Motörhead album cover


Chiswick Records

Motörhead’s debut album kicks off with its title track, perfecting the ultimate metal trifecta (artist/album/song, like Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath,” from the album Black Sabbath). Funnily enough, it’s technically a cover, since bassist/vocalist Lemmy wrote it for his previous band, Hawkwind, on his way out the door. Anyway, it’s a hard-charging anthem for speed freaks and teeth-grinding maniacs everywhere, driven by Philthy Animal Taylor’s rockslide drumming and featuring a battle for supremacy between Fast Eddie Clarke’s punk rock ’n’ roll guitar and Lemmy’s ultra-blown-out bass. The album includes two more reworked Hawkwind songs, “Lost Johnny” and “The Watcher,” plus a version of the R&B classic “Train Kept A-Rollin’.” Still, the album overcomes its somewhat patchwork feel thanks to the strength of originals like “White Line Fever” and the biker anthem “Iron Horse/Born To Lose,” and the sound is pure proof of concept. Motörhead sounded like Motörhead from the first notes of this album, and Lemmy spent the next 40 years on the road.

Phil Freeman

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