There is a very limited number of rock albums which have stood the test of time, only true masterpieces continuing to sound fresh and exciting even years after their release. The reason for their cult status: the songs are timeless and the album’s sound has captured the magic of the moment perfectly. Girlschool’s second album, Hit And Run, out in 1981, was such a classic. For the British all-girl group surrounding singer/guitarist Kim McAuliffe, the successor to their debut, Demolition, marked their international breakthrough. To this day, a number of tracks off Hit And Run feature on the live tracklist of the band which still consists of the original line-up – with the exception of the late Kelly Johnson, who sadly passed away in 2007 (she was replaced by guitarist Jackie Chambers in 2000). The news that Girlschool are about to present a re-recorded version of Hit And Run, complemented by two awesome bonus tracks, will delight media and fans from all age groups alike.
“I’m just amazed that people still love it, even young people come up at our gigs now with copies that they found on the Internet or in shops or something,” comments McAuliffe. Hit And Run – Revisited will be released in three versions: the first edition of the album will be available as a CD Digipak, followed by a regular jewel case CD and a vinyl LP with gatefold sleeve.
For McAuliffe and her three colleagues Chambers, bassist Enid Williams and drummer Denise Dufort, these re-recordings are much more than a journey back in time to the beginnings of their career: Hit And Run – Revisited documents the songs’ great sustainability, recorded all over again in spring 2011 with a modern sound and contemporary studio equipment. Back then, in March 1981 at the Jackson’s Studios, the conditions were almost archaic: “This studio, which was almost like a shack in the middle of nowhere in Rickmansworth, was so old-fashioned,” McAuliffe remembers, “you used to have to kick things to make them work. It was that sort of studio. It was just the four of us and Vic, as simple as that.” But the spark was ignited as soon as producer Vic Maille recognised the quality of the material and Girlschool started to have an idea what kind of gem they were about to hold in their hands. “We weren’t sure,” McAuliffe confesses, “I mean we were surprised and obviously delighted at the success of Demolition, so we were hoping that this one would do well. But we weren’t quite sure how well it would do.”
Fact is: following its release, the album instantly hit it big. Hit And Run climbed the charts fast in America and Canada (even making the gold mark!), made no. 5 in the UK and opened the doors to major venues for Girlschool. As a result, the musicians led a real jet set life and were flown around the globe by Jerry Bron, the owner of their record company Bronze Records. McAuliffe: “Jerry had his own little airline. And we’d be zipping off in these little planes all over the place. One minute we’d be in Germany doing an interview or a TV show, and the next minute we’d be back in Newcastle. On the same day, you know. We thought ‘Blimey, this is incredible. This must be what it’s like to be rock stars.’ We zipped off everywhere in these little planes. So it was quite an amazing time, really.”
A life full of highlights began, including the amenities of the dolce vita in the true sense of the word: “That was the first time that we could have everything we wanted on the rider. You know, you hear these things about how you could just have whatever you want, so we used to love these things from Marks & Spencer’s. There were these little chocolates with cream on top. Sort of desserts. We had them every night on our rider.”
Naturally, re-recording their classic under ideal studio conditions brought back memories for Girlschool of days gone by. At the same time, the musicians took the artistic liberty of updating a number of arrangements. McAuliffe: “We’ve made quite a few changes. But I’m not gonna say anything about them because we’re hoping that our fans will notice for themselves, just to see how well they know the original ones. But of course it’s a different sound, we have Jackie play now, obviously, instead of Kelly, and also again, studio-wise it’s just a completely different experience because the technology now is incredible compared to what we had in those days.”
So Hit And Run – Revisited sees Girlschool come full circle: all eleven numbers from the original now sparkle in amazing and dynamic versions, with small changes to a number of details and two fantastic bonus tracks: Girlschool have re-recorded ‘Demolition Boys’, the opener from their debut album, plus a haunting duet with Germany’s no. 1 rock vocalist, Doro, on the title track ‘Hit And Run’. In addition, this year’s tour will see them play the same setlist as they performed in the early Eighties plus a number of tracks from their 2008 release, Legacy. An appearance at the 2011 Wacken Open Air has already been confirmed (McAuliffe: “Every rock act wants to play Wacken. And we’ll be there for the third time, following our gigs in 1999 and 2008. A dream-come-true!”). In other words: present and past will be combined by one of the most successful all-girl bands in the history of rock music!
1. C`Mon Let`s Go (K. Mcauliffe, K. Johnson) – 3:37
2. The Hunter (K. Mcauliffe, K. Johnson) – 3:15
3. (I`m Your) Victim (K. Mcauliffe, D. Dufort) – 2:42
4. Kick It Down (K. Mcauliffe, K. Johnson) – 3:03
5. Following The Crowd (E. Williams, K. Mcauliffe, K. Johnson) – 3:08
6. Tush (B. Gibbons, D. Hill, F. Beard) – 2:16
7. Hit And Run (K. Mcauliffe, K. Johnson) – 3:08
8. Watch Your Step (E. Williams, K. Mcauliffe, K. Johnson) – 3:22
9. Back To Start (K. Johnson, E. Willams) – 3:32
10. Yeah Right (K. Mcauliffe, K. Johnson, D. Dufort) – 3:21
11. Future Flash (K. Johnson, K. Mcauliffe) – 4:27
12. Demolition Boys (K. McAuliffe, K. Johnson)
13. Hit And Run (with Doro)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: