Great Metal Albums of 1985: Girlschool- Running Wild


When I saw Girlschool live in 1985, they had my total sympathy. They were supporting Deep Purple and they were basically on a bare stage with limited lighting. The worst parts were they played before a half empty Philadelphia Spectrum and were only on stage for half an hour. I suggest this might be more of Ritchie Blackmore’s paranoia at work. While I totally loved them, the fact was it made sure they knew they were only a support act. Shame, because if they had access to a little more lights and effects, more people would have turned up to see them and maybe like me, heard what a great album “Running Wild” was.

Changes to Girlschool came in the forms of lead guitarist Kelly Johnson leaving, replaced by Cris Bonacci and Jackie Bodimead joining as a fifth member and sharing the vocal duties with Kim McAulliffe. The result on “Running Wild” was that it left me very impressed with the musicianship here. Now, Girlschool were always good in that respect on their previous albums but some of the playing goes above and beyond here. You have a good one-two punch with Bodimead and McAulliffe sharing the lead vocal duties but what won me over was the lead guitar work of Bonacci. She’s that good. Her best work can be found on the title track, “Something for Nothing,” “Are You Ready” and “Nowhere to Run.” The last one being the best of them all.

All of the songs on “Running Wild” are fairly evenly good. Only the title cut stands out above the rest but not by much. Like a good number of the other tracks, it has a really catchy intro. Speaking of which, the intros are all unique in their own way. “Running Wild” starts with an acoustic guitar while “Are You Read” blasts immediately into a cool guitar solo. The opener, “Let Me Go” has one of those introductions that make you take notice and the right choice to open the album. However, there’s no let up in the second half of the album. More great heavy metal work from what has been considered one of the best all female bands in the game, not that gender should have anything to do with it. “I Want You Back” provides some great melodic metal and “Nasty Nasty” is a pure rocker. “Love is a Lie,” complete with glass breaking sound effects at the beginning, provides some good metal moments before the closer, which has some interesting bits packed onto the end when you think the song is over.

Track Listing:

  1. Let Me Go
  2. Running Wild
  3. Do You Love Me
  4. Something for Nothing
  5. Are You Ready
  6. Nowhere to Run
  7. I Want You Back
  8. Nasty Nasty
  9. Love is a Lie
  10. Can’t You See



Jackie Bodimead- lead and backing vocals, keyboards

Kim McAulliffe- rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on tracks 3 & 8

Cris Bonacci- lead guitar

Gil Weston-Jones- bass

Denise Dufort- drums

“Running Wild” was only released in the US and that was a big mistake because they already had a fan base in the UK. If it had, then the album would have done better because this could be one of their best.

Next post: Mountain- Go For You Life

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4 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Girlschool- Running Wild”

  1. Ah, just when you thought the blokes had it all sewn up in the ‘big hair’ department, along come these ladies. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I saw them support Blue Oyster Cult. They were good – very loud and lively.

    Liked by 1 person

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