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Album Review

Girlschool's 2008 lineup — Kim McAuliffe on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Enid Williams on lead vocals and bass, Denise Dufort on drums, and Jackie Chambers on lead guitar — has described Legacy as both a 30th anniversary recording and a tribute to Kelly Johnson, who was the band's lead guitarist from 1978-1984 and 1993-2000 before dying of spinal cancer in 2007 at the age of 49. It was in 1978 — 30 years before the release of Legacy — that the band changed its name from Painted Lady to Girlschool and provided its first single, "Take It All Away," and McAuliffe, Williams, and Dufort were all members of Girlschool back then (Chambers is a 2000 arrival). This 2008 release is definitely one of Girlschool's more consistent efforts; longtime fans will be glad to hear how focused and inspired they sound on melodic yet hard-driving tracks such as "Still Waters," "From the Other Side," "Everything's the Same," and "Zeitgeist," all of which are quite faithful to the classic Girlschool sound of the late '70s and '80s. Legacy, unlike most Girlschool albums, features its share of guests; former Motörhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clark is heard on a cover of Motörhead's "Metropolis," while longtime Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister appears on "Don't Talk to Me." Singer Ronnie James Dio and guitarist Tony Iommi (who performed together in Black Sabbath in the early 1980s) are reunited when they join Girlschool on one of two versions of "I Spy," and guitarist Jay Jay French (of Twisted Sister fame) solos on "Spend Spend Spend." But Girlschool's members are, of course, Legacy's main attraction, and they bring plenty of passion and enthusiasm to this engaging anniversary disc.


Formed: 1978 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although the Runaways preceded them by several years, Girlschool was one of the first all-female outfits to emerge in the male-dominated world of heavy metal/hard rock, helping to pave the way for similar groups of the future. Originally formed in South London during 1977 by bassist Enid Williams and vocalist/guitarist Kim McAuliffe (along with a few other members), the group was first known as Painted Lady. Eventually the pair came across permanent members Kelly Johnson (guitar, vocals) and Denise...
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Legacy, Girlschool
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