Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Runaways - And Now...The Runaways

This fourth album was recorded in a tumultuous session that saw power plays within the band and musical differences rearing their heads, as Jett wanted to move into her more glam/punk style and Lita and Sandy wanted a more heavy metal sound - with bassist Vicki Blue stuck in the middle, eventually fired (with Ford playing bass on at least some of these tracks) and replaced by Laurie McAllister before formally disbanding.

Opening with an Earl Slick rocker "Saturday Night Special", then they do a bizarrely slow "Eight Days a Week" - not bad, just a bit...odd. But their take on Slade's "Mam Weer All Crazee Now" is damn successful and points towards Joan's later glam-centric solo work. Lita takes her first ever lead vocal on her Deep Purple-esque (she was a huge Ritchie Blackmore fan) "I'm a Million", with some nice changes and hot lead playing. Sandy West proves that while she was a stompin' drummer, she was no lead singer in "Right Now", a keyboard-laden, new-wavey number.

Jett comes roaring back with the heavy "Takeover" and its excellent opening line "I think the Russians have a weather machine" and "My Buddy and Me", with its cool melody and vocal interplay with Lita's guitar. Ford also contributes "Little Lost Girls" (the title for the American release of this record), a solid, hard-rock effort, that, with its Hammond organ, reminds me of something that Argent might have released. The record ends with a Steve Jones/Paul Cook number, "Black Leather", which certainly doesn't sound anything like the Sex Pistols in these ladies' hands! Lita is riffin' like crazy and turns this into a high-energy hard rocker.

Even though they were on the verge of dissolution, this is still a cool record, despite some weak points, that non-the-less points to the cool things to come.