MOTÖRHEAD

Heavy Metal • United Kingdom
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Motörhead was a British heavy metal band formed in London in 1975 by bassist, singer and songwriter Lemmy, who has remained the sole constant member. Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister started the band after he was fired from Hawkwind in the same year, and he decided to name it after Motorhead, the final song he had written for Hawkwind.

Motörhead was unique in its hard blues-based sound and appreciation for old rock and roll along with its overwhelmingly loud and fast style of heavy metal. Usually a power trio, Motörhead had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40 chart. The albums Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and, particularly, No Sleep 'til Hammersmith cemented Motörhead's reputation as one of Britain's foremost rock bands.

While while others were always keen to put a metal label on Motörhead's music, Lemmy disliked such labels, preferring to describe the band's
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MOTÖRHEAD Discography

MOTÖRHEAD albums / top albums

MOTÖRHEAD Motörhead album cover 3.79 | 35 ratings
Motörhead
Heavy Metal 1977
MOTÖRHEAD Overkill album cover 4.16 | 69 ratings
Overkill
Heavy Metal 1979
MOTÖRHEAD Bomber album cover 3.97 | 47 ratings
Bomber
Heavy Metal 1979
MOTÖRHEAD On Parole album cover 3.52 | 28 ratings
On Parole
Heavy Metal 1979
MOTÖRHEAD Ace of Spades album cover 4.27 | 76 ratings
Ace of Spades
Heavy Metal 1980
MOTÖRHEAD Iron Fist album cover 3.64 | 34 ratings
Iron Fist
Heavy Metal 1982
MOTÖRHEAD Another Perfect Day album cover 3.95 | 34 ratings
Another Perfect Day
Heavy Metal 1983
MOTÖRHEAD Orgasmatron album cover 3.97 | 43 ratings
Orgasmatron
Heavy Metal 1986
MOTÖRHEAD Rock 'n' Roll album cover 3.75 | 22 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll
Heavy Metal 1987
MOTÖRHEAD 1916 album cover 3.89 | 34 ratings
1916
Heavy Metal 1991
MOTÖRHEAD March ör Die album cover 3.55 | 20 ratings
March ör Die
Heavy Metal 1992
MOTÖRHEAD Bastards album cover 4.02 | 18 ratings
Bastards
Heavy Metal 1993
MOTÖRHEAD Sacrifice album cover 3.68 | 18 ratings
Sacrifice
Heavy Metal 1995
MOTÖRHEAD Overnight Sensation album cover 3.90 | 15 ratings
Overnight Sensation
Heavy Metal 1996
MOTÖRHEAD Snake Bite Love album cover 3.71 | 14 ratings
Snake Bite Love
Heavy Metal 1998
MOTÖRHEAD We Are Motörhead album cover 3.34 | 15 ratings
We Are Motörhead
Heavy Metal 2000
MOTÖRHEAD Hammered album cover 3.81 | 14 ratings
Hammered
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD Inferno album cover 3.67 | 26 ratings
Inferno
Heavy Metal 2004
MOTÖRHEAD Kiss of Death album cover 3.79 | 18 ratings
Kiss of Death
Heavy Metal 2006
MOTÖRHEAD Motörizer album cover 3.68 | 17 ratings
Motörizer
Heavy Metal 2008
MOTÖRHEAD The Wörld Is Yours album cover 3.93 | 20 ratings
The Wörld Is Yours
Heavy Metal 2011
MOTÖRHEAD Aftershock album cover 3.83 | 11 ratings
Aftershock
Heavy Metal 2013
MOTÖRHEAD Bad Magic album cover 3.87 | 10 ratings
Bad Magic
Heavy Metal 2015

MOTÖRHEAD EPs & splits

MOTÖRHEAD Louie Louie EP album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Louie Louie EP
Heavy Metal 1978
MOTÖRHEAD Overkill EP album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Overkill EP
Heavy Metal 1979
MOTÖRHEAD No Class EP album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
No Class EP
Heavy Metal 1979
MOTÖRHEAD Ace of Spades EP album cover 4.83 | 3 ratings
Ace of Spades EP
Heavy Metal 1980
MOTÖRHEAD 4.33 | 6 ratings
"The Golden Years" Live EP
Heavy Metal 1980
MOTÖRHEAD Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers album cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
Heavy Metal 1980
MOTÖRHEAD Motörhead / Over the Top (Live EP) album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Motörhead / Over the Top (Live EP)
Heavy Metal 1981
MOTÖRHEAD St. Valentine's Day Massacre album cover 4.30 | 5 ratings
St. Valentine's Day Massacre
Heavy Metal 1981
MOTÖRHEAD Iron Fist EP album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Iron Fist EP
Heavy Metal 1982
MOTÖRHEAD I Got Mine album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
I Got Mine
Heavy Metal 1983
MOTÖRHEAD '92 Tour EP album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
'92 Tour EP
Heavy Metal 1992
MOTÖRHEAD Burner EP album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Burner EP
Heavy Metal 1993
MOTÖRHEAD God Save the Queen album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
God Save the Queen
Heavy Metal 2000

MOTÖRHEAD live albums

MOTÖRHEAD No Sleep 'til Hammersmith album cover 4.42 | 22 ratings
No Sleep 'til Hammersmith
Heavy Metal 1981
MOTÖRHEAD No Sleep at All album cover 4.19 | 13 ratings
No Sleep at All
Heavy Metal 1988
MOTÖRHEAD Blitzkreig on Birmingham '77 album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Blitzkreig on Birmingham '77
Heavy Metal 1989
MOTÖRHEAD The Best & The Rest Of Motorhead (live) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best & The Rest Of Motorhead (live)
Heavy Metal 1990
MOTÖRHEAD Live 1983 album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Live 1983
Heavy Metal 1991
MOTÖRHEAD Live at Brixton '87 album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Live at Brixton '87
Heavy Metal 1994
MOTÖRHEAD Live album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Live
Heavy Metal 1995
MOTÖRHEAD King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Motörhead album cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Motörhead
Heavy Metal 1997
MOTÖRHEAD Lock Up Your Daughters album cover 3.25 | 4 ratings
Lock Up Your Daughters
Heavy Metal 1999
MOTÖRHEAD Everything Louder Than Everyone Else album cover 4.40 | 5 ratings
Everything Louder Than Everyone Else
Heavy Metal 1999
MOTÖRHEAD Live, Loud and Lewd album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live, Loud and Lewd
Heavy Metal 1999
MOTÖRHEAD What's Words Worth album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
What's Words Worth
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD 25 & Alive: Boneshaker album cover 5.00 | 3 ratings
25 & Alive: Boneshaker
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD Extended Versions album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Extended Versions
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD Keep Us on the Road: Live '77 album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Keep Us on the Road: Live '77
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD Live at Brixton Academy album cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
Live at Brixton Academy
Heavy Metal 2003
MOTÖRHEAD Stage Fright album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Stage Fright
Heavy Metal 2005
MOTÖRHEAD Live album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Live
Heavy Metal 2006
MOTÖRHEAD Better Motörhead Than Dead: Live at Hammersmith album cover 3.70 | 5 ratings
Better Motörhead Than Dead: Live at Hammersmith
Heavy Metal 2007

MOTÖRHEAD demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MOTÖRHEAD re-issues & compilations

MOTÖRHEAD The Best of Motörhead album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Motörhead
Heavy Metal 1984
MOTÖRHEAD Anthology, Volume 1 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Anthology, Volume 1
Heavy Metal 1986
MOTÖRHEAD The Collection album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Collection
Heavy Metal 1987
MOTÖRHEAD No Remorse album cover 4.24 | 9 ratings
No Remorse
Heavy Metal 1988
MOTÖRHEAD Welcome to the Bear Trap album cover 3.17 | 2 ratings
Welcome to the Bear Trap
Heavy Metal 1990
MOTÖRHEAD The Birthday Party album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
The Birthday Party
Heavy Metal 1990
MOTÖRHEAD From the Vaults album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
From the Vaults
Heavy Metal 1990
MOTÖRHEAD Meltdown album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Meltdown
Heavy Metal 1991
MOTÖRHEAD Grind Ya Down album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Grind Ya Down
Heavy Metal 1991
MOTÖRHEAD Headbangers album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Headbangers
Heavy Metal 1991
MOTÖRHEAD Aces High album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Aces High
Heavy Metal 1994
MOTÖRHEAD Fistful of Aces: The Best of Motorhead album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Fistful of Aces: The Best of Motorhead
Heavy Metal 1995
MOTÖRHEAD The Best of Motörhead, Volume 2 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Motörhead, Volume 2
Heavy Metal 1995
MOTÖRHEAD Fast, Loose & Live! album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Fast, Loose & Live!
Heavy Metal 1996
MOTÖRHEAD Protect the Innocent album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Protect the Innocent
Heavy Metal 1997
MOTÖRHEAD Archive album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Archive
Heavy Metal 1997
MOTÖRHEAD Stone Dead Forever album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Stone Dead Forever
Heavy Metal 1997
MOTÖRHEAD The Singles Collection: The Bronze Years 1978-1984 album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Singles Collection: The Bronze Years 1978-1984
Heavy Metal 1998
MOTÖRHEAD Golden Years: The Alternate Versions album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Golden Years: The Alternate Versions
Heavy Metal 1999
MOTÖRHEAD Ace of Spades album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Ace of Spades
Heavy Metal 1999
MOTÖRHEAD Born to Lose, Live to Win: The Bronze Singles 1978-1983 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Born to Lose, Live to Win: The Bronze Singles 1978-1983
Heavy Metal 1999
MOTÖRHEAD The Best of Motörhead: Deaf Forever album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Motörhead: Deaf Forever
Heavy Metal 1999
MOTÖRHEAD The Best of album cover 4.69 | 4 ratings
The Best of
Heavy Metal 2000
MOTÖRHEAD Over the Top: The Rarities album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Over the Top: The Rarities
Heavy Metal 2000
MOTÖRHEAD All the Aces: The Best of Motörhead album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
All the Aces: The Best of Motörhead
Heavy Metal 2001
MOTÖRHEAD Bite the Bullet album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Bite the Bullet
Heavy Metal 2001
MOTÖRHEAD Tear Ya Down: The Rarities album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Tear Ya Down: The Rarities
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD The Very Best Of album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Very Best Of
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD Aces: The Best of Motörhead album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Aces: The Best of Motörhead
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD Aces album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Aces
Heavy Metal 2002
MOTÖRHEAD Stone Deaf Forever! album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Stone Deaf Forever!
Heavy Metal 2003
MOTÖRHEAD Hellraiser: Best of the Epic Years album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Hellraiser: Best of the Epic Years
Heavy Metal 2003
MOTÖRHEAD Essential Noize: The Very Best Of album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Essential Noize: The Very Best Of
Heavy Metal 2005
MOTÖRHEAD The Essential album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Essential
Heavy Metal 2007
MOTÖRHEAD Icon album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Icon
Heavy Metal 2010
MOTÖRHEAD Aces Up My Sleeve album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Aces Up My Sleeve
Heavy Metal 2010

MOTÖRHEAD singles (5)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
Motörhead
Heavy Metal 1977
.. Album Cover
4.75 | 2 ratings
Bomber
Heavy Metal 1979
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Killed by Death
Heavy Metal 1984
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The One to Sing the Blues
Heavy Metal 1990
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Overkill (exclusive version)
Heavy Metal 2007

MOTÖRHEAD movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Classic Albums - Motorhead: Ace of Spades
Heavy Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Inside Motorhead
Heavy Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.83 | 3 ratings
Motörhead - Stage Fright DVD
Heavy Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Motorhead: Overkill (30th Anniversary Edition)
Heavy Metal 2008

MOTÖRHEAD Reviews

MOTÖRHEAD Overkill

Album · 1979 · Heavy Metal
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SilentScream213
For the year 1979, Overkill was a powerhouse of speed and weight that opens with perhaps the heaviest song written in that moment in time. Pounding constant double bass leaves a fantastic first impression, and surely set the standard for many songs to come. Unfortunately, the majority of the album is more mid-paced, standard heavy metal, and lacks the riffs or melody found in their contemporaries to carry it.

Lemmy has a rather unmistakable, hoarse voice, and the band has always carried an "old fashioned rock and roll" vibe with them that makes them their own brand of metal. The problem is, aside from this Motorhead-ness, the album doesn't offer much.

When Motorhead go full throttle, they rock, but elsewhere, they fall into mediocrity.

MOTÖRHEAD March ör Die

Album · 1992 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"March ör Die" is the 11th full-length studio album by UK heavy rock/metal act Motörhead. The album was released through WTG Records (a subsidiary to Sony BMG) in August 1992. It´s the successor to "1916" from 1991 and features one lineup change as drummer Phil Taylor was fired from Motörhead during the recording sessions for the album. He therefore only appears on "I Ain't No Nice Guy". The band asked Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Yngwie Malmsteen, Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent) to record the remaining drum tracks. Aldridge was not a permanent solution though and the band recruited former King Diamond/Dokken drummer Mikkey Dee as the permanent replacement for Taylor. Dee performs drums on "Hellraiser".

"1916" was a commercial turning point for Motörhead after a decade of decline in popularity and album sales, and various disputes with labels. In addition to the success of "1916", Lemmy also contributed to writing four tracks for "No More Tears (1991)" by Ozzy Osbourne, including the major hit "Mama, I'm Coming Home", so it was Motörhead´s/Lemmy´s most commercially successful period. While the late 70s/early 80s period was the time when the band had their big breakthrough, all the issues they had with labels meant they missed out on cashing in on their success. At least not to the maximum of what they could have.

Stylistically the material on "March ör Die" is unmistakably the sound of Motörhead. Hard rocking blues based guitar riffs, blistering solo work, hard rocking rhythm work, a rumbling distorted bass, and Lemmy´s raw rusty voice in front. Compared to the brilliance of "1916", the quality of the material takes a drop on "March ör Die" though. The overall quality of the material is as such on a decent level, but it´s one of those albums by the band, where there are few standout tracks, while the rest are more standard quality and less memorable. The standout tracks on "March ör Die" are to my ears the cover of "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent, "I Ain't No Nice Guy" (which features Ozzy Osbourne and Slash), "Hellraiser" (with a choir laden anthemic chorus), and the dark ambient title track. The remaining material is well written and entertaining too, but just nothing out of the ordinary in the band´s discography.

"March ör Die" is well produced and features a slightly more raw sound than "1916", but it´s still a relatively polished sound. Upon conclusion it´s another quality release by Motörhead, but it´s not among the standout releases in their discography, and it´s definitely a step down from the high quality of "1916". It is still enjoyable and entertaining in it´s own right though and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

MOTÖRHEAD 1916

Album · 1991 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"1916" is the 10th full-length studio album by UK heavy rock/metal act Motörhead. The album was released through WTG Records (a subsidiary to Sony BMG) in February 1991. It had been four years since the release of "Rock 'n' Roll (1987)", which at the time was the longest time between the release of two Motörhead studio albums. The long waiting time was due to problems with the band´s former label and lead vocalist/bassist Lemmy Kilmister´s move in 1990 from the UK to the US (where he would settle in West Hollywood and live for the rest of his life at a close proximity to to his beloved Rainbow Bar and Grill). Motörhead initially started working with producer Ed Stasium (Living Colour), but they did not agree on how the album should sound and Stasium was fired (He is credited for producing 3 tracks on the album though) although he claims to have quit because he couldn´t tolerate Lemmy´s drug and alcohol abuse. The band hired producer Pete Solley to complete the album.

"1916" turned out to be a turning point in the band´s career. Since their glory days in the late 70s/early 80s (especially the release of "Ace of Spades (1980)" made them a household heavy rock/metal name), Motörhead experienced decline in record sales and problems with labels over the decade, but "1916" generally received favorable reviews and positive fan reactions, and the album even received a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance at the 1992 Grammys. They lost to Metallica's "Metallica (1991)" album (The Black Album).

Listening to "1916" it´s obvious why the album is widely regarded as one of the peaks of the band´s long and glorious career. They´ve simply taken everything up a notch here from the performances, to the sound production, to the quality of the songwriting. Most Motörhead albums feature a couple of standout tracks, quite a few good quality tracks, and a couple of fillers, but that´s not the case with "1916", which features a well constructed tracklist and a more varied songwriting approach than what we usually hear from them.

"Nightmare/The Dreamtime" is for example a dark an eerie sounding track, which doesn´t feature much of the hard rocking blues based heavy rock that is the usual style for the band, "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." (which is a tribute to the legendary New York punk rock act Ramones), is a full on punk rock song, "Love Me Forever" is something as rare as a Motörhead power ballad, and the title track is something even more rare in the Motörhead catalogue as it´s a ballad type track (and a quite brilliant one I might add). All four tracks are among the highlights of the album, but hard rockers like "The One to Sing the Blues", "I'm So Bad (Baby I Don't Care)", and "Going to Brazil" are definitely worth a mention too, but there are no fillers on "1916", and the remaining tracks on the album are also high quality material. Powerful and memorable rockers.

While there is more variation on "1916" than what is usual for Motörhead, the basis of the band´s sound is still intact. Hard rocking drums and blazing guitar riffs and solos, a rumbling distorted bass, and in front the unmistakable rusty roar of Lemmy. The latter delivers one of his strongest and most varied vocal performances on "1916". His performance on the title track is so honest and emotive, that it´s hard not to feel the impact of his words about the horrors of war.

Despite the change of producer a while into recording the album, the sound production turned out great. It´s an organic, clear, and detailed sounding production, which suits the material perfectly. So upon conclusion "1916" is a high quality release by Motörhead and to my ears one of the peaks of their recording career. It´s no coincidence that this is the album which effectively put Motörhead back on the map of the heavy rock/metal elite. It´s simply such a high quality release that it cannot be ignored. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

MOTÖRHEAD Rock 'n' Roll

Album · 1987 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Rock 'n' Roll" is the 8th full-length studio album by UK hard/heavy rock act Motörhead. The album was released through GWR Records September 1987. It´s the follow up to "Orgasmatron", which was released in August 1986. Motörhead experienced a commercial comeback with "Orgasmatron" and used the momentum to release "Rock 'n' Roll" only about a year after the release of it´s predecessor. "Rock 'n' Roll" wasn´t as successful in Europe as "Orgasmatron", but it helped gain Motörhead popularity in the USA. There´s been one lineup change since "Orgasmatron (1986)", as Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor is back behind the drumkit replacing Pete Gill.

To my ears the short time between "Orgasmatron (1986)" and "Rock 'n' Roll" is audible and I´d go as far as to call them sibling albums. Both in terms of production values and songwriting style. Stylistically this is Motörhead as we know them. Blues based rock´n´roll with the volume turned up high, and Lemmy Kilmister´s distorted bass and sandpaper voice in front.

"Rock 'n' Roll" features some great tracks, and some more standard quality ones too. That´s pretty much business as usual for Motörhead though, who have seldom produced albums with only "hits". Highlights on "Rock 'n' Roll" include the title track, the catchy "Eat the Rich", "The Wolf", "Dogs", and especially "Stone Deaf in the U.S.A.", which is an absolutely killer track. The short guest appearance by Michael Palin in which he performs a weird Monty Python type monologue is pretty damn amusing too, and a little extra spice to the album.

Upon conclusion "Rock 'n' Roll" is another well played, relatively well produced and well written Motörhead album, but to my ears it´s not among their best. It´s still a good quality release though and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

MOTÖRHEAD 1916

Album · 1991 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
Motörhead’s “1916” came after four years of label problems, and other bullshit with the business side of music. That wasn’t what Lemmy was about. The man just wanted to play his own mutant version of rock and roll. The band’s previous album, simply called “Rock ‘n’ Roll” was not as well received as its predecessors, so expectations for “1916” were not high.

Fuck expectations. This is Motörhead. The band had occasionally dabbled outside the blues/rock/punk/metal mix. For example, “Orgasmatron” could be considered proto-doom-death metal, but most of their albums stuck fairly closely to the old formula. First track “The Ones To Sing The Blues” threw out the formula and shattered all preconceptions. Unlike a number of other Motörhead tracks, it’s not particularly bluesy, but thunders along, powered by Philthy’s legendary double kick drums. On “I'm So Bad (Baby I Don't Care)”, the blues does raise its leery head, along with Lemmy’s clever, incisive lyrics. What seems like a song full of tall story bragging actually reveals his inspirations. “Going to Brazil” is a blues boogie road song which only Lemmy could write. It has a bit of a story behind it. The band recorded four songs with producer Ed Stasium. When Lemmy listened to a mix of “Going to Brazil”, he asked Stasium to turn up four tracks, and on doing so heard claves and tambourines added without the band's knowledge. Stasium was fired and Pete Solley hired as producer. And thank fuck for that!

And next, a big step sideways. Judas Priest had faced a civil suit in 1990, around the time Lemmy was writing songs for this album, and one of the accusations levelled at the band was that they had hidden subliminal messages in their cover of Spooky Tooth’s “Better By You, Better Than Me”. Always one who stuck up against injustice when he saw it, Lemmy deliberately filled “Nightmare/The Dreamtime” with backmasked vocals and music, which were far from subliminal, giving the song a truly eerie vibe. And what did he actually say? Even that’s open to interpretation, perhaps proving once and for all that backmasking is rather an inefficient way of conveying a message.

“Love Me Forever” is a power ballad from an era when power ballad were ubiquitous, but it’s far from typical. For a start, it’s not weepy or self-loathing, instead showing both sides of love and relationships, a black/white, all/nothing contrast.

“Angel City” is a filler when you don’t write fillers. Like the “Going To Brazil” road trip, it’s a fun descriptive song of life in L.A. at the tail end of the glam era. It’s followed by another good time rocker in the form of “Make My Day”.

Lemmy was asked why he wrote the song “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” The answer? “’Cos I like The Ramones”. Best answer ever to a stupid question. The Ramones liked the minute and a half long song so much they covered it themselves. Basically, it’s The Ramones put through a Motörhead filter.

“Shut You Down” is an “I’m outta here” break up track, in a fashion only Motörhead could pull off, like a metal “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”.

These ten tracks would have made a very good Motörhead album, showing some new musical facets, and more energy and drive than the previous album. But this is Motörhead. Expect the unexpected.

“1916” is unlike any song ever recorded by this or any other metal band. First, it’s not metal. Second, it is such a visceral, heart rending tale, it is more an accompanied epic poem than a song. Musically, it is part hymn, part sombre march, with simple orchestration, cello, a military snare, and Lemmy’s voice quavering with more sensitivity than you might think possible. While it is a song about World War One, it is so thought provoking and emotionally wrought it could come from any war, where young men think they are heading off for a great adventure, only to be dehumanized, ground up, and spat out by an unfeeling, unstoppable war machine. Like no other song, “1916” vocalises the true stupidity, futility, terror, and waste of human life of war.

It seems Lemmy understood how deeply emotionally and psychologically damaging war could be to those caught in the fighting. My own Grandfather fought in the Pacific Islands during World War Two. In the 26 years I knew him, he spoke of the war to me only once, and then only to relate a funny tale of having to run flat out from tent to surf when going swimming, in order to avoid mosquitoes. In his last few lucid hours, he suffered nightmares and flashbacks to those days six decades before. Even though this song is of a different war, now a century past, it still makes me think of my Grandfather and the terrible things he may have seen and experienced, which are beyond my imagination and recognition. It took a special kind of bravery to have faced a mortal enemy, who was probably feeling very similar emotions and terrors, and then to return to civilization and lead a productive life, all the while keeping those horrors locked away. It may not have been the intention of this song to cause this reaction, but it does.

And so the song “1916” elevates the album “1916” from the realms of very good into great. It also secured Motörhead’s future, both financially and musically. The band finally had a decent record deal, and had explored some new musical avenues which opened new frontiers for the band to explore for the remainder of its existence. Albums like “Ace Of Spades” and “No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith” established Motörhead’s legendary status in rock and metal. “1916” cemented it.

MOTÖRHEAD Movies Reviews

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