The Song: "Runaways" initially reminded me a bit of their big hit "When You Were Young" off their sophomore album Sam's Town. The songs seemed to go at a similar pace and have that Bono style chorus, not to mention being the lead single to their respective albums. "When You Were Young" had a lot of comparisons to Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run" back when it was released, though I don't think "Runaways" fell into that trap. What made "Runaways" different was the amount of synthesizer and that surging drum bit, it gives the song a nice flavor that separates it from "Young". Made it a little more 80s retro, plus I love that part where it gets synth heavy in the bridge. So now I wonder, what is this song about?
The Lyrics: I'm not good at lyrics, remembering or interpreting them. I've just read the lyrics to "Runaways". I think it's about marrying some blonde girl who keeps talking about how we all are just runaways in some deep philosophical way. This is really one of those things that plays out better in songs or poetry than it would in life, some one saying meaningfully "I think we're all just...runaways!" It's one of those things where the person it was said to would go "Huh? What? Ohhh, I get it now. Kinda a stretch but I get you" situations. Anyway, they have a baby and then the guy character screws up somehow leaving him kicked out of the house. But he's determined to win back the love of his life because they're both runaways. Matched with the music the story gets blown up to a sort of mythological status, since we're all just runaways then maybe the story of these two people are a microcosm of all runaways consisting of all of us. I'm a runaway, you're a runaway, my dog is a runaway - you get the picture. And for some reason when it goes "Are you lonesome now" I think they're referring to Elvis' "Are You Lonesome Tonight". And when the singer goes "Oh! Oh! Oh!" I flash to Tom Petty's "The Waiting".
The Video: You know the music video for this song is pretty good. It's got this flying road, a mic stand that changes colors like a lightsaber, a lot of pointing - the things that make for a good music video. And seeing those floating red squares drift into each other was dope! Ooh, shapes! Although I like The Killers I don't know a whole bunch about them so I just think of them as Brandon Flower's band. But I notice how much screen time the Jason Lee My Name Is Earl looking drummer gets so I get the impression he's an important part of the band too. Like he's second in command to The Killers. The Mr Spock to Flower's Captain Kirk.
Free Association: My first thought about "Runaways" is the Tom Selleck movie called Runaway. That was a pretty decent 80s B movie sci fi flick. It had Kiss' Gene Simmons as the bad guy firing heat seeking bullets from his love gun. And that's why it's good to be...me. Kirstie Alley was in that one, bridging that career gap between Star Trek II and Cheers. Alley recently confessed her love for John Travolta who she knew from Look Who's Talking, who had co-starred with Alley's Runway co-star Cynthia Rhodes in Staying Alive. You know the most memorable scene for me from Runaway was that robot extracting a bullet from Cynthia Rhodes' shoulder? Cynthia Rhodes was also in Dirty Dancing, which was big in '87. You know who else was big in '87? Bon Jovi. Who had a song in '84 called "Runaway". Which sounded nothing like The Killers song at all.
Wrap It Up: "Runaways" wasn't a huge hit, it was a sort of middle ground hit that says to people "Hey, they're still around". Just the same I think "Runways" is a smashing good time. It's from their 2012 album Battle Born.