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Classic Review: Motörhead - 1916

Label: Epic
Year released: 1991
Duration: 39:22
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: October 2, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating

Rated 3.91/5 (78.13%) (32 Votes)

Ahh, where do I start? Do I start with the obvious "This is Motörhead, and they will kick your ass"? Or do I go in a bit of a different, yet still extremely generic "You've heard of Motörhead, and so they need no introduction" path to introducing this album? Decisions, decisions. While I'm deciding, I'm going to put on Motörhead's 1916, so that all of you wonderful listeners can be floored by the hammering, electric-power-drill-esque opening riffs of "The One To Sing the Blues." Relish in its simplicity, and the way it bombards you with riff after riff, all the while with Lemmy Kilmister, the mastermind behind the whole thing, belting out his trademark gruff, down-and-dirty style rock vocals with even more energy and charisma than usual. it over yet? [ ] Yes. [ ] No.

If you marked "yes," then move on to the next paragraph. If you marked "no," then go back and listen again.

After "The One to Sing the Blues" ends, you'll end up hearing the even better "I'm So Bad (Baby I Don't Care)," with its screaming, out-of-this-world solo work and a great performance from Lemmy, and you may share the reaction that I had - "holy fuck, this kicks ass!". We also have such displays of youthful bravado as the sing-along arena punk anthem "No Voices in the Sky," the hard-hitting "Going to Brazil," and the obligatory Motörhead rock n' roll anthem "Angel City," which is catchy, dirty and classy all at once. Just keep listening to these songs. I'm almost ready to start the review this time. Honestly. Just give me a few more minutes.

You've probably noticed at this point that 1916 is not just another fast Motörhead romp, and that it has some of the most beautiful and stirring tracks that the band has produced to date. You've noticed those dissonant, dreamy chords on "Nightmare/The Dreamtime," and heard Lemmy's gritty croon. You've been floored by my personal favorite song here, the epic, pounding flare of "Love Me Forever," which carries a majestic element that I never used to associate with these guys. And after a few more heavy and fast songs, which have promptly ripped your face off by now, you will have likely reached...well, fuck, I'm not too good at pacing these things, am I? We've reached the VERY LAST SONG, and I still haven't figured out a decent enough opening statement for this review. We've reached the soft, melodic and poignant last stand of the title track, and you've probably got tears in your eyes. And if you don't, then you at least feel satisfactory at having listened to one of the most consistently awesome albums this great band has ever put out.

And as for my opening statement? Well, I'll just say that this is timeless fucking music. Metal, rock, punk, whatever you want to call it; it's timeless, enduring music that I will come back and enjoy on many a day. Long live Motörhead.

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