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This album is fucking awesome. If there is any album that would explain Motörhead's surprisingly large popularity, it would be "Ace of Spades". Before this, Motörhead was just playing good music and having fun, but it was with this album where people realized that they were fucking serious. For some people, this is probably their first Motörhead record (I know it was mine), it's definitely their most successful, it has a Classic Albums documentary about it, it is featured in the book "The 1001 Albums You Must Listen to Before You Die", and Motörhead still play songs from this album in live shows to this day. It's simple enough to be successful, but heavy enough to have scared the living shit out of music listeners at the time and influence many bands like Sodom, Slayer and Venom.
The best way I can describe the feel and flow of this album is this way: You're driving your car down the highway, and it just so happens that not a single car cuts you off, there's not a single red light in sight, and the speed limit is fucking 100. So you just race down the highway not giving a fuck and just enjoying life at it's fullest. Unfortunately that will probably only happen in wet-dream-ville so it's best not to play this while driving, because otherwise your obituary will end up in the paper the next day. But I digress.
The production/mixing on this album is as fucking relentless as the music itself. The bass booms like an engine, the guitar rips through the sound like lion claws and the drums pound bruises into your stomach. Not to mention the (always) awesome vocal performance by Lemmy (who always knows how to sing with an equal amount of aggression as well as carrying a tune at the same time, funny that I can't say the same for a lot of modern vocalists). Either way, this album sounds like a motorcycle engine except that that certain engine also contains some hard-rockin' songs that never get old. Best engine ever!
Now, let's talk about the songwriting, mostly this album dashes through at a fast pace with the exception of the mid-paced rocker "The Chase is Better Than the Catch". The riff-work on "Ace of Spades" is almost formulaic in a way (which doesn't bring the album down in the slightest), yet it never stops my head from banging the shit out of itself. The fastest songs on here are "Ace of Spades", "Fire, Fire", "Dance", "Bite the Bullet" and "The Hammer". All follow the same formula but are still awesome and bucket loads of fun. "Love Me Like a Reptile", "Shoot You in the Back", "Fast and Loose", "Live to Win", "(We are) The Road Crew" and "Jailbait" take it a little slower but the effect is still loud and strong (and bucket-loads of fun). Each song on here plays loud and proud and it keeps the pace of the album going until it stops and gets the listener excited for seeing Motörhead on tour (which I have yet to do).
A lot of people criticize this album for being too repetitive or for not being varied enough, understandable, but I don't see how that is a bad thing. Motörhead is one of my favorite bands of all time and I wouldn't change their sound for the life of me. I say, if your good at what you do, keep doing it. Of course, I have nothing against bands/artists wanting to try new things and exploring shit, but sometimes those people can get a little pretentious with all the experimental shit that they put out. Besides, Motörhead loves what they do and they didn't even let record companies change their sound, so that alone is enough of a reason why I love their music so much. All I can say is, if you have passion, it doesn't matter if your varied or not. If you're a Motörhead fan and still don't own this record (although, I don't think that's even possible) or if your trying to get into Motörhead, buy this album, it will surely get you into them, I know for sure that this album got me into them. It's not perfect, but it's damn close.