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These Are The 10 Best MOTÖRHEAD Deep Cuts

As if they all aren't great.

Motorhead
Photo by Allan Ballard

Helmed by the exalted Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister – the most rock n' roll motherfucker to ever walk this planet – Motörhead were one of the very, very few acts to bring in and appeal to a wide selection of fans. Punks, metalheads, rockers – anybody who likes their music fast and unhealthily loud.

Formed after Kilmister's dismissal from legendary psych/prog rockers Hawkwind, the trio/occasional four-piece worked their collective tails off for forty years, creating a legacy that runs far deeper than simply a great t-shirt design.

Ace of Spades and Overkill are two of the most influential and important albums in heavy music history – but every self-respecting heavy music fan knows those records inside out. For a band so legendary and highly regarded, there is so much unexplored Motörhead material that it could fill a less productive band’s entire back catalogue. The 90s onwards is particularly fertile ground for deep cuts – a staggering 14 full lengths between '91 and the final 2015 LP before Lemmy’s untimely passing later that year. 

Now, for the sake of selection, we’re decided to stick solely with Motörhead originals – we could easily make a list of their ten best covers. With 22 (!) studio albums to the Motörhead name, digging up 10 quality deep cuts should be no trouble…

"Another Perfect Day"

Known for being a huge missed opportunity to right ship after the disappointing Iron Fist, 1983’s Another Perfect Day sadly saw Motörhead’s commercial slide hasten. Despite this it does contain some cracking tracks, including our selection, the record's title cut. One-album guitarist Brian Robertson, despite reportedly being like a royal pain the backside for Lemmy and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, lays down some great bluesy leads. His more melodic guitar work does add a little flair to the patented Motörhead sound – but with Lemmy at the wheel it’s still undeniable Motörhead. With a big chunk of the album being overlooked by all except Motörhead’s most diehard fans, Another Perfect Day deserves a major revisit.

"Capricorn"

Off of 1979’s Overkill, Motörhead’s sophomore studio LP, the mighty “Capricorn” is a classic example of a great song that’s been overlooked in favour of it’s more well-known album-mates. Driven along by Taylor’s fantastic beat, it's got a little more colour and melody than the more straight to the point Motörhead material. There is definitely a bit of restraint and a touch of mood in the composition, with sparse guitars and vocal-forward cut a little bit of an anomaly in their catalogue.  A very underrated tune from a metal classic.

"Keep Us on the Road"

It’s no secret that the early recordings of Motörhead are a little hard to navigate due to their various label issues. Despite being one the band’s first tracks, “Keep Us on the Road” sounds timeless – and the Motörhead sound is almost completely formed. Lemmy’s bass tone is powerful and cutting, and while not containing the out of control styling they’d end up championing, the more mid-tempo track is still packing the sort of lyrical content they’d revisit many times over. Climaxing with a wailing guitar solo over the top of raging drums, the six minute long “Keep Us On The Road” is a real epic, deep cut Motörhead tune.

"Make My Day"

Despite being the last release to feature PhilPhilthy AnimalTaylor on drums for it's entirety, 1916 was an excellent critical and commercial comeback. The first Motörhead LP of the 1990s, the LP saw an uptick of success for the group after a frustrating and underwhelming ending to the previous decade. “Make My Day” is an uptempo, rock and roller that hardly gets a mention, instead being oft-overlooked for “Going To Brazil” and the emotive, melodic closing title track.

"Murder Show"

Back to a three-piece for the first time in over a decade – Overnight Sensation is a desperately underrated record in the history of Motörhead. The production sounds great, fresh yet still rough and tough. Almost every track on it could be considered a deep cut, but we’ve gone with the whip-cracking “Murder Show”. A real pedal-to-the-metal rocker, it would have easily slotted into their live set, yet it stayed on the sidelines.

"On Your Feet or On Your Knees"

“On Your Feet or On Your Knees” is the absolute ball-tearing two and half minute opener of 1993’s Bastards. It's an energy packed rip-snorting way to kick off the album – yet it’s crazy that it is one of the least stream songs on the release. The studio version of this track is killer – but the take found on the live record Everything Louder Than Everything Else is equally fantastic, arguably even better.

"Talking Head"

Not as strong as the LPs before it, Motörhead’s third record Bomber was seen at the time as a bit of a let down after the lofty heights of the groundbreaking Overkill. Though it contains a handful of classics, it definitely is not the band’s most complete and consistent release. A track that has been unfairly overlooked for years now is “Talking Head”. One only a few earlier Motörhead tracks to have never been played live by the band, it’s got some great riffing and deserves to be as recognised as some of it’s more well known brethren.

"Tell Me Who To Kill"

We had to include a cut from the final Motörhead record, 2015’s Bad Magic. Yes, Lemmy’s voice was sadly starting to show the ravages of time, but “Tell Me Who To Kill” is still an up-tempo, beer-pounding rocker. With their legendary status firmly cemented, Bad Magic, while not the greatest Motörhead record, was the perfect swan song for both the band and Lemmy alike. No compromising of their sound, no current trends explored or unnecessary guests – just pure rock and roll. 

"The Thousand Names of God"

Another strong latter-day record, 2006’s Motorizer saw the Motörhead machine continue to march on with another uncompromising collection of tracks. “Rock Out” and “Teach You How To Sing The Blues” are Motörhead classics, but the easily most underrated song from the LP is the fantastic “The Thousand Names of God”. Why this track was tucked away at the very end of the LP is beyond us – but at least it wraps up the album very strongly.

"Under The Gun"

The hotted-up blues shuffle of “Under The Gun” is an overlooked gem in Motörhead’s deep, deep back catalogue. The modern production simply makes things sound bigger – there’s still plenty of dirty, raw rock and roll in the mix, with the powerhouse drumming of Mikkey Dee never sounding better. Built around a huge guitar riff from Phil Campbell, “Under The Gun” was never played live by the band and has been completely forgotten about. It’s a shame, as it could have been one of their biggest post-80s tracks.

Like any other legendary artist with the song count in the hundreds, we could easily do a second – or third – deep cuts article on Motörhead. What songs did we miss here should we include in a potential future article? Let us know in the comments!

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