Rock 'n' Roll (Motörhead album)

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Rock 'N' Roll
Studio album by Motörhead
Released 5 September 1987
Recorded 1987
Master Rock Studios
Redwood, London, UK
Genre Rock and roll, heavy metal
Length 33:56 (Original) (1987)
45:31 (Reissue) (1997)
1:25:43 (Deluxe Edition) (2006)
Label GWR (1987)
Essential (1997)
Sanctuary (2006)
Producer Motörhead and Guy Bidmead
Motörhead chronology
Rock 'n' Roll
Nö Sleep at All
Singles from Rock 'n' Roll
  1. "Eat the Rich"
    Released: 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau A− [2]

Rock 'N' Roll is the eighth album by the British band Motörhead and the first album since the return of their now former drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor who will leave again in 1992. Reaching only 34 in the UK charts, it was, in that respect, the worst performing of all of Motörhead's Top 40 chart hits.

Album content[edit]

The song "Eat the Rich" was written for Peter Richardson's 1987 film Eat the Rich which starred the regular cast of The Comic Strip and Lemmy himself in a bit part as "Spider." A mock sermon by Michael Palin appears at the end of the song "Stone Deaf In The USA", which closed side one of the vinyl and cassette release.

Lemmy states that Rock 'n' Roll has some great songs, like "Dogs", "Boogeyman" and "Traitor", which they played 'for years', but overall it just didn't seem to work.[3]

Recording and production[edit]

One of the studios used to make Rock 'n' Roll was Redwood in London, which was co-owned by Michael Palin. The studio engineer helping Motörhead had worked on all the Monty Python records and played the band outtakes the Pythons never put out. Palin was asked to come down and do a recitation for the album and showed up dressed in a 1940s cricketer outfit — V-necked sweater, his hair all brushed to one side. Lemmy remembers Palin walking in and saying, "Hello, what sort of thing are we going to do now, then?" and answering "Well, you know in The Meaning of Life, there was this speech that began 'Oh Lord —'". Palin replied "Ah! Give me some cathedral" and went in and recorded the 'Oh Lord, look down upon these people from Motörhead' speech.

Album cover[edit]

Joe Petagno had other ideas for the cover of this album:

I had this great idea and nobody wanted to listen to me. The original Rock 'n' Roll sleeve was supposed to be going up. I said, "Look, the tongue goes up. This thing is lifting off... it was supposed to be rocketing. So it was like a bomb. A projectile of some sort. When I finished it, they said, "We can't have it going up, it doesn't make any sense". So it's coming down. Couldn't convince them. This fucking band...(laughs)"[4]

Reception in America[edit]

Rock 'n' Roll renewed commercial hope for Motörhead in the States with Lemmy and company moving to Los Angeles. The fans in the States appeared willing to see this band live and buy their albums whereas Britain is criticized as having lost interest in the band.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Würzel, Phil Campbell, Phil Taylor and Lemmy unless otherwise stated.

No. Title Length
1. "Rock 'n' Roll"   3:49
2. "Eat the Rich"   4:34
3. "Blackheart"   4:03
4. "Stone Deaf in the U.S.A."   3:40
5. "The Wolf"   3:28
6. "Traitor"   3:17
7. "Dogs"   3:48
8. "All for You"   4:10
9. "Boogeyman"   3:07

Bonus CD (Sanctuary Records 2006 Reissue)[edit]

In 2006, the album was re-issued with a bonus CD, containing Motörhead's performance at the Monsters of Rock festival, recorded on 16 August 1986. This was a BBC Radio One recording and had been broadcast on the Friday Rock Show: it had not been commercially available until this 2CD 'Expanded' edition.

No. Title Length
1. "Cradle to the Grave"    
2. "Just 'Cos You Got the Power"    
3. "Iron Fist" (Eddie Clarke, Lemmy, Taylor)  
4. "Stay Clean" (Clarke, Lemmy, Taylor)  
5. "Nothing Up My Sleeve" (Clarke, Lemmy, Taylor)  
6. "Metropolis" (Clarke, Lemmy, Taylor)  
7. "Doctor Rock" (Clarke, Lemmy, Taylor)  
8. "Killed by Death" (Campbell, Würzel, Lemmy, Pete Gill)  
9. "Ace of Spades" (Clarke, Lemmy, Taylor)  
10. "Steal Your Face" (Campbell, Würzel, Lemmy, Gill)  
11. "Bite the Bullet" (Clarke, Lemmy, Taylor)  
12. "Built for Speed" (Campbell, Würzel, Lemmy, Gill)  
13. "Orgasmatron" (Campbell, Würzel, Lemmy, Gill)  
14. "No Class" (Clarke, Lemmy, Taylor)  
15. "Motorhead" (Lemmy)  


  • Joe Petagno - sleeve artwork
  • Produced by Motörhead and Guy Bidmead
  • Engineered by Guy Bidmead
  • Assisted by Roland Herrington, Arabella Rodriguez, Caroline Orme, and Phil Dane
  • "Eat the Rich" originally recorded by Bill Laswell and Jason Corsaro, remixed by Guy Bidmead
  • Mixed at Britannia Row, Eden Studios, and The Roundhouse, London.
  • Mastered at CBS Studios, London.


  1. ^ Allmusic Review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau
  3. ^ Kilmister, Ian and Garza, Janiss White Line Fever (2002) — Simon & Schuster pp. 203—204. ISBN 0-684-85868-1.
  4. ^ About Joe Petagno - interview section with Joe Petagno, bonus DVD with Inferno 30th Anniversary edition SPV69748.
  5. ^ "Reviews for Motörhead's Rock 'n' Roll". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 

External links[edit]