Classic Album From The Rockbrat Collection: The Runaways – Waitin’ For The Night

Where do I start, when reviewing possibly my all-time favourite record ? Let’s drift back in time shall we. The year 1977. Hollywood all-girl band The Runaways had already shaken the rock world, conquering Europe and Japan in the process, but after a turbulent summer which had seen the departure of vocalist Cherie Currie and bassist Jackie Fox, The Runaways chose to surge on as a four piece. Adding a new bass player in Vicki Blue and promoting Joan Jett to handle all vocal duties, they headed into the studio and cut their third studio album – the metallic ‘Waitin’ For The Night’. Manager Kim Fowley once again sat in the producer’s chair, giving the disc a hot and heavy, razer-sharp production which saw release in October 1977. The first single taken from ‘Waitin’ For The Night’ was the storming ‘School Days’, a Jett/Fowley offering that has more guts and more melody than anything the girls had put out before. The raunch and roll of ‘Little Sister’ is guaranteed to still melt turntables everywhere, and guitarist Lita Ford peels off some biting, Page-inspired licks. The Runaways laid down their best playing of their career on this LP, and Jett and Ford’s heavy riffing gives it a distinctly metal edge. Vickie Blue’s thumping bass curls itself tightly around Sandy West’s drum beat, resulting in a tight and explosive rhythm unit. The blistering guitars and incredibly addictive rhythms on ‘Wasted’ are mindblowing. Play loud. Ford’s solo sounds not unlike Space Ace Frehley from Kiss. ‘Gotta Get Out’ stinks of teenage lust and rebellion, with some delightful backing vocals displayed on the chorus. Joan’s scorching vocals on the up-tempo number ‘Wait For Me’ are like acid on flesh. (she later included an excellent, fresh sounding cover of this song on her 1991 album ‘Notorious’, proving that the material on ‘Waitin’ for The Night’ still stands, and was way ahead of it’s time). The Lita Ford penned ‘Fantasies’ is all teenage sweat and sexual abandon. Her only other inclusion – ‘Trash Can Murders’ is one of the greatest songs ever pressed onto black wax – the individual talents of Joan, Lita, Sandy and Vicki explode and burn together in one almighty rock n roll-bad-girl blaze. Cool opening line: “You’ve got me runnin’ round in circles, tied my little brother to a railroad track !” The good stuff continues with ‘Don’t Go Away’ and the heavy title track ‘Waitin’ For The Night’ following on. The anthemic ‘You’re Too Possessive’ is sheer rock pleasure (I’m surprised no riot grrrls out there ain’t covered this) and draws the curtain on one of the heaviest, most gutsiest, melodic and exciting albums ever cut. Rock and roll don’t come any better than this folks, and when I die, this record will be buried with me.