oul Asylum had a major hit with this song from their 1992 album, Grave Dancer’s Union.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the missing kids featured in the video? MelMagazine did this follow-up.
The attention came in the form of a music video for a song called “Runaway Train” by the alternative rock band Soul Asylum, who, in 1993, were at the height of their success. The group had just released their sixth — and most popular — album, Grave Dancer’s Union, which ended up going triple platinum. “Runaway Train” — which would remain on the Billboard charts for more than 40 weeks, and which the band would play at Bill Clinton’s inaugural ball — was one of its singles.
The idea for the song’s video had begun with a milk carton — and, by extension, another missing kid.
Etan Patz, abducted in SoHo in May 1979, may be the most famous missing American child of the last half-century, and the case’s fame rests, in part, on Patz’s face being displayed on the side of a milk carton. Depending on whom you ask, his was either the first or among the first. And that lit the spark for the video, its director, Tony Kaye, has said: “I was being driven home one night and I saw a poster — I think it was a milk poster… where it was missing kids on the carton.”
“Runaway Train” is a power ballad about depression. But Kaye decided the music video ought to be about something else: missing children. Over the course of four and a half minutes, the video toggles between footage of the band singing — the stuff of traditional music videos — and kids making a break for it; at the end, it depicts an abduction. Dotted throughout are photos and names of real missing children along with the date on which each disappeared.
Read the full story here.