Girls at Our Best!

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Girls at Our Best!
Origin Leeds, England
Genres Post punk
Years active 1979–1982
Labels Record, Rough Trade, Happy Birthday
Past members Judy "Jo" Evans
James "Jez" Alan
Gerard "Terry" Swift
Chris Oldroyd
Paul Simon
Darren Carl Harper
Rod Johnson

Girls at Our Best! were a post-punk group, founded in Leeds, England in 1979 under the name The Butterflies, who had several UK Indie Chart hits.

History[edit]

The group initially consisted of vocalist Judy "Jo" Evans, guitarist James "Jez" Alan, bassist Gerard "Terry" Swift, and drummer Chris Oldroyd.[1] The band took its new name from a line in their track "Warm Girls", which first appeared on their self-financed 1980 debut single coupled with "Getting Nowhere Fast" on their own Record Records (catalogue number RR1). The song reached No. 9 on the UK Indie Chart, and was followed up by their second single, "Politics" c/w "It's Fashion!", also initially released on Record Records (RR2), but picked up by Rough Trade Records, reaching No. 12.[2]

Oldroyd departed to join Music for Pleasure, and was replaced briefly by the British musician Paul Simon.[3] Simon was in turn replaced by Darren Carl Harper before the next single, "Go for Gold" c/w "I'm Beautiful Now" on Happy Birthday Records (UR4), which was their biggest indie chart hit, reaching No. 4.[2] In October 1981, the group released an album, Pleasure. The late Rod Johnson shared drumming duties with Harper, who had left the band. The album, the first to be released on the Happy Birthday label (catalogue number RULP1), came complete with a "Pleasure Bag" of stickers and postcards. Pleasure reached No. 2 on the indie chart and No. 60 on the UK Album Chart.[1][2] The band's fourth single, "Fast Boyfriends" c/w "This Train" (Happy Birthday Records UR6), was released that same year. A final single, "Heaven", was issued in 1982, the band splitting later that year.[1]

Alan joined Sexbeat and later The Tall Boys.[1] Evans made a guest appearance on Thomas Dolby's The Golden Age of Wireless album in 1982 (Dolby had guested on synthesizer on Pleasure).[1]

Girls at Our Best! recorded one session for John Peel, on 17 February 1981, which was first broadcast 23 February 1981.[4] This was released as a 12" single in 1987 (Strange Fruit Records SFPS029) featuring "China Blue" and "This Train" on the A-side and a medley of other tracks entitled "Getting Beautiful Warm Gold Fast from Nowhere" on the B-side. There was a further BBC session for Richard Skinner.

"Getting Nowhere Fast" was covered by the Wedding Present on their Anyone Can Make a Mistake EP.

Discography[edit]

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "Getting Nowhere Fast" / "Warm Girls" (April 1980) Record, RR1 (UK Indie No. 9)
  • "Politics" / "It's Fashion" (November 1980) Record, RR2/Rough Trade, RT055 (UK Indie No. 12)
  • "Go for Gold" / "I'm Beautiful Now" (June 1981) Happy Birthday, UR4 (UK Indie No. 4)
  • "Fast Boyfriends" / "This Train" (October 1981) Happy Birthday, UR6 (UK Indie No. 19)
  • "Heaven" / "£600,000" (May 1982) God, GOD1
  • The Peel Session (17.2.81) EP (May 1987) Strange Fruit, SFPS029 (UK Indie No. 27)

Albums[edit]

  • Pleasure (October 1981) Happy Birthday, RULP1 (UK Indie No. 2, UK Album Chart No. 60)
  • Pleasure (1994) Vinyl Japan, ASKCD47 (Re-issued album plus singles and b-sides)
  • Pleasure (May 2009) Cherry Red, CDMRED346 (Re-issued album plus singles, b-sides, Richard Skinner session and demo track)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Strong, Martin C. (2003) "Girls at Our Best", in The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0
  2. ^ a b c Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980–1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4
  3. ^ Paul Simon biography notes at Ajanta Music
  4. ^ Girls at Our Best at the BBC's Keeping It Peel site

External links[edit]