Girlschool: Running Wild

Brit femme-rockers’ mid-80s career stumble.

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The 80s got to everyone in strange ways, not least Girlschool, who, in 1985, underwent an unlikely American makeover. It came after a period of road-weariness and flux, when the former She duo of Cris Bonacci and Jackie Bodimead replaced guitarist Kelly Johnson, and the band’s deal with Bronze ended.

Signing to the US arm of Polydor, Girlschool’s punky, biker past disappeared in the rearview, and alongside came Toyah’s producer Nick Tauber and a notion to commercialise their sound.

The road to perdition is paved with such good intentions. While not quite the frothy AOR that Polydor probably had in mind, Running Wild is a significant distillation of the anarchic edge that made the band what they were.

Songs like the title track and Something For Nothing don’t lack quality as much as a heartfelt direction. In all, a classic mid-career stumble that thankfully has not proved fatal./o:p

Jon Hotten

Jon Hotten is an English author and journalist. He is best known for the books Muscle: A Writer's Trip Through a Sport with No Boundaries and The Years of the Locust. In June 2015 he published a novel, My Life And The Beautiful Music (Cape), based on his time in LA in the late 80s reporting on the heavy metal scene. He was a contributor to Kerrang! magazine from 1987–92 and currently contributes to Classic Rock. Hotten is the author of the popular cricket blog, The Old Batsman, and since February 2013 is a frequent contributor to The Cordon cricket blog at Cricinfo. His most recent book, Bat, Ball & Field, was published in 2022.