These were the first recordings made by the Band to emerge as Motorhead. They are not what you might imagine from the band if you only know them from Overkill onwards.
They were a band in the embryo stage. The band consisted of Ian ‘ Lemmy’ Kilmister, Ex-Hawkwind who had been evicted from his place as Bass Guitarist from the Space Rockers for his Rock ’n ’Roll lifestyle and becoming the most famous member of the Band, Larry Wallis who was at the time in two bands Motorhead and The Pink Fairies (soon to raise loyalty issues) and Lucas Fox, who did not even make it past the recording of this album as his studio drumming was considered not good enough and was over dubbed by Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor before the album even got handed into United Artists Records in 1976. Two Producers were used during the recording of the sessions Dave Edmunds had a go first, but was really more interested in getting his own Solo career off the ground so production duties were taken over by Fritz Fryer.
The results are excellent . As Dave Thompson of Allmusic put it, “The music is devastating, steeped in Blues, drenched in booze, the highest octane mixture Pub/Rock of all. No matter how well you think you know Motorhead, this is still nothing like you would be expecting. A true Rocker’s Sonic Symphony. This is Wagner with Whiplash”.
Although it’s still Lemmy’s Band, the songwriting and singing is shared out between band members. There are also three tracks brought over from Lemmy’s Hawkwind days. Motorhead (the last song written by Lemmy in his old band although on this version there are no sonic Hawkwind Keyboards, Electronics or violin solos!!) and straight ahead rocked up versions of The Watcher and Lost Johnny. The Pink Fairies City Kids was dragged out and given a good kicking too. The Dozier, Holland, Holland, Leaving Here is rocked up so much as to be almost unrecognizable from the original. Larry Wallis had a few good tracks up his sleeve so what with the stunning Axe work Wallis puts in here who knows what might of happened if he had stayed, and the Classic Motorhead song Iron Horse-Born to Lose is also given its first airing as a slow heavy Rock song.
Of course, United Recording Artists took one listen to the album and were horrified and buried it deep in their vaults, and basically dug a bunker and hid from the Band until they could sell their contract on to Chiswick Records who then allowed the band (with Fast Eddie Clarke on Lead Guitar) to virtually re-record the album and put it out under the band’s own name.
The Band then moved onto Bronze records and fame and fortune with a new heavier Rock ’n’ Roll sound. At which time United Artists put their head back above the barricades and realized they may have missed something there and released the album as On Parole. Of course it’s still a great album, but by 1979 things had moved on and the band disowned the album. So next time United Artists Stick to your guns. On the re-released albums you get four of the Tracks produced by Dave Edmunds tagged on at the end. Seems like the swap to Fritz Fryer was a good one.
Written By Hells Bells and Mott The Dog
Iron Horse- Born to Lose
Bonus Tracks produced by Dave Edmunds:
Ian (Lemmy) Kilmister – Bass guitar and Vocals
Larry Wallis – Guitar and Vocals
Phil (Philthy Animal)Taylor – Drums
Lucas Fox on Lost Johnny