Stone Deaf Forever!


Sanctuary, 2003

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there is no way to compile a complete “best-of” collection of Motörhead, other than grouping every single CD they released together and listening to them repeatedly.

That said, Stone Deaf Forever!, a five-CD collection from Lemmy and the boys (in all their iterations) does more than a passable job in trying to be the be-all, end-all document (even though it only goes up to 2002 – understandable, since it came out in 2003). Is it perfect? Of course not… but it's pretty close, and at least addresses their whole studio discography to that point fairly.

Rightfully starting with the final song Lemmy wrote with Hawkwind, “Motörhead” does showcase the style of music he was departing when he was fired from Hawkwind in 1975 and immediately formed Motörhead. Bluesier and slower, it will most likely shock any newcomer to the band who never heard Hawkwind before… but, to a true Motörheadbanger, it is the first step in a natural progression.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

From then on, the first four CDs progress chronologically through Motörhead's history, even daring to throw in a few hidden chestnuts, such as “Black Leather Jacket” (recorded for a television program in 1989) to the inclusion of “Hell On Earth” from the Hellraiser 3 soundtrack. For someone new to Motörhead, this collection serves as a great introduction to the band, but like any “best-of,” there are far too many songs not included which could have been. And, naturally, that list will differ from person to person – I, for one, would have included “Crazy Like A Fox” from Overnight Sensation and “Desperate For You” off of Snake Bite Love. And where is their cover of “God Save The Queen”?

While there are a few collaborations that members of Motörhead did with other bands here, I have to admit I'm relieved that the infamous duet of “Stand By Your Man” with Wendy O. Williams did not make the cut, simply because this song proved to be the breaking point for the classic lineup of Lemmy, guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke and drummer “Philthy Animal” Taylor. (And, yes, I know there are people who would disagree with my being happy with its absence. To each their own.) Also wisely not included are versions of Motörhead songs covered by other bands. This is a Motörhead box set, after all.

The fifth disc features Motörhead in various live performances, again presented chronologically – and this proves to be a nice snapshot of how the band grew and tightened up musically. Again, there are a few surprises thrown in – though I'm surprised that “Acropolis,” the one-off version of “Metropolis” released as a bonus single in Greece, sounds like it was sourced from a bootleg. (Even some of the material that clearly is labeled as being bootleg-sourced sounds a little clearer than this track.)

Admittedly, Stone Deaf Forever! is a bit pricey of a set, with only a few songs on it that haven't found their way onto other Motörhead releases over the years. And, for anyone other than the newcomer into the world of all things Motörhead, while it's an enjoyable set from start to finish, it's hardly one that would be called must-own. Still, I have to admit I get a kick out of it, and if there has to be any definitive best-of collection (even one which doesn't touch the final 14 years of the band's history), this is a wonderful selection.

Rating: A-

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