persona that she was really all about. Pure and Simple rocks with a gritty realism unmatched even by the punchy 1988 hit "I Hate Myself for Lovin' You." If the one-two punch of "Go Home" and "Eye to Eye" makes you want to hit something, then "Spinster" -- "Maybe I don't wanna f*ck you!" -- is the bout-ending haymaker. And even when she's singing about the plight of the homeless, Jett sounds like she gargled with Mad Dog 20/20. The guitar riffs are monstrous and and nasty. And as always, Joan's gritty, growling, and gigantic vocals says she means business. This album did not get the recognition it so deserved when it came out and at one time was out of print but I think it's available now. It's some the hardest stuff Joan Jett's ever written. Pure and Simple is essential for any hard rock fan, if only to support one of the genre's most fearsome competitors.


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