The Runaways: Which disc is better?
What’s on it The Runaways — Music From the Motion Picture features a handful of previously released glam-rock classics, plus new versions of four Runaways tunes sung by the film’s stars.
What works Fanning and Stewart’s surprisingly convincing take on the girls-in-prison rock operetta ”Dead End Justice”; Nick Gilder’s glittering ”Roxy Roller”; a live rip through ”I Wanna Be Where the Boys Are” by the original Runaways.
What doesn’t The MC5’s so-so cover of James Brown’s ”It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” (Couldn’t they have gotten Christina Aguilera?)
The verdict We love the Stooges and Sex Pistols too, but what are they doing on this putatively pro-girl soundtrack? Guess there just weren’t many opportunities for rawkin’ teen girls back in the day. Even so, a more estrogen-heavy approach — Stewart essaying ”I Wanna Be Your Dog”? — would’ve made more sense. B-
What’s on it The Mercury Albums Anthology features the original band’s first four albums on two CDs.
What works Signature song ”Cherry Bomb,” the manifesto for their ”wild girl” ethos; ”Johnny Guitar,” a raunchy celebration of six-string abandon.
What doesn’t An oddly unconvincing cover of the Velvet Underground’s ”Rock and Roll.”
The verdict Though not every track hits the mark, these guitar heroines’ ‘tude and proto-grrrl-power spirit are still stirring. Proof that the Runaways were more than just a launching pad for Joan Jett’s solo career. B+