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Shane’s Music Challenge: MOTORHEAD – 1991 – 1916

| 19 March 2014 | Reply

Shane’s Music Challenge: MOTORHEAD – 1991 – 1916
8.5/10

Motorhead - 1916 cover

Motorhead’s ninth studio album was a game changer for the band. Coming out of a self-confessed (in the liner notes, no less!) rut and legal problems, Lemmy & Co started recording with Ramones producer Ed Stasium before ditching him for Peter Solley. (Stasium insisted he quite due to The Lemm-meister’s prodigious alcohol & drug intake, but the band declared they’d had enough when they found tambourine and clave backing tracks that the producer had added after they’d left for the night)

The result, against the odds, was the best ‘Head album since the classic line-up’s days. The band – Philthy Animal Taylor, Wurzel and Phil Campbell – was on fire and 1916 takes the traditional Motorhead sound behind the bike sheds to do dirty things with it, before parading it around the school with a new glint of experience in its eyes.

From The One To Sing The Blues, the punk boogie of I’m So Bad (Baby I Don’t Care), the catchy No Voices In The Sky and irresistible Going To Brazil, through the spooky Manitou-possessed Nightmare/The Dreamtime and the ballad (later covered by Doro Pesch) Love Me Forever, on to Angel City’s teasing of self-indulgent modern rockstars, 1916 rocks hard from start to finish.

R.A.M.O.N.E.S. is a pure punk tribute to Da Brudders – who later covered the song themselves, even getting Lemmy onstage to play it with ‘em at their last ever show.

The album has one big shot in the eye too, for critics who said the band were one dimensional. The title track, nestled in at the end of the record, is just Lemmy’s vocals over a minimalist drum machine and a mournful cello. Sounds terrible doesn’t it? Well it’s actually strangely beautiful and a wonderfully courageous move by the man to defy expectations so boldly. Basically a poem mourning the wholesale slaughter of WWI, it’s touching and heartbreaking, and personally, I’d like to hear Lemmy explore his sensitive side a little more…

Shane

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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