LAST THREE MOTÖRHEAD STUDIO ALBUMS LOUD ENOUGH TO WAKE THE DEAD
Motörhead: 'Wake The Dead' (3CD box)
Released: 16th December 2016 (UDR/Motörhead Music)
When Lemmy and Motörhead unleased 'Bad Magic' on the world in August 2015, little were we to realise of the bad magic to come, for Lemmy's passing last December was the first in what has turned out to be a terrible year for music obituaries.
This box set collates the three studio albums the British rock'n'roll/hard rock legends recorded for UDR, and all three show just what cracking music the trio were still producing.
When Lemmy died, Motörhead had been on tour with Saxon in Europe and America, a tour from which both bands recorded live albums. Lemmy's faltering health has been well documented, but as Saxon's Biff Byford told MetalTalk:
"For us, it was [a] massive [loss]. We were big friends, toured with them over the years, so at the time [we were] closer to him than most.
"He was ill, and he was better some nights than others, so it wasn't a massive shock that he died, but it was still a big loss. But yes he was ill and the reaper comes for us all. Such a big character, there'll be a lot less for people to write about. A lot was exaggerated but there was always something to write about. He lived the life, even when he was at home in his flat he was killing zombies."
Recorded on that tour, Motörhead’s 'Clean Your Clock' showcased the trooper Lemmy will always be remembered for, playing rock'n'roll no matter what. Check out the full review here.
I'll start the 'Wake The Dead' review in reverse order, with 2010s 'The World Is Yours', a strong 9/10 album and the band's first for UDR; while the band at the time were criticised for following the groove, it cements THE Motörhead groove. Opener 'Born To Lose' is hard and fast, Mickey Dee's drumming pounding and there's a damn fine guitar solo in there too.
And the template was set. There are nods to 'March Or Die' and, in 'Brotherhood Of Man', to 'Orgasmatron', and a nod to the rock'n'roll of the late 70s, especially 'Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye'.
No spare tyres on this album.
2013s 'Aftershock' followed suit, (reviewed here) and it's another slab or pure Motörhead turned up to eleven. This is a more consistent album, beginning to end, and the closer, 'Paralysed', is a standout.
The blues in the rock'n'roll comes through on tracks like 'Lost Woman Blues' while the intensity is blistering throughout.
Then there's 2015s 'Bad Magic', again reviewed here. Suffice to say, they went out with a bang, and don't let the thought of a cover of 'Sympathy For The Devil' fool you. It rocks.
'Wake The Dead' is presented in a special clam-shell box, with the cover highlighting Lemmy's famous doodles from those album eras.
Lemmy would often sketch for fun, and he would also thumbnail sketch ideas for t-shirts and artwork whenever necessary. The main cover image highlights one of those rough-draft thumbnail sketches described.
The box will also include a classic photograph of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee shot by renowned photographer Pep Bonet.
You can order 'Wake The Dead' from Amazon right here.
'Wake The Dead' is a fine tribute and a chance to get the three albums well packaged together. We look forward to a similar box of the UDR era live albums.
Motörhead came into the world kicking and screaming and that's how they left. With the Motörhead Music label up and running, the Motörhead brand sex toys (here), Motörhead Road Crew beer (here), the aforementioned live album, Phil and Mikkey playing with Saxon at the Golden Gods (here) and former guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke getting up on stage with Saxon to jam 'Ace Of Spades' as a tribute (here), it's been a busy Motörhead year and may there be many, many more.
Lemmy Kilmister – lead vocals, bass
Phil Campbell – lead guitar
Mikkey Dee – drums
Charlie Paulson – scratch guitar ('The World Is Yours')
Brian May – guitar solo on 'The Devil'
Disc: 1 Bad Magic
1. Victory Or Die
2. Thunder & Lightning
3. Fire Storm Hotel
4. Shoot Out All Of Your Lights
5. The Devil
7. Evil Eye
8. Teach Them How To Bleed
9. Till The End
10. Tell Me Who To Kill
11. Choking On Your Screams
12. When The Sky Comes Looking For You
13. Sympathy For The Devil
Disc: 2 Aftershock
2. Coup de Grace
3. Lost Woman Blues
4. End Of Time
5. Do You Believe
6. Death Machine
7. Dust And Glass
8. Going To Mexico
9. Silence When You Speak To Me
10. Crying Shame
11. Queen Of The Damned
13. Keep Your Powder Dry
Disc: 3 The World Is Yours
1. Born To Lose
2. I Know How to Die
3. Get Back In Line
4. Devils In My Head
5. Rock 'N' Roll Music
6. Waiting For The Snake
7. Brotherhood Of Man
9. I Know What You Need
10. Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye