Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Off Parole

A new Motorhead album just came out. It’s not that sweet. As a friend pointed out last night, it’ll probably win a Grammy (new dumbed down record + sentimental documentary + nearing 70 = bullet belt on a tuxedo). I didn’t actually make it all the way through the album but it did get me reminiscing about some fond lemmories.

I know posting a Motorhead album on IC is like asking Chuck Eddy if he’s ever heard of Iron Maiden but this ones no Ace of Spades and if you’ve slept on it this long I’m thinking today is the day. It’s a got a great story too, just let me open my limited edition collection of heavy metal fables and short stories which is bound in human skin:

On display at One Eyed Jacks

In 1975 the original Motorhead line up went into the studio with Lemmy on bass and vocals, Larry Wallis on guitar and vocals and this dude named Lucas Fox on drums. During the session the original producer and Lucas Fox walked out of the studio. Fox was immediately replaced by Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor who was just a casual acquaintance of Lemmy’s who had been persuaded to drive him to Rockfield Studios. Phil then overdubbed all of Fox’s tracks except for “Lost Johnny” because he was IN JAIL for drunk and disorderly conduct when that session was scheduled. They said fuck it, roll with the original.

actual mug shot

Three of the songs on the record were songs Lemmy wrote for Hawkwind, one was a Wallis track he had already written and recorded for The Pink Fairies and one was a Motown song Lemmy learnt while roadying for The Birds.

At the time they a had a deal with United Artists who refused to release the record citing a lack of commercial potential. Two years of fighting and BS label nonsense went down and in 1977 Chiswick Records decided to give Motorhead another shot at making their debut album. Now with Eddie Clarke on guitar, they rerecorded almost the entire album over again (barring two songs) and finally put out their now self titled debut record that same year.

compromised second draft

Later on as the now famous Motorhead enjoyed some success with Overkill and Bomber, United Artist remembered they owned the original first record from ’75. Four years after it was recorded and in the face of much protest from the band, UA finally released On Parole in 1979. At the time Motorhead thoroughly disapproved of this belated release as the silly and sarcastic rock n roll record they made in ‘75 sounded nothing like the tough and gristled Motorhead of ’79. Fuck, there’s even a song written in the first person perspective of being a vibrator.


I get off in 12 days.


Anonymous said...

Holy shit a Twin Peaks reference, how many other people are going to get that? New Motorhead is OK, kinda blah. Best one in the last 10 years was probably "Inferno" IMO.

Shelby Cobras said...

I was surprised that as a drummer you sorta glossed over what I find to be by far the most interesting part of this story: PHILTHY WALTZED INTO THE STUDIO AND FUCKING. OVERDUBBED. THE. FUCKING. DRUM. TRACKS. No phucking ProTools, no phucking Beat Detective. WALTZED IN AND OVERDUBBED. THE DRUM. PARTS.

Just think about the massive amount of cojones it would take to pull of such a maneuver. Philthy = God.

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

Also, the fucking guy fell downstairs when drunk, broke his fucking BACK and barely even noticed. LEGEND.

Incidentally, the Motorhead album before this new 'un - 'Motorizer' - is pretty damn good, if only for the fact that it's chock full o' riffs that sound like Wino wrote 'em.

Anonymous said...

Phil is a massively underrated drummer. Listen to "No Sleep", the dude is an ANIMAL!

Daniel said...

Speaking of drummers how about Mickey Dee!!!!! Ha,ha going to see Motorhead in a couple of weeks...Valient thor and Clutch are opening up. More bang for your buck...I will be showing up late.

Cory said...

I'll rep for Orgasmatron with Pete Gill on the drums.

Manslaughter said...