Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Runaways

  • The Runaways [Mercury, 1976] C-
  • Queens of Noise [Mercury, 1977] C
  • Waitin' for the Night [Mercury, 1977] C+
  • The Best of the Runaways [Mercury, 1982] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Runaways [Mercury, 1976]
Don't let misguided feminism, critical convolutions, or the fact that good punk transcends ordinary notions of musicality tempt you. This is Kim Fowley's project, which means that it is tuneless and wooden as well as exploitative. How anyone can hang around El Lay so long without stealing a hook or two defies understanding. Maybe it's just perversity--which would make it the only genuinely perverse thing about the man. C-

Queens of Noise [Mercury, 1977]
I'll tell you what kind of street rock and roll these bimbos make--when the title cut came on I thought I was hearing Evita twice in a row. Only I couldn't figure out why the singer wasn't in tune. C

Waitin' for the Night [Mercury, 1977]
This band surprised me live, nowhere near as willing to pander sexually as its publicity suggests, and Kim Fowley contributes his first decent tune since "Alley Oop" to the new album. I guess if somebody has to strike macho guitar poses I'd just as soon it were girls. But Joan Jett's inability to bellow through the wall of noise (she shrieks flatly instead) suggests that there are perhaps more generous musical models, for human beings of all sexes, than Aerosmith. C+

The Best of the Runaways [Mercury, 1982]
Ignore the sticker--if Kim Fowley had known how to make a Joan Jett album, he would have done the deed in 1976. C+