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Motorhead

Motörhead's overwhelmingly loud and fast style of heavy metal was one of the most groundbreaking styles the genre had tooffer in the late'70s. Though the group's leader, Lemmy Kilminster, had his roots in the hard-rocking space rock bandHawkwind, Motörhead didn't botherwith his old group's progressive tendencies, choosing to amplify the heavy biker rockelements of Hawkwind with the speed of punk rock.Motörhead wasn't punk rock -- they formed before the Sex Pistols andthey loved the hell-for-leather imagery of bikers too much to conformwith the safety-pinned, ripped T-shirts of punk -- b ...read more

Motörhead's overwhelmingly loud and fast style of heavy metal was one of the most groundbreaking styles the genre had tooffer in the late'70s. Though the group's leader, Lemmy Kilminster, had his roots in the hard-rocking space rock bandHawkwind, Motörhead didn't botherwith his old group's progressive tendencies, choosing to amplify the heavy biker rockelements of Hawkwind with the speed of punk rock.Motörhead wasn't punk rock -- they formed before the Sex Pistols andthey loved the hell-for-leather imagery of bikers too much to conformwith the safety-pinned, ripped T-shirts of punk -- butthey were the first metal band to harness that energy and, in the process, they createdspeed metal and thrash metal. Unlikemany of their contemporaries, Motörhead continued performing into the next century. Although theband changed its lineupmany, many times -- Lemmy was its only consistent member -- they never changed their raging sound.

The son of a vicar, Lemmy Kilmister (born Ian Fraiser Kilmister; December 24, 1945) first began playing rock & roll in 1964,when he joinedtwo local Blackpool, England, R&B bands, the Rainmakers and the Motown Sect. Over the course of the '60s,he played with a number ofbands -- including the Rockin' Vickers, Gopal's Dream, and Opal Butterfly -- as well as brieflyworking as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. In 1971,he joined the heavy prog rock band Hawkwind as a bassist. Lemmy wasoriginally slated to stay with the band only six months, yet he stayedwith the group for four years. During that time, he wroteand sung several songs with the band, including their signature song, the numberthree U.K. hit "Silver Machine" (1972).

Lemmy was kicked out of Hawkwind in the spring of 1975, after he spent five days in a Canadian prison for drug possession.Once hereturned to England, Kilminster set about forming a new band. Originally, it was to have been called "Bastard," buthe soon decided to callthe band Motörhead, named after the last song he wrote for Hawkwind. Lemmy drafted in Pink Fairiesguitarist Larry Wallis and drummerLucas Fox to round out the lineup. Motörhead made its debut supporting Greenslade inJuly. Two months later, the group headed into thestudio to make its debut album for United Artists with producer DaveEdmunds. Motörhead and Edmunds clashed over the direction ofrecording, resulting in the group firing the producer andreplacing him with Fritz Fryer. At the end of the year, Fox left the band and Lemmyreplaced him with his friend, PhilthyAnimal (born Philip Taylor), an amateur musician.

Motörhead delivered its debut album to UA early in 1976, but the label rejected the album. Shortly afterward, former BlueGoose andContinuous Performance guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke joined the band. Following one rehearsal as a four-piece,Wallis left the band, leavingMotörhead as a trio; this is the lineup that would later be recalled as the group's classic period.However, the band spent most of 1976struggling, performing without a contract or manager and generating little money. Atthe end of the year, they cut a single, "White LineFever"/"Leavin' Here," for Stiff Records which wasn't released until twoyears later. By the summer of 1977, the group had signed a one. record contract with Chiswick Records, releasing theireponymous debut in June; it peaked at number 43 on the U.K. charts. A year later,the band signed with Bronze Records.

Overkill, Motörhead's first album for Bronze, was released in the spring of 1979. The album peaked at number 24, while itstitle trackbecame the band's first Top 40 hit. Motörhead continued to gain momentum, as their concerts were selling well andBomber, the follow-up toOverkill, reached number 12 upon its fall release. The band was doing so well that UA released therejected album at the end of the year asOn Parole. Ace of Spades, released in the fall of 1980, became a number four hit,while the single of the same name reached number 15.

Ace of Spades became Motörhead's first American album, yet the group was making little headway in the U.S., where theyonly registered asa cult act. Back in England, the situation could hardly have been more different. Motörhead was at the peakof its popularity in 1981,releasing a hit collaboration with the all-female group Girlschool entitled Headgirl and entering thecharts at number one with their livealbum, No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith. Though the group was rising commercially, there wastension within the band, particularly betweenClarke and Lemmy. Clarke left the band during the supporting tour for 1982'sIron Fist, reportedly angered by Kilmister's plannedcollaboration with Wendy O. Williams. Former Thin Lizzy guitarist BrianRobertson replaced Clarke.

The new lineup released Another Perfect Day in the summer of 1983. Another Perfect Day was a disappointment, onlyreaching number 20in the U.K. Robertson left two months later, being replaced by two guitarists: former Persian Riskmember Phillip Campbell and Wurzel (bornMichael Burston). Shortly afterward, Taylor left to join Robertson's band Operator,and was replaced by former Saxon drummer Pete Gill.This lineup released a single, "Killed by Death," in September of 1984,but shortly afterward the group left Bronze and the label filed aninjunction against the band. As a result, Motörhead wasprevented from releasing any recordings -- including a bizarre collaboration betweenLemmy and page-three girl SamanthaFox -- for two years.

Motörhead finally returned to action in 1986, first with a track on the charity compilation Hear 'n Aid and later with the BillLaswell. producedOrgasmatron, which was released on their new label, GWR. Orgasmatron was successful with the band'sstill-dedicated cult audience inEngland and America, and received some of the group's best reviews to date. The followingyear, they released Rock 'N' Roll, which wasequally successful. In 1988, the live No Sleep at All appeared, and Lemmy madehis acting debut in the comedy Eat the Rich. Two yearslater, the band signed to WTG and released The Birthday Party. Taylorbriefly rejoined the band in 1991, appearing on that year's 1916,before Mikkey Dee, formerly of King Diamond, took over ondrums. Dee's first album with the band was 1992's March or Die, which didn'tchart in the U.S. yet played to their U.K. cultfollowing. WTG dropped the band after the album's release and the band started their own label,appropriately calledMotörhead, which was distributed through ZYX. Their first album for the label was 1994's Bastards.

For the remainder of the '90s, Motörhead concentrated on touring more than recording. Outside of the band, Lemmyappeared in insurancecommercials in Britain. He also acted in Hellraiser 3 and had a cameo in the porno movie John WayneBobbit Uncut. In 1997, the groupmoved to the metal-oriented indie label Receiver and released Stone Dead Forever; the liveEverything Louder Than Everyone Else followedin 1999, and a year later they returned with We Are Motörhead. Hammeredappeared in 2002 and was followed by 2004's Inferno. In 2005the Sanctuary label reissued some of the band's classicalbums (Overkill, Ace of Spades, and Iron Fist) in two-CD deluxe editions. Acollection of all-new material, Kiss of Death,arrived in 2006, followed by Motorizer in 2008. In 2010 the band embarked on a 35thanniversary tour in support of their 20thstudio album, World is Yours. « hide

Similar Bands: Metallica, Venom, Tank, Midnight, AC/DC

LPs
Aftershock
10/21/2013

3.5
119 Votes
The World Is Yours
2010

3.4
166 Votes
Motorizer
2008

3.6
179 Votes
Kiss of Death
2006

3.5
150 Votes
Inferno
2004

4
203 Votes
Hammered
2002

3
102 Votes
We Are Motorhead
2000

3.4
109 Votes
Snake Bite Love
1998

3
90 Votes
Overnight Sensation
1996

3.2
88 Votes
Sacrifice
1995

3.1
100 Votes
Bastards
1993

3.8
159 Votes
March Or Die
1992

3.4
117 Votes
1916
1991

3.8
161 Votes
Rock 'N' Roll
1987

3.7
138 Votes
Orgasmatron
1986

3.7
192 Votes
Another Perfect Day
1983

3.9
171 Votes
Iron Fist
1982

4
228 Votes
Ace of Spades
1980

4.3
680 Votes
Bomber
1979

4
246 Votes
Overkill
1979

4.3
437 Votes
Motörhead
1977

3.6
162 Votes
On Parole
1976

3.2
80 Votes
EPs
The Best Of
2000

3.8
6 Votes
Angel City And Other Cities Live 1991
1994

2.5
1 Votes
'92 Tour EP
1992

3
1 Votes
Ace of Spades EP
1988

4.7
3 Votes
Eat the Rich
1987

3.5
2 Votes
Stand by Your Man
1982

2.4
7 Votes
St. Valentine's Day Massacre
1981

3.5
6 Votes
Beer Drinkers
1980

3.2
8 Votes
The Golden Years
1980

3.2
6 Votes
Live Albums
Better Motörhead Than Dead: Live At Hammersmith
2007

4.2
15 Votes
Live
2006

3.5
1 Votes
BBC Live & In-Session
2005

3.8
3 Votes
Live At Brixton Academy
2003

3.9
7 Votes
Everything Louder Than Everyone Else
1999

4
19 Votes
King Biscuit Flower Hour
1997

3.3
2 Votes
Live at Brixton '87
1994

3.4
4 Votes
Jailbait
1992

2.3
2 Votes
Live 1983
1991

2.8
2 Votes
Lock Up Your Daughters
1990

2.5
2 Votes
The Birthday Party
1990

3.2
3 Votes
Blitzkrieg on Birmingham '77
1989

3.3
2 Votes
No Sleep at All
1989

3.8
19 Votes
What's Words Worth?
1982

2.9
8 Votes
No Sleep 'til Hammersmith
1981

4.5
98 Votes
Compilations
Icon
2010

4.1
8 Votes
Essential Noize: The Very Best Of
2005

4
12 Votes
Stone Deaf Forever!
2003

4
2 Votes
The Best of Motorhead: Deaf Forever
1998

3.4
11 Votes
The Very Beat of Motohead
1995

3.3
2 Votes
All the Aces
1993

3.7
7 Votes
Castle Masters Collection
1992

3.9
4 Votes
No Remorse
1984

4.3
40 Votes

Contributors: forkliftjones, DarkRecollections, rockandmetaljunkie, dannyboy89, Minushuman24, federicolaurenti, SoulReaper94, DinoX, ButcheredChildren, Maniac!, TheArchetype, JesusV4, ThrashingWhiplash, TheRamblingElf, BlackSabbath, EyesWideShut, Mags172, suturno, Donchivo, jars80, SylentEcho, ASberg, christos75, Mikesn, Farhenheit, Apocalyptic Raids, south_of_heaven 11, Alex101, Damrod, tom79, Timidus, RunOfTheMill, insomniac15, Lebren, rockandmetaljunkie, ViperAces, Irving, Metalstyles, Nagrarok, Voivod, sonictheplumber, suturno, BlackSabbath, LepreCon, Iai,

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