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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Girl - 1980 Sheer Greed
Girl - 1980 Sheer Greed

ALBUM: Sheer Greed
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: Reissue List
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Phil Lewis - vocals * Phil Collen - guitars * Gerry Laffy - guitars * Simon Laffy - bass * Dave Gaynor - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hollywood Tease * 02 Things You Say * 03 Lovely Loraine * 04 Strawberies * 05 Little Miss Anne * 06 Doctor Doctor * 07 Do You Love Me * 08 Take Me Dancing * 09 What's Up? * 10 Passing Clouds * 11 My Number * 12 Heartbreak America

Any mention of the term NWOBHM would not be complete without reference to the London based band: Girl. In the context of future associations with Def Leppard and L.A Guns, Girl's spotlight in the sun may have been brief and their success limited, but their legacy was indeed important. When we review those early years of Girl's history, they insisted on not being part of the NWOBHM movement, simply because their music really didn't fit the mould. Founders Phil Lewis and Gerry Laffy were aiming for a licorice all-sorts approach. New wave, post-punk, hard rock, glam, and the beginnings of the new romantic sub-genre were all bought together into a single melting pot.

The Songs
The band originally the duo of Lewis and Gerry Laffy, soon bought in Phil Collen from a local London band called Dumb Blondes, Gerry's brother Simon would join on bass, plus Irishman Dave Gaynor on drums. Visual flash, plus some decent musicianship ensured Girl would make some waves during 1980, and their first gig together was a roaring success, putting their name on the map. Signed to Don Arden's Jet Records on the basis of some professional videos produced long before the advent of MTV, Girl were betwixt and between with producer/mixer Chris Tangarides and the record label. Jet were looking for something heavier and more akin to NWOBHM, while Girl wanted nothing of the sort, preferring to be different and daring to produce songs that weren't a carbon copy of anyone else. In regard to the latter, they were indeed successful.

From the outset, the energy of the band is apparent. Listen to the bristling power of 'Hollywood Tease' with its bursts of guitar driving the song onward. 'The Things You Say' plays stop/start throughout, with a chorus that triggers some post punk aggression. The guitar solo is pure hard rock though. The riff to 'Lovely Lorraine' has a lot in common with Michael Bolton's 'Can't Hold On, Can't LEt Go', but that is where the similarity ends. It's quite good I will admit. It's hard to know what to make of 'Strawberries', unusual to say the least. 'Little Miss Ann' throws its lot in with 70's era Aerosmith, and they sound rather good in this regard. 'Doctor Doctor' has nothing to do with the chestnut, though Girl would eventually gig with Mogg and co on the back of 'Sheer Greed'. 'Do You Love Me', a cover of a Kiss track, is strong on hand-claps and a heavy back-beat, and fits in well with that hard rock/glam genre a la Slade. For something different, 'Take Me Dancing' goes down the boogie route, and again, sound well suited. Is there anything these guys can't do? 'Passing Clouds' tries to emulate The Police and their form of pop rock and reggae. Let's not forget Girl's best known track 'My Number', a sharpish rocker, plus 'Heartbreak America', a stylish track with a big expansive sound perhaps aimed at the FM radio stations of the day.

In Summary
'Sheer Greed' was released in January 1980 and reached #33 in the UK album charts. Girl toured in support of the album, and shared the stage with Kiss, UFO and the Pat Travers Band. The band even headlined a series of gigs in Japan, and were as popular there as Canadians Teaze were a few years before them. Girl then shuffled forward into 1981/1982 for the release of their second and final album 'Wasted Youth', which proved to be a problematic and painful experience for all concerned. But that's for another story..

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#1 | Jez on September 13 2016 13:59:27
Probably on of my favourite debut albums and another of those desert island discs . Highlights for me are: 'Hollywood Tease', 'My Number', 'Do You Love Me' and the Reggae inspired 'Passing Clouds'. Essential listening for everyone. An astounding live band at the time as well.
#2 | tompa on September 13 2016 16:34:55
Agree with Jez, can't praise this album enough. Short and simple songs but very direct and memorable. Innovative. Sleazy yet classy. 'Passing clouds' stands out and shows there were many sides to this band. Not A bad song ön it.
#3 | Explorer on September 13 2016 16:41:20
Great album, saw them on tour with KISS over here, and they had to endure some real s... Definitely going to update, and get these two.
#4 | Nick C on September 13 2016 18:00:56
Saw Girl a couple of times (me and my mates even smuggling in a tape recorder at their Manchester Poly gig). Definitely their best album...sleek, sexy, not a bad track on fave song possibly Take Me Dancing as I just love the guitar on it. Watched them on the OGWT and listened to my mum and dads 'Look at the state of this lot!' exclaimations as I sunk into the armchair and was quietly blown away.
#5 | reyno-roxx on September 15 2016 18:30:50
I remember Girl getting a lot of sarcastic press in Sounds back in the day, especially as Phil Lewis was dating Britt Ekland. They didn't enamour themselves with Kiss or the Kiss Army for having the 'nerve' to play 'Do You Love Me?' In the set. But as Phil Lewis points out, Kiss weren't playing it in their show by then...
I still have the great poster sleeve single of 'Hollywood Tease' in my collection. One of the greatest hard rock tracks ever. I never warmed to L.A. Guns in the same way as I did to Girl. I seem to recall a great performance on the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1980 too.
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