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How do you write a review for a 5-CD box that that contains 99 songs or over 6 hours of music? I think such a collection should be pretty comprehensive and therefore I will concentrate on the songs or versions of songs
1. that should be on here but aren’t and
2. that need not necessarily be on here but are.
The early years (1975 - 1977) are covered pretty well, including the far superior (Single-) versions of “City Kids” and “White Line Fever”. However, I would have included the “ultimate” versions of “Leavin’ Here” (from the “Golden Years” EP) “Motorhead” (from “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith”).
The Bronze years (1979 - 1982):
Hello? Where is “Damage Case”? WHERE THE FUCK IS “DAMAGE CASE”?
If I had to pick a few songs from “Overkill” that must not be left out, it would be the title track, “Damage Case”, “Stay Clean” and “No Class”. If absolutely necessary, I could even live without the last two, but there is no excuse for leaving out one of the other two, especially when you include 9 of the 10 songs of that album!
Of the “Iron Fist” tracks I would have replaced “Don’t Need Religion” by e.g. “Speedfreak” plus I think “Jailbait” and even more so “The Hammer” (both from “Ace Of Spades”) should have found their way on this compilation. It’s, however, justifiable to leave them out, but I will never understand the motives for including one of two (!) HEADGIRL - songs, namely “Please Don’t Touch” and leaving out the fuckin’ brilliant “Emergency”.
On a positive note, they included the Hammersmith - version of “We Are The Roadcrew” and the MOTÖRDAMN - version of “Over The Top”.
The Eighties (without Eddie Clarke) (1983 - 1989):
With only 3 songs the fantastic “Another Perfect Day” is a little underrepresented, plus there is no excuse for ignoring such standout - tracks as “Back At The Funny Farm” and “Dancing On Your Grave”.
For the “No Remorse” compilation Motörhead recorded 4 new tracks. Again, if you include 3 of 4 songs, don’t leave off something like the blistering “Locomotive”, plus “Killed By Death”, like “Ace Of Spades”, is just one of those classics that must be included in its original incarnation, no matter how good any other version might be.
The same goes basically for the complete “Orgasmatron” album. (If you wanna know why, just read my review for that album)
The song-selection from “Rock 'n' Roll” is great, but “All For You” (if only for the chorus) shouldn’t be missing.
EXCLUSIVE! If there has ever been a song that fits that definition it’s “Black Leather Jacket”. Never released anywhere, this unknown song is so good, that even the guys at Allmusic marked it as one of the highlights. (Don’t get me wrong, I love this site, but when it comes to Metal they often seem to have not the slightest idea what they’re talking about.)
The later years (1991 - 2002):
“The One To Sing The Blues” was good enough to be lifted from 1991’s masterpiece “1916”, but not to make it on this compilation? Moreover, if the haunting title track wasn’t a milestone in the evolution of this band I don’t know which song was!
Just like “All For You” (from “Rock ‘n’ Roll”) “Too Good To Be True” (from “March Ör Die”) may not be a fan-favourite, but it gives me the creeps every time I listen to it. The other song from “March Ör Die” I’m missing is “Hellraiser” (another single), although, frankly, it can’t quite compete with Ozzy’s version.
“Bastards” should have gotten an extra paragraph, because what happened here borders on sabotage! I think there is no justification whatsoever for leaving off only one of the first 9 songs of this album. But what really bothers me is the fact that the mind-blowing “Death Or Glory” AND “Liar” AND the brilliant ballads “Lost In The Ozone” AND “Don’t Let Daddy Kiss Me” (another disregarded single) are missing, while “Devils” can be found on here!
From “Sacrifice” to “Hammered” only the album tracks were taken for this compilation, so there is no risk of getting the “wrong” versions.
Just like “Another Perfect Day” “Sacrifice” is pretty underrepresented, as there are missing fantastic songs like “All Gone To Hell”, “Don’t Waste Your Time” and “In Another Time”.
The same goes for “Snake Bite Love”, as “Dead And Gone”, “Don’t Lie To Me” or “Desperate For You” were not included.
The catchy “Out To Lunch” and, especially, the atypical (or even unique) “Wake The Dead” from “We Are Motörhead” should have found their way on this album as well.
Finally, if I had to pick one song from the “Hammered” album to be included here, it would be the (at least by Motörhead standards) insanely fast “Red Raw”. This song is certainly not representative for the album (it actually doesn’t even fit on the album at all), but it’s one of the fastest and heaviest Motörhead - tracks of all time, and if that doesn’t qualify for a Best of-compilation, what does?
This is a pretty good box-set, although 5 CDs are probably far too much for the casual listener, while the hardcore fan probably owns their regular albums anyway. For the people in-between, however, this might be the perfect choice.
The early years and a few albums, like “Bomber” or “Overnight Sensation” are covered pretty completely and, apart from the “Damage Case” disaster, the best songs from the Bronze years are included as well. By purchasing this box-set you may also abandon other albums, such as “Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “March Ör Die”, “We Are Motörhead” or “Hammered”.
On the other hand, I think there are a few albums that are masterpieces in themselves and should be owned and heard in their entirety, like “1916” and “Orgasmatron”. However, if you don’t share my opinion, then this box-set should be sufficient for you, as these albums are very well represented.
Especially in combination with other compilations (e.g. the Lemmy - Anthology “Damage Case” would be a great supplement) or certain live albums (e.g. the fantastic “Everything Louder…” from ’98 or THE classic live album “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” - you must have that one anyway, even if you hate this band!) “Stone Deaf Forever” could be the focal point of a pretty exhaustive collection although a few albums, like “Another Perfect Day”, “Bastards”, “Sacrifice” and “Snakebite Love” are just underrepresented.
The missing must-have songs diminish the score to about 75%, but the combination of “Stone Deaf Forever” with one or another studio album, compilation or live album could make this box-set the perfect choice for you and lift the score to even 95%, which results in an average of 85%.
Here we have a worthy artifact to take with you to the next life. Looking over the tracklist and the box, Motorhead throw in everything and the kitchen sink.
Pick your poison! The live disc is the one you are probably going to reach for first when you get this, if you are anything like me. Interesting tracks are Silver Machine - a song from Hawkwind days and Chuck Berry cover Nadine ( a "french name" - what the fuck?). The best performances and sound quality are Everything Louder as can be expected. As for bootleg quality tracks, there are a couple, they have their own charm of a rusty razor and audible enough to kick your ass, nekro style! The best of the 5 discs right here.
The other 4 discs mix studio versions with alternative takes, and BBC recordings. The track list is comprehensive, you get the good, the bad and the ugly. Just kidding, it's all good. Except for the Hawkwind stuff, which is a lot more tame and the contrast is startling at how big of a change a few years and new line up can make for Lemmy.
Now to the trimmings. The booklet is more like a book in content with insightful bio of Motorhead history and a crapload of album, singles and best-ofs covers, along with brief notes on the singles. Every studio and live album gets a more comprehensive treatment with tracklist and line-up, re-release info and even newspaper review articles ("gnarly!" reads one of the headlines haha). There are also promotional posters, pictures and articles on the band, hand -written setlists and even a family tree. It is a crapload of what you ever wanted to know, and a heap on top of that of what you didn't. There is also a lame poster included in the box. The individual discs' covers are a surprise of sorts and I won't ruin it for you.
This box is a speed metalhead's dream, it is 6 hr 18 mins of sonic (and spinal) pleasure and torture at once. It is done in true Motorhead style, meaning crammed to the brim. Stop drooling over it, get it if you haven't already.