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Another Perfect Day is a real odd-duck in Motorhead's discography. The fact that it came right after Fast Eddie Clark quit the band and was released a short time after their "classic trilogy" (Ace Of Spades, Bomber and Overkill) made the timing for this album a really under appreciated album and a quite obscure one in their discography.
Along with Fast's departure, the band resurrected with a new guitar player- Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy, which introduced a different approach to the usual Motorhead sound. Take the songs Dancing On Your Grave and I Got Mine for example- they both feature a very melodic intro and an accompanying riff (which is something the band has never done before), and both having some great hooks and catchy solos as well as being heavy and having a genuine Motorhead essence to it. It is accompanied by some very simple straightforward drumming patterns by Philthy Animal which fit the music perfectly and set the pace to the album with emphasizing the guitars and the vocals at the same time- a thing which not many bands would achieve in their entire careers.
As of every Motorhead album, there are some speed metal songs (Back At the Funny Farm and Shine being the most notable) which really outshine themselves this time- they aren't the usual "fast heavy metal" songs the band has known to produce- but actually feature some speed/early thrash characteristics this time with being bluesy and melodic at the same time- sounding more like an Eric Clapton/ Metallica hybrid would have done rather than just being mediocre. Another standout point in this album are the slow, chuggy songs that take a major place in the album- they don't hurt your usual Motorhead album headbanging routine, but instead, make it much more diverse and interesting- Lemmy sounds more aggressive, yet having a larger gnarling scale this album. This fact is one of the most definitive highlights of this release- they accentuate the music and function like an instrument themselves.
The production is the most muddy production a Motorhead album has ever had- and works perfectly. The instruments and vocals are embroidered into each other, creating a not-so cacophonous mess and empowering the whole "metal essence" of the release- along with the lyrics, that focus more on society-based issues rather than focusing on the classic sex/women/rock n' roll lyrics that characterize the rest of their discography. Overall, this flawless album is definitely one of the best Motorhead albums ever forged, and marked a new era for the band. Mandatory.
Standout songs: Dancing On Your Grave, I Got Mine, Shine
R.I.P Lemmy (1945-2015)
R.I.P Philty Animal (1954-2015)
Man, this album is perfect. I'll be honest I'm kind of a neophyte when it comes to Motörhead's music. This, my friends, is grinding gritty hard-rock/metal at its absolute peak. Fast as fuck yet not quite Speed Metal in tempo, "Another Perfect Day" blasts along from start to finish at a hectic pace but fully accentuated by Robertson's immaculate melodic lead playing the entire time. You've got the classic Motörhead formulae with a massive injection of blues and jazz guitar parts. The result is a stunning musical experience which leaves a lasting impression and demands repeated listens.
The dual guitar approach is done to perfection here; you'll have jazz chords played at super-sonic speeds then a blasting blues guitar lead on top of that, while Lemmy's bass stays chugging along with the perfectly syncopated drums. It sounds like a mish-mash of sound, but Motörhead never deviates from their core in-your-face sound which of course is high-lighted by Lemmy's unmistakable raspy vocals. It's not uncommon for every song to feature a searing guitar solo, typically bluesy in nature, and perfectly in key with the complex chords found throughout.
Blown away from the first listen, I cannot see how anyone could criticize this tribute to the freedom of the soul. "Another Perfect Day" embodies what Heavy Metal is all about: freedom, rebellion, creative spirit, and all of the intangibles which Heavy Metal collectively represents.
The guitar tone is absolutely flawless; the rhythm playing is perfectly distinguishable from the melodic leads, every note is heard in every chord, probably a sound only achieved with a Les Paul guitar and Marshall amp. The leads sound completely boosted by some sort of EQ pedal and a touch of delay and if you're a fan of technical blues guitar in the vein of Stevie Ray Vaughn or Hendrix, you'll love Robertson's lead playing as it has a lot of blues-on-steroids influences.
Arpeggios are featured throughout, some songs begin with them, like the title track, and then they're intermittently injected for even more melody later on in the song. You've got your basic power and barre chord structure on every single song, like nearly all metal, but Robbo uses a lot of jazzy open power chords which give it that almost minor-key sound. The distortion is probably found more in the bass than the guitars, but these melodies here from start to finish are highly addictive. Lyrical content ranges from "Woman, I am through with you" to "We are marching to war" type themes.
"Another Perfect Day" has nostalgic appeal to me as it's the year I was born, and I can substantively say, this album will stay in my rotation for a very, very long time. I have dedicated this album as the sound-track for my life in 2014... Freedom, Metal, and Melody. A timeless classic.
I remember the first time I discovered this album and being mesmerized by the cover art. Lemmy and the boys were almost certainly unaware of it, but the picture adorning their album was way ahead of its time. They had next to nothing to do with the development of death metal, but the art on Another Perfect Day was very much in the spirit of what was to start hitting the record store shelves by the end of the decade. Not back then in the genre's heyday, and certainly not today, are any records found with a cover as badass and downright frightening as this one. Just what the hell is going on here? Ol' Snaggletooth doesn't look like he's doing so well, caught up in some kind of infernal tempest of fire, ice, and lightning, complete with a forked tongue and lava spewing from an eye socket. The title lettering looks like a scabbed-over wound in the aftermath of it being carved in someone's arm.
Truly, the cover seems out of place when you consider the type of music for which Motörhead is known. "Ferocity" isn't a term that I would attribute to the Motörhead sound. Rather, the first two words that come to mind as I try to describe it are "grit" and "sleaze". What perhaps makes Another Perfect Day an oddity in the band's catalog is that here the lyrical subject matter and the overall tone of the music is darker and a bit more serious than on any of their previous successes. Don't take my statement the wrong way - I'm not saying that Motörhead is trying to make legitimate political or social commentary with this music. What I am saying is that this album isn't as heavily punk or blues influenced as most of their earlier work, and the subject matter is focused on insanity, revenge, and war more so than it is on sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.
All that being said, what does the music actually sound like? Well, for lack of a better term, gritty. It's unfortunate, but the production here really isn't good at all. The first time I listened to this album, the opening track really threw me off-base. The bottom end of the mix is so hopelessly lost that I hadn't realized the song's first verse had started. I understand how this can be upsetting to many fans. One of the things that is always expected of a Motörhead album is to hear Lemmy's bass loud and clear. You have to really search for it on this release. During the segments of the album when the band isn't simply pounding away, there is a noticeable amount of reverberation in the guitar tone. At other times, it all sounds very hollow. It sounds under-produced. It isn't normal for this band at all.
I suppose it's for reasons such as those that this album is often considered "overlooked" and why it wasn't a commercial success. It's a shame, really, because the quality of songwriting here is a considerable improvement over the previous year's Iron Fist and quite a bit more complex and varied than their offerings on Ace of Spades (although not nearly as catchy). The opening track, "Back at the Funny Farm", is without question one of Motörhead's best songs. In a way, it serves as a microcosm of everything the band had done up to that point in their career - and is no way indicative of what anything on the rest of the album sounds like, save for the closing track, "Die You Bastard". Two blazing tracks bookend the rest of the contents, much of which is very strange for this band.
The main riff to "Shine", the song which follows the fantastic opener, is simply awkward. If you can stomach it, this is the kind of music the remainder of the album portrays to the listener. Nearly all of the tracks have calm, unoffensive introductory sections which are directly influenced by 70's-style prog rock, and many of them have overtones derived from the same style of music. Does this detract from the album's quality? No, it's just different. "Dancing on Your Grave" is a Motörhead classic and is the genesis of Sepultura, and despite that it's an oddly melodic track. Even so, it's not nearly as toned-down as "One Track Mind" or the title track. If you followed my statement there, yes, that's right. This album's title track is not a tearing, speeding song. It's mid-paced at most. Motörhead isn't known for playing ballad-type songs, but all of the slower work here is executed very well. Lemmy knows how to handle his voice even when the music isn't at its most aggressive and the music is still heavy even when it's slow. Odd for Motörhead, but enjoyable.
It's the innately unusual character of this album that makes it so memorable for me. Motörhead's music is supposed to be about motorcycles and booze and picking up trashy women and getting into fights in shitty bars. Another Perfect Day paints for us a vastly different picture. I'm not claiming that Motörhead is atmospheric, but for their style this is a very bleak album. It sticks with me - the tangible insanity of "Back at the Funny Farm", the desperate feeling of the chorus in "Marching off to War", the depression of being worn down by the perpetual grind in the title track... Maybe it doesn't stick out for some people, but it definitely does for me. In a nutshell, that's why I like Another Perfect Day so much. It feels to me almost like Motörhead's attempt to take their music and image in a slightly different direction while remaining true to their roots. Of course, we're all aware that no such change ever truly happened, and most are grateful for it, too. Motörhead today is the same old Motörhead, but I still strongly recommend this album as look into their past from a very strangely placed window.
The year is 1982. Motörhead are about to record a cover of the song, Stand by Your Man. Not that surprisingly 'Fast' Eddie Clarke thinks it's bullshit and quits the band as a protest. This all happens in the middle of the tour so Lemmy and Phil are left in a bit of a bind, not having a guitarist for their live dates. Fortunately someone informs them that Brian 'Robbo' Robertson - formerly of Thin Lizzy-fame - is on tour a couple of towns over. A few phone calls later: Motörhead has a new guitarist. However, throwing out a raging madman like Eddie Clarke and bringing in a completely different style of guitarist has its complications. Robertson is a much more melodic guitarist, a master of the style having played it together with Scott Gorham in Thin Lizzy for five years and five albums. For this reason, Another Perfect Day was going to be a different album from the start, despite what Lemmy says.
"Fuck notes", yet the album is chock full of them. Well, surely it fires off with a classic Motörhead-style rocker which could almost keep pace with the likes of the title track-trio, Overkill, Bomber and Ace of Spades, but while Lemmy's bass is rough and fast, Robbo's guitar plays a very melodic line and by the second part of his first solo he shows that he definitely is no Eddie Clarke. That is, he is a lot more versatile and interesting lead guitarist than his predecessor. Eddie was very fitting for the style of the earlier albums, but Robbo does his thing with a lot more style and class. His solos and leads take up a whole lot of space on the album and fortunately he has the chops to warrant this kind of attention. Whenever Lemmy isn't on the mic, Robbo has something going on in the melody section; a little twiddle that he repeats with a slight variation, a small lead bit, a full-on solo or something in between. This translates to a lack of rhythm guitar, but with the band in case being Motörhead this isn't really a problem as Lemmy's bass is cranked up loud - but not disturbingly so - and distorted with some mid-range fuzz so it can support Robbo's guitaring the back-up oomph it needs.
Not that surprisingly, without Eddie there, the punk-influence on Another Perfect Day is toned down a notch or two. In its place is a lot more rock'n'roll, courtesy of Eddie's replacement. He has also brought with him long, leisurely yet fast-paced sections fitting for his extensive solos. The thing is though, where this album works is the songs that rely on Robbo's melodies. These are often the lighter songs, with a more laid back attitude to them, with riffs drenched in Robertson's melodic ideas. They're like a picnic on a sunny lazy day with a joint or two to pass around. It's like at the writing sessions Lemmy and Phil were convinced by their new guitarist to do the compositions under the effects of marijuana instead of the speed they were commonly cranking. There's a loose, bluesy feeling to the two songs of this kind, Dancing on Your Grave and the title track, especially when Robertson is given a free hand to go at it and do what he does best. At times the songs feel more like vehicles for his solos than actual songs, which is by no means a bad thing. He is just that much of a delight to listen to. A third lighter track also features on the album, but it is one that Clarke took hand in writing, even if it sounds a bit off for him. I Got Mine is a kind of a love song even if it takes a fast paced Motörhead-stab at the style, but the riffs are again based just on Lemmy's bass while the guitar plays vastly melodic riffs whenever it isn't a time for a lead or a solo. It makes a striking contrast to the two other songs with its faster tempo, lighter feel and very long solo sections, which are very much a treat. Imagining the sections taken over by Clarke is quite a task; they probably would've been shortened a lot if not cut out altogether.
It's not difficult to imagine why people might have scratched their heads at these songs on a Motörhead album and why fans might have been disappointed. It's not exactly the album to wreck things by when hyped up on crank, even if a couple of the songs on it would be fitting for that. It's an album for someone who enjoys melodic, blues and rock 'n' roll-tinged guitar playing since there's plenty of that, especially in terms of leadwork. That is by far the best part of the album and fortunately Lemmy and Phil didn't hold Robbo back on this. He has all the space he needs. Which is why it is rather lamentable that he wanted even more. Robertson's career in Motörhead ended after the tour for the album for he refused to play a lot of old Motörhead classics such as Overkill, Ace of Spades and Bomber. We are left with this one, unique piece of work, showcasing his magnificent guitaring.
Featuring Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy fame, and mind you I like Thin Lizzy, this album is very different from any other Motorhead album. It's much softer and melody driven than anything I've heard from Motorhead, while this works on some tracks, it sounds very out of place on others.
With Phil Lynott's emotional delivery and poetic songwriting, Robbo's idea of rock based on sweet melodies worked well, but Lemmy has a different kind of emotion to his voice, and a different ideology behind his band, one of "Turn it up loud and smash everything". Being the ultimate pub band, Motorhead rock hard, everyone in the band putting 110% of their energy together through the song, let the guitar man rip out some blazing biker solo once in a while, and keep going. There's rarely space in a Motorhead song for massive lead breaks and "Raise your lighters" anthemic melodies, sticking those just for the sake of it only brings down the intensity which makes Motorhead what they are.
Anyways, on to the songs. Back at the Funny Farm is the first one, and it is one of the songs which work rather well here, it has a nice and catchy melody and sounds just like that, Thin Lizzy's driving melodies with Motorhead's energy, very nice. Shine is another one of that style, only a bit weaker, it also sounds very vintage rock n roll for some reason.
Dancing on Your Grave is where the clash of styles is the most problematic to my ears, it is driven by a very sugary-poppy melody which sounds like it could of been on a Poison song. This doesn't sound good at all, especially with Lemmy singing over it. One of the few Motorhead songs I can't listen to.
One Track Mind also suffers from the problem of an overly sappy lead melody, it's also too damn long. Yeah, Robbo wanks a lot on this one, but that doesn't justify dragging it on for 6 minutes with that uninspired chorus, neither does it save it from being sleep inducingly boring. Motorhead's longer songs usually rely on some fast part somewhere that comes out of nowhere and kicks you just when you've been nodding off, here they tried to make it work by sticking some massive solo, and it doesn't work. Motorhead should not be sleeping music!
I Got Mine is one of the better results of the experimentation on this album. It starts off very poppy and melodic, and just as you're about to say fuck off and skip it turns cool and mean. It keeps on alternating between the poppy part and the heavy part just so the poppy part gets its hooks in you, but the song altogether doesn't come off as too poppy. Interesting, although a bit overlong.
Tales of Glory - typical speedy Motorhead. This song is actually not that notable, but these are the type of songs that should of been on the album, blunt, powerful and undeniably Motorhead, with a little touch of melody and some noodling from Robbo. Die You Bastard is similar, only the melodies on the chorus sound a little awkward.
Recommended tracks : Back at the Funny Farm, Shine, I Got Mine.
Average release, lots of failed experiments.
Ah, ‘Another Perfect Day’ you odd and glimmering beast, Motörhead’s strangest and most unique album. ‘Another Perfect Day’ has all the drunken fury of Motörhead with a glowing melodic twist, complete with all sorts of shiny melodic twiddling from Robbo, ‘Another Perfect Day’ bursts forth with a vitality and vigour that was often missing in ‘Iron Fist’. Misunderstood and oft neglected, it was the ugly duckling of ‘head albums. The critics deemed it a “final nail in Motörhead’s coffin” and Robbo proceeded to act like a complete cunt on the following tour… but to the knowing, it’s one of the highpoints of their career.
One thing I must stress about ‘Another Perfect Day’ is that it has lots and lots of guitar solos. Each of them is absolutely phenomenal and despite their length and frequency they never outstay their welcome. It’s the musical equivalent of Mr. Creosote, Robbo leaves you absolutely stuffed… it’s the famed Motörhead overkill albeit in a different way.
“And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin solo”.
“No, fuck-off I’m full”.
That’s the effect ‘Another Perfect Day’ has on some. One of humanities many quirks, I can’t really understand why anyone wouldn’t want Robbo flailing away on every album is beyond me. This isn’t a faceless Iced Earth lead guitarist hammering up and down his scales on a death metal album, this is Brian Fucking Robertson, and his guitar is a weapon. Actually putting just how great he is on this album is difficult, I simply find myself uttering phrases such as “vaguely chorused melodic flail of psychedelic wisdom”, “canyon wide vibrato”, “whiskey drenched impending sonic hard-on” and generally dwelling on the sad fact that Robbo cut his lovely curly hair… but it seems he was no Samson. As a Lizzy fan I appreciate this album on another level too, it’s Robbo’s ‘Bad Reputation’ in which he gets to prove that he can go solo by, ahem, soloing (though Robbo did contribute some guitar to the aforementioned Lizzy album, see ‘Opium Trail’ for another blazing solo, you know you want to!)
‘Another Perfect Day’ sees Motörhead branching out into more melodic territory and in stunning fashion too. The title track is a weirdly beautiful song, with an almost delicate guitar intro. Using my acute sense of listening I can get a really strong ZZ Top vibe here. That opening strange guitar tone? Go listen to ‘Degüello’ to see where they nicked it from. But better still is that Robbo actually outdoes Billy Gibbons with his slow burning bluesy solos. Lemmy’s lyrics are absolutely phenomenal, but that really isn’t much of a surprise given it’s Lemmy of a certain vintage. But still it’s one of his best sets ever, really giving a certain booze-soaked beauty to the whole thing. A unique Motörhead song and something special on a very special album. This is one of the things that persistently pisses me off about Motörhead, when a clueless prick and possible Opeth fan says “Motörhead? It all sounds the same to me”. By God, listen to this song and then say ‘Orgasmatron’ and tell me it’s all the same. Don’t make me beat you with the CD case.
It’s perhaps the fantastic Joe Pentagno artwork that exemplifies the stylistic change on ‘Another Perfect Day’ best; it’s the same beast just more colourful. A song like ‘Back at the Funny Farm’ shows this wonderfully, it’s a Motörhead rocker – tried and true – but the execution is somewhat different. Surely you can guess something different is going on when we get that little guitar twiddle before the well-worn opening bass salvo. I suppose in a way ‘Back at the Funny Farm’ harkens back to Lemmy’s Hawkwind days *make sure to insert witty daze joke for final review* it’s strangely psychedelic and Robbo’s solos take on a Hendrixy vibe, which is fucking excellent. I could actually hum you each of the solos in this song, as they’re all immensely memorable, for the purposes of this review however, I won’t. Again it’s that sublime melodic craft, with a really racy feel that just sucks me in. Robbo really uses effects pedals as an extension of his playing rather than an “I bought a multi-effects pedal, look at it improve my playing!” sort of thing. Guess who else did that? No not, Vim Fuego…Hendrix! That’s right, turns out if you want to capture the actually feeling of a player you have to use your imagination rather than just bash away. Sorry John Mayer, the results are in and you fucking suck.
What with my persistent banging-on about the solos you could be forgiven for thinking that ‘Another Perfect Day’ isn’t a song-centric record, as per usual, you’d be wrong. If anything ‘Another Perfect Day’ is a more commercially minded Motörhead record than anything that preceded it. ‘I Got Mine’ exemplifies this perfectly; it’s a strident and melodic number with a gorgeous hooky chorus. It moves forward at a wonderful pace, the key and tempo change give a great sense of dynamics. That’s right, pop song writing it just happens to be very loud pop… which in an onomatopoeic sense sounds about right. Did someone say nominal solo analysis? Ok, if I must. Robbo pulls out some wonderful honky slide guitar on this one and at 2:30 we get an accent that sounds like a tweeting bird! Ace!
Given the lighter feel of this record Philthy – in his last ever truly great performance – adapts his playing. He doesn’t play as heavily as he did on the previous albums and this lighter touch works fine. Philthy’s performance is still a very energetic one and he’s doing what all great drummers do – adapting his style to fit the music. Remember how you’re playing together not against one another?
Interestingly enough, there is some other material that is unreleased from this era. I heard a bootleg from Switzerland from the arse-end of the ‘Iron Fist’ tour in 1982, and it featured another Robbo era track that I can’t remember the name of. It wasn’t up to the standard of the stuff on here but still an interesting listen for the obsessive compulsive Motörhead fan… I wonder what Würzel is doing right now?
A lot of bands with long careers have their bizarre wild-card albums a lot of them are absolute stinkers, Motörhead being Motörhead have a fucking fantastic one. It seems ‘Another Perfect Day’ is another one of those fan-favourite underdogs that ’83 seemed to have a lot of. You know, the ones spoken of in the dingiest corner of the dingiest hairy pubs in your town. Certainly don’t hesitate in picking this one up, I did and it was the stupidest fifteen minutes of my life. Honestly, I considered buying a Zakk Wylde era Ozzy album instead! Ha.
"Another Perfect Day" is considered somewhat of an "odd" album in the Motorhead discography. The sole studio album to feature ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson, APD was condemned by critics at the time of it's release as a "sellout." Nothing could be farther from the truth, as the album is a mix of very heavy material, excellent musicianship and an unusual (for Motorhead) melodic twist.
Now I'll admit that the album cover art is not the best rendering of Snaggletooth, but musically this album has a lot of diversity to offer.
On the rockier side of things is album opener "Back at the Funny Farm," showing off a bit of the punk side of Motorhead. "One Track Mind" is a slow groover, similar in style to "Metropolis." Single "Shine" is a classic track and shows off Robertson's playing style well.
"I've Got Mine" is the true treasure from this album. I hesitate to call any Motorhead song "beautiful" but dammit, this is just a wonderful song. If you ever had any feelings for a woman you've got to relate to this. A very well-written song with great melodic riff, this is Robbo's moment to shred, and the extended solo at the end of the song shows the exceptional talent of this rather unstable guitarist. I love this song, but if anyone wanted to condemn the album as "AOR" this one would probably be their focal point. Personally I think a bit of melody in heavy metal, as long as it's not overdone, is a good thing.
And if anybody wants to say this album is not heavy I've got three words for them, "Die you Bastard!" This album-closer has the 'evil' Motorhead sound we all love, Lemmy cranks out the bass on this one. "Marching Off To War." is also on the heavier end of the spectrum here.
If you're a hardcore Motorbanger you already have this. If you've passed it up, don't be put off any longer by the criticisms you may have heard about this album or lineup. Enjoy this unusual but very exciting album album by the might Motorhead. I've got mine, now you go and get yours!
Another Perfect Day was recorded in between line up changes. This was a step into a softer and more artistic sound, but this is not Hair Rock we are talking about, this is Motorhead! Fear not, it has no chance of being confused with Helloween's “Chameleon”. It resembles one of Deep Purple’s albums a lot more. The speed is still there. “Shine” is one of the fastest tracks Motorhead have recorded.
“Dancing on your Grave” and “One Track Mind” have a slower bluesy feel. “Rock it“ is my favourite track, it is straight ahead rock n roll in the vein of “Going to Brazil”. The rest, while not as memorable are no filler and worth a listen.
As every Motorhead album, this has bonus songs. Mine has “Turn you round again” – the best of these, “ I’m your hoochie coochie man”, and “Don’t need religion”. They add to the length, but the quality is in the main album songs.
The title of the review comes from a quote in the liner notes about the album and the following tour. Apparently some fans at the time thought Motorhead have sold out!!! If only Metallica would put out an album of this quality every time they decide to experiment. As far as the album sleeve it has the works – photos, lyrics, notes and a comic.
If you want to check out the more diverse side of Motorhead pick this up. If you are looking for something to go nuts to, or to kill the neighbours lawn and to give their cat a social disorder look elsewhere.