|Thought they never found mainstream success, London-based quintet Girl provided a tenuous link between the '70s glam movement, and its heavier, but no-less-sleazy late-'80s counterpart. Their brief existence and uneven output notwithstanding, the group is now best-remembered as the starting point for some illustrious musicians who would go on to greater fame and fortune with other acts.
Girl was formed in 1979 by vocalist Philip Lewis, guitarists Phil Collen and Gerry Laffy, bassist Simon Laffy, and drummer Dave Gaynor. Dressed in sharp clothes, covered in makeup and boldly announcing they wanted to be England's answer to the New York Dolls, the band was a complete oddity at a time when dirty punk was giving way to even dirtier heavy metal (the New Wave of British H.M. was about to take off). Such a unique image was just what they needed to get noticed, however, and Jet Records (home to Ozzy Osbourne and ELO) quickly signed them based on a video-taped performance. A pair of singles preceded their first album, Sheer Greed, released in January 1980, which climbed to a respectable number 33 on the U.K. charts and was also a very successful in Japan (as one would expect). A U.K. tour supporting UFO followed, but the group's live show needed work and they were largely victimized by a less-than-sympathetic press, ultimately losing much of their initial momentum.
Improbably named new drummer Pete Barnacle (ex-Gillan) replaced Gaynor prior to the recording of their belated second album, 1982's Wasted Youth, by which time the band's reputation was in the gutter and their drive to succeed all but gone. A Japanese tour only delayed the inevitable and Girl finally disintegrated when Collen joined Def Leppard later that year. Gerry Laffy would go on to a barely public solo career, and after short stints in the London Cowboys and Airrace; Phil Lewis finally found his calling as frontman for California sleaze kings L.A. Guns. ~ Ed Rivadavia, All Music Guide