GIRLSCHOOL (Jackie Bodimead) – Running Wild [first time on CD – remastered]
Continuing with GIRLSCHOOL‘s remastered reissues requests, here’s the first time on CD “Running Wild“, the gurls fifth album and their more melodic hard rock oriented.
Criminally underrated at its time (1985), this great record has been remastered from the original tapes and released by prestigious British label Cherry Red / Hear No Evil.
The all-girl band Girlschool originally formed in 1978 as part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement that also gave us Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon. After being taken under the collective wings of Motorhead on the latter’s 1979 ‘Bomber’ tour, the hard rocker girls were signed to Bronze Records for four albums of punk-tinged heavy metal, making regular appearances on BBC TV’s Top Of The Pops and in the pages of Sounds and Kerrang! magazine.
Girlschool enjoyed strong media exposure and commercial success, but then Bronze Records ceased to exist in 1984 and the girls were left with new material but no record company.
American major label Mercury Records released their 4th disc, who also picked up the option for their fifth. But these were troubled times for Girlschool and original guitarist / singer Kelly Johnson left the band.
So founder members Kim McAulliffe (guitar, vocals) and Denise Dufort (drums) recruited not one but two new girls as replacement: both ex-She Cris Bonacci (guitar) and extraordinary vocalist Jackie Bodimead.
Produced by Nick Tauber (Marillion, Thin Lizzy) at Air, Battery and The Manor studios between December 1984 and January 1985, “Running Wild” was the only studio work released by Girlschool as a five-piece group.
And those wasn’t the only changes: if you never liked the aggressive metal style from Girlschool, you better listen to “Running Wild”.
Only released in America on vinyl / cassette (never CD) “Running Wild” is a completely different beast, very much a keyboard driven album aimed at US radio according to the era.
Crafted as the British answer to Heart and Lita Ford, “Running Wild” is a pure female fronted Melodic Hard Rock delight.
Catchy, hook laden cuts like “Nowhere to Run”, “Let me Go”, “Nasty Nasty” or title track “Running Wild” (check out the video, pure ’80s!) are a must for every fan of the genre. The album also feature a cover version of Kiss’ glam anthem “Do You Love Me?” done in very sensual shape.
And we have Jackie Bodimead… one of the greatest – and underrated – female Melodic Hard Rock vocalists ever. Her pipes are unique, with the right amount of raspiness balanced by melody and potent harmonies to die for.
“Running Wild” is a brilliant Melodic Hard Rock album with AOR touches, criminally overlooked at its time. Mercury Records (with his Rock department concentrated in Bon Jovi) never promoted the record, only released it in the USA and even deny the possibility to be pressed on CD.
So “Running Wild” was almost totally ignored by the buying public. If Mercury would have put a little time and effort into promoting this album, it could have easily gone Platinum. Just imagine Girlschool touring with Heart…
This remaster is a real treat, crisp and balanced. Also included is a nice booklet featuring rare photos and extensive liner notes from Classic Rock and Metal Hammer’s Malcolm Dome based on new interviews with the band.
As said, if your melodic ears always avoided Girlschool’s early gritty style, you better grab this one. Also, don’t be scared by the horrible artwork, the music packed inside is a dazzling slice of Melodic Hard Rock.
Fans of Heart, Witness, Saraya, Heart, Vixen and even Robin Beck, you are advised.
01 – Let Me Go
02 – Running Wild
03 – Do You Love Me ?
04 – Something For Nothing
05 – Are You Ready ?
06 – Nowhere To Run
07 – I Want You Back
08 – Nasty Nasty
09 – Love Is A Lie
10 – Can’t You Lee
Jackie Bodimead – lead and backing vocals, keyboards
Kim McAulliffe – guitar, lead vocals on 3, 8, backing vocals
Cris Bonacci – lead guitar
Gil Weston-Jones – bass
Denise Dufort – drums
BUY IT !