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3.88 | 34 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1977

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Motorhead (3:11)
2. Vibrator (3:36)
3. Lost Johnny (4:13)
4. Iron Horse / Born to Lose (5:20)
5. White Line Fever (2:37)
6. Keep Us on the Road (5:55)
7. The Watcher (4:26)
8. The Train Kept-A-Rollin' (3:16)

Total Time 32:37


- Lemmy / vocals and bass
- Eddie Clarke / guitar
- Philthy Taylor / drums

About this release

Release date: September 24th, 1977
Label: Chiswick
First pressing limited to 1.000 copies on Black vinyl.

Reissued by Roadrunner in 1990 with the following bonus tracks:
9. City Kids [3:24]
10. Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers [3:25]
11. On Parole [5:57]
12. Instro [2:27]
13. I'm Your Witch Doctor [2:57]
All tracks were recorded during the sessions for this album. "City Kids"
appeared as the b-side of the Motörhead single, and 10-13 constitute the
Beer Drinkers EP from 1980.

Total Time: 50:53

Thanks to progshine, UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Motörhead" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by UK heavy/hard rock act Motörhead. The album was released through Chiswick Records in September 1977. Motörhead had already recorded an album in late 1975/early 1976 titled "On Parole", but United Artists Records refused to release the album, because they felt it lacked commercial potential (they eventually released it in 1979 after the success of "Overkill (1979)" and "Bomber (1979)"). Motörhead continued to play live though and finally secured a new label deal with Chiswick Records, who payed for studio time to record material for this debut release. All tracks from "On Parole", except "Fools" and "Leaving Here", were re-recorded during the sessions for "Motörhead", but only 5 of them made it unto the original 8 track, 32:37 minutes long version of the album. In addition to those 5 tracks, "Motörhead" features the two new original tracks "White Line Fever" and "Keep Us on the Road" and a cover of "Train Kept A-Rollin'" (originally recorded by Tiny Bradshaw in 1951 and popularized by The Yardbirds in 1965).

Since the recording of "On Parole" guitarist/vocalist Larry Wallis has been replaced by Eddie Clarke. The lineup of Eddie Clarke (guitars), Lemmy Kilmister (Vocals, Bass), and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor (drums) would be stabile in the period 1976–1982.

Compared to "On Parole", which shares a large portion of the material featured on this album, "Motörhead" features a more harder edged, at times punked, and very gritty and raw "Fuck You" attitude laden introduction to Motörhead. The difference between the "On Parole" version of the eponymous titled "Motörhead" track and the version of the same track on this album tells the whole story. The 1977 version features a snarling aggression, and badass attitude that the "On Parole" version could only dream of, and that goes for all the re-recorded versions of the tracks from "On Parole".

It´s obvious that this lineup of Motörhead were hellbent to succeed and that they put all their energy into recording the most raw and energetic versions of the material as they could. Not that the versions featured on "On Parole" aren´t really well played and powerful, but the rawness of the sound production, the distorted and quite busy bass playing, and Lemmy´s sandpaper vocals on this album, provide the music with an edge that "On Parole" can´t match. So it´s not so much the material which has changed, it´s the determination behind the delivery, and the way the tracks are performed (and produced), which end up making the huge difference between the two releases.

"Motörhead" proved to be a relatively successful debut album for the band although it wasn´t until they released "Overkill (1979)" that they had a genuine breakthrough. There had been speculations about a band split-up shortly before Motörhead signed the label deal with Chiswick Records, but the fact that they achieved at least some moderate success with this album, meant that they opted to continue. It´s not their most accomplished album, and at times it´s a little rough around the edges, but a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is still deserved.
Throughout the metal genre's constant evolution, there are three bands that epitomize heavy metal to my ears. Not thrash, not death, not power, but unadulterated pure heavy metal. Those three bands are Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and last but certainly not least, Motörhead. While Sabbath invented doom metal, and Priest combined Sabbath's developments of doom with raw speed and aggression, Motörhead brought punk into the newly formed sound of metal which would strongly influence the early thrash metal acts.

After getting fired from heavy space rock pioneers Hawkwind in 1975 for "doing the wrong drugs" in Lemmy's words, Lemmy was on his own and formed his own band. Named after the last song Lemmy wrote for Hawkwind, Motörhead stormed onto the scene with their self-titled debut in 1977 (Although the release On Parole was recorded two years earlier, it wasn't released until 1979.). With the help of "Fast" Eddie Clark and Philthy "Animal" Taylor, Lemmy had already gotten together a now-classic metal lineup.

Motörhead, despite being a debut, is not much different from classics like Overkill and Ace of Spades. The only main difference is that you can still hear the remnants of the punk-y space metal of Lemmy's time in Hawkwind. That is most evident in the Hawkwind songs that were re-recorded for this debut. Along with the classic title track, "Lost Johnny" and "The Watcher" are both previous Hawkwind tracks written by Lemmy. The former originally appeared on 1974's Hall of the Mountain Grill, while the latter was found on 1972's Doremi Fasol Latido. Each of these songs all more-or-less retain the spacey punk metal of the original recordings, albeit with a bit more bite. This is Motörhead we're talking about after all.

Out of the new songs "Iron Horse/Born to Lose" is a classic, and "Keep Us on the Road" has a nice mix of the space rock of Hawkwind and the already developed sound of Motörhead. The cover of the blues classic "Train Kept a Rollin'" kicks the ass of Aerosmith's cover with Motörhead delivering what I like to call Punk Blues. The remaining songs, "Vibrator" and "White Line Fever" are great too, but aren't quite as memorable as the rest of the tracks.

Just like the debuts of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, whom I mentioned before, Motörhead's debut album is a classic as well. It's not only a classic for paving the way for the band's sound, but it's simply a damn great album that appeals to both metalheads and punks. Do you want speed, but aren't quite in the mood for Slayer? You can't do much better than Motörhead. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
Motörhead's debut album is an interesting one primarily because of the way the rudimentary, almost DIY production teases out a different sound than the Motörhead style we all know and love. Whilst it was on Overkill that their signature sound would truly come together, here they are right on the brink of it, with some more hard rock in the mix thanks to some deft solos from Fast Eddie. The selections here are a mixture of new tracks and updated songs from Lemmy's Hawkwind days (Motörhead, Lost Johnny, and The Watcher), with the updated songs really transformed by the power trio lineup. An auspicious beginning.
A really great debut record, but, in my opinion, the record loses its power on the second side of the once LP.

But, all in all still that sound the world of Rock And Roll will recognise some time later.

Heavy, acid, on the edge, rough, that sound Motörhead made up, half metal half punk.

And to recognise where Rock And Roll comes from, nothing more natural than a cover song, in this case, The Train Kept-A-Rollin' a song written by Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay, and Lois Mann that Bradshaw first recorded in 1951. After a rock and roll version of the song was recorded and released by Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio in 1956.

Like I said: Rock And Roll!

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