Play Dirty (album)

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Play Dirty
Girlschool play dirty.jpg
Studio album by Girlschool
Released 8 November 1983
Genre Heavy metal
Length 40:14
53:59 (re-issue)
Label Bronze (UK)
Mercury (U.S.)
Producer Noddy Holder, Jim Lea
Girlschool chronology
1-2-3-4 Rock and Roll
Play Dirty
Running Wild
Singles from Play Dirty
  1. "20th Century Boy / Breaking All the Rules"
    Released: 7 October 1983
  2. "Burning in the Heat / Surrender"
    Released: January 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 1.5/5 stars[1]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 5/10[2]

Play Dirty is the fourth studio album by British heavy metal band, Girlschool, released on Bronze Records in 1983 and produced by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea from the hard rock band Slade. It was the first Girlschool album not to enter the UK Top 40 album chart and signalled a general downturn in their career, along with an inclination towards a softer rock sound. Kelly Johnson left the band soon after the release and an intended full US-tour never materialised. In the UK, two singles were lifted from the album, each having a picture-sleeve:

  • "20th Century Boy"/ "Breaking All the Rules" on 7-inch, the 12-inch adding "Like It Like That". "20th Century Boy" is a T. Rex cover.
  • "Burning in the Heat"/ "Surrender" as both the 7-inch and 12-inch single release. (1984)

In 2005, Castle subsidiary Sanctuary Records re-issued the album on CD with songs from the EP 1-2-3-4 Rock and Roll and other compilations as bonus tracks, and extensive sleevenotes by Record Collector magazine's Joe Geesin.

Drummer Denise Dufort rated the album as her favourite of all the band's career: "Play Dirty as it has a more mature sound to it and I think it sounds a bit like Def Leppard, also Jim Lea and Noddy Holder from Slade produced it".[3]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Going Under" (Kim McAuliffe, Kelly Johnson) – 4:16
  2. "High & Dry" (Jim Lea, Noddy Holder) – 3:10
  3. "Play Dirty" (McAuliffe, Johnson) – 5:04
  4. "20th Century Boy" (Marc Bolan) – 3:28
  5. "Breaking All the Rules" (McAuliffe, Johnson, Gil Weston, Denise Dufort) – 3:03
Side two
  1. "Burning in the Heat" (Lea, Holder) – 3:20
  2. "Surrender" (McAuliffe, Johnson) – 3:24
  3. "Rock Me Shock Me" (McAuliffe, Johnson, Weston, Dufort) – 4:28
  4. "Running for Cover" (McAuliffe, Johnson) – 3:12
  5. "Breakout (Knob in the Media)" (McAuliffe, Johnson, Weston, Dufort) – 3:23
2005 re-issue bonus tracks
  1. "1-2-3-4 Rock 'n' Roll" (Jeanne Napoli, Lesley Gore, Benjy King, Rick Blakemore) – 3:32
  2. "Don't Call It Love" (McAuliffe, Johnson) – 3:24
  3. "Tush" (Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard) – 2:13
  4. "Like It Like That" (McAuliffe, Johnson) – 3:28
  5. "1-2-3-4 Rock 'n' Roll" (12" extended version) – 4:33


Band members
  • Kim McAuliffe – rhythm guitar, vocals on tracks 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
  • Kelly Johnson – lead guitar, vocals on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6
  • Gil Weston – backing vocals, bass
  • Denise Dufort – drums
Additional musicians
  • Lemmy - backing vocals
  • Vicki Blue - backing vocals
  • Don Garbutt - keyboards and explosions
  • Mark Haircut - tambourine, backing vocals
  • Paul Samson - handclaps and general noise
  • Produced by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea
  • Mixed by Jim Lea


  1. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Girlschool Play Dirty review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-10. 
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 978-1894959315. 
  3. ^ Geesin, Joe (2005). "Interview: Girlschool". Get Ready to Rock! .com. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 

External links[edit]