THE RUNAWAYS Born To Be Bad Witness Rock PG1204 (2004) (35:41)
Under the wing of producer Kim Fowley, the Runaways were largely responsible for popularising all-girl rockíníroll. And many a fine set they produced in their late 70s heyday too.
But this set, originally issued only in France in 1991, is a rehearsal from 1975 when band were still the original trio of Joan Jett, bassist Micki Steele (later of The Bangles) and drummer Sandy West.
The tracks are largely Fowley/Krome penned with a few band contributions and covers thrown in for good measure. All Right Now and Lou Reedís RockíníRoll both get a good seeing to, and the rest is sound Runaways fodder.
Poorly recorded, the set is murky, incredibly distorted and so full of dropouts that listening is difficult and painful. The musicianship and enthusiasm are both obvious, and coupled with the material and track by track notes from Fowley itís just about worth a listen by fans.
But the girls sound barely into 2nd grade and with the disastrous sound quality and lack of notes on where the tape came from or reference to the original release, it really should be left in the vaults.
Review by Joe Geesin