Bon Jovi - Runaway (1984)
- 80's score: 1.12
"Runaway" is the debut single by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was originally recorded in 1981 for the so-called "Power ...
"Runaway" is the debut single by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was originally recorded in 1981 for the so-called "Power Station Demos" at the beginning of singer Jon Bon Jovi's career, featuring the vocalist backed by session musicians.
The song became a surprise hit in 1983 on WAPP-FM (now WKTU), leading to the formation of the first proper lineup of Bon Jovi for a short tour.
The track was recorded in 1982 at the Power Station recording studio, and released to radio in 1983. Jon Bon Jovi chose studio musicians who were recording with other artists using the studio at the time -- these musicians became known as "The All Star Revue", which included: bassist Hugh McDonald (who would join Bon Jovi in 1994 as an unofficial member); guitarist Tim Pierce (who was working on a John Waite record with producer Neil Giraldo); drummer Frankie LaRocka; and keyboardist Roy Bittan. The keyboard intro was written by Mick Seeley -- then of John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones and later with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes -- who also performed backing vocals on the track with David Grahmme.
In 1983, local radio station WAPP 103.5FM "The Apple" had a contest, held in conjunction with St. John's University, to search for the best unsigned band. After the song won the contest, it became a radio hit in the summer of 1983.
"Runaway" became the first single from the band's self-titled debut album. It hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 at #39 in early 1984 and became the band's first Top 40 hit in the US.
One night, after a show, guitarist Richie Sambora found Bon Jovi backstage and told him he should be the guitarist for the group. Bon Jovi wrote him off and did not think much of it but told him to learn the material and show up for rehearsal. Sambora was early and had learned all the given material, which impressed Bon Jovi.