Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers

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Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
Motörhead - Beer Drinkers and Hell Rasiers 1.jpg
EP by Motörhead
Released 22 November 1980
Recorded 27–29 April 1977[1]
Studio Escape Studios, Kent, England[1]
Genre Rock and roll, heavy metal
Length 14:47
Label Big Beat Records[1]
Producer Speedy Keen[1]
Motörhead chronology
Ace of Spades
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
St. Valentine's Day Massacre (EP)
Alternative cover
1982 French release of Beer Drinkers
1982 French release of Beer Drinkers
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[2]

Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers is an EP by the band Motörhead, released 27 November 1980, on Big Beat Records, who are an extension of Chiswick Records, and had access to the back catalogue at the time. It was compiled from unreleased tracks recorded during sessions for their first album Motörhead, in 1977 at Escape Studios, Kent, England.[1]


The songs were recorded during the Motörhead album sessions, and considered outtakes, they only saw a belated release after the band's popularity was at a high, with the commercial success of Ace of Spades. Nevertheless, this EP failed to make any impact on the UK charts. A few years later, label boss Ted Carroll would again raid his Chiswick Records archive to give a retrospective release of a live recording from the same era, called What's Words Worth?. Lemmy has stated about Ted Carroll's Chiswick Records back catalogue releases: "..he's a great geezer and if it wasn't for Ted there wouldn't be any Motörhead anyway, Ted has carte blanche, he can do what he wants with the old catalogue."[3]


On the original ZZ Top version of "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers", recorded for their 1973 album Tres Hombres, the vocals are traded between guitarist Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill, with the two alternating each line. For Motörhead's version, this was replicated by bassist Lemmy and guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, marking not only the vocal debut of Clarke, but one of the few occasions on which he sang lead on a Motörhead song (other times being on "Step Down," "I'm Your Witchdoctor" and "Emergency"). No other Motörhead versions of this track have ever been released.

"On Parole" had previously been recorded by the band in 1975 for their debut album On Parole, and a Larry Wallis version was released as a B-side to the 1977 Stiff Records "Police Car" single. It was a consistent number in the band's setlist, as can be heard on What's Words Worth?, though it was dropped after 1979 as the band continued to write and perform more of their own material. "I'm Your Witchdoctor" ("a great song," Lemmy pronounces in his 2002 autobiography) [3] is a John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers cover, which the band also performed in their early 1977/8 sets.

"Instro" is the only original composition here and is a rare instrumental from the band; perhaps the lack of studio time prevented them from writing lyrics and recording vocals, or maybe they deemed it unworthy of completion.


The vinyl EP was issued as a 7" pressing (NS61) and as a 12" pressing (SWT61), both formats were pressed in black, blue, orange, pink and white vinyl and there was also a 7" 'Radio Play' Sleeve.[4] Along with the Motörhead single's B-side, "City Kids," the tracks from this EP were included on the 1988 CD reissue of Motörhead by Big Beat Records.[4] In 1982 Big Beat Records released a French edition that added the extra tracks "Vibrator," "White Line Fever," "City Kids," "Keep Us on the Road," "Lost Johnny" and "Motörhead." It was released in the usual black vinyl (A 120 174) and as a picture disc (PD 120 174).[4]

It has been bonus tracks on the original album Motörhead since Big Beat Records reissue added them in 1988, and subsequently by Chiswick and Ace Records in 2001 for its remastered release. [1]

Critical reception[edit]

In his 2011 book Overkill: The Untold Story of Motörhead, biographer Joel McIver derides the EP's title: "This is an early example of many, many attempts by the various record companies who ruined, I mean handled Motörhead's career to mould them into less sophisticated versions of themselves."

Track listing[edit]

1."Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers"Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, Frank Beard3:27
2."On Parole"Larry Wallis5:57
3."Instro"Kilmister, Clarke, Taylor2:27
4."I'm Your Witchdoctor"John Mayall2:58


Per the Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers liner notes.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Motörhead, Motörhead, Chiswick Records & Ace Records, CDWIKM 2, January 2001 Liner Notes by Ted Carroll, page 1 & rear cover
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b Shaw, Harry. Lemmy... In his own words. Omnibus Press (c) 2002. p. 37. ISBN 0-7119-9109-X.
  4. ^ a b c Burridge, Alan Illustrated Collector's Guide to Motörhead Published: 1995, Collector's Guide Publishing ISBN 0-9695736-2-6.