Based on the same principle as the companion Thin Lizzy collection, this compilation brings together five Motörhead studio classics from their time on the Bronze label, starting with 1979’s “Overkill” and wrapping up with 1983’s “Another Perfect Day,” stopping off for “Bomber,” “Ace Of Spades” and “Iron Fist” along the way. The seminal live album “No Sleep Til Hammersmith” completes the recession-busting six disc set.
Although Lemmy and the boys have made lots of great music in the last twenty years, it’s perhaps true to say all their truly essential material can be found on these six albums. We all know and love the album title tracks, but the “Overkill” album alone also throws up the likes of “Stay Clean,” “Metropolis” and the ZZ-worshipping “No Class” as evidence of just how on form Motörhead was in the late seventies and early eighties.
All the highlights from Motörhead’s first four studio albums are perfectly showcased on the aforementioned live offering “No Sleep…” from 1981, and it still stands proud today as one of only a handful of authentically classic live albums. It encapsulates not only a band at its creative peak, but captures the spirit of an era and straddles genre with ease. One cowboy-booted foot is rooted in the raw energy of punk, the other kicks out a jam that invokes the forthcoming metal storm – but both stomp a timeless rock n’roll beat.
The most interesting album, though, is the latest one covered by this collection, “Another Perfect Day.” The band’s first without Fast Eddie on guitar, the album was widely subjected to accusations of sell-out on its release, thanks in part to the slightly more melodic playing style of Eddie’s replacement, former Thin Lizzy man, Brian Robertson, and – bizarrely – because Robbo was sporting a very non-metal short hairdo at the time. Crazy, but true.
Nearly thirty years after its release, the album has well and truly stood the test of time, and hindsight allows us to appreciate how Robbo’s playing opened a lot of doors for Motörhead. He may have only played on a solitary album, but he made it a damn good one.
Motörhead, remember me now, Motörhead, all right.