For those of us who were around in the mid-to-late '70s, it seemed at the time that the Runaways were here and gone. And indeed the group that launched the careers of Joan Jett, Lita Ford, and to a lesser extent Cherie Currie, had a lifespan of about four years. The all-female band that also included Jackie Fox, Sandy West, and at times Vicki Blue and that was overseen by Kim Fowley, couldn't catch a break in the U.S. (they were stars in Japan.) The derision heaped on the teenage girls back in the day was unwarranted, and the passage of time has proven the band to be ahead of their time, constantly pointed to today as an influence for a long list of rockers and an inspiration for female performers in particular. With that in mind, this collection will get a warm welcome, especially in light of the fact that a Runaways "best of" has not been available for nearly 37-years. The set of course kicks off with the group's most famous cut, "Cherry Bomb." With its chugging rhythm, stuttering vocals and defiant lyrics like "Hello world/I'm your wild girl," the song perfectly encapsulates the band's attitude-filled sound. The song selection, with cuts like the Lita Ford guitar showcase "Blackmail" and the Joan Jett-penned "I Love Playing with Fire," serves as a great reminiscence for longtime fans while also being a good starting point for those just now getting hip to the band. Other faves included are the title cut from the Queens of Noise album, a live take on "You Drive Me Wild," the Motorhead-like Fowley/Jett co-write "Wasted" and the epic "Waitin' for the Night."
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