The Runaways, considered among the most influential forces for female artists in rock history–and celebrated in the film The Runaways, which opened March 19–were the first all-female rock band to gain widespread notoriety. Now, for the first time, the group’s first four albums were brought together in one package, the digitally remastered two-CD set The Mercury Albums Anthology (Hip-O Select/UMe), recently released March 16, 2010.
Including original “bad girl” manifestos “Cherry Bomb,” “Queens Of Noise,” “Born To Be Bad,” “Hollywood,” “School Days,” “Wasted” and “Waitin’ For The Night” plus scorching covers of “Wild Thing” and Lou Reed’s “Rock & Roll,” along with the group’s only live album, the 42-selection The Mercury Albums Anthology tells the musical tale of girls who didn’t just wanna have fun–they wanted to rock hard and loud.
Originally formed in late 1975 by drummer Sandy West and guitarist Joan Jett with bassist Micki Steele, and under the eye of producer Kim Fowley, the Runaways played the club circuit in Los Angeles. The next year, they added lead singer Cherie Currie and lead guitarist Lita Ford. After Steele exited (later joining The Bangles), the permanent bass spot was filled by Jackie Fox. Teen girls playing their own instruments and singing about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll was incendiary, and the band soon signed to Mercury, debuting with a 1976 self-titled album.
1977′s Queens Of Noise drove the leather-and-attitude group further into the punk camp epitomized by the Ramones and skirted by the Deborah Harry-led Blondie. The album also sparked a world tour. Playing a series of sold-out shows that summer in Japan, the Runaways ranked behind only ABBA, KISS and Led Zeppelin in popularity among that country’s imported music acts. Not surprisingly, Live In Japan was issued later that year.
When Fox left, she was replaced by Vicki Blue, and when Currie departed for a solo career, Jett took over the lead vocal duties. The band’s fourth album, spanning just two years, Waitin’ For The Night, was released in late 1977. But the group came apart and by the following year, the Runaways and Fowley parted ways, and the band split from Mercury. Though there would be a final contemporaneous album, the band played their last concert New Year’s Eve 1978 and broke up in April 1979.
Their run was brief but the recordings on The Mercury Albums Anthology are indispensable to the history of women in rock.
SOURCE Universal Music Enterprises