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E.C. McMullen Jr.
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"I WANT MOTÖRHEAD TO BE THE
MOTÖRHEAD elicits a fan appeal rarely seen among other fans of other bands.
If I go up to someone I know is a MOTÖRHEAD fan and just say the name, there is an instant smile of camaraderie. The MOTÖRHEADs know each other. Like many Brit bands that have been around for awhile (and a few U.S. Bands as well) MOTÖRHEAD is an ever changing circus with only Lemmy Kilmiester remaining at the helm throughout the turbulence. And turbulence is what the music is all about.
This album is the best - the fans idea of what is best - about MOTÖRHEAD. The band, especially in the far more repressed United States where the word Fuck is still considered the height of rebellion, has had very few radio airplay hits beyond the well known "Ace Of Spades". Songs like that and the always popular signature song "Motorhead" are always good but have been heard to death. Right now I'm listening to Lemmy's hard bass hitting "Orgasmatron". Orgasms like this you've never had. This is such an unrelenting riff of total hardcore and yet still funny at the same time. Lemmy is too real to ever believe in his own hype.
Even Kilmiester will admit that he has sang "Ace Of Spades" so many times that it has lost meaning for him. Perhaps that is why it is the only song on the two disk album to get a spiffy-do remix (yes I'm being sarcastic because, NO I don't like it). I understand why he did it, he is trying to kill that damn beast.
This album is especially cool because, in this day of re-recording everything for digital, ALL THE ACES instead brings together the music from the various albums without worrying about modern techno-techniques. That means that we are treated to the impossibly fast drumming of 'Philthy' Phil Taylor (many modern metal bands choose a 'drum machine' over / or to accent their real drummer because they cannot find the kind of awesome talent that was Phil Taylor. That's pathetic) and the string jumping fingers of 'Fast' Eddie Clarke, all together again.
This album will also take you through the raw, barely produced sound of 1979's "Bomber". You'll also hear Clarke's replacement Brian Robertson, and his replacements Wurzel and Phil Campbell. When Taylor moved on, the tempo changed with Pete Gill's more refined touch.
With this disk you get it all, including the song "Overkill" from which the name of the Metal band OVERKILL was born. There is something special on the second disk; a bit of history finally unburied from MOTÖRHEAD's past. Disk 2 contains The Mugger's Tapes. A side project for Clarke and Taylor with some friends from a band at the time called Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers. The sound is a heavy rock and rolling bout of Rock and Heavy Metal's original Blues roots.
Sometimes historical retrospectives like this can be a bit embarrassing, especially when you look at some of the foofy nylon and spandex "period" costumes that some of these otherwise excellent bands (CELTIC FROST for example) wore. No fear with MOTÖRHEAD. They look today like they looked then and always. This was and will always be a real hardcore denim and leather band. No "Pass the makeup and hairgell" they.
Greatest Hits and Best of albums are usually a sterile collection of good songs crammed together and edited to fit without any thought to the meaning of the songs or the way they should go together. Not the case with ALL THE ACES. This Best Of album is every bit as alive and blood pounding as MOTÖRHEAD themselves.
5 easy Perplex Skulls.
This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.