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Girlschool Biography

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Girlschool In-depth Biography

Although the Runaways} preceded them by several years, Girlschool} was one of the first all-female outfits to emerge in the male-dominated world of heavy metal}/hard rock}, helping to pave the way for similar groups of the future. Originally formed in South London during 1977 by bassist Enid Williams} and vocalist/guitarist Kim McAuliffe} (along with a few other members), the group was first known as Painted Lady}. Eventually the pair came across permanent members Kelly Johnson} (guitar, vocals) and Denise Dufort} (drums), and switched their name to Girlschool} by 1978. With England just about to be swept up by a massive heavy metal} movement (known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal}), Girlschool} picked a perfect time to issue a debut single, "Take It All Away,"} which caught the attention of Motörhead} manager Doug Smith}, who in turn signed on as Girlschool}'s manager. After supporting both Motörhead} and Budgie} on tour, Girlschool} landed a recording contract with Bronze Records} (who at the time was the home to such notable metal} acts as Motörhead}, Uriah Heep}, and Juicy Lucy}).

The quartet's 1980 debut, Demolition}, reached the U.K. Top 30, but was surprisingly not issued in the U.S. (despite spawning four popular singles back home: "Emergency,"} "Nothing To Lose,"} "Yeah Right,"} and "Race With the Devil"}). Girlschool}'s sophomore effort, 1981's Hit & Run}, proved to be even more successful, peaking at number five on the British album charts, while a collaboration with their pals in Motörhead}, an EP called The St. Valentines Day Massacre}, hit number five on the British singles charts (due in part to the irresistibly raucous track, "Please Don't Touch"}). Hit & Run} would also turn out to be the first Girlschool} album issued stateside, albeit with a different track listing than the original U.K. version (the U.S. version was more or less a compilation of both of their albums). 1982's Screaming Blue Murder} and 1983's Play Dirty} both failed to perform as impressively on the U.K. charts as their predecessors did, the latter of which contained a more commercial sound and was produced by Slade} members Noddy Holder} and Jim Lea}.

But it was also around this time that lineup changes began to plague the group, starting off when Johnson} left the group following the release of Play Dirty}. Further albums were issued (such as 1985's Running Wild}, 1986's Nightmare at Maple Cross}, and 1988's Take a Bite}), but Girlschool} was never able to replicate their early success, leading to their breakup shortly after the release of Take a Bite}. In the wake of Girlschool}'s initial split, McAuliffe} teamed up with punk} singers Beki Bondage} and Toyah Willcox}, worked on the U.K. cable television show Raw Power}, and in 1991 toured with former bandmates Dufort} and Williams} under the name Strange Girls}. Throughout the '90s, Girlschool} would reunite sporadically for tours and albums (including 1992's self-titled release and 1995's Live}), while several compilations were issued, including 1995's double-disc best-of set The Collection} and 1997's The King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents In Concert} (the latter featuring a show recorded on January 12, 1984, in Nashville, TN). ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide

Girlschool Biography / Girlschool Information

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