Saturday, January 8, 2011

Soul Asylum - Runaway Train

Song Info:

"Runaway Train" is a song by the Minneapolis rock band Soul Asylum. The song led Soul Asylum to international status, and helped bring their album, Grave Dancers Union to a multi-platinum level. It was the third single off that album and reached No. 5 on the Billboard charts. It won a Grammy Award for the best rock song in 1994.

The song has become synonymous with the band, and has led many people to believe that it is the group's only hit, categorizing Soul Asylum as a one-hit wonder band. However, the band's 1995 hit "Misery" also charted in the Top 40 in several countries including the US and UK, and therefore they are not considered to be a one-hit wonder.[citation needed] "Runaway Train" continues to receive a lot of airplay on the radio today, with disc jockeys often making mention of the influential music video that accompanied the song.

Music Video Info:

The music video, directed by Tony Kaye received heavy airplay on MTV and VH1 during its duration.

There are two versions of the music video, one for the United Kingdom and one for the United States: The video for the United States begins with a fade to a black screen with big, white blocked text reading: "There are over one million youth lost on the streets of America", whereas the UK version begins with "100,000 youth are lost on the streets of Britain". Next shown is a drawing of a girl, and a Dave Pirner voice-over says that the drawing is by a girl who had run away more than 110 times. The scene was often omitted when the video was shown, a common practice when videos had additional footage before or after the song.

After Pirner spoke, the video continued with various shots of the band playing the song, and Dave singing, while the video cut back and forth to scenes of a man abusing his wife, who later in the video searches for young girls in his car.

During the choruses, pictures of missing children would appear on the screen. After each picture was shown, their full name would appear in large capital letters on the screen, along with the year they had been "missing since...".

The video continues with scenes of a lady in a car stalking a younger mother and her baby, in a stroller, and near the end of the video as the mother stops to look at some clothes, the lady kidnaps the baby. After the lady takes off in the car and the mother runs down the street after her, a baby is shown as missing ends the video.

After the video, in an ending also not regularly shown, Pirner says in front of the camera, "If you've seen one these kids, or you are one of them, please call this number," with the following screen showing a number one could contact. MTV cut this part out because they did not want to have the video confused with being a public service announcement. VH1 shows the UK version in its full length.

Several versions of the video were made. There were three original versions of the video in the United States, totaling 36 missing children shown.[1] Depending on what country the video was being broadcast, they would show children from that area who are missing. The version shown in Australia showed a number of young backpacking tourists whose families were looking for them. Several of them turned out to be victims of Ivan Milat, the Backpacker Murderer.

The video was very successful in reuniting many of the missing children with their families. Some of the children even saw themselves in the video and returned home. In 2006, guitarist Dan Murphy stated in an interview with Pasadena Weekly that some of children who were found were not returned to the best of conditions: "Some weren’t the best scenarios. I met a fireman on the East Coast whose daughter was in the end of the video, and he’d been in a bitter custody battle with his wife over her,” Murphy said. “It turned out the girl hadn’t run away, but was killed and buried in her backyard by her mother. Then on tour, another girl told us laughingly ‘You ruined my life’ because she saw herself on the video at her boyfriend’s house and it led her being forced back into a bad home situation.” [2]

The UK version of the video featured Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol, who each went missing in 1991. Their remains were found in 2007 at a house in Margate. Peter Tobin has since been convicted of both murders.[3][4]

Curtis Huntzinger, who was featured in the US video, was located deceased in 2008. His convicted killer, Stephen Daniel Hash, is currently serving a sentence of 11 years for manslaughter in Folsom State Prison.[5]

Media Info:

Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
Format/Family : RIFF
File size : 117 MiB
PlayTime : 4mn 16s
Bit rate : 3834 Kbps


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