Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their 1993 hit “Runaway Train” won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.
The band was originally called Loud Fast Rules, with a lineup consisting of Dave Pirner, Dan Murphy, Karl Mueller, and Pat Morley. They changed their name to Soul Asylum in 1983. Morley was replaced by Grant Young in 1984. The band recorded three albums with Twin/Tone Records and two with A&M Records, with little commercial success. In 1992, they released the triple-platinum album Grave Dancers Union, featuring “Runaway Train”. The band played at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton early the next year.
In 1998 they recorded Candy from a Stranger. Mueller was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, and the band organized a benefit concert on his behalf. Mueller died a year later.
“Runaway Train” is a power ballad by American rock band Soul Asylum. Its music video is notable for featuring images of missing people, most of them involving young children and adolescent teenagers. Lead singer Dave Pirner has stated that the lyrics originally described his experience of depression.
“Runaway Train” was released in June 1993 as the fourth single from the band’s 1992 album, Grave Dancers Union, and became a success around the world. It reached number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 and climbed to the top position on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart, earning a gold sales certification from the Recording Industry Association of America and selling 600,000 copies in the US. Outside North America, it reached number two in New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland and peaked within the top five on the charts on several other European countries. The song helped bring their album, Grave Dancers Union, to a multi-platinum level and won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 1994.