Mama’s Boys: Runaway Dreams 1980-1992, 5CD Box Set – Review

Mama’s Boys: Runaway Dreams 1980-1992, 5CD Box Set – Review

4th March 2024 0 By Jon Deaux

What an incredible retrospective Mama’s Boys: Runaway Dreams 1980-1992 is. 4 CDs of kick-ass rock ‘n roll along with a disc full of live tracks and rare singles.


This collection spans over a decade of musical innovation and boundary-pushing creativity, this offers a comprehensive look at Mama’s Boys‘ evolution from newbie to pro.

From the moment the opening of the Official Bootleg album kicks in, it’s clear that listeners are in for a wild ride. Their signature blend of hard rock, blues, and Celtic influences permeates every track, creating a sound that is uniquely their own.

Songs like In the Heat of the Night and “Straight Forward (No Looking Back)” showcase the band’s crafting infectious hooks and adrenaline-fueled anthems that demand repeated listens.

What sets Runaway Dreams 1980-1992 apart is its ability to capture the pure essence of Mama’s Boys‘ live performances. Tracks like Walk All Over Me or Record Machine, exude the raw energy and virtuosic musicianship that made the band.

Whether it’s Pat McManus’ blistering guitar solos or John McManus’ thunderous drumming, each member shines brightly, contributing to the electrifying atmosphere that defines Mama’s Boys‘ live shows.

This extensive box also offers a glimpse into the band’s more introspective side, with tracks like Silent Movie and My Diary, proving their ability to craft poignant and emotionally resonant ballads. These songs serve as a testament to Mama’s Boys as not only songwriters but also demonstrating their ability to transition from hard-rockers and ballads with ease.

Overall, Mama’s Boys: Runaway Dreams 1980-1992 is a must-have for both longtime fans and newcomers alike.

This compilation is a fitting tribute to a band that left an indelible mark on the rock music landscape. So put the Needle In The Groove (alright, press play on the CD player),  crank up the volume, let the music wash over you, and get ready to embark on a journey through the unforgettable sounds of Mama’s Boys.

Score 8/10


Official Bootleg (1980)
1 I’m Leaving Town
2 Down And Out
3 Belfast City Blues
4 Highland Rock
5 Record Machine
6 Rock ‘N’ Roll Craze
7 Summertime
8 Big Bad City
9 Without You
10 Demon

Plug It In (1982)
1 In The Heat Of The Night (Short Version)
2 Burnin’ Up
3 Needle In The Groove
4 Reach For The Top
5 Record Machine
6 Silence Is Out Of Fashion
7 Straight Forward
8 Runaway Dreams
9 Getting Out
10 Belfast City Blues
11 Hard-Headed Ways
12 In The Heat Of The Night (Long Version)

Turn It Up (1984)
1 Midnight Promises
2 Loose Living
3 Too Little Of You To Love
4 Late Night Rendezvous
5 Crazy Daisy’s House Of Dreams
6 Face To Face
7 Gentleman Rogues
8 Lonely Soul
9 Shake My Bones
10 Freedom Fighters

Relativity (1992)
1 Judgement Day
2 What You See Is What You Get
3 Laugh About It
4 Don’t Look Back In Anger
5 Left And Right
6 Rescue Me
7 My Way Home
8 Don’t Back Down
9 Left And Right
10 Cardboard City
11 Walk All Over Me
12 Fallin’
13 Moorlough Shore
Bonus Tracks
14 Walk All Over Me (Live)
15 Rescue Me (Live)
16 My Way Home (Live)
17 Fallin’ (Live)
18 The Beast (Live)

1 Rollin’ On
2 Demon
3 High Energy Weekend
4 Hitch Hike
5 Belfast City Blues
6 Telephone Teaser
7 Shake My Bones
8 Demon
9 Too Little of You to Love
10 Record Machine
11 This Flight Tonight
12 Time Warp (Instrumental)
13 Mama Weer All Crazee Now (Live)

Label – HNE Recordings
Release – 26th Feb

For all things, Mama’s Boys, click HERE, and to purchase the album, click HERE

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