Book review: Overkill The Untold Story of Motörhead by Joel McIver

Omnibus Press [Publication date 21.08.17]

The original book was published in 2011, however since Lemmy’s death back in December 2015 the book has been re-issued as an enhanced eBook. Basically it adds a newly written chapter covering Motörhead from 2011 to date, plus you can click on links within the book to Spotify playlists of Motörhead classics and band’s influenced by them. A pretty neat idea, although if reading off a Kindle you’d need Wi-Fi access for Spotify.

The book gives a potted history of Motörhead, covering all their albums – although once you hit the mid-90’s onwards not much is said about the recording process, an album’s reception etc. Joel McIver is a big fan of the band and draws on three of his interviews with main man Lemmy for much of the text, along with fellow writer’s interviews with Lemmy and past and former bandmates including Phil Campbell, Mikkey Dee and Eddie Clarke. There is some repetition of themes, particularly Lemmy’s collection of Nazi war memorabilia and his lifelong hate of heroin. The band’s history is only touched upon briefly in many parts and you do want to read more at some stages, although the band’s interviews give a good idea of what they thought about a particular album and the various record labels the band has been on. Like many 70’s bands Motörhead were royally screwed by record labels in their early days and suffered from endless rehashed live and compilation albums  that often detracted from the band’s newer albums and songs.

For a concise overview of Motörhead this book does the job and do make sure you read Lemmy’s ‘White Line Fever’ as well.

Review by Jason Ritchie


David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.


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Featured Albums w/c 22 June (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 INTELLIGENT MUSIC PROJECT V – Life Motion (Intelligent Music)
12:00-13:00 HOUSE OF LORDS New World, New Eyes (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BEN HEMMING Broken Road (indie)

Power Plays w/c 22 June (Mon-Fri)

SKYFEVER Is This The End Of The World (indie)
JD SIMO One Of Those Days (Crows Feets Records)
JAMES WARREN Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime (Singsong Music)
THE BLACK MOODS Sunshine (indie)
EKKO PARK All Eyes On Me (Dinner For Wolves)
LARKIN POE Holy Ghost Fire (Tricki-Woo Records)
GILBY CLARKE (Golden Robot Records)



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