Motörhead was an English hard-rock/metal band that released a self-titled album on Chiswick in 1977, followed by five studio albums and a live disc on Bronze between 1979 and 1984. The band was formed by ex-Hawkwind bassist Lemmy, who led Motörhead through numerous iterations and a steady output over a 40-year period.

Members: Lemmy (vocals, bass), Lucas Fox (drums, 1975), Larry Wallis (guitar, 1975-76), Philthy Animal Taylor (drums, 1975-84, 1987-92), Fast Eddie Clarke (guitar, 1976-82), Brian Robertson (guitar 1982-83), Phil Campbell (guitar, 1984-2015), Würzel (guitar, 1984-95), Pete Gill (drums, 1984-87)

Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister (1945–2015) assembled Motörhead in mid-1975, immediately after his four-year stint with Hawkwind. His career stretched back to the late 1960s, when he served as a roadie for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and played in the bands Sam Gopal and Opal Butterfly.

The original Motörhead lineup featured drummer Lucas Fox and erstwhile Pink Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis. They rehearsed in the basement of a furniture store and played their first concert at London’s Roundhouse in July 1975 as an opening act for Greenslade. Three months later, they opened for Blue Oyster Cult at the Hammersmith Odeon.

Motörhead were initially contracted to United Artists, Hawkwind’s label. They cut four demos with producer Dave Edmunds, after which Fox cleared way for drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Between December 1975 and February 1976, the band recorded nine songs at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, Wales, with producer Fritz Fryer. Unimpressed with the results, UA vetoed the intended album’s release.

In March 1976, guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke joined Motörhead. Wallis departed soon thereafter, trimming the band to its classic three-piece lineup of Lemmy, Taylor, and Clarke. They recorded a cover of the 1963 Holland–Dozier–Holland song “Leaving Here” for release as a single on Stiff Records but UA intervened on these plans. It was released on Sky Dog (France) and Blitz (Sweden), backed with the band original “White Line Fever.” In 1977, the two songs respectively appeared on the Stiff compilations Hits Greatest Stiffs and A Bunch of Stiff Records.

By April 1977, Motörhead was on the verge of collapse when Chiswick founder Ted Carroll offered them two free days at Escape Studios to cut a single. They instead cut 11 songs with producer Speedy King (Thunderclap Newman), eight of which formed their self-titled debut album, released in August 1977.


  • Motörhead (1977)
  • Overkill (1979)
  • Bomber (1979)
  • On Parole (1979, recorded 1975–76)
  • Ace of Spades (1980)
  • No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith (live, 1981)
  • Iron Fist (1982)
  • Another Perfect Day (1983)
  • Orgasmatron (1986)
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll (1987)


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