Four terrific 1970s albums by female artists that should have sold better

There was plenty of love for these 1970s albums, but they deserved more sales and much higher chart success.

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The Runaways - The Runaways

And now for something completely different. Very different in fact. The Runaways crashed into being in Los Angeles in 1975. Sandy West and Joan Jett formed the band initially as a five-piece teenage girl rock band. Lita Ford, Cherrie Currie, and Jacky Fox all signed on alongside. 

Their debut and self-titled album was recorded in January 1976 and released soon after in March of that year. It’s loud, noisy, angry, punky, rocky, and full of lyrics on teenage angst, getting rowdy, jail, and lots more. The album opener is an absolute classic, “Cherry Bomb”. Great guitars and drums set the pace while the lead vocals from Currie add a distinct tone change and difference from what we were used to at that time.

That's quickly followed by the very bluesy rock of “You Drive Me Wild” written and sung by Jett. Then we’re into the great intro and rhythm of “Is It Day Or Night”. All setting the scene for more hard-hitting songs to follow. The closing track “Dead Ends Of Justice” is a seven-minute epic with Currie and Jett at times breathlessly bouncing off each other vocally, a great way to end the album.

The Runaways wasn’t a huge seller either. It barely scraped into the top 200 in the US charts. But the band certainly trailed the way for female rock groups. They had great exposure through touring and supporting big names like Talking Heads and Van Halen. If you want to see more of their story then either the 2010 movie The Runaways or the earlier 2004 documentary Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways are both well worth watching.