MOTORHEAD

"Clean Your Clock" (UDR; 2016)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Lemmy Kilmister passed away in December of 2015. And Motorhead died with him. It was inevitable, of course, and not really surprising considering Lemmy's myriad ailments over the last few years, but it was still a shock like a punch to the head. No Lemmy. No Motorhead.

Shortly after his death, the record company announced the impending release of "Clean Your Clock," a live recording of what would turn out to be one of Lemmy's last shows. My immediate concern was whether or not this was a good idea. Lemmy had been ill; had cancelled concerts mid-stream because he was too sick to finish them. Would "Clean Your Clock" be your typical, ass-kicking live Motorhead release, or would it be a sad reminder of the fact of mortality, with Lemmy not being able to deliver a live show the way he used to.

Well, it's a little of both but, thankfully, the ass-kicking side wins out.

As you might expect, "Clean Your Clock" is full of Motorhead classics. "Ace of Spades," "Metropolis," "Orgasmatron," and the closer, the epic "Overkill." With virtually every track, however, you can tell that something just isn't right. Lemmy's vocals aren't nearly as robust, and it seems sometimes he has a hard time keeping pace. Instrument-wise, I can't be sure, but it seems that guitarist Phil Campbell tries to fill in during spots where it seems that Lemmy has missed a cue or something.

But here's the thing: There are many, many points on "Clean Your Clock" where Lemmy is dead on, snarling through his lyrics, raining thunder with his bass (especially on "Overkill"), and making you forget, just for a moment, that he is a very ill individual. We should all be so ferocious when we're 70.

Of course, the other two-thirds of Motorhead do what they've always done. Phil Campbell, arguably one of the greatest guitarists in heavy metal, delivers a vicious performance, unleashing earth-shattering fretwork that elevates each and every Motorhead song. I've always said that Motorhead sounds better live than they did in the studio, and it's Phil's amazing guitar work that brings it up that extra notch.

And Mikkey Dee. What a drummer. His explosive drumming on "Clean Your Clock" will take your breath away. Mikkey's drums envelop a song, not just set the pace for it. They're a world all their own and, if you focus on the drums as you listen to "Clean Your Clock," you will be amazed at the man's incredible talent.

So, while "Clean Your Clock" may not be the best live Motorhead album, it's still a pretty good one. And it is truly a part of rock'n'roll history. It's almost impossible to listen to this album without thinking about Lemmy being gone and the fact that he was ill at the time it was recorded but, if you could, I doubt you would think twice about the unavoidable flaws here.

Motorhead: Lemmy Kilmister - vocals and bass; Philip Campbell - guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com 

Bad Magic" (UDR; 2015)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has read the previous Motorhead reviews at RoughEdge.com that I am giving the band's latest epic, "Bad Magic," a coveted four guitarsaw review. As I've said here ad nauseum, Motorhead are my favorite band and the fact that they keep delivering blistering slabs of V8 engine-powered rock'n'roll majesty are one of the reasons they've been my favorite since 1991's "1916."

"Bad Magic" does what any Motorhead album is supposed to do. It tries to blow your head clean off your shoulders for its entire running time and leave you begging for more. Starting off with the explosive "Victory or Die" (a rock anthem if there ever was one) and ending with a crushing cover of the Rolling Stones' classic "Sympathy for the Devil," "Bad Magic" never lets up once. Even when it slows down a smidge for the pseudo-ballad, "Till the End," this CD is heavier than virtually everything else out there.

Lemmy's vocals sound stronger here than they did on the band's previous album, "Aftershock," and that probably has as much to do with his return to good health as it does with this record's sturdier sound. His bass work also seems more noticeable here, giving the songs their deep bottom end, and driving them forward in tandem with Mikkey Dee's always punishing drum smashing. And, once again, I can't say enough about guitarist Phil Campbell, who fills every track with furious power and fiery leads that might possibly have the heat to melt steel.

My favorite tracks are probably the aforementioned "Victory or Die," the lean and well-titled "Electricity" and "Tell Me Who to Kill" as much for its simple drive as its awesome title. Then again, there isn't a track here I don't like although "Thunder & Lightning" does sound a little too much like a track from a previous album (not that it matters; it still kicks ass). And the Rolling Stones cover is interesting in that Lemmy's vocals are a different kind of menacing than were Mick Jagger's and, of course, the guitars are much, much louder.

So that's what I think of the latest album for the band I've called my favorite for the past twenty-four years. I don't see that top position going to anyone else anytime soon.

Motorhead: Lemmy Kilmister - vocals and bass; Philip Campbell - guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Aftershock" (UDR; 2013)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Regular Rough Edge readers will remember that Motorhead has been my favorite band since their "1916" album and, as you can discern by reading the reviews below, I've enjoyed every one of their new releases since then.

Add "Aftershock" to the pile of great Motorhead records. It's a pretty impressive pile, isn't it?

Tales of Lemmy's health issues left us wondering if "Aftershock" might be the first album that found the legendary band slowing down. Not the case. "Aftershock" is yet another terrific volley from the Motorhead cannon, delivering 14 crushing tracks so infectious you'll be reaching for that Repeat button as soon as the CD is done spinning.

Lemmy sounds great here, despite reportedly recording the vocals for this album after his health troubles began. The lyrics seem a bit more personal than on previous Motorhead albums and Lemmy's legendary gravelly voice seems more appropriate on "Aftershock" than ever. I couldn't help but be reminded of the Rick Rubin-produced final albums of Johnny Cash. Not that Lemmy is at the same point in his career or life that Cash was at the time but that Lemmy's voice on "Aftershock" is so genuine, so honest, that it enhances the entire album measurably.

But Motorhead has never been just about Lemmy Kilmeister and "Aftershock" is further evidence of that. Guitarist Phil Campbell has never sounded better than he does on this album, and that's saying a lot. Phil's combination of slashing riffs, crushing chords and blistering leads carries "Aftershock" from beginning to end. If you have to point to just one stand-out on this CD, it's Phil. It's hard to believe he's just one person, delivering as much loud music as he does.

And you can't forget Mikkey Dee, either, whose thundering drums drive "Aftershock" forward from the get-go. Dee is a true god of thunder ("the best drummer in rock'n'roll" so Lemmy proclaims) and he rains down the bolts on this CD.

You know what a Motorhead album is going to sound like even before you get your filthy little fingers on a copy. And the band has never disappointed. "Aftershock" is simply another hugely successful chapter in this deservedly legendary band's long history.

Motorhead: Lemmy Kilmister - vocals and bass; Philip Campbell - guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Aftershock" (UDR; 2013)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Lemmy Kilmister, Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell -- aka Motorhead -- have done it again: recorded and released a thoroughly entertaining new release, "Aftershock." Anyone in the know knows what that last statement entails: high quality metal, kick ass cuts and a shit load of attitude.

Listening to new Motorhead is like opening gifts on Christmas day and, since the Venerable One, Lemmy had his health scare last year, it just made Aftershock all the more special.

Motorhead: Lemmy Kilmister - vocals and bass; Philip Campbell - guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"The World Is Yours" (SPV; 2011)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Hard rockís demigod of everything heavy metal, Lemmy Kilmister, and his cohorts in Motorhead are back with a stunning musical performance called "The World Is Yours."

The bandís latest CD is a powerful testament of Lemmyís outstanding songwriting ability, along with drummer Mikky Dee and guitarist Phil Campbellís ability to keep up with this bassist extraordinaire.

The music explodes from the speakers like a sonic thunderstorm that is both intoxicating and fun. And one of the best things about a Motorhead CD ... it means a live Motorhead show isn't too far away and that's something that should be witnessed by every heavy metal enthusiast.

After 35 years as a band and 20 releases, Motorhead sounds as good today as they did when they first started. "The World Is Yours" may be the best Motorhead release since 1996's "Overnight Sensation." So, like millions of Motorhead fans worldwide, I am in the process of once again abusing my sense of hearing with another spin around this "World" ... and I suggest every metal head around the world joins me!

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Motorizer" (SPV; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

A few years ago I was writing on a message board and someone mentioned buying the new Motorhead. I asked them what it was like and the answer was "It sounds like Motorhead." Indeed, that did tell me a lot, and Motorhead are one of those bands where you generally have a strong idea of what Lemmy and the boys are going to do. Doesn't mean that they are necessarily in a rut and, if they are, then it's a pretty entertaining rut to be stuck in. 

Anyway, "Motorizer" is likely exactly what you would expect if you are at all familiar with the band as its more dirty, grinding rock'n'roll with lots of grit. The opener, "Runaround Man," sets the tone as its thick-as-molasses sound roars on and Lemmy's growl comes pouring out as dry throated and likable as ever. We get real head bobbin', rip-roarin' tracks like "Rock Out" and "Buried Alive" that follow a familiar pattern, but it's one that Motorhead helped invent and many other bands follow this blueprint as well. 

"Back on the Chain" was slightly different to my ears as it follows a very choppy style, but the band quickly puts their stamp on it and turn into it a very controlled yet hard driving body shaker. Phil Campbell reaches down deep and pulls out some big almost sludge like riffs for "Heroes" and Lemmy belts it out even louder than normal as the track thunders along. 

The rest of the tracks fall in at various levels in between and there are not any real surprises nor are there any disappointments. It's just another chapter in the long and incredibly impressive career of a band that helped chisel out and carry on real killer metal . For Motorhead there is no hiding behind effects, complicated concepts or attempts to tie into the latest musical trends but rather it's the same old tried and true, headbangin' material that still gets the blood pumping right away. 

Only two things in life are certain ... death and taxes ... but the fact that Motorhead will put out good, pounding metal as long as Lemmy's heart is still beating isn't too far behind those two things and it's more enjoyable to look forward to as well.

Motorhead: Lemmy Kilmister - vocals and bass; Philip Campbell - guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Motorizer" (SPV; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Motorizer" is the latest studio album from Motorhead, the legendary hard rock / heavy metal / punk rock / blues band (I added "blues" because I seem to remember a quote from Lemmy himself saying that he considered Motorhead to be a blues band.)  And "Motorizer" is exactly what you'd want it to be: Eleven tracks of blistering fast music, Lemmy's trademark street gravel vocals, Phil Campbell's fiery, furious guitar and Mikkey Dee's unforgiving pounding of the drums. Like virtually every Motorhead album before it (with the possible exception of the slightly different "Die Another Day"), "Motorizer" is a Motorhead album through and through. I can't think of another band that's been this consistent ... and this good ... for so many years. 

"Motorizer" is instantly familiar and simultaneously new. While the band doesn't really pull of any new tricks (although Phil's solos sound even faster and cleaner than ever), there are eleven new Motorhead tracks here and they all plain and simply kick ass. There isn't a Motorhead fan alive who won't love this album and even those just familiar with the band will mark this CD as yet another Motorhead classic.

My favorite tracks are the solid anthem "Rock Out," the bluesy "One Short Life" and the somewhat slower but still pulverizing "Heroes." Those are my favorites, but there's not a bad track to be found. Lyrically ... well, you can read a lot into lyrics of songs with titles like "When the Eagle Screams" and "The Thousand Names of God," but Lemmy recently told Bruce Dickinson (on Dickinson's popular BBC radio show) that "The Thousand Names of God" was just a phrase he liked so he turned it into a song. So who knows?

Bottom line: "Motorizer" is yet another great Motorhead album further cementing the band's already stellar legacy. The only bad thing about this CD is that it'll be at least another year until we get another one!

Motorhead: Lemmy Kilmister - vocals and bass; Philip Campbell - guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Better Motorhead Than Dead: Live at Hammersmith" (SPV / Steamhammer; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This live recording of the legendary Motorhead's 30th Anniversary Show at the Hammersmith Apollo on June 16, 2005 is no less energetic or dynamic than any of the band's previous live recordings, both official and bootleg. That's pretty frigging impressive for a band that's celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, and it's one of the things that keeps Motorhead fresh, vibrant and important today.

"Better Motorhead Than Dead" is two full discs and 23 tracks of the best of Motorhead, performed by what Lemmy himself has said is the best line-up of Motorhead. With the incredible (and incredibly underrated) Phil Campbell on full shred guitar, the powerful Mikkey Dee pounding his drumkit to death and, of course, the one and only Lemmy Kilmister on vocals and locomotive bass, "Better Motorhead Than Dead" delivers over two hours of live material that never flags. The track selection here is near perfect: Plenty of classics ("Ace of Spades," "(We Are) The Road Crew," "Metropolis") and some of the best more recent tracks, too ("Killers," "Sacrifice," "Whorehouse Blues"). 

In fact, the only thing better than listening to this CD would be seeing the band perform live. And you can't very well do that with your car stereo, can you?

Motorhead: Lemmy Kilmister - vocals and bass; Philip Campbell - guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Kiss of Death" (Sanctuary; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Regular Rough Edge readers have probably come to expect a full four guitarsaw rating from me when a new Motorhead album hits the shelves. There's no denying that Motorhead are one of my favorite bands ... if not, indeed, my very favorite.

So I'm always thrilled when a new Motorhead CD is released and "Kiss of Death" is no exception. I couldn't wait to hear the new record and, when it finally showed up in my mailbox, I immediately slammed it into the CD player.

I tell you all this because I want you to know that my expectations for the new album were very high. And, when you're that excited about something, a lot of times it can be a let down. You get yourself all fired up for something and then, when you finally get to it, it's not quite as great as you expected.

That is not the case with "Kiss of Death."

"Kiss of Death" is Motorhead's best album in years ... and their previous albums have been freaking great. Things start off with a bang with a barnburner, "Sucker," and never stop from there. The bluesy yet explosive "One Night Stand" is up next, followed by the great riffs on "The Devil I Know."  "God Was Never On Your Side" is one of the band's best-ever ballads. And so it goes. As with most Motorhead albums, there isn't a weak track on the CD (although a newly recorded studio version of the band's "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." appears here as a bonus track and, though it sounds good, it seems out of place.

Lemmy's unique, growling vocals are in fine condition here, lending a true Motorhead edge to each and every track. And Mr. Kilmister truly outdoes himself with the album's token "ballad," "God Was Never On Your Side," a scathing indictment of those who claim heaven is on their side as they do the work of hell. And, as you might expect, Lemmy's thundering bass rumbles throughout "Kiss of Death" like a calculated musical avalanche and producer Cameron Webb has brought the bass out a little more in the mix, giving the CD an even heavier sound.

Phil Campbell again shines here. His roaring riffs and smoking leads give "Kiss of Death" a bigger than life sound that will nearly blow out your speakers even when the volume's not all the way up. 

Finally, there's drummer Mikkey Dee, who gives Motorhead their crushing Godzilla backbone. Mikkey pounds the drums with merciless fury and his matchless timing maintains Motorhead's reputation as one of the tightest bands in rock.

They didn't need to prove it but, with "Kiss of Death," Motorhead once again shows the world that they are one of the greatest bands ever and that they have no intention of slowing down.

Motorhead: Lemmy Kilmister - vocals and bass; Philip Campbell - guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums. Also appearing on "Kiss of Death" are C.C. Deville ("God Was Never On Your Side") and Mike Inez ("Under the Gun").

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"BBC Live & In Session" (Sanctuary / Metal-Is; 2005)

Reviewed by Snidermann

This two disc set is a collection of early cuts from the patriarchs of punk and metal, the mighty Motorhead. This 24 track CD contains some very cool live tracks that I have never heard before and some great live renditions of some classics as well.

The music on this CD was recorded back in 1978 and 19'79 and one of the things that stuck out most in my mind was that Motorhead's music has not changed in their 30 year history. They sound pretty much then as they do now and I love that. 

This is a perfect recording for my Motorhead collection and whenever I get down and depressed and need to hear some killer music I know that I can reach for some Motorhead to cleanse my rock'n'roll pallet. 

"BBC Live and In Session" is still more proof that Motorhead's music from the 70s is the stuff of legend and Lemmy and the band continue to put out vital music today ... with no apparent end in sight.

For more information, check out www.imotorhead.com

"Live at Brixton '87" (Sanctuary; 1994 / 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This version of the comparatively rare 1994 live Motorhead CD, featuring the four member line-up of one of the greatest bands in heavy metal history was actually recorded at the Brixton Academy in London on December 23rd  1987. Although not a definitive performance or particularly notable live recording by the band, "Live at Brixton '87" captures a unique time in Motorhead history. But, as always, it's a rough, raw and pummeling performance that fans will enjoy hearing.

What's considerably disappointing here is the lack of any bonus tracks. The European version of this CD contains five bonus tracks, which -- judging from the liner notes -- constitute the entire performance that evening. Those tracks are missing here and the CD seems less interesting because of that. This CD would have been a must have with those bonus tracks; instead, it's simply worth a listen, thanks to the presence of both Wurzel on guitar and Philthy on drums.

Still, any Motorhead is good Motorhead and fans itching to add yet another live performance by the band to their collection should find a spot on their shelf for "Live at Brixton '87."

Motorhead: Lemmy - bass and vocals; Wurzel - guitars and vocals; Philthy - drums; Phil Campbell - guitar and vocals.

For more information, check out www.imotorhead.com

"Motorhead" (Deadline; 1977 / 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This spectacular 2005 re-release of Motorhead's 1977 self-titled CD is noteworthy for many reasons, not the least of which is that its newly remastered sound is probably the best this album has ever had. Guitars and vocals really come to the forefront now, while drums and bass no longer blur together in a murky blend. The new re-mastering is also somewhat of a curse, however. Never before have the limitations of the album's original 1977 production been so obvious.

"Motorhead" contains many songs that would go on to become Motorhead classics: The title track, "Iron Horse/Born to Lose," "White Line Fever," "The Watcher" and the cover of "Train Kept a Rollin'." Of course, this is from the band's early days so they were still toying with exactly what their sound should be. You can hear the basic development here, but this CD does not represent exactly where this mighty band eventually took their sound. The songs that appear on this CD sound much further developed on subsequent live CDs.

This re-release is full of bonuses, too, that only add to the overall package. First, there are six bonus tracks, most - if not all - of which you can find elsewhere, but it's nice to have them here as well. Secondly, the CD packaging is top-notch, featuring a faux leather cover and silver foil embossed printing. But wait, there's more! You also get a Motorhead sticker, a booklet with new liner notes and a small poster, featuring the album artwork on one side and photos and more on the other.

There is one minor annoyance here and it's a problem that Deadline Records seems doomed to repeat. There are full two-second breaks between tracks that sometimes even appear before a song has completed (between "Lost Johnny" and "Iron Horse" for example). These breaks are sudden, intrusive and just plain lazy. How much more effort would it take to make sure the breaks fit correctly? And how difficult is it to fade out on the bonus track "Leaving Here," which ends as though someone has suddenly punched the power button off? Deadline has the same problem with a new Quiet Riot CD as well. Let's hope they get it fixed soon.

While having this Motorhead CD in your collection may not be essential, fans will want to add this newly revitalized version to theirs. Those new to the band would be better served starting off with one of the several "greatest hits" collections out there. Eventually, I'm convinced those folks will find themselves tracing the band's roots back here anyway.

For more information, check out www.imotorhead.com

"Inferno" (Sanctuary / Metal-Is; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

How many bands can you count that continue to play and record music today that's as good as the music they played and recorded nearly thirty years ago? I can tell you my answer easily enough: One. And that band is Motorhead.

"Inferno," the band's 2004 studio CD, is a stunning collection of raging Motorhead tunes that shows the band in finer form than one could imagine. While it's true that bassist/vocalist Lemmy is the heart of any Motorhead album, it's Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee that "Inferno" really belongs to. Although guitarist Campbell and drummer Dee have been an important, irreplaceable part of the past few Motorhead CDs, they really shine on "Inferno," with Campbell delivering some of his most sophisticated and blistering fretwork ever and with Dee's thundering drums keeping the band as tight as they've ever been, if not more so.

Lyrically (and this is Lemmy's department), "Inferno" continues to show the increasing maturity of the legendary rocker's  songwriting skills. The songs on "Inferno" are intelligent subtle and stylish. Thankfully, Lemmy hasn't written a lyric like 1987's "Eat the Rich" in a long time. (You may recall the classic line, "Sittin' here in a high tuxedo; You wanna see my bacon torpedo.")

My favorite songs on "Inferno" are the fiery opener "Terminal Show," the driving "In the Year of the Wolf," the sly boogie of "Smiling Like a Killer" and the honky-tonk closer, "Whorehouse Blues." But, as usual, there isn't a bad song on the CD.

When asked "Which lineup do you consider the 'classic' line-up," Lemmy has been known to answer, "This one" or "All of them." I couldn't agree more. "Inferno" is yet another solid notch in the belt of a band that has become an icon of hard music and that, even after almost thirty years, is showing no signs of slowing down.

Motorhead: Lemmy - bass, vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar; Mikkey Dee - drums; Philip Campbell - electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals. Guitarist Steve Vai plays lead guitar on "Terminal Show" and contributes the closing solo on "Down on Me" and Curtis Matthewson contributes strings on "Keys to the Kingdom." (That's right, I said strings.)" 

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Inferno" (Sanctuary / Metal-Is; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

The legendary metal gods Motorhead have done it again with their latest release, Inferno." This release truly lives up to its name. "Inferno" has all the traditional Motorhead style: well written metal ditties consisting of louder-than-anything-else, in-your-face, on-your-back metal music that drives directly into your cranium. 

As always, Lemmy's gritty vocals lead the charge with two of the best metal musicians in the business beside him: drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Phil Campbell. Man, it's good to hear new Motorhead and, it's true, this stuff sounds better the louder you play it. Crank your volume to full and fuck the neighbors. Motorhead is alive and well in 2004 and, with a new release, that means a new tour. We here at RoughEdge.com can't fucking wait. 

Motorhead: Lemmy - bass, vocals; Mikkey Dee - drums; Philip Campbell - guitars, backing vocals.

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Stone Deaf Forever" (Sanctuary / Metal-Is; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I'm sitting at my desk, writing this review, and I've got nearly 400 minutes of Motorhead music plugged into my 5-disc CD player, including 19 tracks I may have never heard before.

It doesn't get much better than that.

"Stone Deaf Forever" is a five CD, 99-track collection of the best of Motorhead and it's quickly become one of my favorite box sets ever (regular readers will roll their eyes here, mumbling "What a surprise" under their breath). 

What makes "Stone Deaf Forever" so special is that the massive collection of songs herein are such excellent representations of a legendary band at different points in their career. Disc 1 (1975 - 1980) begins with Hawkwind's version of "Motorhead" (complete with strings and other Jethro Tull-like instruments) obviously recorded before Lemmy left that band to form this one. Following are 21 earlier Motorhead tracks, including "Lost Johnny," "Leaving Here" and Motorhead's version of "Motorhead." Disc 1 also includes the previous unreleased "Peel Session" versions of "Louie, Louie," "Keep Us on the Road," "Tear Ya Down" and "I'll Be Your Sister."

Disc 2 (1980 - 1986) begins with the classic "Ace of Spades" and continues with twenty other tracks from that era, including "Iron Fist," "Shine," "One Track Mind" and others. Disc 2 also includes unreleased tracks from the BBC Sessions '80 ("Live to Win" and "Like a Nightmare") and five songs from the BBC Sessions '86 ("Killed by Death," "Deaf Forever," "Orgasmatron (Spoken Word)," "Orgasmatron" and "Dr. Rock." Particularly interesting here is the "slow version" of "Under the Knife."

Disc 3 (1987 - 1996) starts out, appropriately enough, with "Rock'n'Roll" and is followed by 18 tracks, including "Eat the Rich," "Burner," "Sacrifice," "Sex and Death" and "I Don't Believe A Word." "Black Leather Jacket" from Club X TV 1989 is the only unreleased track here.

Disc 4 (1996 - 2002) begins with "Overnight Sensation" and includes more recent hits like "Snakebite Love," "Stay Out of Jail," "One More Fucking Time," "Brave New World" and "Voices From the War." The unreleased track here is the Internet Download of "Orgasmatron 2000."

Disc 5 (Live - 1978 - 1999) is a great collection of Motorhead at their best - live! Included here are such Motorhead classics as "Iron Horse," "We are the Road Crew," "No Class," "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." and "Born the Raise Hell." There are six bonus tracks on this CD, including bootleg versions of "Nadine" and "Silver Machine," BBC In Concert recordings of "Too Late, Too Late," "(I Won't) Pay Your Price," and "Steal Your Face," and a Greek only version of "Metropolis," re-titled "Acropolis."

Overall, the selection of tunes is excellent, although it could be argued that a few are missing and a few shouldn't be here (where the hell is "Civil War," one of my favorite Motorhead tunes, for example?) but that would be splitting hairs and, anyway, like any box set, everyone's preferred tracklisting would be different.

Another thing that's nice about "Stone Deaf Forever" is that it proves Lemmy is right. When asked about which line-up he considers the "classic line-up," Lemmy often answers, "They're all classic line-ups." Listening to the five discs contained in "Stone Deaf Forever," that's never been more apparent.

By the way, all of the songs are re-mastered and sound great (except for the "Bootleg" versions which are rough and raw like they should be). 

Also included are a full color poster by Justin Hampton, and a sixty page book featuring rare photos, a new essay by Classic Rock's Mick Wall, an intro by Lemmy and tons of information about Motorhead releases. Great stuff.

Is it worth the price of admission (in excess of $50)? Damn straight. Especially if you're a Motorhead fanatic (like me) or a first time fan (who's only interested in finding out what all the fuss is about). It's all here - except for what's to come, of course. If nothing else, it'll give you plenty of Motorhead to fill yours until that day comes.

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com.

"25 & Alive: Boneshaker" DVD (SPV/Steamhammer; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Finally, after too long a wait, the nearly legendary "25 & Alive: Boneshaker" DVD makes its way to U.S. shores. A big hit overseas, this DVD has been selling like hotcakes on eBay since it was previously available only in Europe.

So was it worth the wait? The answer is a resounding yes! So much Motorhead entertainment and information is packed onto this DVD that its approximately $20.00 price tag will sound like a bargain to even the passing Motorhead fan.

The main thrust of "Boneshaker" is the live 25th Anniversary concert the band played at the Brixton Academy in London on October 22nd, 2000. Not surprisingly, it's another incredible live Motorhead performance with a set list that will blow your mind. There were 23 songs performed live during the show and they're here in all their explosive glory. Included are newer songs like "We Are Motorhead," "Civil War," "Overnight Sensation," and "Stay Out of Jail" as well as the classics - "Metropolis," "Dead Men Tell No Tales," "Going to Brazil," "Damage Case," "Iron Fist," "Killed by Death" and, of course, "Bomber," "Ace of Spades," and "Overkill." Icing on the cake includes guest performances by Brian May of Queen, former Motorheader Fast Eddie Clark, Ugly Kid Joe's Whitfield Crane and Doro Pesch.

Of course, like any DVD, there's much more here than meets the eye/ear. In addition to the above concert, the DVD also features backstage interviews with Motorhead and their guests, four live songs from the Wacken Open Air festival, two videos (for "God Saves the Queen" and "Sacrifice") a gallery of Motorhead players from over the years, an acoustic performance of "Ain't No Nice Guy After All" by Lemmy and Phil Campbell, a gallery of obscure releases (speaking of eBay, eh?), multi-angle footage during the performance of "I'm So Bad," and webpages of articles about the band. In fact, if there's anything wrong with "Boneshaker," it's that there's no articles from RoughEdge.com on the disc. What's up with that?

When all is said and done, there's no question that "25 & Alive: Boneshaker" is an incredible CD package, especially for Motorhead fans. For those of you wondering what all the fuss is about - this ain't a bad place to start.

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com or http://www.spv.de

"Hammered" (Sanctuary/Metal-Is; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The arrival of a new Motorhead CD is like an old friend returning to town after being gone for a year. You know that once it's there you're going to party hard with it and, when all is said and done, you're going to be exhausted but wholly satisfied. And maybe a little hungover.

"Hammered" is another CD chock full of soon-to-be Motorhead classics. The band, now celebrating its 27th year(!), shows no sign of slowing down. "Hammered" is wall-to-wall Motorhead, from Lemmy's growling vocals and explosive bass, to Philip Campbell's outrageous bursts of guitar energy, to the near-atomic power of Mikkey Dee's pounding drums.

If you're ever heard a Motorhead CD, you know what you're getting into with "Hammered." True, this CD does slow the pace a little bit (with the exception of "Red Raw," a blistering tune that proves Motorhead can still be fast when they want to) but it's still, pure, unadulterated rock'n'roll. And, remember, slow is a relative term here.

The CD begins with "Walk a Crooked Mile," in which Lemmy gets to show a somewhat different vocal styling during the choruses and in which Phil unleashes another stunning lead guitar volley. This song could be used to batter down doors. "Down the Line" is next and features one of those irresistible guitar riffs that force heads to bang. "Brave New World," up next, features a faster pace and some of Lemmy's most biting lyrics. The song is about the hypocrisy of organized religion and features lyrics such as "And religion, like the monster that it is; Keeps telling you to turn the other cheek. God is on your side but I don't think you're on his; If Jesus showed up now he'd be in jail by next week."

In fact, the lyrical content is one thing that seems a little stronger here than in recent Motorhead efforts. Lyrically, "Hammered" seems a bit more serious than, say, "Snake Bite Love." Even the lightly titled "Doctor Love" (not a cover of the KISS song) has a powerful underlying emotion to it.

The other songs on the CD are just as powerful and just as strong. A couple of surprises: first, there is no "ballad"-type song on "Hammered," (unlike "One More Fucking Time," from the previous studio effort, "We Are Motorhead.") That's too bad, because those songs are usually uniquely Motorhead. However, a scary spoken word piece, "Serial Killer," a live version of the band's "Overnight Sensation" and "The Game," the band's hit from the WWF, more than make up for it.

When interviewed, the members of Motorhead continue to say they will keep playing and recording until it isn't fun anymore, until it doesn't feel right. Judging from "Hammered," they're still having a good time and still doing great work. In fact, I can't help but think that when the music gods got together and decided to invent rock'n'roll, Motorhead was the band they envisioned.

Motorhead: Lemmy - bass, vocals; Mikkey Dee - drums; Philip Campbell - guitars, backing vocals.

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Extended Versions / The Encore Collection" (BMG; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I am reviewing this CD for one reason and one reason only - to let fans know (again) that BMG's "Extended Versions" collection is misleading at best, a fan rip-off at the worst. (See my review of Deep Purple's "Extended Versions" for more information.)

First, the term "extended versions" is used loosely again here. These aren't so much "extended versions" as live versions. At least this CD explains that in small print on the back cover: "Recorded Live." Fine.

What's not so fine is that you don't need this CD if you already have Motorhead's awesome "Everything Louder Than Everyone Else." As far as I can tell, all of the tracks on "Extended Versions" were taken from that 1999 CD. You wouldn't know that from the packaging. Nowhere on the CD or the inserts does it say "Previously released material." Hey, BMG: That would have been nice! Maybe they figured that "The Encore Collection" subtitle would say it all.

Sure, these CDs are cheap. They sell for about $7.50 most places. So what? Why would I want to pay an additional $7.50 if I've already got all this music on a CD I bought three years ago? As a mater of fact, "Everything Louder Than Everyone Else" is a 2-CD set and I'll bet you can find one of those on eBay for about $7.50. 

So - the two chainsaw rating for this CD isn't because it's "so-so" (as listed in our ratings guide below). If the previous "Everything Louder..." had never existed, this would be a great CD to buy. Instead, it's a collection of tracks from another CD and a flagrant attempt to sell the same music twice. 

"The Best Of" (Sanctuary Records; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There is no question that a double-CD containing over 147 minutes of some of the best tracks ever recorded by one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) hard rock/heavy metal bands of all time is a great CD. With 40 great Motorhead tunes, "The Best Of" is nothing short of epic.

The question remains,  however, on whether or not you need this CD in your collection and - despite the true greatness of this collection - that's a valid question. 

The reason is this: If you're a Motorhead fan, you've probably already heard these tracks ad nauseam (well, maybe not ad nauseam, it's impossible to hear too much Motorhead. However, with all the "Best Ofs" and "Live" CDs that are out there (both official and otherwise), these songs - as great as they are - have made the rounds.

Sure, there are a few nice bonuses included here: The long version of "Overkill," "Bomber" as recorded by Girlschool and previously unreleased live versions of "Fire Fire," "Bit the Bullet/The Chase is Better Than the Catch," "Shoot You in the Back" and "The Hammer." Or, if you're like me, you'll take all the Motorhead you can get.

On the other hand, if you're unfamiliar with Motorhead, then this "Best Of" is your perfect starting place. It's got music from the band's earliest days (including, even, a performance of "Motorhead" by Hawkwind") and it's got music from the band's latest albums (the selection of which wouldn't have been my choice but, then, it wasn't up to me). If you're looking for a good introduction to Motorhead, this is a great one.

For more information, please visit http://www.imotorhead.com

"We Are Motorhead" (CMC International Records; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This is why Motorhead is the greatest living rock'n'roll band:

1. In the liner notes, Lemmy writes, "As you get older, you get slower - I do apologize!" Yet the new studio CD's first track, "See Me Burning" is one of the fastest songs Motorhead has ever recorded. It is a blistering rage of a tune that should become a new live Motorhead staple.

2. Track #4 is a cover of the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" and this nasty version by Motorhead is rough, raw and just as attitude-ridden as the original. Come to think of it - Motorhead may be the only band ever who can properly cover a Sex Pistols tune.

3. Most bands ballsy enough to write anthems about themselves wind up failing miserably (witness KISS's "Psycho Circus"). Motorhead not only writes "We Are Motorhead" - a song about their rock'n'roll abilities - they use it as the name of their latest CD. Lyrics ("We are the ones you love or we're the ones you hate; We are the ones always too early or too late; We are the first and we just still might be the last; We are Motorhead - born to kick your ass.") aren't just words to a song, they're a promise to the listener. Motorhead makes that promise and then makes good on it.

4. A lot of bands sell out when they include a ballad on their latest CD. Not Motorhead. Oh, the "ballad" is there, but it wasn't written and recorded for radio airplay. What radio station is going to play a ballad called "One More Fucking Time"? In addition, this ballad wasn't written to generate Top 40 numbers, it's written and recorded from the heart. Lemmy hasn't sounded this sincere since "1916." "One More Fucking Time" is a powerful, sensitive tune.

5. Lemmy's bass runs and gruff vocals meld with Phillip Campbell's blistering lead guitar and Mikkey Dee's unmatched drum kit pounding to create the exact formula for hard rock/heavy metal. It's nuclear fusion caught in the plastic of a CD. It's the sound that Motorhead has made famous for the past 25 years. It's what the band sounded like then and it's what the band sounds like now.

6. To paraphrase Lemmy in concert, "It is Motorhead ... And it is rock'n'roll."

Oh, yeah - and it's got a bitchin' cover!

Motorhead is Lemmy, Mikkey Dee, Phillip "Zoom" Campbell.

For more information, please visit http://www.imotorhead.com

"No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith" (Expanded) (Metal-Is; 1999)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This double-CD live recording contains the entire original version of the classic live album plus 17 (count 'em - 17!) previously unreleased tracks, including additional tracks recorded at the same time and "outtakes" that were rejected in favor of the tracks that appear on the original recording. Bottom line: You get about 130 minutes of music here, comprising two complete Motorhead shows, circa 1981. Everything is completely digitally mastered and with a new 16-page booklet with extensive liner notes and new photos. 

Motorhead fans will tell you that there's nothing like a live Motorhead show and "No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith" proves that. The band is in top form as they rage through hits like "Ace of Spades," "No Class," "Overkill," "Bomber" and more. The original "Hammersmith" album is a true classic in the heavy metal genre; this new version is an enhanced, improved and complete edition.

The bad news is that it may not be easy to find. Amazon.com carries the Japanese import version, but it's about $40.00. You might find it cheaper on eBay. But whatever you do, find this CD. It's something that every hard rock / heavy metal fan should have in their collection.

For more information, visit the official Motorhead website at www.imotorhead.com

"Everything Louder Than Everyone Else" (CMC International Records; 1999)motorlouder.jpg (46511 bytes)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

At normal volume:

At full (or louder) volume:

MOTORHEAD has been kicking the world's rock'n'roll ass for over 20 years now. With the inimitable Lemmy Kilmister at the helm, Motorhead has delivered some of rock's purest rock tunes - witness "Ace of Spades," "Overkill," "Civil War." The list goes on and on.

But as anyone who has seen them live will tell you, there ain't nothin' like a Motorhead concert. There, the music transforms. It becomes more than music; it becomes a form of collective energy that grabs the audience by the balls and holds you there, glaring into your eyes, screaming into your ears and daring you to look away. You can't. Don't even try. When it's all over, you feel as though you've just lived through an atomic blast. All you want to do is go home and wash the dirty perspiration off your exhausted body.

This is Motorhead's first new live album in 10 years and it's freaking great. It runs the gamut of classic Motorhead songs (click here to read Lemmy's description of them all) from the early, early days ("No Class") through the band's previous studio album (reviewed below) "Snake Bite Love." There are 25 tunes on this double CD, recorded live in Hamburg, Germany just last year. That's over 100 minutes of music. I think it's the whole show - from the opening strains of "Iron Fist" to the closing trademark squeal of Lemmy's bass as he leaves it lying, screaming, on the stage at the end of a performance.

But this double disc collection does have a catch: You've truly got to listen to it LOUD. Played at normal volume (say 6 - 8 on a scale of one to ten), the CD sounds as though something is missing. The songs just don't seem to click. After awhile, you realize what it is that's missing: Volume. VOLUME. Crank it to 10, close your eyes and imagine Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey in your living room. It's pure Motorhead that's captured in the bytes of this CD - from the squealing amps, the razor-fast rhythms and the growling, demonic vocals of Mr. Kilmister. "Everything Louder" is a high-speed snapshot that brings the listener to the band. It's the next best thing to being there.

MOTORHEAD is Lemmy on vocals and bass; Phil Campbell on guitar and Mikkey Dee on drums.

"Snake Bite Love" (CMC International Records; 1998)snakebite.jpg (16688 bytes)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Remember the movie "Airheads"? Q: If God and Lemmy had a fight, who would win? A: It's a trick question. Lemmy IS God!! Lemmy and his band Motorhead has been rocking the metal music scene for over 25 years with (thankfully!) no end in sight. With "Snake Bite Love", their latest release, Lemmy proves once again that he and his band are the undeniable kings of metal today. Lemmy makes the music he wants to make and doesn't care if you disagree.

"Snake Bite Love" may not be the very best Motorhead CD ever released but it's still a great one. Lemmy, Phil and Mickey rage through a collection of great metal tunes including the humorous title track, the thought-provoking "Dogs of War," the furious "Assassin" and the utterly bizarre "Joy of Labour." "Night Side" is a glorious ode to vampirism. Like the band's previous record, the killer "Overnight Sensation," "Snake Bite Love" is a pure Motorhead record - running at dangerous speed with no brakes.

Lemmy rocks harder than most people half his age. And the proof of this is seeing the band live. The only downside to a Motorhead show is that when it ends, you want more here and now. With Phil Campbell on guitar, Mikkey Dee on drums and Lemmy on bass (and what a bass it is: a custom-made Rickenbacker ) Motorhead is one of the most powerful lineups in hard music today.

For those few who have yet to discover the brilliance of Lemmy Kilmister and Motorhead, I suggest you go out right now and pick up any of the many, many Motorhead CD's. They all kick serious ass. Lemmy's legacy continues with "Snake Bite Love."

"If I moved next door to you, your grass would die." -Lemmy Kilmister

"Overnight Sensation" (CMC International; 1996)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I remember walking into the local record store (Salzer's in Ventura) and going straight to the new releases bin. There it was - "Overnight Sensation" - the first new studio album from Motorhead since I had discovered that they were the greatest living rock'n'roll band. Yeah, I'd heard and seen Motorhead prior to that, but it was only recently that I realized how great they really were. 

"Oh, Motorhead, eh?" said the clerk. 

"You bet," I told her. "Been waiting for this one."

"It's pretty good," she said.

"Just pretty good?"

"Well, it's not as good as their classic stuff, like 'Ace of Spades,' you know."

I was disappointed. I figured that the clerk knew what she was talking about and that - as usual - I'd gotten into Motorhead too late. Missed their heyday. 

But then I got back into my car, popped the CD into the player, and realized that I hadn't missed out on classic Motorhead after all. Because "Overnight Sensation" is a classic Motorhead album, despite the fact that it wasn't released  until 1996.

The first track, "Civil War," told me all I needed to know. That track still pounds at the listener like a sledgehammer, filling you with rock'n'roll noise while making a valid, though not preachy, point. "Crazy Like A Fox" followed with its terrific chorus and then there was "Don't Believe a Word," a slower Motorhead song with as much power as any other band's heaviest stuff.

"Eat the Gun" is a little weird. It's only got ten sentences to the whole thing and they repeat continuously throughout the recording. Hey, what the hell, it makes its point. Next is the title track with its sweeping chorus and undeniable irony ("Overnight Sensation?" When this CD came out, Motorhead had already been around for 20 years). The balance of the album retains the earlier tracks' power  - even "Listen to Your Heart" with its acoustic guitar (acoustic!) and all - and when all is said and done "Overnight Sensation" measures up as one of Motorhead's best albums.

Lemmy has often been quoted as saying, when asked what is the classic Motorhead line-up, that they're all classic. "Overnight Sensation" proves that that's true. 

Motorhead: Lemmy - vocals, bass, acoustic guitars, harmonica; Phil Campbell - Guitars; Mikkey Dee - drums.

For more information, check out www.imotorhead.com

"1916" (Sony Entertainment; 1991)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Motorhead's "1916" was released in 1991 and is a little different than other Motorhead releases. For one thing, Motorhead has four members on this recording rather than the usual three. For another, this CD is loaded with emotion of all kinds, not just the hellbent-for-leather attitude of previous Motorhead releases. It was an angle the band would continue to use on each album even through today.

Everything about this CD screams vintage Motorhead and that means vintage Lemmy: raging music, killer lyrics and attitude in spades. The extra guitar adds a Judas Priest type resonance to the classic Motorhead sound which worked perfectly with Lemmy, metal's venerable front man, at the mic. 

"1916" is loaded with power-packed tunes that would make any Motorheader stand up and shout. A few of the surprises herein include some unprecedented, backwards effects and a song dedicated to the legendary punk band, The Ramones. (It has been said that there are only two bands: Motorhead and the Ramones, and that ain't far from the truth).

The CD's last track is the title song, "1916." Not only does this track show Lemmy's love of history, it also introduced us to a whole 'nother side of Lemmy: A (gasp!) sensitive side. "1916" is the story of a 16 year-old lad who lies about this age in order to enter WWI and the whole ugly mess that is war and its effect on everybody, from the viewpoint of this young solider. I believe this song was nominated for a Grammy and, although it didn't win, it sure had my vote.

Lemmy Kilmister is simply the best musical storyteller in rock'n'roll today and "1916" is still more proof that Motorhead is one of the greatest bands ever.

Motorhead is: Lemmy, Wizzo, Wurzel, Philthy. 

For more information, please visit http://www.imotorhead.com.

"Ace of Spades" (Sanctuary/Castle; 1980)

Reviewed by Snidermann

The only true constant in rock'n'roll is this: Motorhead fucking rules. 

1980s "Ace Of Spades" is just another shining example of just that statement. Any CD that begins with the classic "Ace of Spades" - which is featured on virtually every skateboarding movie and video game released in the past ten years - is destined for legend status.

There are no hidden meanings or alternative motives on this CD. What you hear (and what you expect to hear) is what you get. Lemmy Kilmister's ultra gritty vocals are highpoint here but the band has so much to offer. 

If you like your music hard, fast, loud and in your face, Motorhead's Ace Of Spades is right up your ally. Don't just take my word for it: go to your favorite record store and pick up Ace of Spades. Even if you're not sure you'll like it, you should have it in your collection and, anyway, I'm certain you'll love it.

Just like Lemmy says in the opening song:

"You know I'm going to loose, 'cause gambling's for fools
But that's the way I like it babe, I don't want to live forever
And don't forgot the joker..."

An easy four chainsaws.

For more info, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

"Bomber" (Metal-Is; 1979)

Reviewed by Snidermann

One of the great things about Motorhead is that it doesn't matter which era of the band you choose, every line-up and every release simply kicks ass. 

1979's "Bomber" is no exception. This CD moves just the way a Motorhead release should: fast, furious and loud. There are no disappointments here. "Bomber" is speedy, solid rock'n'roll from the first track to the last, and that includes the four bonus tracks on this newly remastered edition. 

Lemmy isn't a legend for nothing and his songwriting, musical interpretation and pure metal style are all over "Bomber." Just check out the number of tunes on this CD that the band still plays live and you'll see what I mean. 

1. Dead Men Tell No Tales
2. Lawman
3. Sweet Revenge
4. Sharpshooter
5. Poison
6. Stone Dead Forever
7. All The Aces
8. Step Down
9. Talking Head
10. Bomber

Bonus Tracks
Leaving Here (live)
Stone Dead Forever (live)
Dead Men Tell No Tales (live)
Too Late Too Late (live)

This CD is a fine example of what Motorhead is all about. There may be better Motorhead CD's, but "Bomber" is still very fucking cool. 

Motorhead: Lemmy - bass, vocals; Fast Eddie Clarke - guitar and Philty Animal Taylor - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.imotorhead.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 15 Mar 2017 23:33:43 -0500.