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Live In Japan

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iTunes Review

The Runaways’ tour of Japan in the summer of 1977 was the pinnacle of the quintet’s career. The Japanese audiences received the band as royalty, and the five young Californians responded with ferocity. Drawn from June ’77 shows at Tokyo Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan and the Shibuya Kokaido, Live In Japan captures the group’s attack in all its glory. The grind and punch of “Queens of Noise,” “Gettin’ Hot” and “You Drive Me Wild” translate raging hormones into arena-rock anthems. Meanwhile, “California Paradise” and “Neon Angels On the Road To Ruin” merge the unruly swing of early rockabilly with the macho swagger of KISS. The band’s choice in covers — the Troggs’ “Wild Thing” and Lou Reed’s “Rock-n-Roll”— says everything about their convictions, and they deliver both songs with aplomb. The audience’s hysteria emanates in every song; for the Japanese teenagers, seeing and hearing the Runaways was every bit as revolutionary as Elvis had been for American audiences in 1956. The album’s high point is the definitive version of the band’s signature “Cherry Bomb,” a pure fusion of thrust and electrocution.

Customer Reviews

Still Worth the Money

I still own a vinyl copy of the Runaways Live in Japan and remember the angst and energy in the live renditions of these classics. I never witnessed the Runaways live in person, but after listening to Live can only imagine what a performance it must have been. The LP features a great photo collection of the tour and letters from the band thanking their fans from over seas. Although you don't get that with your iTunes purchase, you do get a taste of good 70's music from some of hard rocks original pioneers.

Just like it's 1977.

I LOVE the runaways! And I love this live album! I am young and there for have never had the chance to see the runaways live. I love to crank up the volume on these live performances, close my eyes, and imagine that I'm in japan in 1977 and Cherie, Joan, sandy, lita, and Jackie are on stage playing these rocking songs. I'd give it 1,000,000,000 stars if i could! It's almost like being there. Get this!

One of the best live rock albums of all time.

This album is right up there with Thin Lizzy's "Live and Dangerous," the Rollong Stones' "Get Yer Yayas Out," the Who's "Live At Leeds," and the Vandals' "Sweatin' to the Oldies." And it's WAY freakin' better than anything Kiss ever did. It's proof positive that these girls were as good and better than all their male counterparts of the period, and they were 17!!! I don't think you'd be out of line comparing Sandy West to Bonham or Keith Moon, except she can play faster tempos and she swings, something very few rock drummers even attempt. Jackie Fox plays circles around Gene Simmons. Lita Ford and Joan Jett are one of those classic rhythm and lead guitar tandems in the tradition of Malcolm and Angus Young or Izzy Stradlin and Slash. And Cheri Currie not only has a gargantuan voice, but had as much onstage charisma as any frontman in Rock 'n Roll history, even Bowie and Jagger. Her performance on "Neon Angels" gives me chills every time I hear it.

It's a shame this group gets lumped in with all the other "girl groups" like Girlschool and Vixen. Those other groups, while talented, are always beleaguered by the shtick of "we're gonna prove that girls can rock as good as guys." The Runaways have nothing to prove, as this album shows.


Formed: 1975 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

Often dismissed during their existence as a crass marketing gimmick, the Runaways have grown in stature over the years as the first all-female band to make a substantial impression on the public by playing loud, straight-up, guitar-driven rock & roll. Since all of the members were teenagers (some of whom were still learning to play their instruments when they passed their auditions), the band's music was frequently raw and amateurish, but it neatly combined American heavy metal with the newly emerging...
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