March ör Die

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March ör Die
Motörhead - March or Die (1992).jpg
Studio album by Motörhead
Released 14 August 1992
Recorded 1991–1992 [1]
Studio Music Grinder Studios, Los Angeles, California[1]
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock
Length 46:46
Label WTG / Epic[1]
Producer Peter Solley[1]
Motörhead chronology
1916
(1991)
March ör Die
(1992)
'92 Tour EP
(1992)
Singles from March ör Die
  1. "Hellraiser"
    Released: 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[2]

March ör Die is the tenth album by the band Motörhead, released 14 August 1992, on the WTG/Epic label, their second and last with them.[1]

Background[edit]

After years of lackluster sales and feuds with record labels in the late 1980s, Motörhead had enjoyed an incredible turnaround by 1992. After the critical success of 1916, which was nominated for a Grammy, Motörhead secured a second album deal with Sony. In addition, vocalist and bassist Lemmy Kilmister had co-written four songs for Ozzy Osbourne's 1991 blockbuster album No More Tears at the invitation of Ozzy's wife and manager Sharon Osbourne, including "I Don't Want to Change the World'," "Desire," "Hellraiser," and the hit single "Mama, I'm Coming Home," generating much needed income. In his autobiography White Line Fever, Lemmy recalls:

"..that was one of the easiest gigs I ever had – Sharon rang me up and said, 'I'll give you X amount of money to write some songs for Ozzy', and I said, 'All right – you got a pen?' I wrote six or seven sets of words, and he ended up using four of them... I made more money out of writing those four songs than I made out of fifteen years of Motörhead – ludicrous, isn't it?!.."

Recording[edit]

The band reunited with producer Pete Solley to record March or Die. Halfway through the recording, drummer Phil Taylor quit the band for a second time – or was fired – depending on who is telling the story. Taylor had quit the band in 1984, rejoining again in 1987. In Joel McIver's Motörhead biography Overkill: The Untold Story of Motörhead, guitarist Phil Campbell is quoted:

"..he just didn't have it for some reason. It was getting bad. He couldn't play four bars without fucking up. For three years when he rejoined, we gave it our best shot, but... he couldn't see anything wrong with his drumming, which was even worse... We'd be in the studio practicing and he'd be out washing his car.."

In the same book, Lemmy – while maintaining that Taylor's skills had deteriorated – admits:

"..the biggest blow was probably firing Phil Taylor the second time, because I would never have done it if he was pulling his weight, but he wasn't, and I couldn't make him do it... That was a blow, because I knew it was going to devastate him – and it did, and that really upset me.."

March or Die features three drummers: Taylor, Tommy Aldridge, who occasionally played with Ozzy Osbourne, and King Diamond's Mikkey Dee, who would join the band (Another drummer, Garry Bowler (a.k.a. Magpie) worked on the drum track for the demo of "Stand" during a 1991 session in London with Würzel and Campbell).[3] In the Motörhead documentary The Guts and the Glory, Dee – who had been asked to sign up before but had joined Dokken instead – speaks about following the fan favorite Taylor:

"..i had two options: I had to either replace him or join the band. I could not replace him... I had to join the band and do my shit. I had to change the band, I had to play differently, look differently, just be different. Either I got accepted or I didn't... I can overplay these songs... I can do drums all over these songs and show how damn good I am, you know, with a million fuckin' things, but that's not Motörhead... I like to keep it really straight and heavy... Less is a lot more in a band like this.."

Ozzy Osbourne sings on "I Ain't No Nice Guy," which also features Slash from Guns N' Roses on guitar (Slash also plays on "You Better Run"). Considering that both Ozzy and Guns N' Roses were all enjoying immense popularity at the time, it appeared that '"I Ain't No Nice Guy" would be a major radio hit, but according to Lemmy's memoir Sony tried to kill the record because it was using WTG as a tax loss:

"..'Ain't No Nice Guy' was actually a radio hit, but that was completely down to us, without any help from Sony, or its marketing department at Epic... 'Ain't No Nice Guy' wound up No. 10 in the radio charts, and Sony didn't make call one – imagine what would have happened if they'd given it just the slightest amount of effort! But no: they actually tried to stop it from being played...all we needed was about fifteen grand or so to shoot a video but they wouldn't let us have it. So we took about $8000 of our own money and made our own – Ozzy and Slash, nice guys that they are, even came down and appeared in it. Although the video's a bit jumbled, it didn't turn out too badly. But MTV didn't play it for a while because Sony took three weeks to sign the release!.."

The album includes a cover of the Ted Nugent classic "Cat Scratch Fever." "Hellraiser" was used in the 1992 movie, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.[4] On 17 July 1992, Lemmy and Würzel met with Tommy Vance to record their views on the album. The feature was broadcast on The Friday Rock Show on 31 July: seven tracks from the album were played. "You Better Run" was re-recorded in 2004 as "You Better Swim" for the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.

During the March or Die sessions, the Rodney King riots erupted in Los Angeles. The studio where the band was recording lay in the path of the violence. Lemmy later recalled to Classic Rock Revisited:

"..I was doing a vocal and I finished and came into the lounge, and there was a TV on that was showing a house burning...I looked out the window and I saw the other side of the same house... Driving out of there was like driving through a war zone, as the whole city block was on fire. Everything went dark and all you could see was entire city blocks burning. It was fucking great.."

Reception[edit]

The AllMusic review states:

"..This is where everything almost went horribly wrong. Encouraged by a new distribution deal through Epic Records and his recent collaboration with old friend Ozzy Osbourne on his wildly successful No More Tears album, Motörhead's Lemmy set out to pursue commercial success like never before and, as a result, almost managed to toss their impeccable legacy in the dumpster.."

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Kilmister; all music composed by Motörhead, except where noted.

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Stand"     3:31
2. "Cat Scratch Fever" (Ted Nugent cover) Nugent Nugent 3:52
3. "Bad Religion"     5:01
4. "Jack the Ripper"     4:39
5. "I Ain't no Nice Guy"   Kilmister 4:18
6. "Hellraiser"   Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde, Kilmister 4:35
7. "Asylum Choir"     3:40
8. "Too Good to Be True"     3:36
9. "You Better Run"   Kilmister 4:51
10. "Name in Vain"     3:06
11. "March ör Die"   Kilmister 5:41
Total length: 46:46

Personnel[edit]

Per the March ör Die liner notes.[1]

Guest Musicians[edit]

  • Mikkey Deedrums on "Hellraiser"
  • Peter Solleykeyboard
  • Slash – guitar solo on "I Ain't no Nice Guy" and additional guitar on "You Better Run"
  • Ozzy Osbourne – vocals on "I Ain't no Nice Guy"
  • Jamie Germaine - guitar
  • Lemmy & Peter Solley - cello arrangements

Uncredited musicians[edit]

  • Phil Taylor drums on "I Ain't no Nice Guy"
  • Tommy Aldridge - drums on "Stand", "Cat Scratch Fever", "Bad Religion", "Jack the Ripper", "Asylum Choir", "Too Good to Be True", "You Better Run", "Name in Vain" and "March ör Die"

Production[edit]

  • Peter Solley – producer
  • "Hellraiser" by Billy Sherwood – producer ("Hellraiser")
  • Casey McMackin – engineer
  • Lawrence Ethen – engineer
  • Tim Nitz – engineer
  • Tom Fletcher – engineer ("Hellraiser")
  • Steve Hall – mastering
  • Album Design – Dawn Patrol – art direction
  • Merlyn Rosenberg – photography
  • Joe PetagnoSnaggletooth, album cover

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[5] 16
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[6] 21
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[7] 42
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[8] 18
UK Albums (OCC)[9] 60

References[edit]

External links[edit]