Road Runner (album)

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Road Runner
Studio album by Junior Walker & the All-Stars
Released 1966
Genre R&B
Label Soul Records (US)
Tamla/Motown (international)
Producer Johnny Bristol, Henry Cosby, Lamont Dozier, Harvey Fuqua, Berry Gordy, Jr., Brian Holland, Lawrence Horn, Mickey Stevenson
Junior Walker & the All-Stars chronology
Shotgun
(1965)
Road Runner
(1966)
Home Cookin'

Road Runner is a 1966 R&B album by Junior Walker & the All-Stars.[1] The band's second album, it reached #6 on Billboard's "Top R&B Albums" chart and #64 on Billboard's "Top Albums" chart, launching four hit singles.[2][3] First released on record by Motown's Soul label in the US and Tamla/Motown internationally, it has been multiply reissued on cassette and compact disc. It has also been remastered and reissued in conjunction with the band's preceding record, Home Cookin', as Road Runner & Home Cookin'.

Songs[edit]

Among the album's notable songs were four charting singles. Peak among them at #3 on the R&B Singles, #18 on the Pop Singles charts and #22 on the UK Singles was the Holland–Dozier–Holland song "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)",[3][4] which had previously hit for Marvin Gaye in 1964. Not far behind, "(I'm a) Road Runner", by the same songwriters, reached #4 on Black Singles and #20 on Pop Singles, while surpassing "How Sweet It Is" to reach #12 in the UK. "Pucker Up Buttercup" did not crack the top 10, but reached #11 Black Singles and #31 Pop Singles. A distant fourth, Junior Walker & the Allstar's cover of the 1959 Barrett Strong hit "Money (That's What I Want)" reached #35 Black Singles and #52 Pop Singles.

The album is titled for "(I'm a) Road Runner", which had been previously released on Junior Walker & The All-Star's 1965 debut album, Shotgun. It proved so successful in its March 1966 single that it was included and singled out on the band's follow-up.[5] Although "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" surpassed it in two out of three charts, "(I'm a) Road Runner" is regarded as a superior offering from Junior Walker & The All-Stars, one of three songs by the band (along with "Way Back Home" and "Shotgun" included in 1999's Da Capo Press publication The heart of rock & soul: the 1001 greatest singles ever made.[6] Ranking it second of the three at #467, music critic David Marsh, identifying Junior Walker as "the one gutbucket star in Motown's heaven", says "even...[Robert Johnson] never saw the like of this blend of booming bass, tanked-up tambourine, and gritty guitar. Much less Walker's fractured saxophone."[7] Sometimes known as "I'm a Road Runner", the song has been covered by a number of rock bands, including Fleetwood Mac (on album Penguin) and Peter Frampton (on I'm in You), and also by comedian Bill Cosby on Bill Cosby Sings Hooray For the Salvation Army Band![5]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "(I'm a) Road Runner" (Dozier, Holland, Holland) – 2:49
  2. "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" (Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr.) – 3:04
  3. "Pucker Up Buttercup" (John Bristol, Danny Coggins, Fuqua) – 3:18
  4. "Money (That's What I Want)" (Janie Bradford, Berry Gordy) – 4:34
  5. "Last Call" (Frank Bryant, Autry DeWalt II, Lawrence Horn) – 2:23
  6. "Anyway You Wannta" (Harvey Fuqua, Gwen Gordy) – 2:41
  7. "Baby You Know You Ain't Right" (Autry DeWalt II, Lawrence Horn) – 2:34
  8. "Amé Cherie (Soul Darling)" (James Graves, Horn, Victor Thomas, Willie Woods) – 4:13
  9. "Twist Lackawanna" (DeWalt, Ronald White) – 2:19
  10. "San-Ho-Zay" (Freddie King, Sonny Thompson) – 3:00
  11. "Mutiny" (Henry Cosby) – 3:55

Personnel[edit]

Performance[edit]

Production[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gregory, Andy (2002). International Who's Who in Popular Music. Routledge. p. 529. ISBN 1-85743-161-8. 
  2. ^ "Road Runner & Home Cookin', Billboard chart". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Junior Walker, Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 590. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ a b Koch, Steven. "I'm a Road Runner". UALR Public Radio. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  6. ^ Marsh, Dave (1999). The heart of rock & soul: the 1001 greatest singles ever made. Da Capo Press. pp. 144, 310, 382. ISBN 0-306-80901-X. 
  7. ^ Marsh, 310.