Motörhead

Overkill

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Motörhead's landmark second album, Overkill, marked a major leap forward for the band, and it remains one of their all-time best, without question. In fact, some fans consider it their single best, topping even Ace of Spaces. It's a ferocious album, for sure, perfectly showcasing Motörhead's trademark style of no holds barred proto-thrash -- a kind of punk-inflected heavy metal style that is sloppy and raw yet forceful and in your face. Motörhead, the band's self-titled debut from 1977, had been rush-recorded, and its stripped-down, super-raw sound wasn't all that impressive, at least not relative to what would follow. Overkill is what followed, recorded in December 1978 and January 1979, and released not long thereafter. The band's sound is fully formed here, and it totally explodes right off the bat on the five-minute title track. A number of Motörhead standards follow, among them "Stay Clean" and "No Class." Produced by Jimmy Miller, who had helmed a number of classic Rolling Stones albums (Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., Goats Head Soup), Overkill sounds wonderful, especially on the numerous remastered editions of this album. The band's classic lineup -- Lemmy (bass and vocals), "Fast" Eddie Clarke (guitar), and "Philthy Animal" Taylor (drums) -- is well in place here, and they seem eager to rip loose wildly on every single song. This, in addition to the solid track listing and Miller's production, makes Overkill a perfect Motörhead album. Several great ones would follow, of course, but Overkill was the first of the great ones, and quite possibly the greatest of all.

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