Sacrifice (Motörhead album)

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Sacrifice
Studio album by Motörhead
Released 11 July 1995
Recorded 1995
Cherokee Studios,
Hollywood, USA
Genre Heavy metal
Length 36:11
Label CMC International, SPV/Steamhammer
Producer Howard Benson
Motörhead chronology
Bastards
(1993)
Sacrifice
(1995)
Overnight Sensation
(1996)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [1]

Sacrifice is the twelfth studio album by British band Motörhead. Released in 1995, it is the second, and last album, to feature the four-man lineup of Lemmy, Phil "Wizzö" Campbell, Würzel, and Mikkey Dee, as Würzel left the band at the end of recording this album.

Recording[edit]

Motorhead reunited with producer Howard Benson for Sacrifice. "This is a very good album," vocalist and bassist Lemmy wrote in the sleeve notes, "Put it in your system and your girlfriend's clothes fall off."[2] Lemmy views Sacrifice as one of his favourite records the band has made, despite the difficulties involved, which he explained as:[3]

Howard was producing us again, but he'd also just got an A&R gig with a label called Giant. So his mind was in at least two or three different places, and half the time the engineer, Ryan Dorn, was holding it all together, following the direction Howard gave him. And it was becoming clearer every day that Würzel was on his way out of the band. He wouldn't extend himself at all, and usually just sat there while we were writing songs, with his guitar across his knee. When we stopped playing, he stopped playing and when we started again, he would too.[3]

In the band documentary The Guts and the Glory, all three band members express regret over Wurzel's departure, but insist it was inevitable, with drummer Mikkey Dee commenting, "I remember when it happened, it was both panic and satisfaction at the same time because Wurzel was also very tired of us and we were very tired of him. It was a mutual thing. I miss him tremendously as a guy, but not as a guitar player. He was no good in the end." Campbell, who joined Motorhead with Wurzel in 1984, recalls, "It took him six hours to try and do a solo on this one song on Sacrifice and in the end he just fuckin' slammed the guitar down and legged it - took the guitar with him and that was basically it." In the same film, Lemmy reveals that Wurzel began to suspect that he was being ripped off financially:

He only played one solo on the whole album. He was gone already before we started that album. His input was, like, very minimal. It's a shame about Wurzel; he started to believe the wrong people. 'Cause I was his best friend in the band and offstage - I was his best friend - and he didn't believe that; he started accusing me of stealin' his money and shit, like I need Wurzel's money. I mean, I've got all that money coming from Hawkwind before him and the Motorhead before him - I didn't need his fuckin' money, and I wouldn't have stolen it even if I did. That's not like me. But there he goes - you make your choices and suffer the consequences.

Rather than hiring a new guitar player, the band decided to revert back to a three-piece.

Composition[edit]

The band went into the studio with some great songs, Lemmy recalls, although "Sex & Death" was written in ten minutes on the last day of recording, "In Another Time" was altered beyond all recognition and there were three sets of lyrics for "Make 'Em Blind". Dee and Campbell didn't realise that "Out of the Sun" was only two and half verses and had rehearsed it as such but Lemmy added another section when nobody else was around, with him playing bass and Jamie, his guitar roadie, playing guitar, he then gave the others a tape of it; according to Lemmy, when Würzel played it in the rental car he nearly drove off the road. "Make 'Em Blind" came from improvisation, with Campbell recording the solo in one take, falling over the couch and onto his back laughing uproariously. Lemmy states that the album contains more nonsense than most of the previous album - the lyrics don't mean anything you can really get a hold of - but that they convey the mood, especially the title track and "Out of the Sun". "Dog Face Boy" is about Campbell, but Lemmy decided that only after having written it, likening the line "Poor boy out your mind again/Jet plane outside looking for another friend" to Campbell's habit of quickly hitting town and looking for fun after getting off the plane.[3]

The title track was used in the movie Tromeo and Juliet, a film in which Lemmy appears.[4]

Sleeve artwork[edit]

Joe Petagno, the sleeve artist, was well known for inserting references to genitalia in his drawings, and this one was no exception. He commented:

They did everything in their power to get rid of those genitals [the tongue]. It's amazing how genitals can piss people off. This is Lemmy's and my little joke. We like genitals and Another Perfect Day had the double dog dick that we joke about. [The cover is the] hordes being sent to hell, where they deserve to be. And the never-ending battles, the hate, the war, the ignorance. Yet again. People think I am anti-religious, and I am. People think I am anti-state, and I am. People think I am anti-war, I am. I'm anti-anything that will get in the way of an individual becoming whole. My opinions are not about trying to provoke people to kill each other. I'm trying to heal the rift between man and spirit. I'm a scaremonger. I'm trying to scare people back onto the road [of justice and freedom].[5]

The American version of the album cover had Wurzel airbrushed out but, according to Joel McIver's book Overkill: The Untold Story of Motorhead, Lemmy insists that this was the record label's idea, not theirs: "It's stupid, seeing how Wurzel could sue us and he'd be right, because he's on the album."

Reception[edit]

AllMusic states that Sacrifice "doesn't offer anything new, nor does it display a newfound subtlety. It's just straight-ahead, breakneck fast, ear-shatteringly loud Motörhead, with buzzing guitars, near-martial rhythms, and surprisingly catchy hooks." In 2011 Motorhead biographer Joel McIver wrote that Sacrifice "was exactly what you expect: a decent, if unspectacular, Motorhead record with a couple classic s song here and there."

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Würzel, Phil Campbell, Mikkey Dee and Lemmy, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Sacrifice"   3:16
2. "Sex & Death"   2:02
3. "Over Your Shoulder"   3:17
4. "War for War"   3:08
5. "Order/Fade to Black"   4:02
6. "Dog-Face Boy"   3:25
7. "All Gone to Hell"   3:41
8. "Make 'Em Blind" (Lemmy) 4:25
9. "Don't Waste Your Time" (Lemmy) 2:32
10. "In Another Time"   3:09
11. "Out of the Sun"   3:43
Total length:
36:11

Credits[edit]

With:

  • Bill Bergman – saxophone on "Don't Waste Your Time"
  • John Paroulo – piano on "Don't Waste Your Time"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ CD liner notes.
  3. ^ a b c Kilmister, Ian and Garza, Janiss White Line Fever (2002) — Simon & Schuster pp. 268—271. ISBN 0-684-85868-1.
  4. ^ "Soundtracks for Tromeo and Juliet (1996)". Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  5. ^ About Joe Petagno - interview section with Joe Petagno, bonus DVD with Inferno 30th Anniversary edition SPV69748.

External links[edit]