“Released in 1981, the live album No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith recaps the highlights from the legendary run of albums Motörhead released during the prior few years, namely Overkill, Bomber, and Ace of Spades. The band’s lesser self-titled debut album is also accounted for here with two inclusions (Motörhead and Iron Horse), but by and large, the focus is on the standout songs from the aforementioned trio of classics. This alone makes No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith noteworthy, for it plays like a greatest-hits set, opening perfectly with Ace of Spades.” JB
Most of this “was recorded at the Leeds and Newcastle shows during the Short, Sharp Pain In The Neck five-date tour in 1981. The name of the tour was a reference to the injury sustained by Phil Taylor when he was dropped on his head during some after-show horseplay. Despite the title of the album, the London venue the Hammersmith Odeon was not played on the tour.” WK
What makes this “more than simply a run-of-the-mill, gap-filling live album is the performance: in a word, it’s breakneck.” JB “Lemmy’s gravel-gargling voice raw and blasted all to hell” ET is intertwined with “Philthy Animal” Taylor on drums and “Fast Eddie sending out mercurial shards of guitar.” ET The trio “absolutely rips loose through this 11-song set, upping the intensity and speed of the already intense and speedy studio recordings. Yes, believe it or not, these performances are even more crazed than their studio-recorded counterparts.” JB “Lemmy would break all four bass strings on the evening's opening chord; fans would need to be restrained from carving grooves into the floor with their heads.” ET
“Of course, the fidelity isn’t as clear and the instruments aren’t nearly as in relief, since this is a live recording (and while it’s of high quality for live recordings of its day, it’s relatively lo-fi by today's standards). Still, the breakneck nature of this performance distinguishes No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith from its studio predecessors, making it an excellent, recommended complement to those essentials.” JB
“Moreover, it’s an important release because it captures Motörhead live during the peak of the classic lineup’s rise to fame.” JB “Metal should be a vicarious thrill, a sudden rush of blood and noise, and No Sleep more than fills those roles.” ET “Motörhead could do no wrong at this point in time, as they were laying the foundation for the coming thrash movement, in a way, and their winning streak continues here on No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith, one of the best live metal albums of all time” JB and “a definitive metal document.” ET “Lemmy believes its success was due to a building anticipation from their fan base for a live album, due to the band having toured so heavily in the past, but also considered it "our downfall" due to the difficulty in following up its success.” WK
Click on box above to check out the DMDB on Facebook.
Last updated March 28, 2011.