Cherry Red Lemon (4CD)
No matter how good the music is (which in this case it REALLY is) you have to wonder how many times things get repacked, especially when there’s no new music added.
But in this case it’s a good excuse to pick up all of Girlschool’s first four albums together, complete with the singles / bonus tracks, all in card sleeves in a box with a decent booklet.
The NWoBHM legends made waves, partly because they were all female, but they held their own and wrote and recorded damn good songs. Really. And recorded some classic covers too.
Kicking off with their debut Demolition it’s classic out and out metal from the start, and an almost punk like energy in tracks like Emergency and Demolition Boys. Guitarists Kim McAuliffe and Kelly Johnson and bassist Enid Williams share vocals, and with drummer Denise Dufort they go with real gusto. And there’s a real classic cover of Race With The Devil – wonderful.
Hit And Run is a better and more cohesive album, it’s solid, and Yeah Right and opener C’Mon Let’s Go are crackers, and catchy too. There’s a cover of Tush and one of the bonus tracks is Please Don’t Touch, a duet with label mates Motorhead.
Third album Screaming Blue Murder (with bassist Gil Weston) is worth buying just for the title track alone, the album is catchy with riffs and vocal harmonies alike. Don’t Call it Love is another brilliant track with a decent guitar solo that I wish the band would introduce live.
The fourth album is Play Dirty, my fave Girlschool album, and produced by Jim Lea / Noddy Holder of Slade it has a more glam feel. Breakout and the title track are wonderful and there are covers of Slade’s Burning In The Head and T’Rex’s 20th Century Boy. Both work really well. Lemmy appears on backing vocals too.
The albums feature non album tracks and single b-sides added, but sadly 3 of the four have none of the BBC live material added that the 2004 CDs did when I oversaw them back then.
But as I said it’s a good excuse to own all four and there’s a decent booklet with interviews by Classic Rock’s Dave Ling to boot.
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