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You may have noticed by now (or not, doesn’t matter) that there are damn few compilation records rated on this site, also known as Greatest Hits and/or Best Of collections. That’s because most of them suck. No seriously, most of ‘em are redundant, repetitive, and hardly revelatory and often contain material the band in question wouldn’t have released if the record company heads had their family members at gunpoint. But as in most other ways, Motorhead is a different story, and No Remorse is not your average “as seen on TV” product.
Quick background. As 1984 dawned, Brian Robertson was dishonorably discharged from the Motor-ranks, being a gent of vast talent but sporadic execution. Thus, Field Marshall Lemmy recruited two new and generally unknown guitarists to replace him, ex-Persian Risk man Phil Campbell and totally out of the blue character Mick “Wurzel” Burston. This decision made, Philthy Animal Taylor quit the band, leaving Lemmy in the lurch (kind of appropriate; he was nicknamed “the lurch" in Hawkwind days). And so as a sort of re-assessment of Motor-history and preparation for it’s future, a weapons and artillery check was ordered, bolstered by new material as well as dusted-off rarities.
Thus No Remorse is the perfect Motor-course into the band’s early daze, collecting some of the finest hours of their initial thrust (Motorhead, Overkill, Bomber, Ace Of Spades, No Sleep Til Hammersmith, Iron Fist and Another Perfect Day). Sure, these albums are (almost) all stone cold classics unto themselves and feature plenty of material not on hand here, but the cuts that are be dead on, matey. Of the four new cuts, featuring the aforementioned guitar guys and ex-Saxon drummer Pete Gill, “Killed By Death” stands tallest, featuring not only a foundation rattling drum sound, but a heavier, deeper Motor-sound overall (what a difference an extra guitar makes). Also present are cuts from the legendary EP Saint Valentines Day Massacre, the band recorded with fellow Brits Girlschool, the finest number being a cover version of Johnny Kidd and The Pirates oldie “Please Don’t Touch.”
Thus this is the right place to enter the vast and somewhat intimidating Motor-archive, and I must say it was very useful to those of us in the USA at the time of issue, cuz Motorhead stuff was moderately rare to come by here despite the band being huge in England (and Japan and Germany, by the way). Release notes: if you were lucky (and had a full wallet) you could have found a leather bound edition of this collection (seen it, couldn’t afford it). Also I am relatively certain that initial super snazzy CD versions of this release had to edit a few tracks off of the original 2 record set due to running time constraints. And this was the format of the future, eh? A vinyl head like myself cannot help but snicker ruefully at such an ironic turn of events.
I remember meeting a fellow in my high school in the fall of 1983, who was the first real headbanger I'd ever met at the time. he was the first fan of this band I'd ever met also, and after hanging out with him for a while, being the impressionable geek I was at the time, I inevitably ended up wanting to enmulate him. So one day, I took my entire allowance to the record store and dropped it all on ths original leather sleeve version of this double album--an unheard of thing for me back then. Rushing home, I ripped off the plastic wrap, threw it on my turntable...and was completely devastated. I had never heard a bass guitar sound that mean and nasty before, and it made my jaw hang in disbelief! From that point onward, after my initial dabblings into the hard rock realm, like Quiet Riot, WASP, and Motley Crue, as well as Iron Maiden, I knew what I wanted from music and it was MORE of this wildly fast, manic buzz bomb roar! My descent into the realms of real metal began with Motorhead on that very day, and I remember it most fondly--like a guy remembers losing his virginity.
This is the most crucial Motorhead ever, because for newbies it will do just what it did for me--help them understand how long 'Head have been around and just how extensive their recorded legacy is. Not to mention it will serve as a gateway for heavier and better music as opposed to what kids listen to these days. Not to mention it will hip them to some of the best metal music ever recorded. EVER. Lemmy is GOD, and the more folks understand that, the better! You need this album, just as you need...hell, ANY Motorhead, really. Preferably the older stuff, of course...