Title: Running Wild
Label: HNE Recordings
Uuurrgghhh, there is so much wrong with this album and it’s so frustrating that people and events were not tweaked ‘here’ and ‘there’ to change how it was produced to make everything better. The LP was more of an experiment that just didn’t pay off. It was thought that the group hated it but that’s denied by band member Kim McAuliffe in the CD liner notes. Yet even she didn’t see the LP as a success. In fact, McAuliffe is on record saying that it was a ‘“project”.
The album was recorded in 1985 after the bloom of success had faded from the outfit’s early releases and just after the departure of the guitarist/vocalist, Kelly Johnson. Jackie Bodimead (vocals and keyboards) and Cris Boracic (guitar/vocals) joined the fray (Bodimead would leave a year later after her prominent keyboard parts on this album were disliked by the fans). Also, it was just after Polygram had bought out the band’s contract from their original label, Bronze. It was also just after Nick Tauber, producer, had been drafted in to turn the girl band into a more commercial product.
Yet, the girls were just not ready. In any way. For any of it. And this album screams it. It took far too long to record in multiple studios. Girlschool were much more used to quick and simple recording affairs. Polygram were trying to turn the girls into Def Leppard.
The relationship with Tauber was…interesting. Here’s McAuliffe taking about Tauber now, “He was…a character.” See? She’s almost writhing, holding herself back, “Nick, he was OK.” Doesn’t get any better does it? One more try? “We got on well with his engineer, Paul.” OK, let’s leave it then.
Maybe we can say that the record label’s vision of the band (mainstream) and the band’s vision of themselves (punk) didn’t quite co-incide.
Maybe this is why this album was never officially released in the UK. So are we looking at an under-rated yet mature sounding LP or an album that simply wasn’t raw enough? Girslschool were crated raw, the played raw, they were raw. Take that away from them and they are not Girlschool. They are, as the lady said, a “project”.