Because the Runaways were much better known in Japan than the U.S., it stands to reason that their only live album was recorded in that country. This hard to find LP was available in the U.S. only as a Japanese import and sold for around ten to 12 dollars, which was a lot to pay for vinyl in the late '70s. But American Runaways fans who were willing to make that investment found a lot to admire about the album, which boasted superior sound quality (by '70s standards) and explosive, uninhibited versions of "You Drive Me Wild," "Cherry Bomb," "California Paradise," and other hard rock pearls. The original Runaways lineup (Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, Lita Ford, Jackie Fox, and Sandy West) was still in place, and the rockers' primary focus is on material from The Runaways and Queens of Noise. Holding nothing back, Ford is at her most metallic. Except for a handful of bootlegs, Live in Japan is the only documentation of the Runaways on stage.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson