The Runaways


Phases & Stages

The Runaways

The Mercury Albums Anthology (Hip-O Select)

Dakota Fanning's ass-kicking inhabitation of "Cherry Bomb" on the soundtrack to The Runaways matches her and biopic foil Kristen Stewart trading teen melodrama on the epic "Dead End Justice." The real thing, fronted by Cherie Currie (Fanning) and Joan Jett (Stewart), shouts equally contrived and no less convincing. Four of the L.A. girl group's five raunchy LPs gather on the 2-CD Mercury Albums Anthology: the Runaways self-titled 1976 debut, second album Queens of Noise, non-U.S. release Live in Japan, and Waitin' for the Night, the latter three all released the following year. Leader Jett, singer Currie, Lita Ford on top guitar, and the rhythm section of Jackie Fox and Sandy West may have been labeled "jailbait," but they were productive puppets for music impresario Kim Fowley. Anthology torques the ladies' ultimate transcendence of rudimentary rock into DIY trailblazers. Fetishistic Japanese-style music packaging opens on the roundhouse chug of "Cherry Bomb," the aural M-80 firecracker lighting a flawless first album, from the cowbell beat of "Rock & Roll" and Grand Funk Railroad of "American Nights" to the salacious Rocky Horror Picture Show-type suite "Dead End Justice." Bottling the Runaways' hormonal emancipation in no uncertain efficacy is Live in Japan, but Queens of Noise – slower, spottier – proves no less dramatic ("Born to Be Bad"). When the cowbell tempo rises, as on the Jett-led "I Love Playin' With Fire," it's as irresistible as anti-cheerleader chant "Hollywood." Waitin' for the Night slips further, Currie and Fox gone, but more in material than lithe execution, which might be described as metallic-lite given the UFO guitar break on "Wasted." Future I Love Rock 'n' Roll highlight "You're Too Possessive" sets the stage for Jett's solo ascendance.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More The Runaways
Teenage Kicks
Teenage Kicks
Writer/director Floria Sigismondi on capturing the Runaways

Cindy Widner, March 19, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Raoul Hernandez
Checking in With Area Musicians Yielded 80,000 Words of Pandemic Realness
Checking in With Area Musicians Yielded 80,000 Words of Pandemic Realness
Stay TF home

Jan. 22, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Jan. 15, 2021


The Runaways

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle