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, 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 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:

Side One:

Iron Fist

Mean Machine

On The Road

We Are The Road Crew

The Hammer


Side Two:

Ace Of Spades

Steal Your Face

Nothing Up My Sleeve

Bite The Bullet

The Chase Is Better Than The Catch

No Class

You can take the cassettes away from an Old School Metalhead… only you can’t take an Old School Metalhead away from the cassettes.




  1. Stay Thirsty: You’re coming up on the 35th anniversary of MOTÖRHEAD. What plans do you have?

    Lemmy: None. Hopefully. I’m kind of tired of being celebrated for being old. I’d rather be, I’m sure if we put a record out anonymously under another name and see how that did. But you can’t disguise these fucking vocals, you know? Actually, we did a new HEAD CAT album, do you want to hear it? And, you know, I don’t care about celebrating for 35 years, what the fuck is that, you know? Who cares? Are they any good is the point. It’s looks better in Roman numerals. XXXV.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      That is… classic Lemmy. I still can’t believe how fast time flies…

      To quote Armored Saint from the song “Chilled” on “La Raza”:

      “When I was young I wanted life to go fast, always in a hurry to see what’s next”

      Now, I’m in a hurry to slow things down.

      Lemmy said it straight there… “tired of being celebrated for being old”.

      I, like all of us, celebrate the music… it never gets old for me!

      Thanks for that Lemmy quote!


  3. I have this on DVD, an import copy from Brazil I found on Best Buy for $5 years ago. It was a killer performance but the DVD is barely an hour long. Used to see it in cut out bin all time on CD and vinyl, and for some reason never picked it up. Now adays it cost an obsence amount of money. Live and learn I suppose.

    • Yeah, you said it Manny… “live and learn” when it comes to the cool stuff “we should’ve bought back in the day! Whoa. I’m thankful I still have “The Birthday Party” on cassette… it was in a few cars of mine over the years and without trying to figure it out… it survived! LOL!

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