GIRLSCHOOL
Traditional heavy metal / NWoBHM / Glam Metal • United Kingdom

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Girlschool started in 1975 when Enid Williams (Bass, Vocals) and Kim McAuliffe (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals) formed an all girl rock covers band called Painted Lady in South London. Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort later joined and in April 1978 they changed their name to Girlschool

Their first single "Take It All Away" was released on the City Records label which led to them gaining a Motörhead support slot on the Overkill tour in 1979. After signing with Lemmy´s record company Bronze later that year, the band released their first album Demolition in 1980.

After playing Japan in 1982, Enid left and was replaced by Gil Weston of The Killjoys and Girlschool recorded their third album Screaming Blue Murder. After Kelly left to live in L.A. she was replaced by Cris Bonacci on lead guitar and singer Jackie Bodimead on lead vocals for the 1985 album Running Wild.

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Bronze YearsBronze Years
Box set · Import · Remastered
Lemon Records UK 2014
Audio CD$23.69
$33.42 (used)
London 1980London 1980
Cleopatra 2014
Audio CD$8.49
$6.97 (used)
Singles CollectionSingles Collection
Import · Remastered
Lemon Records UK 2007
Audio CD$7.94
$8.18 (used)
Hit & RunHit & Run
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$14.99
$20.50 (used)
Glasgow 1982Glasgow 1982
Cleopatra 2017
Audio CD$5.41
$6.48 (used)
Running WildRunning Wild
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$7.94
$24.42 (used)
The Collection [2 CD]The Collection [2 CD]
Sanctuary 2015
Audio CD$20.49
$20.45 (used)
Screaming Blue MurderScreaming Blue Murder
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$8.99
$9.83 (used)
DemolitionDemolition
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$15.83
Race With the Devil - LiveRace With the Devil - Live
Import
Receiver Records 1998
Audio CD$100.00
$49.99 (used)
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Rare Gary Glitter And Girlschool   7 Rare Gary Glitter And Girlschool 7"GWR records 1986 Australian USD $5.32 Buy It Now 3h
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GIRLSCHOOL Discography

GIRLSCHOOL albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.86 | 7 ratings
Demolition
NWoBHM 1980
.. Album Cover 4.78 | 6 ratings
Hit and Run
NWoBHM 1981
.. Album Cover 3.35 | 4 ratings
Screaming Blue Murder
NWoBHM 1982
.. Album Cover 1.85 | 4 ratings
Play Dirty
NWoBHM 1983
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Running Wild
Glam Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 2 ratings
Nightmare at Maple Cross
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Take a Bite
Traditional heavy metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.51 | 3 ratings
Girlschool
Traditional heavy metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
21st Anniversary: Not That Innocent
Traditional heavy metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Believe
Traditional heavy metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.45 | 3 ratings
Legacy
Traditional heavy metal 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hit and Run: Revisited
Traditional heavy metal 2011
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Guilty As Sin
Traditional heavy metal 2015

GIRLSCHOOL EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
St. Valentine's Day Massacre
Traditional heavy metal 1981
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live and More
NWoBHM 1982

GIRLSCHOOL live albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live
Traditional heavy metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour: Girlschool
Traditional heavy metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live From London
Traditional heavy metal 2005

GIRLSCHOOL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

GIRLSCHOOL re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Cheers You Lot
Traditional heavy metal 1989
.. Album Cover 2.10 | 2 ratings
C'mon Let's Go
Traditional heavy metal 1991
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Collection
Traditional heavy metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Demolition / Hit and Run
NWoBHM 1991
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of
Traditional heavy metal 1993
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Screaming Blue Murder / Play Dirty
NWoBHM 1994

GIRLSCHOOL singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Take It All Away
NWoBHM 1979
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Emergency
NWoBHM 1980

GIRLSCHOOL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live from London
Traditional heavy metal 2005

GIRLSCHOOL Reviews

GIRLSCHOOL Screaming Blue Murder

Album · 1982 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Screaming Blue Murder is the London band’s third full-length studio album, and for me, my favourite so far. I think I’ve read somewhere that the previous two records are more popular because the photoshoots and music videos got a bit more glamourous around this stage and people accused them of following Def Leppard out of Metal and into the mainstream or whatever (and listening to their next album that definitely was a little closer to the truth there) but all these years later the only thing that matters to me is the music.

For me a track like ‘Wildlife’ with its infectious chanting chorus, jaunty bouncing rhythm and lead guitar quality is just undeniable. The band have a bit of a Hard Rock sound, a bit of a Punk sound and a bit of a Heavy Metal sound. All three elements are well balanced. If you want something anthemic and ready for radio there’s the retro sounding rock n’ roll of ‘It Turns Your Head Around.’ If you want something a bit more Metallic to sink your teeth in to, then there’s ‘Don’t Call It Love’ which could be on any of the first four Dio albums to my ears. Hey, what diversity in those three tracks alone! I think that’s why this album just pips the previous two badass ones as my favourite. Its almost as fierce but the diversity makes it even more interesting.

Ok. I get that some people won’t love it a much as the previous records. Some people prefer Kill ‘Em All to Master Of Puppets too. Diffrent Strokes and all that. Screaming Blue Murder is indeed a bit more sophisticated than the two albums which preceed it, which are more raw and charming, which have a bit more ramshakle Motorhead vibe to ’em. This one tries on a few more hats. Its not always pounding speed. ‘Flesh And Blood’ is the kind of rolling tribal prog thing Queensryche would be exploring the other side of the milenium! The guitar solos are a bit more ‘feel’ than ‘flash.’

…But that’s all just an extra layer to like. Its still got the hard stuff when you like to just bang around the room (‘Hellrazor’ has that in spades. As does the bonus track ‘Don’t Stop’ if you get a special edition or reissue). Nigel Grey’s roomy and open production job also keeps this sounding hard and rocking. There’s punkiness in the distorted bass on ‘You Got Me.’ This isn’t exactly a Bananarama album now is it? Its like Motorhead, Sex Pistols and AC/DC blended together, with a fat reverb and a unique vocal style.

For me, this 1982 gem, their third in as many years by the way, is a very strong record. It stands up well alongside the better releases of their contemporaries like Raven, Grim Reaper and Bitch’s Sin. Its not just at that untouchable layer as Maiden, Saxon or Motorhead but its definitely belonging of a spot in the collections of any fan of those bigger bands (alongside their previous two, which are less diverse but more energetic and raw and no less worthy of your listening time!).

GIRLSCHOOL C'mon Let's Go

Boxset / Compilation · 1991 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
AtomicCrimsonRush
This compilation of Girlschool was typical of the cash ins that were around to capitalise on the NWOBHM all girl band's success. It features some quintessential Girlschool with 'C'mon Let's Go' from the dynamic "Hit and Run" album. 'Flesh and Blood' was an interesting choice as it was really a filler from "Screaming Blue Murder' though I didnt mind it's bold experimental feel.

'Not for Sale' is a competent rocker from the debut, as was the hard driving anthemic 'Deadline' and 'Midnight Ride'. One of the best tracks from the debut was the infectious melodic metallic 'Demolition Boys' that was always a fan favourite. 'Don't Call It Love' is the hit single and best track from "Screaming Blue Murder" and 'Take It From Me' is another good rocking track. There are other versions of this compilation with variations of track order and album covers.

At only 25 minutes this is a short burst of energy from the band that is OK for those wanting to taste what the band are like but you are far better advised to grab the debut or "Hit and Run" as all the best tracks are found on those. The best compilation is the 2 CD "The Collection" and that is definitely a better place to start.

GIRLSCHOOL Play Dirty

Album · 1983 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
AtomicCrimsonRush
Well I hate to do this to my beloved Girlschool, the all girl NWOBHM pioneers, but this album is a travesty from end to end with only 2 decent songs and enough filler material to grace all the B sides to all their singles. They began their career with 3 fabulous albums especially the heavy blitz of “Hit and Run” and then they produced this. This was produced by Slade's Noddy Holder and it sounds like Slade meets Vixen and other offenders of false metal. The result is the worst Girlschool album in history.

Even the album cover was akin to Emerson Lake & Palmer’s “Love Beach” disaster, with the girls looking like sex goddesses, out of place and uncomfortable. The songs on this are embarrassing, especially the cover version of glamour puss T-Rex, ‘2oth Century Boy’, surely the silliest cover of this song by girls who should know better.

I think they were on one vodka too many when they agreed to produce the appalling Slade inspired ‘1-2-3-4 Rock 'n’ Roll’ , that ended up on an EP prior to this release and now you can hear it on the CD as a bonus track, sorry that is no bonus.

There are some real glitzy fluffed up songs on this such as ‘Breaking All the Rules’ and the forgettable nonsense of ‘Going Under’. The other single was written by Holder, ‘Burning in the Heat’ which is tolerable in its own cheesy way. ‘Play Dirty’ was a single and the promo was the best thing about it showing the girls walking around with attitude leering into the camera.

The truly detestable songs were those that didn’t suit the image such as a synth-soaked 80s powerless ballad, Surrender’. There are a couple of rockers at the end, ‘Rock Me, Shock Me’ and ‘Breakout’ and then mediocrity returns with the last track.

The tracks that are Ok are featured on compilations rendering this album obsolete. It would make a perfect beer coaster, complete with sexualised female stares and skin tight leotards. This is a sellout and the lowest point for the band. So low in fact that Kelly buggered off for good, as she was always a hard rocker and she hated what the band had become. The only way was up for the band after this shocking embarrassment.

GIRLSCHOOL Screaming Blue Murder

Album · 1982 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
AtomicCrimsonRush
Girlschool’s 3rd studio album was a step down from their last album, the quintessential “Hit and Run”, but this still featured some excellent tracks that became part of their live performance for many years. There was a lineup change when bassist Enid Williams was replaced by The Killjoy’s Ghislaine 'Gil' Weston. It didn’t make too much of a difference although I liked Enid’s vocals occasionally.

The album features one of the heaviest Girlschool tracks, the title ‘Screaming Blue Murder’ with shouting chorus and loud riffing guitars. The lyrics are straight forward in your face rebellious rantings; “Action screams like screaming blue murder, Action screams when there's something to say, Action screams when there's no words to tell it, Action screams when you're fading away... Come on let me show you just what we're gonna do, We're all screaming blue murder, screaming blue murder...” You get the picture, don’t you? The band were all about turning the guitars up to a maximum level and just cranking it out having a good time and damn the consequences.

‘Live with Me’ was a Rolling Stones cover and well performed. ‘Take It from Me’ had an infectious chorus and good lead breaks. ‘Flesh & Blood’ had strange verses with a driving drum beat from Denise Dufort, like tribal drums with sensual whispered vocals. It was a throwaway but I kind of got into this very different approach to the music with sparsely arranged guitars and sporadic drumming; giving it a decidedly progressive feel.

The best track on this was also a huge hit for the band, ‘Dont call It Love’ with a memorable chorus and very thoughtful lyrics in the verses, sung with attitude by rhythm guitarist Kim McCauliffe; “You know I seen this all before, And I know what you’re waiting for, But I won't be fooled again, By someone like you, I knew right from the start, That you would break my heart, Don't Call it love, Don't Call it love...” The film clip for theis is a tragedy with the girls skulking behind poles and oiled up muscle men flexing their muscles as the girls drape off them like accessories. It was the 80s! The lead break is melodic and well played by Kelly Johnson. Interestingly she doesn’t sing very much on this as she had done on previous albums and it may have been a sign of her disinterest in continuing with the band with the pressure of touring and appeasing the fan base.

There is a lot of filler material here unlike their previous albums and it is a shame to hear them churning out forgettable rubbish like ‘It Turns Your Head Around’ and ‘When Your Blood Runs Cold’ that reek of filler material.

Overall this is a patchy album with about 4 tracks to recommend it. They are all available on the double CD compilation “The Collection” rendering this album obsolete if you get that and I do recommend it as it is the best material the band produced in one hit. The saving grace of this album is the single, ‘Don't call It Love’ which is memorable and one of the best Girlschool moments. A good album that could have been a triumph but the filler material is unforgiveable. After this things got worse and worse typifying the crystal clean glammy 80s sound and the eventual decline of the band.

GIRLSCHOOL Demolition

Album · 1980 · NWoBHM
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AtomicCrimsonRush
The debut “Demolition” for all girl British metal band Girlschool is quite an achievement featuring some of their best material and two bonafide classics that became live staples and huge hits in the UK. The single that topped the chart was a cover of The Gun’s ‘Race With the Devil’ with some scorching lead riffs played beautifully by Kelly Johnson. She was their lead vocalist but did not sing on this, that job was left to bassist Enid Williams. She does a fine job and the film clip shows her having a lot of fun on this; she was always cracking up while the other members were rather serious. The hit was a blockbuster version and always stayed firm in my memory as a teen listening to these rocking babes. Kelly on guitar is devestating on this.

The other big hit was the single, ‘Emergency’ with the chorus “911 Emergency” repeated over and over. The chords were simple, skull crushing ‘A’ and ‘E’ chords that crashed down. The themes of the lyrics was simple, “Can't make out, things they said, Spent too many nights getting out of my head, Must be mad, must be blind, Driving me crazy right out of my mind...” In other words the song is about going crazy, confused by too many voices and the drink, so you better call 911. A typical theme of the band was to get drunk and party such as ‘Nothing to Lose’ or ‘Deadline’.

The opening track, ‘Demolition Boys’ is one of the best songs with a fabulous rhythm and raucous chorus, “things used to be different for me, till I heard the noise, demolition boys, demolition boys...” The riff is killer all the way and a prime example of aggressive 80s metal.

Other great tracks are ‘Not for Sale’ and ‘Take It All Away’. The latter song features an infectious chorus with harmonies that are well executed. The verses have some interesting lyrics; “One day you're up, next day you're down, Nothing you can do but just stay around, Trying to do your best, hoping they're impressed, But can you hurry up 'cause you wanna know who's next... they’re gonna take it all away.” Once again it is about standing up to the men, I assume, who are always trying to take from you and trying to make you be something you are not. Girl Power.

‘Midnight Ride’ is another highlight with a catchy chorus with repeated words that stick in your head. There are no terrible songs with everything turned up to 10 and rocking hard with attitude and flashy melodic metal grooves.

Overall the album was a solid start to the band but the followup was the brilliant “Hit and Run” and it never got better than this. “Demolition” has a lot of great metal and is worth a listen as one of the early NWOBHM albums.

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