The Runaways

And Now... The Runaways

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Of all the studio albums that the Runaways recorded in the late 1970s, And Now... The Runaways is the least essential. This isn't to say that And Now is a bad album; it's generally decent, if uneven, but it certainly isn't in a class with such gems as The Runaways, Queens of Noise and Waiting for the Night. Recorded in 1978, it offers the same lineup heard on 1977's Waiting for the Night: Original members Joan Jett, Lita Ford, and Sandy West were still on board, but singer Cherie Currie was gone and Vicki Blue had replaced original bassist Jackie Fox. This recording marked the first time that a Runaways album wasn't produced or co-produced by Kim Fowley; John Alcock is the producer, and Fowley's input is definitely missed. That said, hardcore Runaways fans will find that this album has some enjoyable moments. Jett gives a surprisingly lackluster performance on the Beatles' "Eight Days a Week," but she is in good form on "My Buddy and Me" and a fun cover of Slade's "Mama Weer All Crazee Now." Meanwhile, Ford provides a memorable vocal on the eerie ballad "I'm a Million." A killer guitarist, Ford didn't do a lot of lead singing when she was with the Runaways, but she made singing a very high priority when she went solo a few years later. A solo career was also inevitable for Jett -- as inevitable as the band's breakup. Though it has its moments, And Now... the Runaways is clearly the work of a group who were past their prime, and an album that is strictly for diehard fans.

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