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Left to right: Campbell, Dee, and Lemmy in 2005

Motörhead (/ˈmtərhɛd/) were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member, guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. The band are often considered a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though several guitarists and drummers have played in Motörhead, most of their best-selling albums and singles feature the work of "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitar and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums.

Motörhead released 22 studio albums, 10 live recordings, 12 compilation albums, and five EPs over a career spanning 40 years. Usually a power trio, they had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40 chart. The albums Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and particularly the live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith cemented Motörhead's reputation as a top-tier rock band. The band are ranked number 26 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. As of 2016, they have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

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Ace of Spades is the fourth album by the British heavy metal band Motörhead. Released in 1980, it reached #4 on the UK charts and was the first of the band's album releases to feature a photo of the band on the cover.

In August and September 1980, the band were recording at Jackson's Studios in Rickmansworth with producer Vic Maile for the "Ace of Spades" sessions for Bronze Records. As a preview of the forthcoming album and tour, the "Ace of Spades" single was released on October 27, 1980 and by early November had reached #15. The album was released on November 8, 1980 and sailed to #4 in the UK album charts, prompting Bronze to press a limited number of albums in gold vinyl, changing the catalogue number from BRON to BRONG for the edition. The 'Arizona desert-style' pictures used on the album sleeve and tour booklet cover were taken during a photosession at a sandpit in Barnet.

On January 28, 2003, Silverline released a DVD-Audio version of the album. On March 28, 2005 the album was released on DVD by Eagle Vision, the in-depth look at the making of the album includes interviews with Lemmy, Phil Taylor and Eddie Clarke.

The album has been described as "one of the best metal albums by any band, ever, period", and has become a significantly influential 'hard rock classic'. Despite the band always referring to their music as rock 'n roll in the same vein as their heroes Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, the album, and particularly its title track have been considered amongst the most influential in the development of thrash metal. (read more...)

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Selected biography


Lemmy (born Ian Fraiser Kilmister on December 24, 1945, also known as Ian Willis, Lemmy Kilmister, and Lemmy von Motörhead) is an English singer and bass guitarist, most famous for being the founding member of the heavy metal band Motörhead. His appearance, facial moles, mutton chops (sideburn-moustache combination), and gravelly voice, have made him a cult figure, known beyond the world of rock music.

In 1971, Kilmister joined the space rock band, Hawkwind, who were based in Ladbroke Grove, London but was fired after being arrested at Canadian customs on possession charges; he spent five days in prison. Kilmister went on to form a new band with guitarist Larry Wallis (former member of the Pink Fairies, Steve Took's Shagrat and UFO) and drummer Lucas Fox. This new band was originally called Bastard but later changed the band's name to Motörhead at the urging of his manager.

Soon after, both Wallis and Fox were replaced with guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, and with this line-up the band began to achieve success. The band's sound appealed to both Lemmy's original heavy metal fans, as well as to fans of the nascent punk rock scene. In fact, Lemmy asserts that he generally feels more kinship with punks than with heavy metal; he even played with the The Damned for a handful of gigs when they had no regular bassist — and Lemmy's guttural vocals were unique in the world of rock at that time. The band's success peaked between 1980 and 1981 with a number of UK chart hits, including the classic single "Ace of Spades" (still a crowd favourite today) and the #1 live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith. Motörhead have since gone on to become one of the most influential bands in the heavy metal music genre, and although Lemmy is the only constant member, are still performing and releasing records to this day. Despite Motörhead's many member changes over their 30 year history, the current lineup of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee has remained constant since 1995.

Lemmy has also worked with a number of other musicians over his career, and occasionally guests with Hawkwind. He has made a number of appearances in film and television, including the 1990 science fiction film Hardware and the 1987 comedy Eat the Rich (read more...)

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Did you know...

  • ...that Lemmy's father was a minister?
  • ...Lemmy worked as a roadie for The Jimi Hendrix Experience for a short time?
  • ...the song "Dog Face Boy" from the 1995 Sacrifice album was inspired by Campbell's looks?
  • ...Fast Eddie Clarke met drummer Phil Taylor while working as hands re-fitting a houseboat?
  • ...Fast Eddie Clarke performed the lead vocal on four Motörhead songs?


  • "If this band moved in next door to you, your lawn would die."
  • People don't read any more. It's a sad state of affairs. Reading's the only thing that allows you to use your imagination. When you watch films it's someone else's vision, isn't it? — Interview in the English newspaper The Independent, 15 October 2005.
  • "We've never had a good world, we don't understand how to make it a good world. the only thing we've learned in 2000 years of civilization is how to kill more people from further away, so we don't have to see it. our mindset hasn't improved at all."
  • "Safe sex, safe music, safe clothing, safe hair spray, safe ozone layer. Too late! Everything that's been achieved in the history of mankind has been achieved by not being safe."
  • "The only time I've seen any rebellion was in the fifties, sixties and early seventies. The rest of it you can keep."
  • "One thing I am very glad of is that I went through the sixties. People who didn't really don't know what they missed. We pushed a certain consciousness, a way of life and it was exciting - no AIDS, people weren't dying so much from drug abuse and it was truly a time of freedom and change."
  • "That was a great time, the summer of '71 - I can't remember it, but I'll never forget it!"
  • "If you think you are too old to rock 'n roll then you are."




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