Before Hole, before The Pretenders, before The Slits, there were The Runaways! Whether you consider them to be proto-punk rockers or heavy metal guitar heroes, there is no doubt that they helped change the landscape and the perception of women in the male-dominated field of rock n’ roll forever.
Cherie Currie, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Sandy West, Jackie Fox, Vicki Blue; these teenage girls shocked and rocked both audiences and critics alike and in the process spoke to a whole new generation of girls - some of whom consequently turned to playing rock 'n' roll themselves. Arguably, The Runaways kicked down the door for future all-female bands such as The Go-Gos, The Bangles, L7, The Donnas and Sleater Kinney. The Runaways have also been named as an influence by numerous male-fronted acts like Redd Kross, The Germs, Motley Crue, White Flag, Guns ‘N’ Roses, The Adolescents and Smashing Pumpkins to name a few.
The Take It Or Leave It download features 35 songs and over 2 hours of music, spanning The Runaways‘ entire catalog. Their best known songs, like “Cherry Bomb”, “Queens Of Noise”, “California Paradise” and “Heartbeat” are all represented alongside more obscure tunes like “Hollywood”, “I Love Playin’ With Fire”, “Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin” and “Born To Be Bad”. Take It Or Leave It also includes two performances by original Runaways band members: lead vocalist Cherie Currie’s rocking remake of fan-favorite “American Nights” and “Dirty Magazines”, the last recording made by drummer Sandy West with her band Blue Fox.
The true sign of a successful tribute is that it shines a spotlight on the songs, and Take It Or Leave It does just that. This compilation brings attention to the original performances while also showcasing each band’s unique interpretation. Artists from various musical backgrounds participated on this project, each donating their time and resources to help Main Man Records honor The Runaways. Some of our very special guests include The Donnas, Shonen Knife, The Adolescents, The Dandy Warhols, Richard Barone (of The Bongos), Toilet Boys, Care Bears On Fire (with Earl Slick of David Bowie/New York Dolls), Kittie, Starz, David Johansen (of New York Dolls) and Kathleen Hanna (of Bikini Kill/Le Tigre) & Peaches, (whose collaboration was produced by Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys) as well as members of Frehley’s Comet, Monster Magnet, The Fastbacks, The Cucumbers, The Doughboys and Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch, Robbie Rist!
Interspersed with the music are mock radio ads by broadcast legends Rodney Bingenheimer, Carol Miller & "Mr. Marty" Martinez, candid comments from Johnny Ramone and a recollection of the band's appearance at CBGB's by noted radio personality Meg Griffin.
In honor of Sandy West, who lost her fight with cancer in 2006, Main Man Records will be donating a portion of the proceeds from Take It Or Leave It to the American Institute for Cancer Research in her memory.