Throughout the twenty eight years I have lived in the UK, there has been a lot of back and forth banter between my country of origin and my adopted country over which country did what things better. There are some things that each country will always do better than the other like the UK will always be better at cricket and the US will always be better at American football. In the world of music, neither country has been able to hold dominance over for very long. However, in 1981, one area where the UK outshone the US was in the category of all female bands. The US had The Go Gos who weren’t bad as far as rock bands go but they didn’t hold a candle to the UK’s female metal outfit Girlschool.
Their 1981 album “Hit and Run” is precisely the reason why Girlschool reigned supreme of all female music acts that year. They gave many of the male acts a good run for their money as well as they proved they could rock with this album. This is evident with the very first chords in the opening song “C’mon Let’s Go.” A great song that gets things going. Those who don’t truly appreciate metal complain that it’s the same two chords going over and over and if they were to listen to “The Hunter,” they would site this as proof. My response is that yes, it might be the same two chords but what two great chords they are. They certainly capture and hold my attention even throughout the vocals and guitar solo, so who cares? “(I’m Your) Victim,” “Kick It Down” and “Follow the Crowd all move the album along very nicely until something very interesting happens. Of all the songs, that I would like to hear metalized, ZZ Top’s monster tune “Tush” never occurred to me. I feel a fool because Girlschool metalize this song very well.
After “Tush,” things kick up a gear and stay there for the remainder. The title track has always been my favourite Girlschool song and I was disappointed that they didn’t play it either time I saw them live. Maybe one day, I’ll get to see them again and they will play it for me. One can hope. However, another song I have always liked is the pen ultimate “Yeah, Right.” This is a song that you want playing on the stereo before going to any metal event, a definite uplifter. The two tracks in between “Hit and Run” and “Yeah, Right” are also good jams and things go out very well with the closer “Future Flash.” In short and I don’t care how cliched this sounds but with “Hit and Run,” Girlschool proved they could play with the big boys.
1. C’mon Let’s Go
2. The Hunter
3. (I’m Your) Victim
4. Kick It Down
5. Follow the Crowd
7. Hit and Run
8. Watch Your Step
9. Back to Start
10. Yeah Right
11. Future Flash
Kim McAuliffe- rhythm guitar, vocals
Kelly Johnson- lead guitar, vocals
Enid Williams- bass, vocals
Denise Dufort- drums
I’ve realised that for many years I have taken for granted all the great albums that came out in 1981. To have so many great bands put out so many great albums in the same year is something truly phenomenal and there’s still more to come. Girlschool can stake their own claim to the year with “Hit and Run.” In spite of what I said about it when I posted on the album not long ago, “Hit and Run” beats the pants off The Go Gos’ “Beauty and the Beat” and that makes these fine ladies the best female artists of 1981.
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