Portal:Motörhead

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Introduction

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 Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums and "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitars.

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.

Selected article

"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...)

Selected images

Selected biography

"Fast" Eddie Clarke

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 ...)

Things you can do

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?

Quotes

  • "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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