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Runaways, The - 1977 Queens Of Noise

ARTIST: Runaways, The
ALBUM: Queens Of Noise
LABEL: Phonogram
SERIAL: SRM-1-1126
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2003, Cherry Red (UK), CDMRED 238


LINEUP: Cherie Currie - vocals, keyboards * Joan Jett - guitars, vocals * Lita Ford - guitars, vocals * Jackie Fox - bass, vocals * Sandy West - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Queens Of Noise * 02 Take It Or Leave It * 03 Midnight Music * 04 Born To Be Bad * 05 Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin * 06 I Love Playin' With Fire * 07 California Paradise * 08 Hollywood * 09 Heartbeat * 10 Johnny Guitar


Huge in Japan while nothing more than a novelty act in the States, The Runaways were every 16 year old male's wet dream or should have been and in hindsight it's hard to imagine Girlschool, Rock Goddess, Precious Metal and Vixen ever happening without their groundbreaking work. Perhaps part of the problem was the group's notorious manager Kim Fowley whose hype making machine was the stuff of legend. The band received little if any airplay, despite spending most of their time on the road supporting records that sold next to nothing. Perhaps they were ahead of their time? All young girls who looked and acted exactly like the type Mama warned you about, but still wanted to be with both literally and figuratively. They were tough, musically in step with everything happening at the time and with a line up that included future 80's star's Lita Ford and Joan Jett, they are certainly worth a listen once again.

The Songs
'Queens Of Noise was the group's second album and a definite improvement over the first. Contrary to what some reviewer's and critics say, The Runaways sound never had anything to do with punk rock as if to bring a false credibility to an all woman band that rocked harder and looked better than Patti Smith and Debbie Harry. This band was about hard rock in the tradition of KISS and Aerosmith - with a touch of bubblegum and glam. The title track speaks volumes on The Runaways ability to rock as does the ultra heavy 'I Love Playin' With Fire', 'Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin' (great title!) and the closing 'Johnny Guitar' in which Lita Ford let's loose while through the entire album vocalist Cherie Currie wails like Robert Plant on Estrogen.

In Summary
Unfortunately the potential of The Runaways was never realized with Currie leaving the band after 'Queens Of Noise'. The follow-up 'Waitin' for the Night' was good while their fourth studio album 'And Now.. The Runaways' had its moments, it was nothing but a mere shadow of the band on their first three albums. A live album recorded in Japan is worth checking out as well, but it's 'Queens Of Noise' that I recommend starting with first. It's easily available on CD and any serious collection of 70's hard rock is incomplete without it.

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#1 | jeffduran on July 15 2008 04:53:29
One of the craziest hours of my life was a phone call with Kim Fowley. Ask him about the Runaways and you will never listen to this the same way again...
#2 | reyno-roxx on March 16 2013 20:47:11
Read Jackie Fox's blog on her time in The Runaways and it'll give yet another spin on this album and the band's history. Eye opening to say the least.

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