"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" is a song covered by which was originally recorded by a British group called The Arrows in 1975, and it was written by their Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker. Merrill explained in a Songfacts interview how this song came about: "That was a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones' 'It's Only Rock 'N' Roll.' I remember watching it on Top of the Pops. I'd met Mick Jagger socially a few times, and I knew he was hanging around with Prince Rupert Lowenstein and people like that – jet setters. I almost felt like 'It's Only Rock and Roll' was an apology to those jet-set princes and princesses that he was hanging around with - the aristocracy, you know. That was my interpretation as a young man: Okay, I love rock and roll. And then, where do you go with that?"
The song was released as a B-side with The Arrows' "Broken Down Heart." The group was recording for RAK Records, which was run by Mickie Most. As Merrill explains, "I Love Rock And Roll" didn't suit his current tastes, as during that time Most prefered ballads and blues. Most's wife Christina Hayes encouraged him to flip the sides, but the song didn't catch on, as it suffered from a poor run of luck at the time of its release. First, it had to be re-released as an A-side. Second, the song came out during an English newspaper strike, so new songs weren't getting the exposure they'd normally get. Third, notorious feuds were occurring between The Arrows and their record label. As a result, the song barely scratched the top 50 charts.
The Runaways' Michael Steele went on to join The Bangles, and their guitarist Lita Ford had a successful solo career, but Joan Jett emerged as their most famous alumna. Kenny Laguna plays a big part in her story, as he helped Jett get started as a solo artist and has worked with her ever since. In 1972, after working with acts like Tommy James And The Shondells and Tony Orlando, Kenny was looking for work and found it through Peter Meaden, who managed The Who when they were still known as The High Numbers. Meaden got Kenny a job working at Mobile Records in England, where he became friends with The Who and met The Runaways' manager, who asked him to produce what would be their last album. Kenny didn't work on that album, but when The Runaways broke up, he started working with Jett. Peter Meaden, who introduced Kenny to The Who and helped revive his career, was the manager of The Arrows, the group that wrote and originally recorded "I love Rock And Roll." If Kenny had accepted the job and produced The Runaways' last album, there is a good chance he would have made them record it, since he thought it was a hit.