Motorhead Ace of Spades: Album Review

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You know Motorhead: they are dirty, heavy, and LOUD. They are justifiably one of the loudest, most brutal and most iconic rock bands that have ever existed. Ace of Spades solidified the band’s position in the heavy metal and general Rock N’ Roll map, landing them a No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart and a Gold status by March 1981, less than a year after its release.
More than 35 years after its release and after front man Lemmy Kilmister’s unexpected and devastating death, Motorhead Ace of Spades remains one of the most well-received and critically acclaimed albums ever recorded by the band Motorhead.
To be honest, no one has made a very successful attempt at classifying Motorhead. Iconic singer and bassist Lemmy Kilmister, drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke successfully carved out a special territory of their own. Their ultra-loud pro-thrash sound is heavier than punk, punchier than mainstream heavy metal, and not quite as dark as thrash. They were satisfied to be called simply a Rock N’ Roll band, and a very loud one, too!

The most signature, easily recognizable song in this album, “Ace of Spades”(it became so popular that Lemmy got sick of playing it every night), makes references to gambling, more specifically the poker game:

Motorhead Album Ace Of Spades

Photo: By John Gullo | Sofajockey (Own work) [CC BY 1.0 (, CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

The song “(We Are) The Road Crew” was meant to be a tribute to Lemmy and the gang’s roadies. Not all the songs in Ace of Spades have such a melancholic and emotional meaning, though. “The Chase is Better Than The Catch”, “Jailbait” and “Love Me Like A Reptile” are shamelessly about one big part of good old Rock N’ Roll: sex. And there’s nothing to be frowning about that. Motorhead is all about letting the good times roll, and roll they did. (Oh Lemmy)

Ace of Spades has an overall consistent sound, which went on to become the Motorhead signature: bassy, filled with dirty distortion, and lightning fast. The brutal “Philthy Animal” Taylor lived up to his gorgeous name with his equally fabulous bullet train drum beats. Eddie “Fast” Clarke gave wings to the songs with his glamorous flying solos, while Lemmy did what he was best at: rocking out his bloody amplifier. This trio were the ultimate Three Musketeers of Rock N’ Roll, leaving no rooms for the audience to breathe with their spectacular swordsmanship.

Final words

If you are hungry for the purest form of Rock N’ Roll, Motorhead is your best bet. Ace of Spades is, the way I see it, the go-to album for everyone who needs an introduction to Motorhead, and the most poignant memory for hardcore fans especially after Lemmy’s passing. One thing is certain: this album has and will continue to win the test of time.

Track list

1. Ace of Spades
2. Love Me Like A Reptile
3. Shoot You In The Back
4. Live To Win
5. Fast And Loose
6. (We Are) The Road Crew
7. Fire, Fire
8. Jailbait
9. Dance
10. Bite The Bullet
11. The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
12. The Hammer


Motorhead Ace of Spades: Album Review

Written by Gin

One Response

  1. Avatar Peter Clout December 28, 2020

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