Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Motörhead - Ace of Spades (1980)

If you go up to some random person and ask them the question "Do you know any song from Motörhead?", about 90% will answer "Ace of Spades". After all these years, this song is still their most famous one, so famous that Lemmy himself became sick of playing it every single show, but did it anyway because he knew the audience wants to hear it. And even if both "Overkill" and "Bomber" were successful, "Ace of Spades" was in a whole different league, giving the band commercial success that they could only dream of.

But why did this song about poker became so popular? The simple answer is that it kicked everyone's ass at that time, and it still does to be honest. The extremely fast pace was thrash before thrash even existed, ripping everything apart at impact. It is a ground breaking opening song that is also catchy as hell, even if it technically does not even have a chorus. Simply put, "Ace of Spades" is an awesome song that still holds up really well today, an ageless classic that always wins.

But to say that the album "Ace of Spades" is only referred to as a classic for its title track is not even close to true, because the albums offers way more goodness. The whole album is a fast, fun ride of hardened rock and roll with songs that are about all the stuff that is fun, like sex, gambling, sex, getting drunk, western movies, and sex. It is so typical Lemmy in the lyrics that you almost get too much of the good stuff, laughing and gasping to it all.

There is not a single song here that even comes close to being a filler, every song brings something to the poker table, whether it is jolly good swing ("Dance"), straight forward groove ("The Chase Is Better Than The Catch"), or blazing punk speed ("The Hammer"). No stone is leaved unturned, Motörhead unleashes the whole cavalry at you with kick ass songs as the choice of weapon. I am almost surprised that only two songs from this album became true classics, because I feel like several other songs here had the potential.

Then again, we are talking about the title track and "(We Are) The Roadcrew" after all, two of the greatest songs in the whole Motörhead discography. I have already spoken about the title track, so let us turn the attention to the other song, a homage to the band's hard working roadies that has an incredibly infectious rhythm, awesome guitar work signed by Eddie Clarke, blasting and Philthy drum work, and lyrics that is simple, fun, and really sing along friendly, even when you are drunk (gibberish works so god damn well with this song). It is simply the ultimate "Thank You" gift a roadie could ever get.

Overall, "Ace of Spades" is  a well rounded album that does not seem to have any real flaw at all. The songs are tight, the performance is insane, and the production is massive. There are so many elements to this album that just works together so well, making it very versatile and fun. It is a classic album that still holds up today, a real royal flush that sweeps home the tournament and the grand prize. A true ace up Lemmy's sleeve that knocks out the competition with ease.

Songs worthy of recognition: Ace of Spades, Love Me Like A Reptile, (We Are) The Roadcrew, Jailbait, The Chase Is Better Than The Catch, The Hammer

Rating: 10/10 Bitten Bullets

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More reviews of Motörhead
Motörhead
Overkill
Bomber

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