Killed by Death (song)
|"Killed by Death"|
|Single by Motörhead|
|from the album No Remorse|
|B-side||"Under the Knife"|
|Released||1 September 1984|
|Motörhead singles chronology|
To assist its promotion in the United States, Bronze/Island pressed a 12" promo version for radio play (identical versions on both sides). It is one of the most difficult to find of all Motörhead items. 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".
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 made joking references about its lack of sales.
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 Nö 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.
The song itself has been a mainstay of live performances since release. As with many Motörhead 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".
A re-recorded version, entitled "Killed by Death '08", is in the Rock Band Metal Track Pack.
The song is featured in the 2006 video game Scarface: The World Is Yours.
Single track listing
|1.||"Killed by Death"|
|2.||"Under the Knife"|
|1.||"Killed by Death (Full-length version)"||4:39|
|2.||"Under the Knife"||3:43|
|3.||"Under the Knife"||4:31|
- Fin Costello – photography
- Steve Joule – designer
- "killed+by+death | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company".
- Burridge, Alan; Mick Stevenson (July 1993). "Motörhead". Record Collector (167): 73 and 75.
- Pemberton, Pat. "10 Banned Music Videos". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- On Nö 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".
- Burridge, Alan Illustrated Collector's Guide to Motörhead Published: 1995, Collector's Guide Publishing ISBN 0-9695736-2-6.