Friday, August 16, 2019

"Runaway" by Luis Cardenas

Song#:  2862
Date:  09/20/1986
Debut:  92
Peak:  83
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This drummer first gained notice as a member of the Whittier, California, rock band Renegade. The band was notable for being among the first Hispanic rock bands to have some success. The young age of the members (teens/early twenties) got them tagged as teen heartthrobs and they appeared in magazines such as Tiger Beat in the early 80s. They would go on to release four albums beginning with 1983's Rock n' Roll Crazy, yet despite buzz, good press, and a solid L.A. following, the band didn't break through to the mainstream in the US. However, they did have success in Latin American countries where they were known as Los Renegados. As '86 came along, Cardenas set out to record a solo album. It was titled Animal Instinct and this first single was issued out. The remake (see below) gained a little attention, but not enough to push it far up the chart and it stalled in the bottom quarter. An original song by Cardenas, "Hungry for Your Love," was pushed out as the second single, but it failed to chart. Without a solid single to support it, the album came and went. Cardenas would then continue on with Renegade. Although they wouldn't be household names in the US, the band would rack up sales of over 30 million records worldwide.

ReduxReview:  Usually when a lead single is a cover song, that means the record company didn't hear a track good enough on the album to become a hit and requested (or demanded) one that might. That may or may not be the case here, but it was probably a good choice to do the cover. It's not a bad remake and Cardenas' more rock-oriented take with his drums leading the way was kind of interesting. If it had been promoted better, it might have had a shot at the Top 40.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) Although Cardenas' single wasn't a major hit, its associated video got noticed. The expensive video, which featured cameos by Del Shannon and Donny Osmond, would garner a Grammy nomination for Best Music Video, Short Form.  2) As Cardenas drumming skills increased, so did the size of his drum kit. Eventually, it would grow to have anywhere from 70 to 100+ pieces and would nearly surround Cardenas. The set can be seen in the video for "Runaway." It was so large that in 1986 Cardenas was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the biggest drum kit being used by a professional musician.  3) This is a remake of a song originally co-written and recorded by Del Shannon. His version would reach #1 in 1961. Many other artist would cover the song and four others besides Cardenas would make it to the Pop chart with their versions. Bandleader Lawrence Welk would cover the tune in 1962 and get to #56. The trio Dawn featuring Tony Orlando would record the song in a medley with "Happy Together" and get to #79 in 1972. Pop singer Charlie Kulis would make it to #46 with a version in 1975. Finally, Bonnie Raitt would do a remake of the song in 1977. She would take it to #57.


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