Motörhead - Motorhead
24 September 1977

01. Motorhead [Hawkwind cover]
02. Vibrator
03. Lost Johnny [Hawkwind cover]
04. Iron Horse / Born To Lose
05. White Line Fever
06. Keep Us On The Road
07. The Watcher [Hawkwind cover]
08. The Train Kept A Rollin' [Tiny Bradshaw cover]
09. City Kids [Pink Fairies cover] [bonus]
10. Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers [ZZ Top cover] [bonus]
11. On Parole [bonus]
12. Intro [bonus]
13. I'm Your Witch Doctor [John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers cover] [bonus]

The motto was perfectly clear: ''to start the loudest and meanest rock 'n' roll band!'' stated Ian ''Lemmy'' Kilmister in 1975 shortly after being sacked from Hawkwind.

Motörhead is one of those bands that, for some odd reason, it sticks to us, clinging in a way that makes you feel stronger, that makes you fell loyal to heavy metal as a whole. They have an up-lifting mood. Motörhead has that might since the very start. Funny thing is, this was a combo dubbed as ''the worst band in the world'' by British press, even before releasing anything, after a bad opening for Blue Öyster Cult. Later on, the band recorded the single ''White Line Fever'' through Stiff Records; although the arrangement was to record the whole full length debut, the company released only the single on their own in a restricted 10 record boxset and on a various artists compilation. Eventually, their first official single turned out to be ''Motorhead'', released in June 1977 through Chiswick Records, spawning the band, charting them for the very first time, and clearing the path for full length debuting two months later.

The debut release though, was praised as one vicious, fast beating hard-rock aggressive input by the press back then. Motörhead was released in August 1977 instantly charting at #43, and the recipe lays here from the very first track: cunning, snowblinded sharped cutting sex lyrics wrapped up in punk influenced hard-rock (Lemmy's fondness for The Ramones and other punk-rock bands is commonly known) mainly based on the guitar work. ''Fast'' Eddie Clarke does one hell of a good job, soloing in every song and keeping the riffs amusing. Lemmy's bass playing isn't flawless, it would be better in Motörhead's holy trinity (Overkill, Bomber and Ace Of Spades) but his rhythm guitar bass playing style keeps shining through, specially in songs like ''Iron Horse/Born To Lose'' or ''Keep Us On The Road'', and Phil ''Philthy Animal'' keeps the album mid/fast paced proficiently. Certainly not musically evolved like their later offerings, nothing sounded like Motörhead back then, though it doesn't owe anything in attitude and good heavy metal. All gathered out in an album recorded in a barn featuring precarious recording conditions, hence the average sound production, with a sleeve originally designed by Joe Petagno featuring the Snaggletooth B Motörhead, later evolved and known as the war-pig logo nowadays.

One gets the overall feeling that the music isn't by any means too different from what they've done later, a bit less technical sure, but it's Motörhead all along, just three guys creating music and having an enormous amount of fun playing... that Motörhead style. Whether for the release setbacks and eventful journeys behind it, or the musical legacy carved in 1977, make sure to listen to it. Every Motörhead newcomer should initiate himself here, this is an essential record in the band's career.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 6

Band profile: Motörhead
Album: Motorhead


written by Tiago Rocha | 15.12.2011

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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Timelord - 26.04.2014 at 06:23  
I would like to say Thank You to the guys who decided to boot Lemmy out of Hawkwind. Without them metal wouldn't have evolved into what it is today. So once again THANKS to Hawkwind!!! If you had only known then that you kicked God out of the band lol.

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