Archive for Girlschool

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Rock Goddess- Hell Hath No Fury

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2017 by 80smetalman

Girlschool wasn’t the only female band to come along on the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM). In early 1984, I happened to catch another band of ladies who proved they could rock as hard as the men. That band happened to be the trio known as Rock Goddess. I have to admit, when I first saw the video for the big single from this album, “Hell Hath No Fury,” “I Didn’t Know Till I Saw You Rock and Roll,” I was totally smitten. Not only did these three ladies tingle my then 22 year old hormones, they could play metal as well and play it well. Note: this single doesn’t appear on the UK release of the album.

While the mentioned single can still be found on some compilation albums from time to time and is the song Rock Goddess is best known for, I can say with certainty that the entire album kicks ass. It’s just one complete blow your eardrums to pieces rock party from start to finish. In fact, if I had to pick, I would say that the opening title track is probably the least strongest track on here. I can’t use weakest because I don’t think that applies. “Gotta Let Your Hair Down” is a great example of what I mean by blow your eardrums metal. When I hear that song, I regret the fact that I never seen them live.

Because they are an all female band, I feel the need to make the cliched comment that they are just as good as their male counterparts. Take singer/guitarist Jody Turner. Now, I admit that her guitar playing isn’t equal to greats like Blackmore or Van Halen but it’s good enough. Her best guitar effort can be found on “In the Night” and runner up is “Hold Me Down.” Plus she has the added gift of having a good singing voice that can bellow to the high extremes and then soften to a melodic purr. If that’s not all, she was the songwriter for the band and to me, she does write some good songs. I find, “The Visitors Are Here,” a song about an alien visit, quite cool. As for the rhythm section of Julie Turner and Dee O’Malley, they are as tight as any other section I know of.

Track Listing:

  1. Hell Hath No Fury
  2. I Didn’t Know I Loved You Till I Saw You Rock and Roll
  3. Gotta Let Your Hair Down
  4. In the Night
  5. Hold Me Down
  6. The Visitors Are Here
  7. You Got the Fire
  8. It Will Never Change
  9. Don’t Want Your Love
  10. God Be With You

Rock Goddess

Jody Turner- guitars, lead vocals

Julie Turner- drums, backing vocals

Dee O’Malley- bass, keyboards, backing vocals

My question has always been, why didn’t Rock Goddess go further? According to Wikapedia, there were problems from the outset. Julie Turner was still a school age minor and there were legal limitation on how many live shows she could perform. Right before the scheduled US tour, Dee O’Malley announced she was pregnant and left the band. That was typical of the band’s history as bassists and sometimes second guitarists would come and go so they never became fully solid. Damn shame in my opinion because they could have achieved so much more.

Next post: White Wolf- Standing Alone

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509302805&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1984: The Bangles- All Over the Place

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Before Prince and other more commercial types got their claws into them, The Bangles debut album, “All Over the Place” was a solid new wave sounding album. When the video for the single, “The Hero Takes a Fall” appeared on MTV one day, I thought to myself, I like this song. It wasn’t heavy but there was just enough guitar in there for me.

“The Hero Takes a Fall” never broke the top forty charts in 1984, most likely because I liked it. What it did do was to further my intrigue into this band and I liked what I discovered. Like, I said above, “All Over the Place” is a decent album. There is a strong new wave sound but it stops a just short of being a hard rocker and in no way did it knock Girlschool off top spot as my favourite all female band.

The funny thing is that the album could have been a cool metal album if they had let loose with the guitars a bit more. One song that typifies this is “All About You.” There is a guitar bit that sounds okay but it would have sounded amazing if they had put a fuzz box in there. The same thing could have been said about “Restless” and “Tell Me.” However, there is another song that stands above even those. “Dover Beach” is where lead guitarist Vicki Peterson really gets to shred a little. I’m not going to say she’s a hidden guitar great because of one solo but it would have been nice to hear her shred a little more. She does shred a little bit on “Going Down to Liverpool” but because the song is in the early Beatles form, her guitar solo sounds like something from “A Hard Day’s Night.” Not a bad thing and the song is okay, it just doesn’t make it any real rocker.

“He’s Got a Secret” is another decent song. It’s about a man whose cheating on his partner and there is some good guitar work in it. However, it is the vocals of Susanna Hoffs which punctuate the song for me. Actually, the hardest rock song is, “Silent Treatment” and it’s good to hear the band really let loose. I think that song should have been the closer as I was never very impressed with the one that actually is.

Track Listing:

  1. The Hero Takes a Fall
  2. Live
  3. James
  4. All About You
  5. Dover Beach
  6. Tell Me
  7. Restless
  8. Going Down to Liverpool
  9. He’s Got a Secret
  10. Silent Treatment
  11. More Than Meets the Eye

The Bangles

Susannah Hoffs- rhythm guitar, vocals

Vicki Peterson- lead guitar, vocals

Michael Steele- bass

Debbi Peterson- drums, vocals

While I wasn’t the only one who took notice of the Bangles in 1984, they pretty much came and went through the year unnoticed. Unfortunately, the wrong people, as far as this metalhead is concerned, did take notice of them and would turn them into a top forty band. That is why “All Over the Place” would be the only Bangles album I would ever listen to.

Next Post: Billy Satellite

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1500195556&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Girlschool- Play Dirty

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-girlschool_play_dirty

During the torrent of new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM), Girlschool were somewhere in the middle. They weren’t mentioned in the same breath as the giants of the time but they were better known than other bands like Diamond Head and Raven. True, their music didn’t get the airplay it deserved but most metalheads in 1983 knew who they were. I was fortunate on one occasion in the year to catch one of the few times the title track from the album, “Play Dirty,” got played on MTV.

“Play Dirty” marked a change in direction for Girlschool towards a more softer rock sound. Some would compare them to Def Leppard, really? However, the softer sound comes out with the first two tracks on the album. It is the first time, to my knowledge, that keyboards were ever used on a Girlschool album. Those tracks aren’t bad but they aren’t real headbangers either. Things do go much heavier with the third one, the title track. Even then, there are keyboards at the bridges on the song and though I have to admit, they compliment that part of the song well, it took me a couple of listens to get used to it. Besides, Kelly Johnson’s guitar solo on said song makes counters any keyboards.

Track four, a cover of T-Rex’s “20th Century Boy,” marks a definite return to more traditional ground. I get the feeling that the band had a lot of fun recording this cover because it sounds good. Marc Bolan would have been proud. Even if he’s not, “Play Dirty” goes even harder after that with “Breaking All the Rules.” Now this song sounds like the Girlschool I knew and love. Keyboards are used again on “Burning in the Heat” but only as a scary movie type introduction. Something I give Ozzy credit for starting but done by many metal bands then and now. After this introduction comes more traditional Girlschool. For me, it’s probably the best lesser known track on the album.

After wowing with those more harder songs, things go back to the sound of the opening tracks. Keyboards a plenty here for I get the feeling that on “Surrender” that they were trying for a Night Ranger or Journey type hit single. However, it wasn’t released as one so this is a paradox that baffles me. It’s still a cool song and Kelly nails another cool guitar solo. The keyboards die with that song because “Rock Me, Shock Me” is a true Girlschool anthem. They should have played that on the radio but that’s the good thing about buying albums. You get to play the best songs from them that radio won’t play to yourself. The closer is a good rocker and the title has me wondering. In Britain, knob is a slang term in the media so I wonder if they were attacking the media or at least some person in it.

Track Listing:

  1. Going Under
  2. High and Dry
  3. Play Dirty
  4. 20th Century Boy
  5. Breaking All the Rules
  6. Burning in the Heat
  7. Surrender
  8. Rock Me, Shock Me
  9. Running for Cover
  10. Breakout (Knob in the Media)
Girlschool

Girlschool

Kim McAuliffe- rhythm guitar, lead vocals tracks 3,5,7,8,9,10

Kelly Johnson- lead guitar, lead vocals tracks 1,2,4,6

Gil Weston- bass, backing vocals

Denise Dufort- drums

Additional backing vocals: Lemmy, Vicky Blue, Marc Haircut

Don Garbutt- keyboards

While I like the album, “Play Dirty” marked a downward turn in Girlschool’s fortunes. Kim McAuliffe would leave shortly after the release and the US tour would never materialize. Shame, I would have loved to have seen them. That wouldn’t come for another two years but still, even with the keyboards, “Play Dirty” is still a decent album.

Next post: Virgin Steele- Guardians of the Flame

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 1982: Girlschool- Screaming Blue Murder

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Girlschool_sbm

Everything I said in my last post about Anvil not getting the respect they’ve deserved for all these years can be said for Girlschool. Like their Canadian counterparts, Girlschool blasted onto the scene in the early 1980s only to disappear a few years down the line, although they were bigger in the UK than they were in America. But with all of the other bands from the UK who came on the wave of new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM), Girlschool seemed to be the first to fade from view. Should I play the ‘it’s because heavy metal is sexist’ card? After all, Girlschool were an all female outfit. No I won’t do that unless clear evidence can be provided, but whatever the reason, one thing I know for sure was that they could rock just as hard as the men.

The 1982 album “Screaming Blue Murder” is proof alone that Girlschool weren’t just four pretty bimbos who decided to take up instruments. They could at least play them. Each song, except for maybe the closer, is a true metal tune and each contains something of the basic elements to be a true metal song. “Screaming Blue Murder” is a fantastic opening track and sets the pace to the album ever so appropriately. The introductory riffs on “Take it From Me” are the type to grab you by the ears and say, “Here’s a song you should listen to.” Other stand out tracks for me are “Don’t Call It Love,” “Live With Me,” “Turns Your Head Around” and “When Your Blood Runs Cold.” So, I ask myself, why didn’t these girls go onto to the same accolades as the likes of Saxon, Maiden or Priest?

Another issue I noted from listening to the album is the guitar work of one Kelly Johnson. She can shred, plain and simple. Just have a listen to “Don’t Call it Love” and you will be convinced. That’s the song where she shines the most but she certainly makes her presence known on the other tracks on “Screaming Blue Murder.” So, let’s all give Johnson the respect she deserves as a guitarist. P.S. You could probably add Kim McAuliffe to my list of great rhythm guitarists as well.

Track Listing:

1. Screaming Blue Murder

2. Live With Me

3. Take It From Me

4. Wildlife

5. Turns Your Head Around

6. Don’t Call It Love

7. Hellrazor

8. When Your Blood Runs Cold

9. You Got Me

10. Flesh and Blood

Girlschool

Girlschool

Kim McAuliffe- rhythm guitar, vocals

Kelly Johnson- lead guitar, vocals

Gil Weston- bass, vocals

Denise Dufort- drums

1982 was full of great metal bands, probably so many that some possibly slipped through the cracks and faded into obscurity. That might be said for Girlschool but in that year, they made their mark with the album, “Screaming Blue Murder.” For me, it was another metal album made in the way the gods of metal intended and it has played a major role in getting me psyched for Friday.

Next post: Bloodstock, the Friday

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

 

 

 

 

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