Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Remembering MOTÖRHEAD - Overkill

Motörhead – Overkill (Bronze Records, CMC International, Sanctuary Records, 1979)

With the recent passing of Ian Lemmy Kilmister (1945-2015) I’ve decided to revisit the entire Motörhead discography. As an homage but also as a way to mourn this immortal legend of rock and roll.

With the release of the single Louie, Louie on Bronze Records, Motörhead were given a favor by the producers with the album Overkill. The album was an important surprise success for the label and the band. By the time the album was released, Motörhead had many false starts. But Overkill was the first of the golden era of classic records from the same trio that performed on Motörhead in 1977; Lemmy, the only constant member from the formation to the disbandment of Motörhead due to his death, Fast Eddie Clarke, and Phil Philty Animal Taylor.

With the title track Overkill, Stay Clean, No Class, I Won’t Pay Your Price, Capricorn, Damage Case, and the ever classic Metropolis you have some of the most classic hits of the band. They define the band’s ever loud sound and heavy music. The double bass drum sound of Overkill was defined when drummer Taylor practiced his technique of the double bass drum and Lemmy and Fast Eddie walked in on him and liked what they heard. Ending all the Motörhead shows with an alternate version of the album, Motörhead have now define a landmark in their discography that will be the comparison point to any other new Motörhead album to come.

The influence of Overkill is important especially for its impact on punk groups and the emerging proto-metal bands to come. With a heavier sound and a wider variety of sonorities in their bag, the British band was quickly paving the way to their entry in the 1980’s and the ever deeper river between mainstream music and its plastic more polished tendency that the fuzzy rock and roll attitude that Motörhead and its followers will be beating up with a more live sound and organic/analog productions.

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