Orgasmatron (album)

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Motörhead - Orgasmatron (1986).jpg
Studio album by
Released9 August 1986[1]
StudioMaster Rock Studios, London[1]
GenreHeavy metal
LabelGWR (Worldwide) (1986)
Castle (1996 Reissue)
Sanctuary (2006 Reissue)[1]
ProducerBill Laswell, Jason Corsaro[1]
Motörhead chronology
No Remorse
Rock 'N' Roll
Singles from Orgasmatron
  1. "Deaf Forever"
    Released: 5 July 1986

Orgasmatron is the seventh studio album by the band Motörhead, released 9 August 1986, on GWR, their first with the label.

It is the only full Motörhead album to feature Pete Gill on the drums, although he also played on the new tracks recorded for the previous 1984 compilation album, No Remorse.


After leaving Bronze Records on bad terms, Motörhead kept touring without the benefit of a record deal, in spite of being cited as a key influence for the thrash metal subgenre that was becoming popular with heavy metal fans in the mid-1980s. In Overkill: The Untold Story of Motörhead, Joel McIver quotes vocalist/bassist Lemmy Kilmister from that period:

"..Elektra passed. MCA passed. CBS passed. Epic passed. Chrysalis passed. Everyone passed. Hell, I wish we sold as many albums as we do T-shirts. In England, it's pretty well over for us as far as selling a lot of albums is concerned.."

After their ongoing lawsuit with their old label was settled in their favour, Motörhead and its management set up their own label GWR (Great Western Road) to release their music.


Orgasmatron was produced by maverick songwriter and musician Bill Laswell, who had previously produced acts as varied as Herbie Hancock, Mick Jagger, and PIL. The album was recorded in eleven days at Master Rock Studios in London. It was the band's first full studio album in three years and got Motörhead back on track after the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful 1983 album Another Perfect Day, making it to number 21 in the UK charts.[2] In his autobiography White Line Fever, Lemmy states:

"..As it turned out, Bill was good for getting sounds, but he fucked everything up in the mix. It was a much better album when he took it to New York than when he brought it back... It was dreadful. Orgasmatron was mud.."

Lemmy also wrote that the album title had nothing to do with the orgasm-inducing machine that appeared in the futuristic Woody Allen film Sleeper, which he had not even seen, and that the working title for the LP had been Riding with the Driver. In the Motörhead documentary The Guts and the Glory, guitarist Phil Campbell laments:

"..I think the production let us down on Orgasmatron. The songs were really good. We put a lot of effort into the songs.."

Campbell added that Laswell tried to meld "early hip-hop type sounds" with Motörhead's music and it did not come off. The title track reflects Lemmy's revulsion with hypocrisy. Joel McIver quotes Lemmy in his Motörhead memoir Overkill:The Untold Story of Motörhead:

"..It refers to the three things that I hate most in life - organized religion, politics and war. Things like people that go to church and cum in their pants while communicating with Jesus Christ. It's all a bunch of bullshit. If you're really into that, you don't need to go to church or talk to God, you can talk to him everywhere, you know? Or if you join a political party and get your jollies off that, when your party wins and all that. It's the herd instinct. The same thing with war. They give you a nice new uniform and march you off to die.."

On the Orgasmatron tour, the band once again tried to follow up the popular bomber lighting rig that they had used for years at their live shows with an "Orgasmatron machine" but the prop – like the giant iron fist prop from the Iron Fist tour – was a disaster. Lemmy recalled to Uncut's John Robinson in 2015:

"..We had this huge Orgasmatron thing and after we built it...we realized we couldn't get it into most of the venues – isn't that wonderful?.."

The song "Orgasmatron" was re-recorded in 2000 and was available as an Internet download under the name "Orgasmatron 2000." It was later included on the band's 2003 five-disc box-set Stone Deaf Forever!.


The album's working title was Ridin' with the Driver and later changed to Orgasmatron; it was too late for Joe Petagno to change the cover art and the train design was used.[3] As well as alluding to the original name of the album, Petagno also commented on the concept behind the album cover on the Inferno 30th Anniversary bonus DVD: "Lemmy was living on a houseboat then, and collecting train models. He said, 'You know, Joseph, I want a fucking train.' It seemed weird to me...but, yet again it worked." The preliminary sketch had the Orgasmatron train going in the opposite direction, but Petagno "decided to turn it so it was going out of the picture rather than coming into it.[3] It gave me a lot of trouble, because [of] trying to fit the head in front of the train with this cow scoop. But it worked in the end."[3]


As with the previous album it was not a great success sales wise. The album has some tracks that have stayed in the live set on and off over the years; "Doctor Rock" opened the live sets for a time; "Built For Speed", a reference to Lemmy's drug of choice and the style of music they played, was played for some years; "Deaf Forever", "Nothing Up My Sleeve", "Mean Machine" all had a run as well. The album is considered a low point of the band's career when reflected against the previous early works.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[4]
The Daily VaultA−[5]
Robert ChristgauA−[6]

The AllMusic review states:

"..Laswell does beef up the mix with added sonic detail, which works to particularly good effect on the title track, the densely layered production helps transform the song and its simple riff into a chugging psychedelic noise-fest. Elsewhere, the production sometimes has the effect of muting the band's energy, sounding oddly processed and lacking the raw bite of past work (which foreshadows their decline over the next few years).."

In 2005, Orgasmatron was ranked number 313 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kilmister, Burston, Campbell, Gill.

Side A
1."Deaf Forever"4:25
2."Nothing Up My Sleeve"3:11
3."Ain't My Crime"3:42
5."Mean Machine"2:57
Side B
6."Built for Speed"4:56
7."Ridin' with the Driver"3:47
8."Doctor Rock"3:37
Castle Communications 1996 reissue bonus tracks
No.TitleOriginal ReleaseLength
10."On the Road" (Live in 1985)1986 ~ Deaf Forever4:59
11."Steal Your Face" (Live in 1985)1985 ~ Deaf Forever4:15
12."Claw" (Alternative Version) 3:31

Sanctuary Records 2006 2CD deluxe edition[edit]

Disc one contains the original album without bonus tracks. Tracks B1 & B2 are from the Deaf Forever 12" single. Track B3 is an alternative version previously unreleased Tracks B4-14 are of the BBC Radio 1 broadcast of the band's performance at the Kerrang! Wooargh Weekender at Caister, Great Yarmouth, England on Saturday 13 October, 1984.[1]

All tracks written by Kilmister, Burston, Campbell, Gill except where noted.

No.TitleOriginal ReleaseLength
1."On the Road" (Live in 1985)1986 ~ Deaf Forever4:59
2."Steal Your Face" (Live in 1985)1986 ~ Deaf Forever4:15
3."Claw" (Alternative Version) 3:31
BBC In-Concert, 1984
No.TitleWriter(s)Original ReleaseLength
4."Stay Clean"Kilmister, Clarke, Taylor1979 ~ Overkill2:33
5."Heart of Stone"Kilmister, Clarke, Taylor1982 ~ Iron Fist2:56
6."Nothing Up My Sleeve" 1986 ~ Orgasmatron3:35
7."Metropolis"Kilmister, Clarke, Taylor1979 ~ Overkill3:35
8."Killed by Death" 1984 ~ No Remorse3:39
9."Ace of Spades"Kilmister, Clarke, Taylor1980 ~ Ace of Spades5:34
10."Steal Your Face" 1984 ~ No Remorse4:33
11."(We Are) The Road Crew"Kilmister, Clarke, Taylor1980 ~ Ace of Spades2:34
12."Motörhead"Kilmister1977 ~ Motörhead2:45
13."Bomber"Kilmister, Clarke, Taylor1979 ~ Bomber3:45
14."Overkill"Kilmister, Clarke, Taylor1979 ~ Overkill5:28
  • Although the live recording is from 1984, it is the second last live recording of the song Motörhead in a set list; as from the mid 80s onward it was rarely played, and by the 90s had been completely dropped.[1]


Per the Orgasmatron liner notes.[1]


2006 deluxe edition remaster[edit]

  • Steve Hammonds – release coordination
  • Jon Richards – release coordination
  • Malcolm Dome – sleeve notes
  • Mick Stevenson – project consultant, photos and archive memorabilia


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Orgasmatron, Motörhead, Sanctuary Records, 06076-8618-2, 2006 Liner Notes, page 10 & 11
  2. ^ Burridge, Alan Illustrated Collector's Guide to Motörhead Published: 1995, Collector's Guide Publishing ISBN 0-9695736-2-6.
  3. ^ a b c About Joe Petagno - interview section with Joe Petagno, bonus DVD with Inferno 30th Anniversary edition SPV69748.
  4. ^ Huey, Steve. "Motörhead - Orgasmatron". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  5. ^ Thelen, Christopher. "Orgasmatron - Motörhead". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 1 January 2002.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Review Orgasmatron". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  7. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 85. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.

External links[edit]