MOTORHEAD – Classic Album Selection (6CD Box)

Universal/Sanctuary 2012

Another year, another Motorhead set, but the packaging on these albums makes for a wonderful item.

This set includes Motorhead’s six Bronze albums (not including compilations), from Overkill, Bomber, Ace Of Spades, No Sleep ‘Till Hammersmith, Iron Fist and Another Perfect Day. Each one a classic in its own right, and each comes in a gatefold card sleeve mimicking the original album artwork, with extra period photos inside the gatefold. This set is also marked by its simplicity; there are no sleevenotes (there’s been plenty already written on the plethora of reissues), and no bonuses, this is all about the beauty (in both sight and sound) of the original albums. 

Formed by the former Hawkwind bassist / vocalist Lemmy in 1975, the band were named after the last song he wrote for Hawkwind. After two albums (UA’s On Parole, released posthumously in 1979, and 1977’s Motorhead), the band signed to Bronze and released Overkill, which flagged up the band to the metal community. Motorhead were on the map with a bang. Lemmy, guitarist Fast Eddie and drummer Phil Taylor proved from the outset to be heavy, fast and influential. The title track (and single) mixed speed and riffs, Lemmy’s gravelly vocals matching the music perfectly. Stay Clean is another classic, and No Class adding a touch of metallic boogie. Metropolis is a slower riff laden number.

Bomber continued in similar fashion, and the improved songwriting from the opening Dead Men Tell No Tales to the closing title track (and minor hit single), through Stone Dead Forever and All The Aces, there’s blues, blistering solos, classic beginning to end. The title track was promoted on Top Of The Pops, and the album’s tour featured a huge bomber plane lighting rig.

1980 saw the release of one of the all-time metal  classics – Ace Of Spades.  The title track alone is much played, much copied, catchy, memorable. The fact it was played by the band on The Young Ones says a lot. Then there’s Love Me Like A Reptile, The Chase Is Better Than The Catch, blistering classics beginning to end. And a stand out is the punchy We Are The Roadcrew.

Even more classic is the no. 1 hit album No Sleep ‘Till Hammersmith which saw the band top the charts and play 12 of the best – quite literally turned up to 11. Everything louder than everything, and a nuclear version of the track Motorhead, a shame the band don’t play it anymore.

Guitarist Eddie Clarke’s swansong was the much underrated (by fans, critics and band) Iron Fist – I personally love this album. The opening title album is metal at its best, and the riff on Loser really stands out. I’m The Doctor is metal boogie-ish, well worth cranking this one up.

Lastly but def not least was Another Perfect Day. With ex Thin Lizzy / Wild Horses  guitarist Brian Robertson on board,  this was a real lift. Problems on the tour aside, you have to admit that Lemmy and Philthy got a real kick up the arse. Just listen to Shine, Lemmy’s riff, Brian’s guitar solo, a wonderful piece of work. Then there’s the guitar solo on the title track which is blistering, and just about to fall over the edge before it reigns back in. Now this album is even more so overlooked, a crying shame.

Six classic albums, each one an ear drum rattler, that scream to be part of your collection, and come as a decent package.


Joe Geesin

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