Archive for all female bands

The Runaways- The First True All Female Metal Band

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

Janis Joplin and Grace Slick for the first queens of rock in the 60’s and in the 70’s came Ann and Nancy Wilson who were arguably the first modern rock chicks. In the later part of the 70’s and early 80’s we had such great ladies like Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry. All of these women were rock queens in the true sense and their contribution to music will always be remembered.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

 

Heart

Heart

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

In 1981, two all female bands made their way into the spotlight, The Go-Gos and Girlschool. While the former had a more commercial rock sound, the latter was straight forward heavy metal and stood alongside of many of the NWOBHM acts that were coming out that year. However, these two weren’t the all female bands who could blow speakers with great power chords. Before them came The Runaways.

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

Girlschool

Girlschool

I had heard of The Runaways even before the film that came out a few years ago. Even at the tender (small chuckle here) age of sixteen, I was enamoured with these fine ladies who played such aggressive music. I did listen to their debut album and liked it. Likewise, I wanted to listen to their second one “Queens of Noise” but never got the chance. Must rectify that in the future. While, I never heard any of their songs on that cheap AM radio I had back then, they toured extensively and played many sell out concerts in the US and Japan. Furthermore, the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cheap Trick and Van Halen supported them. Unfortunately, accusations of mismanagement, rows over money and direction plus several personnel changes lead to break up of the band.

Albums:

The Runaways- 1976

Queens of Noise- 1977

Waitin’ for the Night- 1977

Live in Japan- 1977

And Now, The Runaways- 1978

The Runaways

The Runaways

Cherrie Currie- vocals

Joan Jett- guitar, vocals

Lita Ford- guitar

Jackie Fox- bass

Sandy West- drums

*Vicki Blue and Laurie McAllister also played bass during The Runaways reign

While The Runaways may be no longer, the members are still around and making themselves known. One of them would dethrone Pat Benatar as the queen of rock in 1982 and possibly become the first metal queen. That one is up for debate. Another ex Runaway would also make a huge splash in heavy metal circles nor would some of the other former members remain completely silent. Almost silently, these ladies would go onto to be an influence on heavy metal and I think the all female metal bands that would spring up less than a decade later can look to them for inspiration. Don’t take my word for it, watch the film and listen to their music for yourself.

Next post: 1982- The Floodgates Are Open

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Girlschool- Hit and Run

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Girlschool_hit_and_run

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.

Track Listing

1. C’mon Let’s Go

2. The Hunter

3. (I’m Your) Victim

4. Kick It Down

5. Follow the Crowd

6. Tush

7. Hit and Run

8. Watch Your Step

9. Back to Start

10. Yeah Right

11. Future Flash

Girlschool

Girlschool

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.

Next Post: Iron Maiden- Killers

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: The Go Go’s- Beauty and the Beat

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Go-Go'sBeautyandtheBeatalbumcover

There were many all girl bands that came and went before 1981. I’m even going to pay tribute to one of them in my between the years post once the tour of 1981 is over. Don’t worry, that’s still quite a long way away. However, there was something a little different about The Go Go’s when I first heard them in 1981. They weren’t ┬áheavy rock but they were hard enough in a new wave sort of way that was popular around this time. There was another reason I got into them. I once stated that in the mid 80s, many male metalheads, myself included, listened to Bon Jovi on account of the sole fact that our girl friends did. While, I wasn’t dating any particular lady at the time, I noted while at a party one evening that many of the ladies there were getting into them. It could be said that The Go Go’s were the first band that both genders could listen to without any worry girls being branded a rock slut and boys being branded a p*ssy.

Back in this time, there were some prehistoric notions that women couldn’t play instruments and that all female bands were there more to be looked at than listened to. I never thought that even before I heard this album. Still, this album shows that these girls are capable of playing although I will admit I liked looking at them too. True, the video to their first single “Our Lips Are Sealed” betrays this fact but even though it has been heralded as one of the greats of the 80s, there are some other good rock tunes here as well. Besides, I always preferred the other single, “We Got the Beat” anyway. If I had too much to drink and this song came on, I would start pogo dancing to it. However, the album doesn’t end with that song either. For me, “Lust to Love” is a hidden gem of a rocker and after its slow start, “This Town” shapes up pretty well. “Fading Fast” is another decent one as it “How Much More” and “Tonite” isn’t bad either. I thought the only track that didn’t quite measure up to the others was “Skidmarks On My Heart,” not that it was a bad song, I just couldn’t get into it. As one good song doesn’t make a great album, one song not up with the others, doesn’t in any way detract from the rest of the album.

Track Listing:

1. Our Lips Are Sealed

2. How Much More

3. Tonite

4. Lust to Love

5. This Town

6. We Got The Beat

7. Fading Fast

8. Automatic

9. You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep)

10. Skidmarks On My Heart

11. Can’t Stop the World

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

Belinda Carlisle- lead vocals

Charlotte Caffey- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Jane Wiedlin- rhythm guitar, vocals

Kathy Valentine- bass, backing vocals

Gina Schock- drums, percussion

Back on the subject of musicianship, I have always thought that Charlotte Caffey doesn’t get the respect she deserved then or now. I’m not saying she’s a Clapton or a Van Halen etc but she does play well enough to be respected. Listen to the album and judge for yourself as this is definitely one album from an all girl band that should be taken seriously. Did they open the way for others? Well, we can answer that as we journey through history.

Next post: Another band that should be taken seriously.

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London