Motörhead (/ˈmoʊtərhɛd/) were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, who was the sole constant member. The band is often considered a precursor to, or one of the earliest members of, the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though several guitarists and drummers played in Motörhead, most of their best-selling albums and singles feature the work of “Fast” Eddie Clarke on lead guitar and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor on drums.
Motörhead released 23 studio albums, 10 live recordings, 12 compilation albums, and five EPs over a career spanning 40 years. Usually a power trio, they 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 a top-tier rock band. The band are ranked number 26 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. As of 2016, they have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.
Motörhead are typically classified as heavy metal, and their fusion of punk rock into the genre helped to pioneer speed metal and thrash metal. Their lyrics typically covered such topics as war, good versus evil, abuse of power, promiscuous sex, substance abuse, and, most famously, gambling.
Although Lemmy has been credited with being part of various musical scenes, thrash metal or speed metal in the main, from the mid 1970s onward, he stated very clearly, when asked the question, that he plays Rock n Roll. He (Lemmy) has said that they had more of an affiliation with Punk Rockers than with the so-called Heavy Metal scene; Motörhead having evolved out of the London mid-1970s Punk era.
Lemmy died on 28 December 2015 after being initially diagnosed with an undisclosed aggressive form of cancer, which was later revealed as prostate cancer, and heart failure, after which drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Phil Campbell both confirmed that Motörhead would not continue as a band.
Overkill is the second studio album by the band Motörhead, released 24 March 1979, on Bronze Records, their first with the label, and it peaked at #24 on the UK charts. Kerrang! magazine listed the album at #46 among the “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time”.
Overkill—-Huge drums introduce the barrage of sound that defined Motorhead. one thing the listener will discern immediately….this is not the pretty, huge Heavy Metal becoming popular at the time. Instead, the pace is faster and trashier…..sounding more punk than metal. A classic album none the less…..I determined Metal could be loud and nasty with these guys. No pretty vocals here….no soaring vocals….this is dirty in your face Metal.
Stay Clean—-Again with the heavy drums, but a deep melody resonates on this track as well. Lemmy actually comes close to singing during this track…rather than shouting his way through the track. The message is clear….and the music is sooty and dirty. I love the underground feel of the whole damn thing. this was the beginning of a really epic career. The music is tight…the drums are incredible…and the bass is smack in your face.
[I Won’t] Pay Your Price—-Down and dirty and filled with a Birmingham style blues vibe, this is a step away from the faster paced tracks thus far. Lemmy sounds so clear with his vocal…you catch every word. The guitars are epic…with old school style squeals and a definite boogie feel. I rather like this….constructed well and catchy as hell.
I’ll Be Your Sister—-The trademark Motorhead bass kicks off the track and the barrage of noise seems incredible. Lemmy delivers a vocal that is not as forward in the mix as usual….it seems like the guitars are right in your face while the drums pummel you. This also has a slower pace to the music…not quite bluesy….but very accessible.
Capricorn—-Again with the drums……and a spirit of sonic noise opens the track. The guitars are fantastic….Lemmy enters with his vocal….talk singing his way through the track. I don’t hate this song…but it is weak to me….I love the soaring sonic feel of the guitars at times….but I usually skip over this.
No Class—-Returning to fine form, this opens with the trademark fast guitar delivery and the yelps from Lemmy. This is fast and dirty…exactly what you need after the space filled track before. This is almost classic punk in sound. I love the noise the band manages to make. This is fantastic! I love this song….the guitars are so clear and loud at times……venturing off in a full tilt boogie that fits into the middle of the song perfectly.
Damage Case—-Huge right from the first note, this sounds like an extension of the previous track. The contrast between styles on this record was only a promise of the things to come. Sometimes, Motorhead could be a classic punk band….other times they deliver the blues….and then the Thrash…..This is a nice mix of everything.
Tear Ya Down—-Fast and filthy musical delivery….makes you want to jump up and down with exhilaration. The drums are just incredible on this record….never overpowered by the voice or the fantastic guitars. This is bass deep….but the clarity of the lead guitars in the center of the song are always present. Just a huge, fun romp through the underbelly of emerging Metal!
Metropolis—-At the onset, this sounds different…..and as the track progresses you realize it is. This sounds muted and less inspired than most anything on the record. The production is muddled and the sound is too deep. The voice is pushed way back in the mix….this just sounds odd…period. It grows on you as you listen though….
Limb From Limb—-Ending the proper release in full bombastic flavor, the track has that down-tempo bass sound that resonates the blues. Even the leads seem tuned down a bit to get that dirtier and grittier feel. I like this…there is so much going on in the song. The ever present bass….the fantastic drums….the deep leads and the proclamations from Lemmy all create a perfect storm.When the track hits the mid-point and the band lets loose….classic Motorhead!
Too Late Too Late [B-side Of Overkill]—-A bit of a hollow sound in the production, this is still a really strong track for a B-side. The melody line is fantastic and remains through the entire track. Lemmy sounds excellent…..with a bit of an echo on his vocal making it even larger. A really great song.
Like A Nightmare [B-side Of No Class]—-Beginning deep and with a touch of feedback, this is excellent. Lemmy enters sounding clear and concise with his vocal….not like the later days. The chord changes from the leads give the song a full body sound. This is great for a B-side as well……would have fit perfectly on the proper release.
Louie, Louie—-I can take or leave this….really never cared for the original and this offers nothing new for me. I don’t like this……sorry.
**** out of 5