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Album: Bon JoviReleased: 1984Charted:
This was the first hit for Bon Jovi. Jon Bon Jovi wrote it in 1982 with early collaborator George Karak, and it was popular in the band's home state of New Jersey. Despite the success of this song, the band continued to struggle. They were a popular live act, but didn't make much money until they released Slippery When Wet two years later.
Jon Bon Jovi recorded this with studio musicians because he didn't have a band yet. The song broke nationally and Jon put the band together soon after.
This gained popularity when it was included on a compilation album of unsigned acts released by New Jersey radio station WDHA. Long Island radio station WAPP also put it on an annual CD of local bands.
Dave "the snake" Sabo played guitar on this. He went on to be the lead guitarist for the band Skid Row.
In a 1986 interview with Spin magazine, Jon Bon Jovi had some harsh words for this video. He said: "I hate videos. If you wanted to torture me you'd tie me down and force me to watch our first five videos. Five times you're chump before you learn what you're doing. The first time we'd just made a record and we were all excited and some a--hole decides we're going to make a video for 'Runaway.' So instead of making it about what the song's about, he decides to put a concept to it with his little niece in it. It's the worst piece of s--t I ever saw in my life. There's a girl with like fire coming out of her eyes. They dressed the band. Richie's wearing a jumpsuit and shoes that are three sizes too big. They kept squirting us down with this greasy solution to make it look like we were sweating. We all look like assholes."
A live version was used as the B-side of "Lay Your Hands On Me" in 1989.
Before performing this in 2003, Jon Bon Jovi introduced it by saying, "If you see this song down at the beach, buy it a drink - it's finally old enough."
Session musician Hugh McDonald played bass on this song. He played on Bon Jovi's early albums and replaced Alec John Such as Bon Jovi's bass player in 1994, although he is not considered an official member of the band.