Motorhead - Too Late, Too Late

03 Apr
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After a failed debut album (No Parole, which was shelved by United Artists) and finally a proper debut self-titled release, the Motörhead wagon train finally embarked into grassy fields of success with Overkill.

This 1979 album began a streak of wildly successful releases for the outfit, culminating with the British number one hit, No Sleep Till Hammersmith, in 1981. Slighly metal, slightly punk, but purely rock'n'roll, Motörhead's Overkill is a good example of their early classic era with the infamous Kilmister/Clarke/Taylor lineup.

Overkill still retains more rock than any of the "everything louder than everything else" wall of sound of later years. Lemmy's singing voice hadn't completely decayed into his signature rasp and the production of Overkill, provided by former Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Smith, is rather clear for Motörhead. The guitar and bass do not quite seem to be competing for attention in the mix. The second notable thing about Overkill is the wealth of quite good songs: "Stay Clean", "(I Won't) Pay Your Price", "Capricorn" and "Metropolis" have long been fan and concert favorites. The songs tend to have a jaunty, rock feel to them throughout, making the album a enjoyable romp. In the scheme of Motörhead's extensive history, Overkill doesn't rank as one of my personal favorites, but there are more than enough good songs to include it as mandatory for your Motörhead collection. If nothing else, it helps set the stage for the string of great albums to follow.


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