The Runaways – Same (1976)

FrontCover1The Runaways is the debut album by the American all-female rock band The Runaways, released in 1976.

Website AllMusic has praised the record (especially band members Cherie Currie, Joan Jett and Lita Ford), comparing the band’s music to material by Led Zeppelin and The Stooges.

According to multiple sources including Cherie Currie (in her memoir Neon Angel), the liner notes of the Raven Records release of The Runaways, and Jackie Fox herself, bassist Nigel Harrison played bass on the first album, due to manager Kim Fowley refusing to let Fox play on the record.

The documentary film Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways states that the album’s first track “Cherry Bomb” was written ad hoc during the audition of lead singer Cherie Currie and the title is a play on the pronunciation of Currie’s first name. Currie was told to prepare a Suzi Quatro song for the audition; she picked “Fever”, a song the band did not know how to play. Instead, Joan Jett and Kim Fowley came up with the song and had Currie sing it for her audition.

In 2009, “Cherry Bomb” was named the 52nd-best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[5] A cover of “Cherry Bomb” is featured in the music video game Rock Band as a downloadable single track. The song also featured in the movies Dazed and Confused, RV, Cherrybomb, The Runaways, and Guardians of the Galaxy, and is played in the opening scene of Margaret Cho’s stand-up comedy DVD “I’m the One That I Want”.

“You Drive Me Wild” is featured in the 2010 film about the band. Actress Dakota Fanning covers “Cherry Bomb” as well as “Dead End Justice” with Kristen Stewart, as they portray Cherie Currie and Joan Jett respectively. (by wikipedia)

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When the Runaways debuted in 1976 with this self-titled LP, aggressive female rockers were the exception instead of the rule. Women had no problem becoming folk-rockers, singer/songwriters or Top 40 icons, but female artists who had more in common with Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith than Joni Mitchell were hardly the norm. With this album, the Runaways made it crystal clear that women (or specifically, adolescent girls) were more than capable of playing intense, forceful hard rock that went directly for the jugular. Lusty classics like “Cherry Bomb” and “You Drive Me Wild” made no attempt to conceal the fact that teenage girls could be every bit as sexual as the guys — a message that both men and women found intimidating. And on “Is It Day or Night,” Cherie Currie sings about life in the fast lane with every bit as much conviction as Axl Rose would 11 years later. Currie and Joan Jett are equally riveting, and a 17-year-old Lita Ford was already an impressive guitarist. This LP was far from a commercial hit in the U.S., where timid rock radio programmers simply didn’t know what to make of the Runaways. But interestingly, it did earn the band a strong following in the major rock market of Japan. (by Alex Henderson)

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Personnel:
Cherie Currie (vocals, keyboard on 07.)
Lita Ford (guitar, background vocals)
Jackie Fox (bass)
Joan Jett (guitar, vocals)
Sandy West (drums, background vocals)
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Nigel Harrison (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Cherry Bomb (Jett/Fowley/Currie) 2.18
02. You Drive Me Wild  (Jett) 3.22
03. Is It Day Or Night? (Fowley/Currie) 2.45
04. Thunder (Anthony/Krome/Currie) 2.31
05. Rock & Roll (Reed/Jett) 3.17
06. Lovers (Jett/Fowley) 2.09
07. American Nights (Anthony/Fowley/Currie) 3.15
08. Blackmail (Jett/Fowley) 2.41
09. Secrets (Currie/Fowley/Krome/West/Currie) 2.43
10. Dead End Justice (Anderson/Currie/Fowley/Jett) 7.01

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