Why is The Runaways’ The Runaways on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Down the streets I’m the girl next door. I’m the fox you’ve been waiting for.
Some stats & info about The Runaways
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? SoCal Bands, Rock Music, Hard Rock, Proto-Punk
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was The Runaways released? 1976
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #658 out of 1,000
The Runaways on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does The Runaways mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
In the 1990s, I realized that in addition to being immersed in the “grunge” scene of the day, I was particularly drawn to music that both rocked hard, had great chunky guitar hooks, and strong female vocals. The list of bands that fall into this category runs gloriously long – let’s go with Fastbacks, L7, 7 Year Bitch, and The Distillers for starters.
It was then fun at some point to “go back” and discover the bands and musicians who were forging new ground back in the 1970s. And it’s incredible to go all the way back to 1976 and see The Runaways’ debut album rocking this confidently, this loudly, and this well in an era when the likes of ABBA and Debbie Boone were topping the pop charts.
“Cherry Bomb” is… dare I say it, an explosion of proto punk rock ‘n roll exuberance. It’s dark, fast, chugging, and gloriously fun all at the same time.
If you’ve been following along, you know I love when a band can take an existing great song and cover it in such a way that it both can stand on its own and becomes this completely new and cool thing. And The Runaways’ cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock N Roll” does exactly that. And it’s really cool that this version rocks out but has a very Velvet Underground-y restraint that pays homage to the genius of the source band.
“Is It Day Or Night?” has a great hard rocking arena rock quality, but while so much of that kind of thing from the mid-1970s sounds pretty dated today, this song sounds fresh as hell.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to The Runaways
The Runaways guitarist and vocalist Joan Jett went on of course to have a massive solo and post-Runaways career. The rest of the band, including Lita Ford, went on to do a bunch of stuff themselves.