"Ace of Spades" is a single by the heavy metal band Motörhead.
Initially released as a 7" vinyl single on October 27, 1980 as a preview to the album Ace of Spades and autumn tour, Bronze Records also released a 12" vinyl pressing in special 'Christmas' picture sleeves, limited to 50,000 copies. The picture of the band in Santa outfits used on the cover was taken whilst the band were on tour at the Aylesbury Fair. In November the song reached #15 in the UK Singles Chart. The song is considered to be the definitive Motörhead anthem, and "put a choke on the English music charts and proved to all that a band could succeed without sacrificing its blunt power and speed". It is considered to be a metal masterpiece.
For the lyrics, Lemmy said he "used gambling metaphors, mostly cards and dice - when it comes to that sort of thing, I'm more into the one-arm bandits actually, but you can't really sing about spinning fruit, and the wheels coming down".
In September 1993 WGAF Records re-released the original 1980s track on CD-single, cassette single, 12" vinyl picture sleeve and picture disc versions, the song was covered with "Louie Louie", "Dirty Love", and "Ace of Spades (The CCN Remix)", and although the band were not too pleased with the CCN Remix version, this single reached #23 in the UK charts.
The song ranked in at #10 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at #27 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. (read more...)
Edward Clarke, better known as "Fast" Eddie Clarke, is a guitarist who was a member of the British heavy metal bands Fastway and Motörhead.
Born on October 5, 1950 in England, Clarke began playing guitar around his hometown of Twickenham in southwest London. By the time he was 15, Eddie had been through many local bands, one of whom went under the name of The Bitter End. He continued playing local gigs until 1973, when he turned professional by joining Curtis Knight’s band, Zeus, as lead guitarist. In 1974, the band recorded an album called "The Second Coming" at Olympic Studios, writing the music to Knight’s lyrics on the track titled The Confession.
Clarke also recorded the album Sea Of Time with Zeus and with guitarist friend Allan Callan, keyboard player Nicky Hogarth, and drummer Chris Perry, attended a recorded jam session at Command Studios in Piccadilly. As a result of the tracks from this session, the quartet secured a deal with Anchor Records, and called the band Blue Goose. With a contract secured, Clarke, Hogarth and Perry left Zeus to focus on their own project with Allan Callan. Knight was so angry with their behaviour, he put the word around that if he ever met up with them again, he would beat them up for leaving him in the lurch.
An argument soon erupted between Clarke and Callan, because Callan did not have any amps, Clarke had allowed him to share his during rehearsals, but Clarke then found he could not hear his solos because Callan was drowning him out. The argument ended with Clarke being sacked. Still short of amps, the band asked him to re-join a few days later, Clarke refused, feeling that they were doing Anchor Records an injustice because they had been paid an advance to record an album, but had done nothing productive towards making it. Blue Goose released their eponymous album through Anchor Records in 1974, crediting an instrumental track titled "Over The Top" to Clarke-Hogarth-Perry, although it is nothing like the Motörhead track of the same name. (read more ...)