Metal Monday 4-4-2022

This week, we will discuss Queensryche.  This Seattle area outfit came out in the eighties and is known for its melodic hard rock, mixed with plenty of experimentation into the world of progressive heavy metal.  It’s 1988 album, Operation: Mindcrime, is widely considered to be a landmark concept record.  The band’s original and classic line-up consisted of vocalist Geoff Tate, dual guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson, and drummer Scott Rockenfield.  Only Wilton and Jackson remain from this line-up, as Queensryche has traveled down the ill-advised path of multiple versions of the band.

#15

Dedicated to Chaos-2011

Quite frankly, while Queensryche’s post-1990 output contains its share of fits and starts, this album is easily its worst.  I find nothing on here that I would care to listen to again.  This is the final record featuring Tate before his dismissal from the group, and it is apparent that things weren’t well within the camp.

Best Song (Because I must):  Retail Therapy

Best Deep Cut:  Retail Therapy

#14

Tribe-2002

Original guitarist Chris DeGarmo, who had been out of the group for several years, contributed somewhat to this album, although he permanently left the group before the recording sessions were finished.  The result was a very uneven output; however, the strongest tracks are ones in which he contributed: Falling Behind, Doin’ Fine, and Art of Life.

Best Song:  Falling Behind

Best Deep Cut:  Falling Behind

#13

Hear in the New Frontier-1997

The band was shifting closer to a mainstream sound, and it struck a nerve with many of its following.  Singles Sign of the Times and You are decent tracks, along with Get a Life, The Voice Inside, and Anytime/Anywhere.  Alas, the album’s longevity (14 songs) does it in.

Best Song:  Get a Life

Best Deep Cut:  Get a Life

#12

American Soldier-2009

The conceptual idea of this album, collecting first-hand accounts from American veterans who experienced all aspects of war, was a very noble one.  In some instances, the results are touching.  Unfortunately, while most of the songs aren’t bad, the record lacks anything memorable.  I do enjoy the duet Tate sang with his daughter, Emily, entitled Home Again.

Best Song:  Home Again

Best Deep Cut:  Home Again

#11

Q2K-1999

There’s not much about this 1999 offering that stands the test of time.  I will mention that this is the only Queensryche record to feature guitarist Kelly Gray, as longtime axeman Chris DeGarmo had left the group.

Best Song:  Falling Down

Best Deep Cut:  Falling Down

#10

Promised Land-1994

By 1994, Queensryche was still able to headline major venues, however, it was based on past success, as grunge was taking the rock scene by storm.  Promised Land is a hit and miss affair.  I Am I, Bridge, My Global Mind, and Someone Else? highlight this uneven affair. 

Best Song:  Bridge

Best Deep Cut:  My Global Mind

#9

Operation Mindcrime II-2006

A sequel to a signature record that we will discus further down in this ranking, Operation: Mindcrime II is a fitting follow-up.  In my opinion, while sequels are hardly ever better than the original (movies, records, girlfriends), at the very least, this offering brought Quennsryche back down its proper progressive metal rabbit hole. 

Best Song:  I’m American

Best Deep Cut:  I’m American 

#8

Queensryche-2013

New singer Todd La Torre’s debut signaled a return to a more classic Queensryche sound.  While none of the songs feature the left-hand turns of the band’s progressive metal heyday, the album is an enjoyable listen just the same.  For me personally, this record rejuvenated my feelings about the group going forward.

Best Song:  Fallout

Best Deep Cut:  Fallout

#7

Rage for Order-1986

By far my least favorite of the classic 80’s/early 90’s releases, Rage for Order was far more progressive than its predecessors.  The band utilized keyboards to a much higher degree, as well as heavy vocal and echo affects.  To some degree, the shift works, primarily with the brilliant Walk in the Shadows and the album closing I Will Remember, however, the filler on the release is too much to overcome.

Best Song:  Walk in the Shadows

Best Deep Cut:  I Will Remember 

#6

Condition Human-2013

Another La Torre classic, this album is progressive and gets quite heavy at times.  Close your eyes and see if you don’t hear Geoff Tate, circa 1984.  Arrow of Time, Hellfire, Toxic Remedy, and The Aftermath are the highlights.

Best Song:  Toxic Remedy

Best Deep Cut:  Toxic Remedy

#5

The Verdict-2019

Word on the street is that Queensryche is planning to release a new album later this year.  While I had soured on the group due to subpar offerings in Tate’s later years, the three La Torre records have me looking forward to the new one.  The Verdict continues a string in which the band outdoes its previous effort.  Credit La Torre, with his ear-splitting vocals, as well as thunderous drumming, filling in for regular drummer Scott Rockenfield.  Give a listen to Blood of the Levant, Man the Machine, Light-years, and Dark Reverie.

Best Song:   Blood of the Levant

Best Deep Cut:  Blood of the Levant

#4

Queensryche EP-1983

Yes, it is normally against my policy to include anything but full studio albums, however, this brief four song offering features two of the band’s early classics:  Queen of the Reich and The Lady Wore Black.  Meanwhile, Nightrider is not to be ignored.

Best Song:  Queen of the Reich

Best Deep Cut:  Nightrider

#3

The Warning-1984

An early Queensryche classic, The Warning gave fans a glimpse into the progressive metal that was to come yet maintained its heavy metal sound.  The album features mainstays Warning and Take Hold of the Flame, as well as lesser-known gems Child of Fire and Roads to Madness.

Best Song:  Roads to Madness

Best Deep Cut:  Roads to Madness

#2

Empire-1990

If the record stopped after track 8, it would perhaps be the king of the mountain.  Alas, there are three lesser quality cuts that close the album.  That said, the momentum gained in tracks 1-8 is to be taken seriously.  Best I Can, Jet City Woman, Another Rainy Night (Without You), and Empire are outstanding singles, while Silent Lucidity is the song most people know the band for.  Meanwhile, don’t fall asleep on The Thin Line and Resistance.

Best Song:  Jet City Woman

Best Deep Cut:  The Thin Line

#1

Operation Mindcrime-1988

The band’s opus is a concept album, as well as a rock opera that follows the story of a man who is swept up in the world of social and political violence, reluctantly becoming a hired assassin.  Along the way, he falls in love with a young nun who is escaping her former life as a prostitute.

The singles are the remembered tracks, including Revolution Calling, Speak, Breaking the Silence, I Don’t Believe in Love, and Eyes of a Stranger.  That said, the robust deep cuts are aplenty.  Give a listen to the title track, Spreading the Disease, and the ten-minute Suite Sister Mary.

Best Song:  Eyes of a Stranger

Best Deep Cut:  Spreading the Disease

AEROSMITH ARE BACK WITH THEIR WILDLY SUCCESSFUL LAS VEGAS RESIDENCY “AEROSMITH: DEUCES ARE WILD”

Rock Nightmare

LAS VEGAS (March 23, 2022)– As part of the continued celebration around their 50thanniversary, four-timeGRAMMY®-winningandDiamond-certifiedrock legendsAerosmithhave announced the return of their Las Vegas residency,AEROSMITH: DEUCES ARE WILDatDolby Live at Park MGM,beginningFriday, June 17, 2022.The incredible show will be the first live concert experience presented in Dolby Atmos® at Dolby Live.Dolby Live is one of the world’s most technologically advanced performance venues for enjoying live music in Dolby Atmos.

“The only rust at Dolby Live is going to be on our van in the lobby! We are locked, cocked and loaded!” said Steven Tyler.

Since opening in April 2019 at Park MGM, AEROSMITH: DEUCES ARE WILD has received rave reviews from fans and critics alike. Variety called the show a “multi-sensory spectacular” while People described it as “an audible history of the group’s five decades.” The Wrap wrote “Aerosmith…

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Metal Monday 3-7-2022

Archived Concert Review:

Iron Maiden

June 20, 2008

Xfinity Center

Mansfield MA

I remember being stoked to learn Iron Maiden was heading out on what would be called the Somewhere Back in Time Tour.  A big Maiden fan since the 80’s, for reasons here and there, I had never seen the band live before.  Now, here they were announcing a show that would roughly resemble the epic World Slavery Tour, with its illustrious and elaborate staging, complete with modern upgrades.  I bought a pair of tickets for the show in Mansfield, Massachusetts.  I was not disappointed.

Anyone who has been to a Maiden show or has read concert reviews knows that the band is notorious for taking the stage right after UFO’s Doctor Doctor plays on the PA.  It’s the audience’s warning to get to their seats.  As to be expected, the house lights dimmed, and the stage and amphitheater became thick with darkness, the only light being the road crew’s flashlights leading the group from the back of the stage.  As was the case with 1985’s Live After Death release, Winston Churchill’s famous We Shall Never Surrender speech played overhead, before the band launched into Aces High and Two Minutes to Midnight.  I was 13 all over again!

Iron Maiden was (and still is) a six-piece outfit.  When old guitarist Adrian Smith rejoined the group in 1999, his replacement, Janick Gers, stayed on, giving the group, along with veteran Dave Murray, a three-guitar attack.  The trio worked tirelessly, producing a string of wonderfully incorporated guitar harmonies.  Drummer Nicko McBrain, barely visible behind his monster kit, pounded out the beats and rhythms he is known for, especially showcasing his rapid-fire single bass drumming talents.  Meanwhile, bassist Steve Harris, one of the best in the business, perched in the front of the stage, one foot on a monitor, leering over the crowd, lip synching every word back to the audience.

A benefit of the nostalgia tour is that the band will play songs that haven’t seen the light of day in decades.  Iron Maiden was no different.  Revelations, Wasted Years, and Powerslave all made their way back into the setlist, along with old standbys, The Trooper, The Number of the Beast, Run to the Hills, and Fear of the Dark.  Personally, the highlight for me was the 13-minute Rime of the Ancient Mariner, complete with enough fireworks to make a Disney Fourth of July event proud.

Singer Bruce Dickenson is a timeless soul.  Even in 2008, at the age of 50, he was sprinting from one end of the stage to the other, jumping from catwalk to catwalk, dressing in period clothing to represent a particular song, and proudly waving the British flag.  Vocally, this man amazes me.  At an age where bands routinely must lower song keys so the singer can properly hit the notes, Dickenson can easily and comfortably reach the high ranges he nailed decades prior.  Clone him. 

The band’s title track, from its 1980 debut closed out the main set and featured iconic mascot, Eddie, for the first time.  When the group returned to the stage, the treated us to a triple shot of Moonchild, The Clairvoyant, and Hallowed Be Thy Name.  The show was complete.  Iron Maiden had delivered.  When McBrain emerged from his drum set to throw sticks into the crowd, many of us were getting our first visible look at him.

Iron Maiden Setlist:

Churchill’s Speech

Aces High

Two Minutes to Midnight

Revelations

The Trooper

Wasted years

The Number of the Beast

Can I Play With Madness

Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Powerslave

Heaven Can Wait

Run to the Hills

Fear of the Dark

Iron Maiden

Encore:

Moonchild

The Clairvoyant

Hallowed Be Thy Name

Iron Maiden-Aces High

Ringo’s New Book – ‘Lifted’

Beatles Blog

Ringo Starr has a new book out. It is called Lifted – Fab Images and Memories From My Life and Across the Universe.

Speaking about the book Ringo said: “I am not writing this book as a Beatle historian. I’m writing this book as a Beatle — and there’s only a couple of us who can do that.”

Asked about it’s origins, Starr explains: “I didn’t keep all these photos. These fantastic images came back to me in recent years from here, there and everywhere — online and off — and have somehow helped me get back to seeing my life with The Fab Four through fresh eyes. A lot of the photos in this book I spotted on my phone and on my computer and “lifted” them because they brought back so many fabulous memories.”

“So this a book full of Beatle images that many people haven’t seen…

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Metal Monday 2-28-2022

This week, we take a look at one of the more frustrating bands to come out during my formative years.  One whose music has not aged very well commercially and who may only be remembered by a small window of people who grew up in the 80’s.  This is a band that had all the tools to hit it big such as a killer guitar player, a lead singer with a robust vocal range, and songs filled with memorable hooks and alluring harmonies.  But alas, it was a band that couldn’t get out of its own way.  We are talking about Dokken.

Dokken was a very talented band whose early catalog ranks up there with most artists from the hair metal days.  Unfortunately, they became an all-too-common victim of what got a lot of bands from that era, namely ego and internal strife.  Vocalist Don Dokken and uber-talented guitarist George Lynch hated each other to the point that the band ceased to exist right at the height of their popularity, reconvening in the mid-nineties when groups of the hard rock/hair metal regime had fallen off the popularity pedestal in favor of grunge.

It was fun while it lasted.  For a stretch from about 1983 to 1988, Dokken, at least from a musical standpoint, was at the top of its game.  Don Dokken and Lynch were complimented nicely by a strong rhythm section in bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer Mick Brown.  When I need that little kick of nostalgia, Dokken is one of my go-to bands.  Here are their studio albums ranked from worst to best.

#11:

Shadowlife-1997

A sharp change in direction to alternative rock, this one is perhaps the band’s most criticized.  While there are some decent moments, notably, Bitter Regret, there is a more than a fighting chance I may never listen to this album again.

Best Song:  Bitter Regret

Best Deep Cut:  Bitter Regret

#10

Dysfunctional-1995

Dokken reunited for this one, which was originally expected to be a Don Dokken solo effort.  The album flopped commercially, mostly since bands of this mold were not well received at the time.  There is a subtle shift from the melodic hard rock the band hit it big with to a sound more akin to the alternative style that was hitting the airwaves.  It’s not a bad record at all; it’s just not a great Dokken release.

Best Song:  Too High to Fly

Best Deep Cut:  Too High to Fly

#9

Erase the Slate-1999

Erase the Slate is a step back toward the classic hard rock sound that made Dokken successful, albeit with plenty of late nineties production.  The title track, Maddest hatter, Shattered, and Haunted Lullabye are the highlights.  This would be the one album to feature guitarist Reb Beach and the final one bassist Jeff Pilson plays on.

Best Song:  Maddest Hatter

Best Deep Cut:  Maddest Hatter

#8

Long Way Home-2002

The first Dokken album to feature new bassist Barry Sparks, and the only one consisting of Europe guitarist John Norum, Long Way Home, although heavily influenced by the sounds of millennial modern rock (at least in terms of production), offers glimpses of the band from yesteryear.  Namely, the occasional signature Don Dokken wail that was prevalent on the early records.  Give a listen to Sunless Dyas, Little Girl, Magic Road, There Was a Time, and the cover of the Yardbirds’, Heart Full of Soul.

Best Song:  Magic Road

Best Deep Cut:  Magic Road

#7

Hell to Pay-2004

Oh, what could have been.  Hell to Pay, the first record to feature guitarist Jon Levin, starts out like a ball of fire before a nondescript ballad zaps all of the momentum that the band never recaptures.  Indeed, The Last Goodbye, Don’t Bring Me Down, Escape, Haunted, and Prozac Nation have the listener wondering to what heights Dokken can take them.  Unfortunately, Care for You begins the decline that sees the album close with five ballads out of the final seven songs.  That said, the first five songs are so strong, it lifts the album up to this rather high ranking on the list.  How high could it have gone?

Best Song:  Escape

Best Deep Cut:  Escape

#6

Broken Bones-2012

The latest Dokken album, it is the first not to feature drummer Mick Brown, who was unavailable.  Veteran Jimmy DeGrasso filled in behind the kit.  Meanwhile, bassist Barry Sparks had given way to Sean McNabb for this one.  Broken Bones is a fine release that continues the band’s recent attempt to come full circle regarding its sound.  Listen to Empire, Best of Me, Victim of the Crime, For the Last Time, Tonight, and the title track.

Best Song:  For the Last Time

Best Deep Cut:  For the Last Time

#5:

Lightning Strikes Again-2008

A triumphant return to the classic Dokken sound, Lightning Strikes Again takes its name from a song of the same title off the Under Lock and Key album.  After two decades of sonic and style experimentation, some good, some bad, it is refreshing to listen to a record from the band that pays homage to yesteryear.  Standing on the Outside, Give Me a Reason, Heart to Stone, Point of No Return, Judgement Day, and This Fire are the strengths of Dokken’s finest release since 1987.

Best Song:  Point of No Return

Best Deep Cut:  Point of No Return

#4:

Breaking the Chains-1981

The band’s debut, originally released in Europe in 1981, Breaking the Chains saw the light of day in the US in 1983.  Considered a failure by Elektra Records, Dokken’s management had to convince the label to give the band another chance.  The lead-off title track is the best song here, while Felony, Stick to Your Guns, and the live cut Paris is Burning are notable.  

Best Song:  Breaking the Chains

Best Deep Cut:  Paris is Burning

#3:

Back for the Attack-1987

This is the final record before the band broke up for the first time, and it was not a bad way to go out, even if the group killed its own ascent by imploding.  There are plenty of hits, including Burning Like a Flame, Heaven Sent, Prisoner, and opener, Kiss of Death.  In addition, album strengths include a remake of Dream Warriors, as well as the Lynch-led instrumental, Mr. Scary.  These moments overshadow some of the filler, no doubt due to the ambition of releasing 13 songs.

Best Song:  Kiss of Death

Best Deep Cut:  Standing in the Shadows

#2:

Tooth and Nail-1884

Dokken made good on its promise to its label with the strong Tooth and Nail.  The album is chock full of the formula that made a band successful in the day with loud crunchy guitars, screeching vocals, and catchy choruses.  There are four Dokken classics on this one:  the title cut, Just Got Lucky, Into the Fire, and Alone Again.  Don’t fall asleep on Turn on the Action.   

Best Song:  Into the Fire

Best Deep Cut:  Turn on the Action

#1:

Under Lock and Key-1985

The best Dokken album was released in 1985.  The trifecta of Unchain the Night, The Hunter, and In My Dreams gets things off to a rollicking start, while It’s Not Love is noted for its popular MTV video.  Songs to maybe revisit include Lightnin’ Strikes Again, Jaded Heart, and Don’t Lie to Me.

Best Song:  In My Dreams

Best Deep Cut:  Lightnin’ Strikes Again

The Beatles, Ed Sullivan, and Me

A nice read for you Beatles enthusiasts out there.

Envisioning The American Dream

Anniversary Edition From the Vault

Can it really be over half a century since the Beatles burst into our lives on an ordinary Sunday night after which nothing would be the same again?

There are few of my generation who do not recall first seeing the Beatles that February 9th evening in 1964 fifty-eight years ago.

Like most Americans, Sunday, night was Ed Sullivan at my house, and at 8 o’clock along with 73 million other viewers, my family gathered around the TV set in the living room to watch the very first live television appearance of that British import the Beatles. Like most, my own parents tuned in just to see what the heck all the fuss was about with this Mop Top foursome.

While my parents sat a safe distance away, I plopped myself down as close as possible to the set (without being yelled at by Mom…

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Metal Monday 2-14-2022

Welcome to a new weekly post that I will call Metal Mondays, where I will rank the albums of a certain artist in the metal and hard rock genre from worst to best.  As I am a list and ranking person, I am unable to have a simple discussion on what a band’s good albums are, as well as their not-so-good ones.  I must rank them in some sort of order, or I will not be able to participate!  This also makes for a fun debate, don’t you think?

NOTE:  I will rank full length STUDIO ALBUMS only.  There will be no live records, greatest hits, or EP’s here.

This week, we are discussing, perhaps the baddest band in rock and roll, Motorhead.  This English outfit came out in the seventies as a trio, although during a stretch of their history, acted as a quartet.  The group’s classic line-up consisted of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister on bass guitar and lead vocals, “Fast” Eddie Clark on guitar, and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor on drums, although guitarists Wurzel, and especially Phil Campbell had long tenures in the group.  Meanwhile, drummer Mikkey Dee pounded the skins for more than 20 years.

Motorhead has been considered to be of many genres, including heavy metal, however, prided itself on being a simple rock and roll band.  Lemmy began most concerts by proclaiming, “We are Motorhead and we play rock and roll.”  Its classic line-up abandoned for good in the early nineties, Lemmy, Campbell, and Dee carried on until Lemmy’s death in 2015, permanently ending the band.

Speaking of Lemmy, in my opinion, there is perhaps not a cooler rock star figure that ever lived.  Known for enjoying his Jack and Cokes, and seemingly always puffing on a cigarette, along with his well-known reputation of extreme hard living, it amazes me he lived until age 70.  His on-stage humor, presence, and charisma only adds to his coolness.  The man dressed in black and demonstrated one of the iconic stances when singing into the microphone.  Long live Motorhead!

#23

March or Die-1992

Coming off the success of the 1916 record a year earlier, Motorhead attempted to hit it commercially.  Unfortunately, the effort failed, resulting in the worst album in the band’s catalog.  Stand and Jack the Ripper are the highlights, however, the highlights are few and far between.

Best Song:  Stand

Best Deep Cut:  Stand

#22

Snake Bite Love-1998

There’s not much to say about this one.  To me, this is a very uneventful album, one that offers nothing new (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and, unfortunately, one whose songs are less than memorable.

Best Song:  Dogs of War

Best Deep Cut:  Dogs of War

#21

Kiss of Death-2006

An average offering at best, Kiss of Death, most likely not deliberate, presents a sound at times more akin to the days’ modern rock groups, rather than anything cutting edge or resembling the classic Motorhead sound of albums before.  Devil I Know and Christine are the only tracks that make me turn my head. 

Best Song:  Christine

Best Deep Cut:  Christine

#20

Iron Fist-1982

Plagued by production problems, as well as having to follow the topflight live album No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith, Iron Fist was the last to feature the classic line-up.  It’s a record whose many songs were written in the studio, with a rushed effort being the result.  At least the title track is a classic.

Best Song:  Iron Fist

Best Deep Cut:  Iron Fist 

#19

On Parole-1979

What was intended to be the Motorhead’s debut album in 1976, On Parole was released three years later, to the band’s chagrin, who do not consider it to be an official release.  There are some decent tracks here, including Motorhead, Lost Johnny (both on the band’s self-titled record), the title track, City Kids, and Fools.

Best Song:  Fools

Best Deep Cut:  Fools

#18

Motorhead-1977

A very punkish debut, the album solidified the patented Motorhead sound, with Lemmy’s throated vocals, Eddie’s chugging guitars, and Philty’s thunderous drumming.  As far as debut records, you could do worse.

Best Song:  Motorhead

Best Deep Cut:  Motorhead

#17

Overnight Sensation-1996

The band transitioned back to a three-piece unit following Wurzel’s departure.  The result was a heavy if uneven album.  Mid-nineties vocal effects were very much in play on this record that at times, sounds a bit dated.  That said, Civil War, Crazy Like a Fox, and the title cut are decent tracks.

Best Song:  Crazy Like a Fox

Best Deep Cut:  Crazy Like a Fox

#16

Hammered-2002

A solid collection of new tracks, Hammered fits nicely alongside 2000’s We Are Motorhead as more than respectable representations of what the band had to offer in the 21st century.  Walk a Crooked Mile, Brave New World, Mine All Mine, and Red Raw draw most of my attention.

Best Song:  Walk a Crooked Mile

Best Deep Cut:  Walk a Crooked Mile

#15

We Are Motorhead-2000

The band’s first output of the new century has some moments, including the thrashing See Me Burning, the grooving Slow Dance, a cover of the Sex pistols’ God Save the Queen, and a ballad titled, One More Fu*&#ng Time.  At least the record proved that the band still had some gas left in the tank at this point in its career.

Best Song:  Slow Dance

Best Deep Cut:  Slow Dance

#14

Bad Magic-2015

Sadly, this is the final Motorhead album, as Lemmy would pass away soon after its release.  That said, considering the man was almost 70 years old, Bad Magic is not a bad way to go out.  There are highlights here for sure.  Take a listen to Victory or Die, Thunder and Lightning, Fire Storm Hotel, The Devil, and the ballad Till the End.

Best Song:  The Devil

Best Deep Cut:  The Devil

#13

Motorizer-2008

This is another underrated album that hits the listener in the face with tracks such as Runaround Man, Where the Eagle Screams, and Buried Alive.  Meanwhile, other highlights include Teach You How to Sing the Blues and The Thousand names of GodMotorizer is a significant upgrade over 2006’s Kiss of Death.

Best Song:  Runaround Man

Best Deep Cut:  Runaround Man

#12

Another Perfect Day-1983

The only release to feature Thin Lizzy’s Brian Robertson on guitar, Another Perfect Day is a decent offering with stellar production, despite Lemmy’s claim that it is the band’s, “most hated album.”  Back at the Funny farm, Shine, Dancing on Your Grave, and the title cut are the highlights.

Best Song:  Back at the Funny Farm

Best Deep Cut:  Back at the Funny Farm

#11

Rock and Roll-1987

Philty Animal came back for this record, one that is often overlooked by diehard fans.  The opening one-two punch of the title cut and Eat the Rich get things off to a rollicking start, while Stone Deaf in the USA, The Wolf, and Dogs are worthy of a listen.

Best Song:  Eat the Rich

Best Deep Cut:  Eat the Rich

#10

Sacrafice-1995

A heavy album, most likely in part to the tension within the band, primarily surrounding second guitarist Wurzel, who was claimed to already have had one foot out the door during the recording process.  The title track, Sex and Death, Over Your Shoulder, Dog-Face Boy, and All Gone to Hell highlight the record.

Best Song:  Over Your Shoulder

Best Deep Cut:  Over Your Shoulder

#9

Inferno-2004

When you thought that Motorhead might be at risk of becoming a nostalgia act, they surprised you with a strong album.  Case in point, 2004’s InfernoTerminal Show gets things off to a thrashy start, while Killers might be the best number from the band in the entire 2000’s, while making a case for the 90’s, as well.  Meanwhile, In the Name of Tragedy is a mid-tempo, catchy thrasher that sticks in your head.  Suicide, In the Black, In the Year of the Wolf, and Keys to the Kingdom are other key highlights to focus on.  The record closes with the acoustic blues track, Whorehouse Blues

Best Song:  Killers

Best Deep Cut:  Killers

#8

Aftershock-2013

Motorhead appeals to me mainly because of its versatility.  They can tap into a plethora of genres of rock, including the high-octane tempos of thrash and heavy metal, hard driving straight up rock, and heavy tunes mixed with a blues influence.  When they mix things up from song to song on an album, I’m hooked.  Aftershock does this for me.  Although the filler is limited, I do tend to think 14 songs is a bit too much.  However, I am nitpicking here. 

Best Song:  Heartbreaker

Best Deep Cut:  Heartbreaker

#7

Bastards-2003

A more than formidable comeback from the career low March or Die a year earlier, Bastards features a strong first half, including On Your Feet or Knees, Burner, I Am the Sword, and Born to Raise Hell.  Meanwhile, the album’s biggest surprise is the haunting Don’t Let Daddy Kiss Me, a song that tackles child molestation, sung beautifully and only in a way that Lemmy could.

Best Song:  Don’t Let Daddy Kiss Me

Best Deep Cut:  Don’t Let Daddy Kiss Me

#6

The World is Yours-2010

A late career masterpiece, The World is Yours was dedicated to the late Ronnie James Dio, who passed away earlier in the year.  There is no shortage of strong tracks here, with many being in the vein of the hard driving, mid-tempo, thrash metal that greatly appeals to yours truly.  The highlights a plenty, including, but certainly not limited to, Born to Lose, I Know How to Die, Get Back in Line, Devils in My Head, and Outlaw.

Best Song:  Get Back in Line

Best Deep Cut:  Get Back in Line

#5

Bomber-1979

In the precarious position of being sandwiched between classic releases Overkill and Ace of Spades, Bomber sometimes gets a bad rap.  It’s unfortunate because there are some great tracks on this record.  Dead Men Tell No Tales, Lawman, Stone Dead Forever, All the Aces, and the title track are the highlights.  Plus, the lighting rig from the concert tour was brilliant! 

Best Song:  Bomber

Best Deep Cut:  Bomber

#4

1916-1991

This is an album that displays a wide variety of Motorhead’s musical influence.  Singles The One to Sing the Blues, I’m So Bad (Baby I Don’t Care, and No Voices in the Sky triumphantly lead off the record, dripped in hard rock and heavy metal.  Going to Brazil and Angel City bring a fifties honky tonk mix to the table, while R.A.M.O.N.E.S. appeals to the punks.  Meanwhile, the band brings something new in the form of a ballad with Love Me Forever.  Perhaps the biggest shock is a vulnerable Lemmy crooning his ode to fallen soldiers in World War One with the album-ending title cut.  The versatility works beautifully.  This is a go-to Motorhead album for me.

Best Song:  Going to Brazil

Best Deep Cut:  Going to Brazil

#3

Orgasmitron-1986

An outstanding album in which all nine tracks are at least solid, with some being brilliant.  Deaf Forever is one of my favorite Motorhead songs of all time, while Nothing Up My Sleeve, Ain’t My Crime, Mean Machine, Doctor Rock, and the title cut all more than worthy of your attention.

Best Song:  Deaf Forever

Best Deep Cut:  Deaf Forever

#2

Ace of Spades-1980

Now we are entering revered territory.  The album features so many outstanding tracks, including the anthemic title cut, as well as Live to Win, Fast and Loose, (We Are) The Road Crew, Jailbait, and the amazing The Chase is Better Than the Catch.  You could easily make the argument that this record belongs in the top spot, however, that only speaks to the strength of the number one album in the band’s catalog.

Best Song:  Ace of Spades

Best Deep Cut:  The Chase is Better Than the Catch

#1

Overkill-1979

A vast improvement over its debut, Motorhead hit it out of the park with its second release.  My go-to Motorhead record that has no weak moments.  All-time classics such as the title cut, Stay Clean, No Class, and Damage Case highlight the record.  Meanwhile, Overkill is strengthened by spectacular deep tracks (I Won’t) Pay Your Price, I’ll Be Your Sister, Capricorn, and Metropolis

Best Song:  Stay Clean

Best Deep Cut:  Metropolis

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