Runaway (Del Shannon song)

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"Runaway"
Single by Del Shannon
from the album Runaway with Del Shannon
B-side"Jody"
ReleasedFebruary 1961
Format7" single
Recorded24 January 1961
GenrePop rock, rock and roll
Length2:20
LabelBigTop 45-3067 (USA), London HLX 9317 (UK),[1] Heliodor 453099 (Germany), London HL-1796
Writer(s)Del Shannon, Max Crook[1]
Producer(s)Harry Balk, Irving Micahnik[1]
Del Shannon singles chronology
"Runaway"
(1961)
"Hats Off to Larry"
(1961)
Audio sample
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"Runaway"
Single by Del Shannon
from the album Runaway with Del Shannon
B-side"Jody"
ReleasedFebruary 1961
Format7" single
Recorded24 January 1961
GenrePop rock, rock and roll
Length2:20
LabelBigTop 45-3067 (USA), London HLX 9317 (UK),[1] Heliodor 453099 (Germany), London HL-1796
Writer(s)Del Shannon, Max Crook[1]
Producer(s)Harry Balk, Irving Micahnik[1]
Del Shannon singles chronology
"Runaway"
(1961)
"Hats Off to Larry"
(1961)
Audio sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
file info · help

"Runaway" was a number-one Billboard Hot 100 song made famous by Del Shannon in 1961. It was written by Shannon and keyboardist Max Crook, and became a major international hit. It is No. 472 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time from 2010.

Original recording[edit]

Singer-guitarist Charles Westover and keyboard player Max Crook performed together as members of "Charlie Johnson and the Big Little Show Band" in Battle Creek, Michigan, before their group won a recording contract in 1960. Westover took the new stage name "Del Shannon", and Crook, who had invented his own clavioline-based electric keyboard called a Musitron, became "Maximilian".

After their first recording session for Big Top Records in New York City had ended in failure, their manager Ollie McLaughlin persuaded them to rewrite and re-record an earlier song they had written, "Little Runaway", to highlight Crook's unique instrumental sound. On January 24, 1961, they recorded "Runaway" at the Bell Sound recording studios, with Harry Balk as producer, Fred Weinberg as audio engineer and also session musician on several sections- session musician Al Caiola on guitar, and Crook playing the central Musitron break. Other musicians on the record included Al Casamenti and Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, Milt Hinton on bass, and Joe Marshall on drums. Bill Ramall, who was the arranger for the session, also played baritone sax.[2] After recording in A minor, producer Balk sped up the recording to pitch just below a B-flat minor.[3] "Runaway" was released in February 1961 and was immediately successful. On April 10th of that year, Shannon appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand helping to catapult it to the number one spot on the Billboard charts where it remained for four weeks. Two months later, it also reached number one in the UK.[4] On the R&B charts, "Runaway" peaked at number three.[5] The song was #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Chart in 1961.

Del Shannon re-recorded it in 1967 as "Runaway '67". This version was issued as a single but failed to make the Hot 100.

Lyrics[edit]

A story is told from the point of view of a man whose female lover has run away. Mostly she is referred to in the third person, but she is briefly addressed in the second person, "wishin' you were here by me".

Covers[edit]

See also[edit]

Genesis reference[edit]

The song is referenced in Genesis's 1974 song "In the Cage" from their album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The lyrics run "And I watched him turn again and leave the cage... My little runaway" with the phrase "My Little Runaway" sung to the original song's notes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 58. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ "Young, Bryan, "Classic Tracks: Del Shannon's 'Runaway'", Oct 1, 2008, ''Mix Magazine''". Mixonline.com. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  3. ^ Classic Tracks Back To Back: Thunder Bay Press, 2008.
  4. ^ "Full Length Biography". Delshannon.Com. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 521. 
  6. ^ ON (2012-09-02). "Bob Costa's "Later" Show with Del Shannon - part 2 of 2! - Video Dailymotion". Dailymotion.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 143. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  8. ^ Whitburn, p. 22
  9. ^ Review by Jon O'Brien (2011-11-07). "Dermot O'Leary Presents the Saturday Sessions 2011 - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  10. ^ "John Frusciante Concert Setlist at Paradiso, Amsterdam on February 8, 2001". setlist.fm. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  11. ^ Review by Mariano Prunes. "Dos Bandas y un Destino: El Concierto - Arizona Baby,Los Coronas | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Blue Moon" by The Marcels
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
April 24, 1961 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Mother-in-law" by Ernie K-Doe