Sorry, We're Closed

Monday, January 17, 2005

Run, Run, Run--a surefire song title!

If there's one song title that's guaranteed to bring a smile in my book, it's gotta be "Run, Run, Run." Submitted for your approval: five great songs, all with that name.

First of all, there's 1964's "Run, Run, Run" by the Gestures, a blistering piece of Minnesota garage-band surf-rock with an odd minor-key chord structure and cool vocal arrangement. This all-time great is on the Nuggets 4-CD box set.

Next, there's the Who's "Run, Run, Run" from 1966. It's the leadoff track on their second album, A Quick One. Taking "My Generation" and moving it the next step--from Jimmy Reed-influenced autodestruct to hard-swinging R&B--the band never sounded more confident.

Third, we have the Velvet Underground's "Run, Run, Run," also from their 1967 debut. The lyrical images, concering running from place to place, nervously sucking on a cigarette while waiting for someone to get you something (probably illegal), are complemented by the drony, noisy backing, with guitars spewing feedback and Maureen Tucker's rolling, clattering drums fogging things up like the stuff at the bottom of Bo Diddley's glass.

A slightly lighter form of fun is also on Nuggets, the Third Rail's 1967 "Run, Run, Run." A twee piece of social commentary a few layers beneath "Pleasant Valley Sunday," this near-hit was the product of New York studio monkeys Joey Levine and Artie Resnick. It features a fake-British-accent mid-song 'newscast' that's as ridiculous as the backing track is innocuous.

Finally, we consider Jo Jo Gunne's "Run, Run, Run," of which there are at least two mixes. A rollicking bit of early 70s rock, this was a hit single of sorts that sounds like nothing else. It's got a strange melody and chord structure, with lyrics referencing motorcycles, running from the law, and how "we're all just papers in the wind," and a great slide guitar carries it home.

There must be other songs with this title...I'm just hoping they're good.


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