ClassicRockHistory.com presents the Top 10 Girlschool songs. Girlschool is probably the longest running all female band that we know of that has continued to tour and record over a forty year period of time. The origins of Girlschool began in the mid 1970s when a group of female musicians and friends formed a band called Painted Lady. The all girl band was formed out of frustration that male musicians did not want to work with any of the females musicians. The group played in the pubs in England. After the group went through some lineup changes, they changed their name to Girlschool. The group was named after a Paul McCartney & Wings song titled “Girls School. ClassicRockHistory.com has covered many all female bands in the past like The Runaways, Fanny, and The Go Gos, but Girlschool is a special band in our hearts because they were just so genuine in their approach to rock nd roll and the rebellious nature inherent in the genre.
Girlschool’s original lineup at the time of their first single release entitled “Take It All Away” in 1978 consisted of Kim McAuliffe, Enid Williams, Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort. This would become the classic Girlschool lineup during their early years. The band caught a huge break when they were offered an opening spot on tour with Motorhead. The constant touring helped Girlschool develop a huge cult following. The band would spend a lot of time on the road with Motorhead.
Girlschool released their first full length album in 1980 entitled Demolition. The record company set them up to tour with acts like Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep. Of course, touring with these huge bands would only bring the group more recognition. Girlschool rocked hard and captured the headbanging audience on the Eastern side of the Atlantic rather easily. Success in the United States was not as easy, as it wasn’t for so many British bands.
From 1980 to 2015, Girlschool released thirteen studio albums. The band’s lineup changed over the years multiple times. The picture below features the classic lineup form left to right of Kim McAuliffe, Enid Williams, Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort. Other members who have been in the band over the years included Enid Williams, Ghislaine ‘Gil’ Weston, Cris Bonacci, Jackie Bodimead,
Jackie Carrera and Jackie Chambers pictured at the top of the article playing guitar.
Our Top 10 Girlschool songs list features ten of our favorite Girlschool songs picked from different parts of their career but with an emphasis on the early 1980s period. We hope you enjoy this article. We tried to add as many videos to the songs as we could, so you can see how exciting this band was to see in concert and why they accumulated such a large cult following.
# 10 – Come The Revolution
We open up our top 10 Girlschool songs list with a great track from their later years. The song “Come The Revolution,” was released on the band’s 2015 album entitled Guilty As Sin. The song “Come The Revolution,” was the album’s opening track. The song was written by Enid Williams and Jackie Chambers. The album featured Kim McAuliffe, Jackie Chambers, Enid Williams and Denise Dufort. “Come The Revolution,” kicks you right in the face from it’s opening power chords through the intense verse and the chanting political chorus. Forty years after the band first formed, Girlschool was still releasing great music full of incredible passion and energy all in it’s wonderful headbanging glory.
# 9 – 20th Century Boy
This great cover of the T. Rex song “20th Century Boy,” has very much a Runaways feel. In fact Vickie Blue who was a member of The Runaways sang backing vocals on the album. The production of the song represents a small shift in sound for Girlschool on their fourth album.
# 8 – Mad Mad Sister
Continuing with our top 10 Girlschool songs list we turn to the smoking tune “Mad Mad Sister.” The song was released on the album, 21st Anniversary: Not That Innocent. The album served as the band’s ninth album. It was released in 2002. The record also presented on vinyl more members of Girlschool than any other Girlschool album. The record featured Kim McAuliffe, Kelly Johnson, Jackie Chambers, Tracey Lamb, Enid Williams and Denise Dufort all playing on different tracks. This was current guitarist Jackie Chambers first album with the group.
# 7 – Action
The song “Action,” was released on Girlschool’s seventh studio alum entitled Take A Bite. The album was released in 1988. The album featured cover art which we will say probably could have been a litter better for a band with a large following. Nonetheless, at number seven on this top 10 Girlschool songs list, we present the album’s great opening track entitled “Action.” The song was written by the entire band whom at the time consisted of long time members Kim McAuliffe and Denise Dufort along with newer members Tracy Lamb and Cris Bonacci.
# 6 – Screaming Blue Murder
The killer track Screaming Blue Murder served as the title track to the band’s third album entitled Screaming Blue Murder. The album was released in 1982. As with many rock bands, the group went through some changes with the release of the their third album. The groups bassist and original member Enid Williams was replaced by Ghislaine ‘Gil’ Weston. The band also utilized a new producer for their album named Nigel Gray who was known in the business for working with Sting’s band The Police.
# 5 – Race With The Devil
The opening guitar work on this great live recording always reminded me of the guitar sound of Foghat And that’s a pretty high compliment because Foghat were like Gods to so many rockers. The classic song “Race With The Devil,” was released on Girlschool’s first album entitled Demolition. The album was released in 1989. The song “Race With The Devil,” was written by Adrian Gurvitz
# 4 – The Hunter
“The Hunter,” is the first of three songs in a row taken from the band’s great second album titled Hit And Run. The album was released in 1981. The song “The Hunter,” was written by Kim McAuliffe and Kelly Johnson. The lead vocals on this great track were performed by Kelly Johnson. “The Hunter,” was released as the B-side to the single “Yeah Right,” which had been released in the Fall of 1980.
# 3 – Hit And Run
“Hit And Run,” was the title track to Girlschool’s sophomore album titled Hit And Run. The album was released in April of 1981. “Hit And Run,” was written by Kim McAuliffe and Kelly Johnson. The Hit And Run album was Girlschool’s most commercially successful album as it broke the Top 10 on the U.K. Album Charts peaking at number five.
# 2 – Come On, Lets Go
“C’mon Let’s Go,” is one of the most popular songs in the Girlschool catalog. The song was released on the band’s great second album titled Hit and Run. “C’mon Let’s Go” was written by Kim McAuliffe and Kelly Johnson. “C’mon Let’s Go” was released as the third single from the record.
# 1 – Emergency
We close out our top 10 Girlschool songs with the killer track “Emergency.” Oh man that lick at the beginning of the song is one of our favorite rock riffs of all time. This is pure rock and roll meets metal punk magic or whatever you want to call it, it just freaking great. “Emergency,” was released on the band’s first album called Demolition. The album was produced by Vic Maile. “Emergency,” was also released as the album’s first single. The songwriting credit for “Emergency,” was given to the entire band who at the time consisted of Kim McAuliffe, Enid Williams, Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort. The live video is from the 2010s. The original recording is below the live video.
Top 10 Girlschool Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020
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