|Studio album by Motörhead|
|Released||9 August 1986|
|Studio||Master Rock Studios, London, UK|
|Producer||Bill Laswell, Jason Corsaro|
|Singles from Orgasmatron|
Orgasmatron is the seventh studio album by the British band Motörhead, released in 1986. It is the only full Motörhead album to feature Pete Gill on the drums, although he also played on the four new tracks recorded for the 1984 No Remorse compilation album.
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 extremely 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 favor, Motörhead and its management set up their own label GWR (Great Western Road) to release their music.
Composition and recording
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. 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:
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 come 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. "We had this huge Orgasmatron thing and after we built it", Lemmy recalled to Uncut's John Robinson in 2015, "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. 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". "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".
|Rock Hard (de)||8.5/10|
AllMusic: "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.
|2.||"Nothing Up My Sleeve"||3:11|
|3.||"Ain't My Crime"||3:42|
|6.||"Built for Speed"||4:56|
|7.||"Ridin' with the Driver"||3:47|
|Bonus tracks (Castle Communications 1997 reissue)|
|10.||"On the Road" (live)||B-Side of "Deaf Forever"||4:59|
|11.||"Steal Your Face" (live)||B-Side of "Deaf Forever"||4:15|
|12.||"Claw" (Alternative version)||Previously unreleased||3:31|
Deluxe edition disc two (Sanctuary Records 2006 reissue)
In 2006, the album was re-issued with a bonus CD, featuring the BBC Radio 1 broadcast of the band's performance at the Kerrang! Wooargh Weekender at Caister, Great Yarmouth on October 13, 1984. Disc one contains the original album with no bonus tracks.
|1.||"On the Road" (Live)||4:59|
|2.||"Steal Your Face" (Live)||4:15|
|3.||"Claw" (Alternative Version)||3:31|
|4.||"Stay Clean" (Eddie Clarke, Lemmy, Phil Taylor)||2:33|
|5.||"Heart of Stone" (Eddie Clarke, Lemmy, Phil Taylor)||2:56|
|6.||"Nothing Up My Sleeve"||3:35|
|7.||"Metropolis" (Eddie Clarke, Lemmy, Phil Taylor)||3:35|
|8.||"Killed by Death"||3:39|
|9.||"Ace of Spades" (Eddie Clarke, Lemmy, Phil Taylor)||5:34|
|10.||"Steal Your Face"||4:33|
|11.||"(We Are) The Road Crew" (Eddie Clarke, Lemmy, Phil Taylor)||2:34|
|13.||"Bomber" (Eddie Clarke, Lemmy, Phil Taylor)||3:45|
|14.||"Overkill" (Eddie Clarke, Lemmy, Phil Taylor)||5:28|
- Bill Laswell - producer
- Jason Corsaro - co-producer, engineer
- Steve Rinkoff - mixing
- Vic Maile - producer and engineer of live tracks (1997 reissue)
Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura did a cover version of the song "Orgasmatron", which was released on the B-Side of their 1991 single "Under Siege (Regnum Irae)" This song was also covered by the Norwegian black metal band Satyricon, the Mexican thrash metal band Transmetal, the Tuvan band Yat-Kha, with throat-singing frontsman Albert Kuvezin, the Swedish band Hellsongs and German black metal band Bluttaufe. Japanese noise musician Merzbow covered "Deaf Forever" for one of the discs on the Merzbox.
- Burridge, Alan Illustrated Collector's Guide to Motörhead Published: 1995, Collector's Guide Publishing ISBN 0-9695736-2-6.
- About Joe Petagno - interview section with Joe Petagno, bonus DVD with Inferno 30th Anniversary edition SPV69748.
- Huey, Steve. "Motörhead Orgasmatron review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Orgasmatron". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- Johnson, Howard (10 July 1986). "Motörhead 'Orgasmatron'". Kerrang! 124. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. p. 12.
- Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
- Stratmann, Holger. "Rock Hard review". issue 18. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- [...], 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.