No Remorse


Bronze Records, 1984

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I've said this in other reviews: there is no easy way to take Motorhead's complete history and bottle it up into a concise "greatest hits" package. But in 1984, No Remorse, a "best-of" with four new tracks (included at the insistence of Lemmy Kilmister), comes damned close.

Practically everyone in the free world (or at least those of us who bang our heads to metal with any frequency) knows "Ace Of Spades," the track which leads off this collection. (My CD copy, issued by RoadRacer Revisited some years ago, leaves off two tracks due to space limitations. I don't know if recent re-issues have fixed this.) Once you get the familiar out of the way, Kilmister and crew bang through over 20 tracks which give the listener the full gamut of Motorhead's history and power leading up to their "in-flux" state in 1984, with three new members (guitarists Phil Campbell and Wurzel, and drummer Pete Gill) and no record label deal.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Forgetting, for the briefest of moments, everything that Motorhead has recorded since 1984, if you could only own one disc of Motorhead's, No Remorse would be the one to snag. The mixture of tracks from their early, hungry days ("Overkill," "No Class," "Stay Clean") to their time at the top of the charts ("Jailbait," "We Are The Road Crew," and the live takes on "Motorhead" and "Bomber") paints a clear picture of who Motorhead was at this stage in their career: a band who refused to follow any set patterns and would take the industry on with their own terms of warfare. It is, simply put, a glorious noise that must be experienced.

Even as the band's luck began to change for the worse ("Iron Fist," "Shine," "Dancing On Your Grave"), Kilmister and crew demonstrate that their ability to write solid metal tunes hadn't diminished. (Yes, this is coming from the same person who had not-so-nice things to say about Iron Fist and Another Perfect Day -- but even mired in the mediocrity of those albums were some solid gold nuggets.) It all culminates in the four tracks which feature Motorhead as a quartet, scattered throughout the disc to keep listeners on their toes.

Of these new tracks, "Killed By Death" and "Locomotive" are easily the cream of the crop, showing off a band who, even 10 years after their birth, were pushing their own limits. "Locomotive" hints at the speed and power which would become Orgasmatron in 1986, while "Killed By Death" is a testament to Kilmister's songwriting skills. The other two, "Snaggletooth" and "Steal Your Face," aren't bad per se, but they do pale in comparison to the two barn-burners.

Also included in this set are two tracks from the "HeadGirl" sessions, "Please Don't Touch" and "Emergency" (the latter being only the second instance of guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke handling vocals). These are interesting pieces of history, if not strictly Motorhead tracks, but they do fit the picture quite nicely.

No Remorse was the first official compilation of Motorhead's past glories, and it remains the best in terms of this portion of their catalog. While all of Motorhead's albums are worth investing in, if you want to learn about the band, this is the ideal place to start.

Rating: A

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© 2004 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bronze Records, and is used for informational purposes only.