Runaway (Bon Jovi song)

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Bon Jovi Runaway.JPG
Single by Bon Jovi
from the album Bon Jovi
B-side "2 Hours Later"
Released February 1983 (US)
Format 7-inch vinyl, CD single
Recorded 1981
1982 (hit version)
Genre Hard rock[1][2]
Length 3:50
Label Mercury
Bon Jovi singles chronology
"She Don't Know Me"
"She Don't Know Me"
Music video
Runaway at

"Runaway" is a single by American rock band Bon Jovi. The song was originally recorded in 1981 for the so-called "Power Station Demos". The recordings were primarily done by an ensemble simply known as Jon Bongiovi & the Rest. One night after a show, Richie Sambora found Bon Jovi backstage and told him that he should be the guitarist. 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 knew the material and Bon Jovi was impressed; in that moment, Sambora became the band's lead guitarist and Bon Jovi was born.

The track released in 1983 was recorded in 1982[3] by Jon Bon Jovi and a group of studio musicians known as "The All Star Review", which included bassist Hugh McDonald (who would join Bon Jovi in 1995 as an unofficial member), guitarist Tim Pierce 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 & The Asbury Jukes.

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 an instant hit in the summer of 1983.

"Runaway" was later released as the first song from their debut album Bon Jovi in 1984. 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 US.[4] In recent live performances, Jon Bon Jovi has been known to do a short guitar solo near the end of the song instead of hitting the usual high notes at the end, something only done in the 1980s, although the live album One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001 features Bon Jovi hitting the high notes at the end of the song.

A dance/club remake of "Runaway" was released in July 2008[5] by "DJ Freddy Retro featuring Jim Davis Jr." on Casa Records.[6]

The song was featured on a MasterCard television commercial and in the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

After the band attained worldwide stardom in the mid to late 1980s, the band essentially disowned the material from their pre-stardom albums in their live sets in favor of more well known and accomplished material. Despite this fact however, "Runaway" is a song of which they have always been proud. For well over 20 years, it has been the only song from the bands' first two albums that has been performed live on a regular basis. A few others have been played live over the years, most notably during The Circle Tour in 2010, however they were extreme rarities when they appeared and were not regularly performed.

Track Listings[edit]

US Vinyl, 7"

  • A Runaway 3:54
  • B Love Lies 4:08

UK Vinyl, 7", Single

  • A Runaway
  • B Breakout (Live)

Covers & samples[edit]

Rapper Tru-NC released an updated hip-hop version of the song in 2011 with the same title. It tells a story about "Tommy & Gina" getting evicted from their apartment. The song is available to download for free at Tru-NC's Reverbnation page. American rapper Immortal Technique samples the synthesizer in the track Young Lords from his album Martyr (2011). Mississippi rapper Tito Lopez samples the song on his own track "Married to the Mob" on his mixtape Tito Be Killing These Bitches 3. Finnish melodic death metal band Blind Stare covered the track on the digipak edition of their Symphony of Delusions album.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 39

Downloadable content for Rock Band[edit]

The song was made available to download on November 9, 2010 for use in the Rock Band 3 music video game in both Basic rhythm, and PRO mode which takes advantage of the use of a real guitar / bass guitar, and standard MIDI-compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to three-part harmony or backup vocals.[8][9]


  1. ^ Mathew, Leslie. "Bon Jovi - Bon Jovi". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-07-23. "Consistent hard rock attack..."
  2. ^ Whitaker, Sterling. "Top 10 Bon Jovi Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 'Runaway' was a perfect alloy of hard rock and pop melody... 
  3. ^ Bon Jovi - self-titled album (1984) CD liner notes. Accessed 4-14-2017.
  4. ^ "Allmusic (Bon Jovi charts & awards) Billboard singles". 
  5. ^ "Amazon.Com: Runaway single". 
  6. ^ "TuneCore: Casa Records". 
  7. ^ "Bon Jovi – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Bon Jovi.
  8. ^ Kohler, Chris (2010-11-09). "Bon Jovi Rock Band Tracks Upgraded with Pro Keys, Guitars". Wired. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  9. ^ Snider, Mike (2010-06-10). "Rock Band 3: What's New, What's Notable". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 

External links[edit]