“Bad Reputation” is a raucous, loud and unapologetic punk song, with a catchy hook and a certain endearing discordant energy,
Joan Jett shines here as the premier woman in punk rock, shouting out her defiant lyrics. It could not be more different from later equivalents like Avril Lavigne, who was always altogether more polished and commercial.
This isn’t raw, untouched punk music by any means. But the labels wouldn’t have the album (of the same name), so the producer Kenny Laguna had to fund a lot of it himself. Which is pretty punk in its own way…
The song is about the reputation she accrued with The Runaways, the band she was in before her solo career and The Blackhearts. The lyrics aren’t particularly refined; the general gist of the song is that she doesn’t care about her reputation.
They were an all female band who became a big part of the punk scene when it was at its height.
The song was released in 1980 on the album Bad Reputation.