About 41 years ago, one of my favourite songs was released worldwide. In fact, in January 1981, Joan Jett released “Bad Reputation“, an iconic track that, even though many decades have passed, still has a lot of power and meaning. The song has always had a special place in my heart because it represented someone I always aspired to be. Someone independent, someone brave, someone that has no fear of speaking her mind. And I always lacked these abilities, but this song makes me pretend that I, too, am courageous, strong and direct.
This song was not only voted as the 29th best hard rock song of all time by VH1 in 2009, but it is also considered to be one of the timeless feminist anthems of music history. To add even more significance to the track, it was the highest-ranked sung, written and recorded by a woman. Joan Jett truly redefined the standards of the role of women in rock music! More recently, instead, it was voted at position 249 on Rolling Stone’s “Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. Not a bad position!
I would be lying to you, though, if I said that the first time I listened to this song, it was the original version. It was not. I discovered this wonderful track by watching Avril Lavigne‘s DVD “The Best Damn Tour“, where, after her acoustic set, there is a video montage of her rendition of this timeless classic. So I have to apologize to Joan, but for me, it was Avril that opened the door for discovering such a powerful anthem.
In any way, both versions have their merit, and even though it is true that the original cannot be beaten, Avril’s cover is certainly well-performed. It makes me glad to be a woman, even though I still have difficulties in speaking my mind or making my points: these ladies come to my aid every time I push play on my music player.