The Bronze Years -4CD Boxset Box set, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
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Audio CD, Box set, Extra tracks, 6 May 2016
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Superb value 4 CD four album 53 track Box set rounding up everything that legendary female Rockers Girlschool recorded for the seminal Bronze Records label 'Demolition' hit No. 28 in the UK album charts, 'Hit N Run' reached No. 5, 'Screaming Blue Murder' charted at No.27 and the final Bronze album "Play Dirty" (produced by Slade's Noddy Holder and Jim Lea) peaked at No.66 All of the band's hit singles are featured - 'Race With The Devil' (No.49), 'Hit And Run' (No.32), 'C'Mon Let's Go' (No.42) and 'Wildlife' (No.58). Also includes the No.5 smash hit collaboration with Motorhead, 'Please Don't Touch'. Features covers of Z.Z.Top's 'Tush', T.Rex's '20th Century Boy', Motorhead's 'Bomber', Rolling Stones' 'Live With Me' and Slade's 'Burning In The Heat'... all done in the unique Girlschool style Clam shell box, comes with four individual albums in wallets depicting original LP artwork and all featuring relevant bonus tracks. A twenty page booklet features pictures of all albums and singles plus detailed liner notes on the bands career with Bronze Records. Totally remastered by Universal Studios.
Top customer reviews
The third album Blue Murder from 1982 has a different producer in Nigel Gray better known for producing the Police, but it still sounds real, the most noticeable difference being new bass player Gil Weston whose Bass is quite prominent and all over this album a bit like Jean Jaques Burnell of the Stranglers.
The final album from 83 Play Dirty[an ironic title for an album this polished] is the weak link here, produced by Sir Nod of Holder and Lord Jim of Lea.The band suddenly go all 80s with a glossy production and the addition of keyboards, coming accoss like a second division Def Leppard.The keyboard inflections hint slightly at the sort of thing Uriah Heep were doing at this time with Head First and Equator.[Thats probably one of the reasons why professional rock scribe Dave Ling rates this as their best LP]Denise Dufort thinks that her drum sound is really good on this album but the plodding nature of most of the songs and monotenous Basslines make her sound like some dodgy builder trying to knock nails in with a lump hammer.The slower tempo not suiting her drumming style at all.
That said this set does represent reasonable value but the first three albums are where its at.
I dont think that Universal have done anything to these albums. Lemon appear to have used the Sanctuary editions that came out in the early 2000s so the sound is top draw and from a digital source, unlike a lot of the stuff that comes out on Lemon which is usually taken from vinyl.
Universal now own Sanctuary so maybe we might see a lot more stuff being reissued again.
What I wasn't ready for was the excellence of the first album Demolition. Songs such as "Not For Sale", "Baby Doll" and "Nothing to Lose" still sound fresh and vibrant and highlight the Kelly Johnson's great lead guitar and the tight rhythms supporting her, further reinforced by the fact "Baby Doll" was recorded live.
The first two albums are brilliant the second two less so sounding over produced and much more dated without the energy that flows through "Demolition" and "Hit and Run". This may hint why they became gradually less successful and that losing Enid was a bigger issue than was realised at the time. Great to know she is back and they are still playing but this is one band I am not sure I want to see 30 years on, especially as Kelly is no longer with us although I know I will given the chance!
The boxset comes well packaged in a CD sized box with each CD individually sleeved and an extensive booklet. There are some good extra tracks included such as their version of "Bomber" from the "Headgirl" collaboration with Motorhead and the sound is clean and bright. Well worth buying especially for the first two albums and to remind yourself what a superb band they were.
I'm really glad I did, great songs, great band and this was a bargain.
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