MOTORHEAD – Back sometime in 1990, Motorhead released a very loud and killer live album titled The Birthday Party, on Enigma Records. This is Motorhead playing fast, live and unapologetically raw. From wandering about the world-wide web and doing my Metal research, it appears that The Birthday Party is out of print. Rare Motorhead! I acquired my cassette copy of The Birthday Party sometime back in 1990. If I was to count the number of times I have played this cassette over the years, well, it’s been put to good Metal use. I am just ecstatic that I still have The Birthday Party and the cassette still plays!
When I mentioned the word raw in the previous paragraph, it is a very fitting and admirable adjective to always use with any live Motorhead recording. You just never know what you are going to hear with Lemmy and the boys. I swear, after all these years listening to The Birthday Party, upon the conclusion of Mean Machine, one of the band members of Motorhead lets out a gigantic belch that comes out loud, live and clear. Vintage Motorhead. I’m no expert at Motorhead belches, still I think the culprit was Lemmy himself.
The Birthday Party begins with the psyched out crowd in attendance singing loud and proud – “happy birthday to Motorhead”. Again, raw, vintage… Motorhead. The liner notes state that The Birthday Party was recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon on June 26th, 1985. Across the Metal board, the production of this live Motorhead concert is fantastic. There are no re-do’s happening, therefore the consistency of hearing Motorhead in all of their in your face, live glory, is inevitable. Lemmy’s vocals sound super, with this Motorhead lineup jamming out one classic after another. Iron Fist, On The Road, Ace Of Spades, Nothing Up My Sleeve, Metropolis, We Are The Road Crew and Steal Your Face epitomize classic Motorhead and their all captured live on The Birthday Party.
Based on the liner notes info, the Motorhead lineup for this 1985 Hammersmith Odeon concert recorded for The Birthday Party was: Lemmy on bass and vocals, Wurzel on guitar, Phillip (Phil) Campbell on guitar and Peter (Pete) Gill on drums. Just another vintage lineup caught live, in the legacy of Motorhead. Pete Gill was the drummer for Motorhead on the four new songs on the No Remorse double album from 1984 and Orgasmatron from 1986 as well. Pete Gill was also the original drummer for Heavy Metal/NWOBHM legends – Saxon. He was the drummer on Saxon’s first four studio albums. Motorhead history is cool.
At the end of my Metal day, I am incredibly content to have The Birthday Party to still listen to. I have seen The Birthday Party available at Amazon.com, a new CD is priced at over $200 (U.S.)! There are some used CD copies over there, available for a little over $20 (U.S.). I did see only one new cassette of The Birthday Party at Amazon.com for around $15 (U.S.). I’m sure there are probably other music websites out there where this classic Motorhead album can be had… it would be Metal prudent to shop around.
* The Birthday Party, recorded back in 1985, was in acknowledgment of Motohead’s 10th anniversary. The Motorhead timeline can date back to 1975, with 1976 being the year that the ultra classic Motorhead lineup came together, being: Lemmy Kilmister, “Fast” Eddie Clarke on guitar and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor on drums.
* The Birthday Party was produced by Ian A. Wiener, as a Wienerworld Presentation.
Track Listing For Motorhead – The Birthday Party:
On The Road
We Are The Road Crew
Ace Of Spades
Steal Your Face
Nothing Up My Sleeve
Bite The Bullet
The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
You can take the cassettes away from an Old School Metalhead… only you can’t take an Old School Metalhead away from the cassettes.
LONG LIVE MOTORHEAD!