Motorhead
No Sleep 'til Hammersmith


4.5
superb

Review

by John Marinakis USER (26 Reviews)
May 21st, 2013 | 13 replies | 1,835 views


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Plain and simple one of the best live albums of all time.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

The truth is that Motorhead needed this album as much as any living organism needs water in order to survive. It was a necessity. Having been on the road for almost 6 years, while constantly releasing new material and touring endlessly, the rebellious power trio had to capitalize somehow the commercially successful Ace Of Spades and St. Valentine’s Day Massacre EP. The three previous albums might have not been commercially successful but nevertheless supplied the band with a huge, irresistible catalog of classics. As history indicates, Motorhead were on lethal form in the late 70’s/early 80’s and the albums from that period are all still regarded as classics. So, the release of a debut live album seemed like the next most logical step to take.

Thankfully, their decision was not a misjudged one. No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith was released in 1981, reaching at No.1 on the UK charts. It became Motorhead’s biggest success and rightfully so, since it stands out as the band’s ultimate live, Rock ‘N’ Roll-injected offer. A storming album, right from the beginning to the end, No Sleep will not let you blink your eyes, not even for a moment’s pause. One of the main difficulties the artists face with live albums, is capturing and creating the atmosphere of the concert. Their aim is to transport the listener to the surrounding place where the concert is being held and their best bet is to create an illusion and make you believe that you’re actually there. With No Sleep that bet is won from the moment the very first note of Ace Of Spades is struck and the illusion connecting the listener with his imaginative world doesn’t cease to exist until the last note of the album.

Another merit of this record is that it captivates a flawless performance by the band. The road crew unleashes a crazy, no holds barred-attack, overcoming the efforts of their own studio versions. The trio, consisted of Lemmy, Eddie Clark and Phil Taylor, absolutely breaks loose, playing so hard and so fast like it’s the last day they’re alive. A true celebration of Rock ‘N’ Roll, the album is really fast as it is also long, since 40-50 minutes of overwhelming velocity might be too much for some folks. With it’s merciless assault, it will drag you into a pit that you will be forced to create, as most of you (even the oldest listeners) will find a hard time trying to resist from headbanging or playing air guitar.

The album recaps the highlights from the three previous classics (Overkill, Bomber, Ace Of Spades) with only two inclusions from the debut album making it to the final draft, thus making the album all the more noteworthy for being also a good (but not great) live-compilation disc. Motorhead’s choice, of Ace Of Spades as an opening song is a great idea, serving perfectly the band’s main aim towards the listener: To grab your attention from early on, forcing to listen without pushing the pause button.

At some point of their career and mostly out of misguided obligation, every single band out there is making a live album. They try to capture a notable performance that will serve as a memorable proof for what they deserved as a live act. The hard truth is that many have tried but very few have succeeded. Motorhead’s No Sleep “Til Hammersmith is successful not only for historical reasons, but also because it offers you the experience of a live concert like very few live albums have done before or since. Yes, there are some flaws, for example there are many great tracks missing from the catalog and the production might sound a little shabby for today’s standards. But still, the opportunity to witness Motorhead in their prime is priceless. The breakneck performance, the intensity and the raw energy these guys put through back in their days of glory will not leave you unmoved. Motorhead made no mistake with this release and No Sleep Til Hammersmith became rightfully one of the best live records of all time regardless of its genre.



Recent reviews by this author
Windhand SomaWindhand Windhand
Candlemass Candlemass - LiveCandlemass Tales Of Creation
Avatarium AvatariumScorpions Blackout
user ratings (90)
Chart.
4.4
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
rockandmetaljunkie
May 20th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The fact that this album remained with no review for 8 years is surprising to say the least. It should
have, as it is one of the best live documents ever. Hopefully, I did this justice.

NapalmCrusader
May 20th 2013



1737 Comments


Have this one somewhere in my computer. Haven't checked that one in a while, need to hear this again

rockandmetaljunkie
May 20th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, most definitely, you need to.

manosg
May 21st 2013



5915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fuck yeah! This is one of my favorite live albums of all-time. Amazing performance from the legends and a damn great setlist.

Also, awesome review John. Pos my friend.

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

ksoflas
May 21st 2013



361 Comments


It had to be done. Way to go John!
Pos'd.

EvoHavok
May 21st 2013



1353 Comments


Saw these guys live last year. They are still rocking hard.

MrElmo
May 21st 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah amazing live

Nagrarok
May 21st 2013



8171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hadn't realized this didn't have a review yet; have a well-deserved pos. Album rules, really couldn't ask for a better live representation of Motorhead's classic era. Only 65 ratings? Damn.

SCREAM!
May 21st 2013



10031 Comments


Found a vinyl copy of this for 3$ a couple of weeks ago. These guys are even better live I'd say

Digging: Old Witch - Come Mourning Come

rockandmetaljunkie
May 21st 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys for the feedback.

@manosg
Thanks dude, I would really like to see these guys live. Along with Sabbath, Motorhead is the act I anticipate the most. Hopefully they will come to our country next year.
"damn great setlist"
It's good, but there is a number of great tracks left out and those who made the 1996 reissue choosen very poorly.

@ksoflas
Indeed man, such a great album with no review was a big shame.

@EvoHavok
You sir are a lucky man.

"Only 65 ratings? Damn."
Yeah, this needs 100 ratings at least.

RunOfTheMill
May 22nd 2013



1440 Comments


Great review as usual, buddy. Pos.

I've listened to this a few times, and I don't understand why I feel, well, UNDERWHELMED. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood, but this record never struck me as much as their studio albums. I'll give it another listen some time soon.

Nagrarok
May 22nd 2013



8171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've listened to this a few times, and I don't understand why I feel, well, UNDERWHELMED. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood, but this record never struck me as much as their studio albums. I'll give it another listen some time soon.


I have a similar issue with Priest's Unleashed in the East. It's supposed to be one of those classic live albums, but I don't entirely feel it.

rockandmetaljunkie
May 22nd 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@RunOfTheMill

I think you need to give it a few more spins. When I first heard this, I wasn't impressed. But after
the 4-5 time I listened to, it grew immensely on me. Grab a beer or smoke sth while listening. That
way, you might appreciate it more.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy