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Motorhead

Motorhead

With a career now spanning four, fast-and-furious decades and counting, England’s Motorhead aren’t just the forefathers of all varieties of speed metal, but undoubtedly among the most influential and revered heavy metal bands of all time — just don’t call them “heavy metal” to their faces. Motorhead’s long story is essentially the story of its leader, vocalist and bassist Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister — except that Lemmy’s story is even longer, as he put in time as Jimi Hendrix’s roadie and a member of bands like the Rockin’ Vic-ars and space rockers Hawkwind long before even founding Motorhead in 1975. Then, for three long years, Kilmister struggled to keep Motorhead alive, but after having their first album rejected and re-recording it for another label in 1977, the band finally caught fire in 1979. That year, Lemmy, guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clark and drummer Philthy ‘Animal’ Taylor delivered a pair of speed metal benchmarks in ‘Overkill’ and ‘Bomber,’ and then followed them with two of heavy music’s most essential albums in 1980’s ‘Ace of Spades’ and ’81’s ‘No Sleep ’til Hammersmith’ (which went to No. 1 in the U.K.). Clarke left Motorhead after ’82’s ‘Iron Fist’ and Taylor followed after ’83’s ‘Another Perfect Day’ (featuring Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson), but Lemmy expanded the band to a quartet with guitarists Michael ‘Wurzel’ Burston and Phil Campbell, plus former Saxon drummer Pete Gill, for 1984’s double career retrospective, ‘No Remorse,’ featuring an iconic new single named ‘Killed by Death.’ Taylor returned after 1986’s ‘Orgasmatron’ but left again in ’92 and was soon followed by Wurzel, thus returning Motorhead to its classic, power trio formation built around Lemmy, Campbell and former King Diamond drummer Mikkey Dee. From this point forward, Motorhead remained an ever dependa-ble recording and touring proposition, year in and year out: always respected for their blue-collar work ethic and colossal influence, while remaining firmly (and frustratingly) entrenched in the heavy metal underground. But in 2005, the band was awarded their first Grammy, and in 2010 Lemmy was celebrated by a feature-length, star-studded documentary that deservingly elevated both his and his band’s mainstream profile. And, though he had long before swapped dingy London for sunny Los Angeles, Lemmy remained the embodiment of the drinking, drugging, skirt-chasing rocker until health issues finally forced him to retire some bad habits in 2013. All the while, Lemmy insists on categorizing Motorhead, not as heavy metal, but as just another rock and roll band, yet, whatever they are, they are still, for the moment, indestructible.

Selected Discography: ‘Overkill’ (1979), ‘Ace of Spades’ (1980), ‘No Sleep ’til Hammersmith’ (1981), ‘No Remorse’ (1984), ’Orgasmatron’ (1986), ‘1916’ (1991), ‘Aftershock’ (2013) Related Artists: Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, Philthy ‘Animal’ Taylor, Hawkwind Further Reading: 10 Best Motorhead Songs; You Think You Know Motorhead? Read More: Motorhead News

Motorhead’s Snaggletooth vs. Disturbed’s The Guy – March Metal Mascot Madness, Quarterfinals

Motorhead vs. Disturbed
Loudwire

Snaggletooth or The Guy? Cast your vote now!

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36 Years Ago: Motorhead Paved the Way for Thrash With Second Album ‘Overkill’

Motorhead
Bronze

On March 24, 1979, Motorhead influences generations of rockers to come with the release of their 'Overkill' album.

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Motorhead’s Snaggletooth vs. Devin Townsend’s Ziltoid – March Metal Mascot Madness, Round 2

Motorhead vs. Devin Townsend
Loudwire

Snaggletooth or Ziltoid? Cast your vote now!

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Motorhead’s Snaggletooth vs. Destruction’s Mad Butcher – March Metal Mascot Madness, Round 1

Motorhead vs. Destruction
Loudwire

Snaggletooth or the Mad Butcher? Cast your vote now!

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Motorhead’s Motorboat Cruise 2015 to Set Sail With Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax + More

Motorhead Slayer Anthrax
Jason Merritt / Frazer Harrison / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Motorhead will hit the high seas with Slayer, Anthrax and more for the second annual Motorhead Motorboat Cruise.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Metal, News

Motorhead Mourn Engineer Dave ‘Hobbsy’ Hilsden

Dave Hobbsy Hilsden
YouTube

Motorhead are in mourning over the death of Dave "Hobbsy" Hilsden, who handled engineering, sound and much more for the group.

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Filed Under: Category: Metal, News, R.I.P.

Motorhead’s Phil Campbell Jams Guitar Licks for New Album

Motorhead Phil Campbell
Daniel Boczarski, Getty Images

Get a peek inside the studio as Motorhead's Phil Campbell jams some guitar licks.

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Filed Under: , Category: Metal, News

Motorhead’s Mikkey Dee Confirms That Tool Are Back in the Studio

Tool
Tool Dissectional

Are Tool in the studio? A surprise messenger offers an update on the group.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Metal, New Albums, Videos

Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister: Grammy Nomination Nice ‘Middle Finger’ to Doubters

Motorhead Lemmy Kilmister
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister says the band's Grammy nomination this year is particularly validating given many people didn't think he'd still be here.

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Filed Under: , Category: Metal, News

Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest + Motorhead to Play 2015 ‘Monsters Tour’ Date in Brazil

Ozzy Osbourne / Rob Halford / Lemmy Kilmister
Anthony Harvey / Ethan Miller / Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest and Motorhead have been confirmed to play the first 'Monsters Tour' date in Porto Alegre, Brazil this coming April.

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