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Discography 1976

The Runaways ★★★★ The debut had one priority: to show that girls could play hyper-sexual rock ‘n’ roll and be just as nasty, confrontational and fearless as any boy. The highlight is “Cherry Bomb”—a predatory come-on with motorcycle-revved riffs and orgiastic groans, the song defined the Runaways. Jett and Fowley wrote it on the spot for Currie to sing during her audition. 1977

Queens of Noise ★★★★★ Of all the band’s studio albums, this is the most self-assured and fleshed-out. Songs

Movies

like “Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin,” “I Love Playin’ With Fire” and the title track are flashy, dangerous and as arrogant as any of the Runaways’ male contemporaries. Ford’s guitar snarls the intro to “Neon Angels,” and Currie wails, “No one here gets out alive.” What listeners didn’t realize was how far along the “road to ruin” the band actually was. 1977

Live in Japan ★★★★★ The Runaways had Beatles-like success overseas, especially in Japan, where they played a string of sold-out dates in 1977. The live album captures the youthful

bravado of the band better than any of the proper studio albums. Jett’s leadership and command of the stage is undeniable, Currie’s vampiness reaches its apex, Ford’s solos are positively on fire and West’s outstanding strength as a drummer shines. But this was the beginning of the end. By Fox’s account in Edgeplay (see below), it was during this trip that she attempted suicide and decided to leave the band. 1977

Waitin’ for the Night ★★★ By now, Currie had quit, Jett was on vocal duties and Fox was replaced by Vicki Blue. Though

the album contains one of Jett’s best songs (“School Days”), it doesn’t deliver the goods with the same amount of fervor. 1978

And Now... The Runaways ★★ The final album indicated the growing musical rift between members that would ultimately split them apart. Ford and West wanted to explore heavy metal, while Jett went for punk and glam. Standout tracks are “Saturday Night Special” (written by Earl Slick) and a cover of Slade’s “Mama Weer All Crazee Now.”

Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways 2 0 0 4 Directed by Victory Tischler-Blue (ne Vicki Blue), this documentary is a raw, intense look at the dynamics of the band, featuring each woman’s take on what went down. (Jett vehemently refused to participate.) An absolute must-see for any music fan. The footage of Sandy West is especially gutwrenching—she was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and died of a brain tumor on October 21, 2006 at the age of 47.

The Runaways

2010

Loosely based on Currie’s book Neon Angel, Floria Sigismondi’s movie feels very much like Hollywood’s depiction of the truth—much of the struggle and abuse the girls were subjected to is glossed over. But Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning deliver excellent performances (Jett and Currie signed on as co-producers and coached the actresses). One can only hope that the movie inspires girls (and boys) to see beyond gender stereotypes, and encourages new generations of rockers. []

Fanning and Stewart in a scene from the upcoming The Runaways

[

april 2010 + record store magazine + 25

]

Dimple Records' In-Store Magazine, April 2010  

In-store magazine for Sacramento independent retailer Dimple Records, featuring The Runaways, Dr. Dog, She & Him and more!

Dimple Records' In-Store Magazine, April 2010  

In-store magazine for Sacramento independent retailer Dimple Records, featuring The Runaways, Dr. Dog, She & Him and more!