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