archiv: motorhead

archive review originally posted on the losing today site c.2007 ……


More Motorhead mayhem to celebrate the fact that they’ve been putting hi-fi’s through their paces for 30 years now – a perfect companion it has to be said to the recent double DVD set ‘Stage Fright’ released on SPV which features live footage recorded last December in Dusseldorf along with a plethora of extras that translates into over 4 hours of viewing – more than enough bludgeoning biker-ware for any self respecting rock addict to beat their chest to.

‘BBC live in Session’ is a superb 2 disc set featuring material plundered from the BEEB’s archives and includes their debut session for the late John Peel and recordings made for his rhythm partner Kid Jensen and (the late) Tommy Vance as well as an appearance for Radio 1’s flag ship out side broadcast of the day ‘In Concert’. Arguably a large part of this material was only previously available on 2003’s 5 disc career spanning ‘Stone Deaf Forever’ box set which combined all you ever needed to know about Motorhead warts ‘n’ all across 99 blistering cuts but this collection packs in the full sets for the first time on CD.

Hard to imagine really that there was a time when Motorhead might never have been given that they were at one time deemed ‘the worst band in the world’ after the Blue Oyster Cult debacle and were it not for the last minute intervention of Chiswick’s Ted Carroll then the wheels of Lemmy’s super chromed bike might never have gotten out off the garage. But then fate is a strange lady – within four years Motorhead had notched up four studio albums (Motorhead, Overkill, Bomber and Ace of Spades) and cemented their reputation as the most ferocious rock band on the live circuit with the defining ‘No sleep til Hammersmith’ live set in 1981 as well as showing the way forward for the new breed of rock’s dynasty – Iron Maiden, Slayer and Metallica to name but three.

First up the Peel session – with arguably the classic ‘Head line up of Lemmy, ‘Filthy’ Phil and ‘Fast’ Eddie – the trademark four cuts intact features material taken from their ‘Motorhead’ and ‘Overkill’ full lengths along with a blistering and faithful cover and live favourite in the shape of ‘Louie Louie’ the old Richard Berry number made famous by the Kingsmen – the tracks show Lemmy and Co still suffering from a 60’s hangover – the sounds raw almost gritty garage with heavy licks in comparison to the quick fire and honed ‘Bomber’ style they would later be best known for. An ‘In Concert’ performance from May 1979 (and dubiously released for posterity on the ‘Fuck Off’ bootleg from the same year though minus ‘Capricorn’ and the stoner like ‘Limb from Limb’ which are included here) – recorded at the Paris Theatre, London – Lemmy was no stranger to the surroundings given that Hawkwind had featured there in 1973.

Disc 2 collects together the Jensen and Vance sessions. Five cuts from a 1981 set for ‘Kid’ feature a liberal dose of ‘Ace of Spades’ material including the pared head crunching JD soaked ‘Bite the Bullet’ and ‘The Chase is better than the Catch’ which leaves the last five cuts featuring current guitarist Phil Campbell who for his sins has been with Lemmy for nigh on twenty years now. Originally broadcast in September 1986 this mainly dips into the ‘Orgasmatron’ gear the title track coming across pretty wired by Motorhead standards. Essential – are you kidding – like yeah – d’oh.

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