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Motorhead - Ace of Spades (40th Anniversary) Award winner

Ace of Spades (40th Anniversary)
by Jean-François Poulin at 21 December 2020, 12:30 PM

MOTORHEAD is a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from London, England. Well if you don’t know MOTORHEAD, were you living under a rock for the last 4 decades? Lemmy and the gang released this classic album back in 1980 and they are celebrating the 40th anniversary of this landmark album in music history. This is a pretty huge box set actually, they never half-ass do things and this is well worth the price. The first CD is a remastered version of the classic album, I know we have had so many remasters of this album (and most of their albums actually) throughout the years but it still sounds better than when it was out back in 1980. The second CD is ‘’Riders Wearing Black’’ a live album recorded on the 23rd of December 1981 in Belfast, Ireland. The third CD is ‘’Dead Man’s Hand’’, another live album at the Parc Expo in Orleans, France that was recorded on the 5th of March 1981 and as for the last two CDS they are alternate versions of the songs and instrumental demos. You have a lot of stuff for an actual decent price. It packs a punch to say the least.

‘’We are MOTORHEAD and We Play Rock and Roll’’ is probably Lemmy’s favorite quote and it’s such a great description of the band. It’s all what they are about and this album is pretty timeless and it’s fun to see them celebrating this album. I enjoyed the live album in Belfast a bit more than the US one and I felt it was kind of redundant to have those live albums for the same tour with a set list that is pretty similar though. The archival recordings are a must for the die hard fans out there but it shows their raw energy live. They are the be all end all of bands and they are literally the road crew, they lived their lives on the road for like 40 years and all shows are a bit different. Phil Taylor shows his underrated drumming skills specifically on the Belfast show especially of ‘’Jailbait’’ and Eddie Clarke just wails away on ‘’(We Are) The Road Crew’’. We always talk about Lemmy but he had an excellent band behind him for so many years. The instrumental CD in the boxset really shows the array of talent they had on the rhythm section.

This album is the group at it’s best, it’s the most classic lineup of the band. I am glad they opened the vaults of their recordings and those are some pretty loud shows, really showed that they did everything louder than everyone else! The soundboard tapes are not always the best and the sound is muffled at times but having two unreleased live recordings, well it’s a great gift to the fans out there. What hasn’t been said on this album? This is an exceptional bluesy hard rock record mixed with speed metal. The title track is all time classic and a major influence on countless Thrash Metal bands and those dirty and distorted riffs really opened up the floodgates of many bands after that. Phil Taylor is at his absolute best and is drumming is frantic and intense and has probably the fastest drumming in all of their discography. It’s a very high tempo album and iconic vocal style of Lemmy is pretty timeless (again with that word!). Some songs are lesser known especially ‘’Dance’’ and ‘’The Hammer’’ so this remastered version of the album breathes new life into some songs we don’t hear all that much.

An absolute classic, and like they said in Airheads, ‘’What’s the difference between Lemmy and God’’, there is none, ‘’Lemmy is God’’. The overdriven bass tone, the frantic drumming and the incredible guitar work of Eddie Clarke is a great combination and this album is the summum of their career. 5 CDS of material worth for the die-hard fan out there is well worth it, an absolute buy!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Ace of Spades
2. Love Me Like a Reptile
3. Shoot You in the Back
4. Live to Win
5. Fast and Loose
6. (We Are) The Road Crew
7. Fire Fire
8. Jailbait
9. Dance
10. Bite the Bullet
11. The Chase is Better than the Catch
12 . The Hammer
Lemmy Kilmister – Vocals and Bass
Phil Taylor – Drums
Fast Eddie Clarke – Guitars
Record Label: BMG Music Group


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