Released: August 1976
Chart Peak: #194
Weeks Charted: 2
Were the Runaways anything but 16- and 17-year-old females, their rather ordinary album would rouse nary a nod of recognition. That this much has been accomplished is surely more testimony to the presumed drawing power of jailbait-at-large than it is to the quality of the Runaways' music. This group's got nothing on Suzi Quatro, who in turn has got nothing on anybody else.
What's a joker to make of such a product, rife as it is with warmed-over Kiss and Sweet licks, muddled production easily the equal of that encountered on Grand Funk's first album, totally dispassionate and/or embarrassingly awkward vocals ("Dead End Justice") and adequate, if uninspired, playing?
Lyrically, the Runaways fancy themselves kids living on the proverbial edge; it behooves them to listen more closely to Sweet, who play and sing as they they've really been there.
- David McGee, Rolling Stone, 7/29/76.
Basic rock is loud, repetitive and fun as the world's most publicized quintet of teenage girls slam their way through 10 straight rock cuts. Reminiscent in many spots of Suzi Quatro, with musicianship competent enough and the vocals certainly more lively than most of today's new bands. Lead singer Currie handles her particular style at least as well as anyone else in the genre, with Jackie Fox and Joan Jett providing good backup. The latest discovery from Kim Fowley. Best cuts: "Cherry Bomb," "You Drive Me Wild," "Thunder," "Blackmail," "Secrets," "Dead End Justice."
- Billboard, 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 its just perversity -- which would make it the only genuinely pervers theng about the man. C-
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
Their debut album, produced by mentor Kim Fowley, loaded with excitement and featuring the classic "Cherry Bomb." (Japanese import)
- Cub Koda, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
The Runaways is a dead end of a debut that's insulting in its blatant titilation. Queens of Noise, the band's second album, is a touch better than its debut thanks to Joan Jett exerting a little more control. *
- Allan Orski, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
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