Runaway with Del

Sunday gone was the last Belmont Swap Meet for the year. I came away with one book, one record and one CD; that sounds like a blues song. I’ve since been listening to that CD all week. I spotted this CD amongst a lot of dreck in a small box at a stall I had already passed and just happened to be walking past again. It was the familiar Raven Records logo on the CD spine that caught my eye. Now, my basic policy is to buy anything that Raven Records puts out. Generally I love pretty much everything this reissue label has ever done, with perhaps the exception of a Roy Hamilton compilation and Christy Moore 2fer; I haven’t given those a second listen yet, but I digress. Basically Raven is a label that I trust.

And this CD on this day was a double CD called Del Shannon: A Complete Career Anthology 1961 – 1990. The woman selling it let me have it for $2.

Now, like most people, I knew Del for Runaway, that song with the wo-wo-wos and the why-why-whys and that strange but compelling piano/organ solo. Turns out, thankyou informative Raven booklet included with the CD, that this part of the song was done on an early synthesiser called a Musitron.

But what else did Del sing? Quite a lot as this CD shows. He worked with Tom Petty in later years, which I never knew, and also Jeff Lynne, and then as I read it came back to me.

I remembered a night in the early 90’s, well before I got into seriously into music, I happened to watch “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” (in my defence, so too did a majority of the nation back then; and I was young). I recalled Daryl Sommers doing an introduction to a music act; Daryl said “Remember the song Runaway? That guy is back with a song called Walk Away!” And sure enough up next was Del Shannon with what was his 90’s come back single, a song awash with the stamp of Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. I never heard it again until I bought this CD. And sadly Del took his life shortly after this.

Apart from Tom and Jeff another significant music figure that Del worked with was Andrew Loog Oldham and included on this compilation were some songs they did together that were heavy on Beach Boys influence. For me these songs are the stand out tracks and I have one of them here today for the Friday song.

The only copy of it that I could find online was part of a medley of so using TubeChop I have edited it so that just the song Friendly With You is played. Apologies to whomever put this clip on YouTube as a medley. To hear the song click on the first link below.

With Andrew, Del also recut Runaway, as a string laden ballad which gave me chills with it’s stabbling violins. Interesting, but not as good as the original. A copy is also below.

Plus, continuing the Del obsession for the week, I’ve also found that Hey Hey It’s Saturday performance, sadly without the introduction.



One Response to Runaway with Del

  1. martinsmengle says:

    You’re right about the Wilbury-esque influence on that track. Choppy guitars were very 1989.

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