Girlschool – Legacy – Classic Rock – Geoff Barton
‘When Girlschool began in 1978, who thought they’d still be in full-time rock ‘n’ roll education thirty years later? More amazing is that three-quarters of the original class are still here… There’s no lack of traditional Girlschool squeal-alongs – ‘Spend Spend Spend’ and ‘Don’t Mess Around’, to name just two – but there’s also a bunch of unusual offerings.
It’s good to hear the band mixing it up. ‘Whole New World’, with its mangled backwards riff, is a challenging listen for sure, while ‘I-Spy (a critique of Big Brother surveillance culture) is possibly the heaviest thing that Girlschool have ever recorded… There are plenty of guest stars to keep you amused along the way, too. Twisted Sister’s Eddie Ojeda contributes a shrieking mad 1980’s guitar solo on the aforementioned Spend Spend Spend
There are three excellent bonus tracks. A rampant reworking of I-Spy features Sabbath’s Tony Iommi on guitar and Ronnie James Dio on vocals, tuba and glockenspiel (ok, maybe not the last two.) Old chestnut ‘Emergency’ is reactivated to fine effect and London is a powerful heartfelt paean to the cockney capital. It ends with one of the girls (we hope it’s Enid Williams) blowing a kiss: mm-wah! And a mm-wah! right back atcha.
Reviews for Hit and Run
‘Girlschool makes good use of vocals. Part of their appeal is the contrast between the tough sound and the treble of feline voices. Johnson, McAuliffe and bassist Enid Williams all contribute lead and backup vocals. But Enid Williams has the most scope. Her style ranges from a sopranic siren to the throaty roar she applied to the band’s thundering version of ZZ – Top’s ‘Tush’
‘Girlschool have done what no other guitar totin’, brain banging all girl band have done before – been successful.
A close association with Motorhead has helped them sure, but by sheer musical ability alone Girlschool have finally proved that girls galvanise when it comes to heavy metal.
The St. Valentine’s Mascara bunch have shown once and for all that you don’t need a bulge in your trousers to prove your prowess’.
‘Far more interesting than the usual run of HM bombardosludge… Girlschool are just about the only band working in their genre – with the occasional exception of Motorhead, whom I would listen to voluntarily.
Record Mirror said:
Girlschool are rapidly becoming the standard by which lesser mortals must be judged… their approach now overflows with individual freshness and controlled strength’.
Melody Maker said:
As ever they play like demons… overall it’s an excellent album’.
Sounds, Geoff Barton said:
‘After all, such gems are rare in the wastelands of rock music and it wouldn’t do us any credit to underestimate them. ‘Hit and Run’, therefore, is a minefield of imaginative ruses with more variety than a Kelloggs factory and more red hot power than the starting line of the British Grand Prix, making full use of all manner of special effects, vocal inflections and lyrical ideas. It’s not just a great HM album, it’s a great rock music album and an achievement that Girlschool can be thoroughly proud of’.
‘There’s the riff/hook splendour of ‘Yeah Right’, the back-breaking heaviness of ‘The Hunter’ and the unforgettable ‘Tush’, arguably the finest cover version in the history of vinyl production’.
Demolition – 1980
‘I’d single out drummer Denise Dufort and bass guitarist Enid Williams as being the real driving force behind the band but Kelly Johnson could easily hold her own (pardon?) among her male metal counterparts. As a debut album this is really quite a triumph; it augers extremely well for the future’.