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Motörhead: Ace of Spades 40th Anniversary!

By Brice Miclet |

This is not the first time Motörhead’s Ace of Spades (an album upon which fans of Lemmy Kilmister have formed a veritable cult) has been reissued. While the 1996 version included three bonus tracks, the 25th anniversary edition released in 2005 was a lot more generous and offered a second disc with 15 songs, mostly alternative versions.

15 years later, the album is forty years old. Now is no better time to delve into rarities found in this new ultimate Deluxe edition that all fans owe it to themselves to own. With forty additional songs compared to the last Deluxe edition released in 2005, this Ace of Spades reissue’s biggest draw is the two complete concerts that are included, one which took place in Parc Expo in New Orleans on the 5th of March 1981, the other in White Hall in Belfast on the 23rd of December of the same year. The live recordings are true witness to the London band’s fiery stage presence and are simultaneously essential compliments to the famous official live show recorded for vinyl at the time, No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith. While the instrumental tracks are dispensable, the return of alternative versions allows those that were put to one side on the previous anniversary edition to have their say. But what would this beautiful world be without the album that justified the release of this Deluxe package? Remastered once more, the tracks which made the hit record’s success improve in definition without losing any of their vital dirtiness which resulted in a savage coupling between hard rock’s strength and punk energy. Twelve atom bombs which, while they were highly influential towards the future thrash rock scene, are pure rock’n’roll songs. As violent as they are.



While the tracks on Ace of Spades are similar to those heard on Overkill and Bomber, the sound on this record is a big leap forward. Part of its success can be put down to Vic Maile’s production (who previously worked on Hawkwind's albums, Lemmy’s previous band, but also with the Who, Chuck Berry…).



Motörhead’s sound is stronger and better produced on this album. Lemmy would explain that Vic worked on Ace of Spades} according to his instincts, knowing all there was to know about rock’n’roll. Thanks to this collaboration, the sound of Phil Animal Taylor’s drums and Fast Eddie Clarke’s guitar is explosive (Love Me Like a Reptile, Live to Win) on an album that puts the pedal to the medal without ever changing gear. Whether it be a mere coincidence or scientific reality, Ace of Spades celebrates its fortieth birthday the same year as another monument to hard rock, AC/DC’s Back in Black. Amidst all the euphoria, no one will forget that it is also the fifth anniversary of the death of the band’s charismatic bassist and singer. A legendary frontman who has no need to be canonised to enter Rockstar heaven. There’s one simple reason for this: Lemmy is God.

LISTEN TO "Ace of Spades (40th Anniversary Edition) Deluxe" BY Motorhead ON QOBUZ


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