Proof that there was life before the Beatles. It wasn’t all How Much is That Doggie in the Window, and Tammy’s in Love. Of course it wasn’t. There were the Everlys, and Buddy Holly, and Phil Spector’s wall of sound, with all that great stuff coming out of the Brill Building. Who doesn’t groove to the timeless instrumental Green Onions, by Booker T. and the MGs? Del Shannon’s absolutely bitchin’ Runaway is very much of a piece with all of those, rugged, simple, maybe a little primitive, but man, what a tune. That organ work! The wild falsetto vocals! Those deeply satisfying chord shifts! The sheer melodramatic teen angst! I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like Runaway, and I don’t want to know anybody who doesn’t, either. Heck, it’s even on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs ever, number 472, but it’s there (and truth be told I’ve always thought their selections were pretty good, but their rankings were full of shit – guarantee you that at least 300 songs are above it on that list that ought to be below it).
OK, sure, it’s not A Day In the Life, but it’s a pure pop delight, a masterpiece of its kind, and deserves to live forever. Here at Songs of the Day we aim to do our part.