Snake Bite Love

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Snake Bite Love
Snake Bite Love.jpg
Studio album by Motörhead
Released 10 March 1998
Recorded The Valley
Genre Heavy metal
Length 44:53
Label CMC, Steamhammer, SPV GmbH
Producer Howard Benson and Motörhead
Motörhead chronology
Protect the Innocent
(1997)
Snake Bite Love
(1998)
Everything Louder than Everyone Else
(1999)

Snake Bite Love is the fourteenth album by English rock band Motörhead, released in March 1998 and distributed by BMG. The album features the three-piece line-up of Lemmy, Mikkey Dee and Phil "Wizzö" Campbell.

History[edit]

Snake Bite Love would be the final album co-produced with Howard Benson. By all accounts, the recording was rushed, with drummer Mikkey Dee quoted in the 2011 Motörhead book Overkill: The Untold Story of Motörhead:

We were stressed out of our minds when we did that album. It turned out OK, but no more than OK. We all know it; we should've had three more weeks on that and it would've been a great album. I blame it completely on the time we had. For instance, we put on the worst song we ever had, which is "Night Side," it's the worst shit we've ever done, and we thought it was shit when we did it. We had no time to write another tune, we had nothing left...So we all feel the same about that album. I've heard people say, "That's the best album you've got" and I'm like "What planet are you from?"

Lemmy was far kinder to the LP in his autobiography White Line Fever, feeling it "came out quite nicely" but admits it was recorded "all over the place." Lemmy recalls that the making of Snake Bite Love was quite normal for the band:[1] "Six weeks before we recorded it, we didn't even have one song. But when it came time, we put it together very quickly. Unfortunately, I was sick for some of the rehearsals, and when you leave two guys together who aren't singers, you end up with some weird arrangements."[1] He points particularly to "Desperate for You" and "Night Side" in this respect and explains how the title track started as a completely different song; Dee recorded the drums tracks against a totally different set of chords, then it went back to Sweden where Campbell stated he was sick of the song and didn't like it. Lemmy agreed and Campbell came up with a new riff and changed the whole thing. Lemmy admits that the album is a prime example of him writing the words at the last minute, and adds "you know, lazy son of a bitch one more time, right?"[1]

In the Motörhead documentary The Guts and the Glory, Lemmy admits that Snake Bite Love "had two turkeys on it" — referring to "Desperate For You" and "Better Off Dead." Campbell is jokingly credited in the album's liner notes as an unpronounceable glyph ("The Artist Frequently Seen at the Liquor Store"), mocking Prince.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars [2]

Reviewers have noted the album shows the less heavier side of Motörhead as there are "one or two too many slower tracks, but it's still heavy for the most part" and having a mixture of musical ideas, ranging from the true metal of "Dogs of War" and "Assassin" to rock and roll influenced songs like "Snake Bite Love" and "Don't Lie to Me."[3] Another view is the album is not as cutting and consistent as the previous effort but sees "Love for Sale" as a "grooving and flowing romp," "Joy of Labour" having "plenty of nasty slow riffs," and "Night Side" as a traditional fast track which will please "old school" fans.[4] AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine calls Snake Bite Love "an undisguised album...There isn't necessarily anything wrong with the record, as it offers a solid set of blistering, heavy rockers that race by at breakneck speed, but it doesn't add any new twists to the formula or have particularly memorable songs." In 2011, Motörhead biographer Joel McIver deemed it "solid, reliable, and not hugely memorable."

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee except where noted.
No. Title Length
1. "Love for Sale"   4:52
2. "Dogs of War"   3:38
3. "Snake Bite Love"   3:30
4. "Assassin"   4:48
5. "Take the Blame"   4:03
6. "Dead and Gone"   4:18
7. "Night Side"   3:37
8. "Don't Lie to Me" (Lemmy) 3:59
9. "Joy of Labour"   4:52
10. "Desperate for You"   3:27
11. "Better Off Dead"   3:42
Total length:
44:53

Credits[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kilmister, Ian and Garza, Janiss White Line Fever (2002) — Simon & Schuster p. 282. ISBN 0-684-85868-1.
  2. ^ Allmusic Review
  3. ^ "Review of Snake Bite Love". Kicked In The Face article. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  4. ^ "Motörhead--Snake Bite Love (1998/CMC)". Metal Reviews. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 

External links[edit]