Motörhead - No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith - Review
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critics' view

No Sleep Til Hammersmith is every bit the legend it's been made out to be over the decades. The incomparable lineup of Lemmy, Fast Eddie and Philthy come together for a live performance NWOBHM statement that would transcend the ages. Hell, this is the quintessential NWOBHM experience. On the Ace of Spades tour no less. Strangely enough, despite being their current album at the time, it's the Overkill record that gets the most exposure here with 5 samples. The most frightening of which is the title track, played at a chain chomping double speed (someone must have tipped Lemmy off to the fact that Priest did it first and faster). I personally always preferred that song at its studio speed, with it's more controlled fire, but I can't deny that at this speed, it suits Motorhead's modus operandi perfectly. Fast, loud and dirty. Yes, one should definitely adjust their expectations in terms of musical finesse with No Sleep. Philthy's off time hi-hat rhythm within the first few seconds of the album ought to set that tone swimmingly.

The highlights of this particular outing include Bomber, which is played at 1.25 speed and ends before that glorious riff is driven into the ground like its studio counterpart; We Are (The Road Crew) which turns the day-to-day monotony of the unsung heroes of rock bands everywhere into a true do-or-die frenetic fling (and yes, Eddie does have the good sense of humor to replicate his feedback fall-down of the studio track). The grand finale of the band's eponymous song, is also worth a mention. Already a garage-romp in the studio, No Sleep turns "Motorhead" into a "kid in the candy store already hopped up on Pop Rocks and Coke" meditation on hyperactivity that makes rock & roll such an essential component to the human experience.

No Sleep Til Hammersmith is a must own. One of the greatest live albums in music. If you don't own this, you'd better run to get it.

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