Review: Motörhead – The Complete Early Years Boxset

Motörhead have released yet another colossal box set, this time entitled Motörhead – The Complete Early Years, and its exactly that as it includes their first eight albums along with 7 singles which also include B-Sides.

Motörhead (the self-titled debut album), is here with all its original raw power and energy intact. No song on this album is one that will take you breath away and be remembered like Ace Of Spades, but there are some genuinely lovely songs. Lost Johnny and The Watcher are the picks here, with Lemmy’s rasping vocals and a frantic tempo which is so energetic.

Overkill is the album was when Motörhead really started creating pure metal music. It starts off with the title track and is totally frantic and the tempo is so fast it never lets up. Every track here is different to what comes next and that’s almost unheard of with some current metal bands. Here we have Stay Clean with its simple yet effective chorus, to the ‘slower’ paced guitar frenzy that is Metropolis, to No Class which again sounds new and fresh.

Bomber, their third album is doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor. It was almost a thankless task due to the fact Overkill was a masterpiece. However, as with every Motörhead album there are some fantastic songs. The opener Dead Men Tell No Tales is exquisite with a perfect chorus, guitar solos that are long and wondrous. The title track, Stone Dead Forever and Sharpshooter are the other killer tracks here.

Ace Of Spades is essentially ‘the’ Motörhead record. It’s faultless right from the opener Ace Of Spades all the way through to The Chase Is Better Than The Catch. Every track in between are perfect all played at such a ferocious tempo, and lyrics that captivate and the guitar solos and licks here are just truly immense in each song. Particular highlights include (We Are) The Roadcrew, Fire Fire and Fast And Loose.

No Sleep ‘Till Hammersmith is not technically an album as it’s a live recording, so therefore no new songs. You would of heard these from the previous four albums, but what makes this record special is the fact that it is live. Motörhead’s raw energy really comes through, so much that you almost feel as though you are there. The live renditions of Ace Of Spades, Bomber, Overkill, Capricorn and Metropolis, are the best of an amazing collection.

Iron Fist showcases new material that is up to the standard of Ace Of Spades album. The title track will come as a slight shock as the guitars have no distortion which brings a more cleaner sound which is refreshing, but still has the same tempo and of course the main staple of Motörhead which is Lemmy’s rasping vocals. Speedfreak is a cut above the rest as it encapsulates everything that Motörhead is about fast tempo and lyrics that are almost bombarded at you.

Another Perfect Day ultimately falls short of the former records. It has some great songs on it, such as Back At The Funny Farm, Dancing On Your Grave but Rock It features a piano which is shocking and refreshing but feels out of place unfortunately.

No Remorse is the last album 0n the compilation and is practically Motörhead’s greatest hits album. Songs include Ace Of Spades, (We Are) The Roadcrew, Iron Fist and Bomber. This is a splendid album if you wish to go through Motörhead’s albums inside one album, or you cannot decide which album to listen to, then this is perfect.

As a said before this is an exhaustive box set, above are the albums you’ll find but that is not all. Seven singles have also found there way here which includes various B-Sides too. Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers, Louie Louie, Golden Years EP, St. Valentines Day Massacre, Killed By Death, Stand By Your Man and Shine. All of these are superb and some you may of heard in the actual records. They all have what you expect from a Motörhead single: fast tempo, loud guitars and bass, and Lemmy’s amazing vocals. My particular highlight is the Golden Years EP and as all tracks are performed live, it just exudes quality.

Motörhead – The Complete Early Years deserves a perfect score but it’s one for hardcore fans only. The seven singles for instance won’t appeal to a newcomer and at such a steep price (you’re looking at a good £250 at least) and coming so quickly after they released their Classic Album Box Set it seems very expensive for what it is. An unquestionable an amazing box set but sadly it’s not value for money which is very unfortunate.


Motörhead, The Complete Early Years boxset will be released on 19 November 2012.

Author: Nathan Watson

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