Motorhead (Motörhead song)

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This article is about the Motörhead version of the song. For the original by Hawkwind, see Motorhead (song).
Single by Motörhead
from the album Motörhead
B-side "City Kids"
Released June 1977
Format 7"
Recorded Escape Studios
London 1977
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock, Punk rock
Length 3:13
Label Chiswick
Writer(s) Ian Kilmister
Producer(s) Speedy Keen
Motörhead singles chronology
"Leaving Here"
"Louie Louie"
Audio sample
file info · help
Alternative cover
1979 Chiswick picture disc (B-side)

"Motorhead" is a song written by Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister that was first recorded by his band Hawkwind in 1975 and released as the B-side of their single Kings of Speed.[1] Two years later it was recorded and released by Lemmy's new band Motörhead as a 7" vinyl single in June 1977, initially issued with the 'Map of Chiswick' label, later it was switched to the 'Big Beat' label and pressed in other formats.[2] The reverse cover is taken up almost entirely with the song's lyrics, printed in a lowercase form of blackletter. Most of the original singles have the words "a porky prime cut" inscribed on the run-out groove, indicating that the record was mastered by George Peckham. A variety of supporting messages also appear.[clarification needed]

Chiswick also released a special 12" vinyl edition which was limited to 12,500 copies, it has the same sleeve, tracks and catalogue number - Chiswick S13.[3]

On April 28, 1979 Lemmy was interviewed by John Tobler on BBC Radio 1's 'Rock on Saturday' show, "Motorhead", "Leaving Here" and "Limb from Limb" were played.[2]

Various vinyl editions of the single "Motörhead"

In September 1979 Chiswick released a 7" vinyl picture disc in two pressings, black & white, and blue & white as well as single colour pressings in black, blue, pink, orange and white vinyl - catalogued Big Beat NSP13 and NS13 respectively.[3]

In 1981, a live recording, "Motorhead" was released as a single and reached number 6 in the UK Singles Charts.[3]

In 2008, the song was re-recorded as downloadable content for the rhythm game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, alongside with "Stay Clean" and "(We Are) The Road Crew".

It was covered by Primal Scream on their 1997 album Vanishing Point.

Single track listing[edit]

  1. "Motorhead" (Ian Kilmister)
  2. "City Kids" (Larry Wallis, Duncan Sanderson)


  • Fast Eddie Clarke – Guitars, vocals
  • Philthy Animal Taylor – Drums
  • Lemmy (Ian Kilmister) – Bass, lead vocals
  • Engineered by John Burns
  • Photographs - Motorcycle Irene


  1. ^ Kings of Speed at
  2. ^ a b Burridge, Alan. Illustrated Collector's Guide to Motörhead. Published: 1995. Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 0-9695736-2-6. Section reference for Special Releases.
  3. ^ a b c Burridge, Alan (April 1991). "Motörhead". Record Collector (140): 17–18 and 21.