Category Archives: Motorhead

The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years [Album Review]

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The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
2011, Capitol Records
Originally Released: 1988, Capitol Records
Buy the album at Amazon

1. “Under My Wheels” – Alice Cooper w/ Guns N’ Roses
2. “Bathroom Wall” – Faster Pussycat
3. “Cradle to the Grave” – Motörhead
4. “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide” – Armored Saint
5. “Born to Be Wild” – Lizzy Borden
6. “In My Darkest Hour” – Megadeth
7. “Prophecy” – Queensrÿche
8. “The Brave” – Metal Church
9. “Foaming at the Mouth” – Rigor Mortis
10. “Colleen” – Seduce

Any metal-head worth their weight in steel is well aware of this documentary that was released in 1988. It’s a truly fascinating look at life as rocker in the 1980s. For better or worse, warts and all, it absolutely captures a time and a vibe & scene that can never truly be replicated no matter how “retro” a band may act.

As it stands, the soundtrack to The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years is a solid compilation. Sure, bands like Seduce and Rigor Mortis didn’t stand the test of time but when it comes to the ’80s metal scene, you can’t really argue against the inclusion of bands like Motorhead, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses, Metal Church or even Faster Pussycat. It was all metal one way or another.

The documentary itself was actually what turned me on to Megadeth as they performed “In My Darkest Hour” in the film and it certainly made an impression on me.

The lack of Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Poison, KISS or W.A.S.P. is a bit odd given how their stature and appearances in the documentary but the soundtrack isn’t meant to be all encompassing. If it was, we’d be putting up with having to listen to the likes of London, Tuff and Odin, too. A few tracks either start or end with audio clips from the film.

We could argue for hours over who truly deserves to be included on a compilation of ’80s metal but this soundtrack is just a taste of what that era had to offer and is meant to tie in most closely with bands featured in the documentary. Keep that in mind and what you’ve got is a good collection of ’80s rock & metal that will fit right in with your retro denim vest.

Highlights: “Under My Wheels”, “Bathroom Wall”, “Born to Be Wild”, “In My Darkest Hour”, “Prophecy”

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Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life [Review]

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 Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life
2014, Rhino Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. Neon Knights – Anthrax
2. The Last In Line – Tenacious D
3. The Mob Rules – Adrenaline Mob
4. Rainbow In The Dark – Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher
5. Straight Through The Heart – Halestorm
6. Starstruck – Motörhead with Biff Byford
7. The Temple Of The King – Scorpions
8. Egypt (The Chains Are On) – Doro
9. Holy Diver – Killswitch Engage
10. Catch The Rainbow – Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren
11. I – Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy
12. Man On The Silver Mountain – Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren
13. Ronnie Rising Medley (A Light In The Black / Tarot Woman / Stargazer / Kill The King) – Metallica
14. This Is Your Life – Dio
Bonus Track:
15. Buried Alive – Jasta

Well, there certainly hasn’t been an absence of Dio-related releases since Ronnie’s passing. In the 4 years that Ronnie has been gone there have been two compilations, two live releases (a third is due shortly) and at least three tribute albums by my count. Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life is the third tribute album that I am aware of. The first two tributes were Jorn’s Dio (which Wendy Dio gave her blessing for) and Joey DeMaio’s Magic (which Wendy did not approve of), though I’m sure there’s probably more out there.

As far as star power and  talent goes, you won’t find a better Dio tribute: Anthrax, Halestorm, Metallica, Scorpions, Rob Halford, Motorhead, Biff Byford, Vinny Appice, Doro, Doug Aldrich… the list goes on and on.

Most these songs are played fairly straight and faithfully but it’s still interesting to hear Dio covered by other well-known artists and the songs cover his years in Rainbow, Black Sabbath and the Dio band. The majority of these tracks range from good to excellent. Even Tenacious D (who I normally can’t stand) do a decent job.

There are a few tracks I do have an issue with though. For one, Killswitch Engage’s “Holy Diver”. I don’t like metalcore and never needed to hear a metalcore version complete with unnecessary pinch harmonics that would make Zakk Wylde proud. I give them credit for trying to make the song their own, but it doesn’t make it a good cover.

Then there’s the cover of Black Sabbath’s “I”. There’s a good line-up of musicians on the track and Oni Logan is a good singer but he lacks the power to really put that song over the top like Dio did. He doesn’t sound bad, but I don’t think he’s the right fit for a song like this, if that makes any sense.

Then there’s “Man on the Silver Mountain”. Again, great musicians here. It’s Rob Halford backed by a collection of former Dio band members. Doug Aldrich’s presence is felt throughout the song and while he was in Dio before he joined Whitesnake, the song is given a slight makeover and comes across like a modern Whitesnake song. Halford sounds fine, but again, he doesn’t have the proper voice to be covering songs sung by Ronnie James Dio. Or songs sung by Ronnie James Dio that have been given a Whitesnake makeover. I’m liking this take on the song musically, I just think Halford’s vocals are out of place.

Glenn Hughes turns in a fantastic soulful performance on “Catch the Rainbow”. He is also backed by a collection of former Dio players. Motorhead & Biff Byford do a great job on “Starstruck” and I initially thought that was the Glenn Hughes track when I first heard it. “The Temple of the King” by Scorpions is wonderful as well. It’s a faithful cover of the original but it’s very cool to hear Klaus Meine on vocals.

The track that is garnering the most attention, obviously, is the Metallica track. I’m glad they are on this project because there’s no doubt they have brought eyes to this album that might not have given it a look otherwise. They do a good job covering four of Rainbow’s best songs.

The physical CD closes the album with the ballad “This Is Your Life” which is pulled from Dio’s 1996 album Angry Machines. The song is given extra weight considering the circumstances. Jasta’s “Buried Alive” is a digital album exclusive bonus track and is actually pretty good. Once again, Japan gets more material than North America because Stryper’s cover of “Heaven and Hell” and the Dio Disciples’ take on “Stand Up and Shout” appear on pressings over there. Seriously, what’s up with Japan always getting bonus tracks that never see the light of the day in the United States? I’ve never heard anyone actually address why that happens so often!

A few minor quibbles, but this isn’t a better Dio tribute album out and there probably never will be. Must have for Dio fans!

Highlights: “Rainbow In the Dark”, “Straight Through the Heart”, “Starstruck”, “The Temple of the King”, “Egypt (The Chains Are On)”, “Catch the Rainbow”, “Ronnie Rising Medley”, “This Is Your Life”

Motorhead – The World Is Yours

Motorhead – The World Is Yours [Bonus DVD] (2011, UDR/Motorhead Music)

1. “Born to Lose” … 4:01
2. “I Know How to Die” … 3:19
3. “Get Back In Line” … 3:35
4. “Devils In My Head” … 4:21
5. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music” … 4:25
6. “Waiting For The Snake” … 3:41
7. “Brotherhood Of Man” … 5:15
8. “Outlaw” … 3:30
9. “I Know What You Need” … 2:58
10. “Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye” … 4:04

Bonus DVD: Live at Wacken 2006
1. “Doctor Rock”
2. “Love Me Like A Reptile”
3. “Killers”
4. “In The Name Of Tragedy”
5. “Dancing On Your Grave”
6. “Fast And Loose”

Band:
Lemmy Kilmister – Vocals, Bass
Philip Campbell – Guitar
Mikkey Dee – Drums

Producer: Cameron Webb

While I enjoyed Motorizer at the time of its release, in hindsight I don’t think the album is anything great. So when The World Is Yours was announced, it wasn’t something I was incredibly excited for but I still planned on picking it up. There’s been a lot of buzz regarding this album with many sources saying this is Motorhead’s time to shine. While I’m not quite sure I agree that the world belongs to Motorhead at this moment, this is certainly a fine album to release with so many eyes upon the band and Lemmy thanks to the Lemmy documentary. In some editions, there is a bonus DVD featuring six songs from the band’s performance at Wacken in 2006.

This album has definitely grabbed me more than Motorizer did. There just seems to be more energy this time around even though the album is still the same ol’ mix of heavy metal, punk and rock ‘n’ roll that the band has been putting out for decades. The album opens with the roaring “Born To Lose”, a perfectly titled Motorhead song if there ever was one. Other highlights are “Get Back In Line”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music” and “Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye” all of which display some ol’ fashioned blues-based rock ‘n’ roll. My favorite song out of the bunch is the sinister and powerful sounding “Brotherhood Of Man” which reminds me of Metallica in a way.

What can I say? If Motorhead has never worked for you before, they probably won’t now but 65 years into his life Lemmy is still putting out great rock ‘n’ roll and I can’t imagine Motorhead being disappointed with The World Is Yours! He’s a true icon in the music business.

Highlights: “Born To Lose”, “Get Back In Line”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music”, “Waiting For The Snake”, “Brotherhood Of Man”, “Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye”

http://www.imotorhead.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Motorhead/8079594657

Buy ‘The World Is Yours’ at Amazon.com

MOTORHEAD – Motorizer

Motorhead – Motorizer (2008, Steamhammer Records/SPV Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Runaround Man” … 2:57
2. “(Teach You How To) Sing the Blues” … 3:03
3. “When the Eagle Screams” … 3:44
4. “Rock Out” … 2:08
5. “One Short Life” … 4:05
6. “Buried Alive” … 3:12
7. “English Rose” … 3:37
8. “Back on the Chain” … 3:24
9. “Heroes” … 4:59
10. “Time is Right” … 3:14
11. “The Thousand Names of God” … 4:33

Band:
Lemmy Kilmister – Vocals, Bass
Phil Campbell – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mikkey Dee – Drums

Produced by: Cameron Webb

Ah! My first Motorhead purchase! And it’s a good one. This is a band I’ve been meaning to get into for awhile and I’m enjoying this album. I’ve seen differing opinions on it though. Some says it’s great, some say it sucks, but most are saying it “more of the same” (but meaning it in a positive way).

Before I knew this was coming out, I actually was thinking about getting their last album, Kiss of Death and will probably do so, then jump back to the early stuff.

So, I can’t say how this ranks compared to other Motorhead albums, but this is good heavy metal and I’ve been listening to it nonstop lately and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it make my Best of ’08 list.

Highlights: “Runaraound Man”, “(Teach You How To) Sing the Blues”, “When the Eagle Screams”, “One Short Life”, “Heroes”, “Time is Right”, “The Thousand Names of God”

www.imotorhead.com
www.myspace.com/motorhead

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