Sunday, September 6, 2015

Motörhead – Bomber

Racer put the call out to the happy crew at Ripple – we need more articles!! The Waveriders need more music to digest!

Write about what you love, he always said, well – I love Motörhead and Bomber is definitely one of my all-time favorite Motörhead albums.

While Lemmy has said he doesn't regret anything, he has gone on record  saying Bomber was a less than perfect album. He spoke about it in his autobiography White Line Fever, where he considers it "a transitional record" but adds, "there are a couple of really naff tracks on it, like Talking Head”.

Likewise, guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke has said in so many words in a 1980 interview with Sounds, comparing the album to that year's Ace of Spades, "Bomber felt wrong. It wasn't all there".

While yes, compared to Ace of Spades, Bomber is like the little engine that could.  There are some “skippable” tracks, but there are some gold nuggets too. 

In 1979, Motörhead put out 2 albums, Overkill and Bomber.  Critics have said that the pressure of coming up with enough high quality tracks for two albums was too great for the band, and that of the two, Bomber was the weaker.

To me – I love both albums equally.  Those early years with the three piece line up of Lemmy (bass), Fast Eddie Clarke (lead guitar) and “Philthy” Animal Taylor (drums)  - was the band at their peak.  No disrespect to anyone who's been in the band since, in my opinion this was the best lineup the band ever hand. 

There was a certain undefinable sound, a for lack of a better term “vibe” the band had back then.  This was when the “Motörhead sound” was developed.

Not every track is a thousand miles an hour – there's more than one side to Motörhead.  From slower, bluesy songs like “Sweet Revenge”, ”Step Down” (featuring lead vocals by Fast Eddie Clarke), and mid-tempo tracks like “Lawman”.  Of course, there are the “neck breakers” - “Poison” (with deeply personal lyrics where Lemmy address his absentee father), “Stone Dead Forever” (which features a nice albeit short bass solo – and one of my favorite Fast Eddie Clarke solos at the end of the song. 

“All the Aces” sums up Lemmy's life philosophy in the first lines of the song, “The only thing I know is playing rock 'n' roll, I'm not a business man, I'm just in a good time band” while the song is about them being screwed over by their record label. 

The albums final, title track “Bomber” is still in the band's set-list today.  When the band toured to support this album, they had a stage show which featured an aircraft bomber-shaped lighting rig.

As I listened back to this album in it's entirety for this article, I realized it's actually a damn good record!!!  Not the perfect album that is Ace of Spades, but a solid record in it's own right!!

- Rys

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