Killed by Death (song)

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"Killed by Death"
Single by Motörhead
from the album No Remorse
B-side Under the Knife
Released 1 September 1984
Format 7"
12"
Recorded 1984
Genre Heavy metal
Length 4:40
Label Bronze
Writer(s) Phil Campbell
Würzel
Lemmy
Pete Gill
Producer(s) Vic Maile
Guy Bidmead
Motörhead singles chronology
"Shine"
(1983)
"Killed by Death"
(1984)
"Deaf Forever"
(1986)

"Killed by Death" is a song by the English heavy metal band Motörhead. Released in 1984, in 7" and 12" vinyl pressings. It peaked at number 51 in the UK Singles Chart.

Promotion[edit]

To assist its promotion in the United States, Bronze/Island pressed a 12" promo version for radio play (identical versions of "Killed by Death" on both sides). It is one of the most difficult to find of all Motörhead items.[1] There is also a video made for the track, directed by the manager of The Plasmatics, Rod Swenson, which was banned by MTV for "excessive and senseless violence".[2]

Despite relatively high-profile exposure on TV programmes such as Channel 4's The Tube, the single failed to make any significant impression on the UK Singles Chart. This proved particularly disappointing to Lemmy, who at live shows regularly makes joking references about its lack of sales.[3]

Releases[edit]

The original song is not included on any official release albums except the compilation album No Remorse, along with three other new songs, "Snaggletooth", "Steal Your Face" and "Locomotive". It is included on several other retrospective budget-release compilations, and on live albums such as 'No Sleep At All'.

Both the 7" and 12" formats feature the b-side "Under The Knife". The 12" issue has a second b-side, a different track also entitled "Under the Knife", and came with a free colour poster. The title song is taken from the No Remorse compilation album. Bronze Records also issued a shaped picture disc (approx 12") version of the 7" vinyl release, depicting the band's logo. Some lapses in quality control accidentally allowed a number of pressings that play King Kurt on the B-side.[4]

Live performances[edit]

The song itself has been a mainstay of live performances since release. As with many Motorhead songs, the lyrics show Lemmy's skill at composing lyrics which are at the same time menacing and tongue-in-cheek. Another common theme is Lemmy's use of animal images. Phrases such as "If you squeeze my lizard, I'll put my snake on you, I'm a romantic adventure, And I'm a reptile too" recall the song 'Love me Like a Reptile' from the earlier Ace of Spades album. The second verse also contains the line, "I'm a lone-wolf ligger".

Legacy[edit]

A re-recorded version of this song, entitled "Killed by Death '08", is in the Rock Band Metal Track Pack.

The song was used in sequences set in Hell in Heist (2008 comedy), a British TV comedy-drama.

The song is featured in the 2006 video game Scarface: The World Is Yours.

Single track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Lemmy, Würzel, Phil Campbell and Pete Gill.

7"
No. Title Length
1. "Killed by Death"    
2. "Under the Knife"    
12"
No. Title Length
1. "Killed by Death (Full-Length Version)"   4:39
2. "Under the Knife"   3:43
3. "Under the Knife"   4:31

Personnel[edit]

Motörhead
Production
  • Fin Costello - Photography
  • Steve Joule - Designer

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burridge, Alan; Mick Stevenson (July 1993). "Motörhead". Record Collector (167): 73 and 75. 
  2. ^ Pemberton, Pat. "10 Banned Music Videos". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  3. ^ No Sleep At All Lemmy introduces the song with: "The next song was a big hit for us, I've got 10,000 copies of it in my house".
  4. ^ Burridge, Alan Illustrated Collector's Guide to Motörhead Published: 1995, Collector's Guide Publishing ISBN 0-9695736-2-6.

External links[edit]