Friday, December 16, 2011

On Parole

In 1975, Motörhead were merely a fuckup ex-members-of band whose label had low expectations of. Their attempt at a debut LP had its share of problems. Supposedly, producer Dave Edmunds fled the session while covering his ears. Fritz Fryer stepped in to take his place. After laying down the initial drum tracks, Lucas Fox was sacked in favor of Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Motörhead managed to finish the recording, but United Artists saw no potential in them and ordered the album shelved. When their contract ran out two years later, Lemmy and the gang took their sturm und klang elsewhere and commenced dropping musical bombs on metalheads and punks everywhere. Somewhere between the release of Bomber and Ace of Spades, United Artists realized how much they fucked up by letting Motörhead go. Much to the band’s chagrin, the original tapes were dusted off and released as On Parole.

Although I have heard that Lemmy does not acknowledge On Parole as a legitimate part of their discography, this is your chance to hear Motörhead’s original lineup. If you thought they sounded like a punk band before, you ain’t heard nothing yet. On Parole is a stripped-down Motörhead with considerably less bombast and a lot more rock ‘n’ roll. To these ears, quite a few of these songs sound great with that approach. “Vibrator” is perfect playful sleaziness, executed with a smile. Musically, the Pink Fairies cover of “City Kids” is a straight up Oi song that is a notch or two above future Chiswick labelmates Skrewdriver. Even Lemmy’s vocals sound radically different here. He still had a few gallons of whiskey and cartons of fags to work on before attaining his signature strangled rasp that we are all familiar with. Most of these songs were re-recorded for the self-titled LP, while two others showed up on the Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers EP. “Leaving Here” made it on the live Golden Years EP and I am not sure that “Fools” was recorded anywhere else at all.

Finding a copy of On Parole in a record store took longer than I care to admit, but I was happy when it finally happened. It has gone in and out of print over the past thirty-ish years, so perhaps some of you Motörheadbangers have missed out on what may very well be your most interesting experience listening to them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the tunes, happy holidayz