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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Motorhead - 1979 Bomber
Motorhead - 1979 Bomber

ARTIST: Motorhead
ALBUM: Bomber
LABEL: Bronze
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1991, Castle Classics, CLACD 227 * 2004, Sanctuary, SMRCD040


LINEUP: Lemmy - bass, vocals * 'Fast' Eddie Clarke - guitars * 'Philthy' Phil Taylor - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dead Men Tell No Tales * 02 Lawman * 03 Sweet Revenge * 04 Sharpshooter * 05 Poison * 06 Stone Dead Forever * 07 All The Aces * 08 Step Down * 09 Talking Head * 10 Bomber


The greatest misconception regarding Motorhead is that the 'Fast' Eddie Clarke era lineup was the superior version. I question this assertion, as everytime I've attempted to sit through any of their albums I have been unable to make it through the whole affair! This is not a problem I've associated with the current lineup of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mickey Dee, who have been the most consistent version of the band in Motorhead's history. 'Bomber' was still early Motorhead, their third album, which saw the band still finding their feet musically, and perfecting the trademark Motorhead sound along the way, which exists right up until now. However I do take exception to the claims that this is among Motorhead's heaviest work, which although it is, pales next to their recent recordings. The album reached number 12 in the charts, an amazing feat considering how extreme Motorhead were for a metal act in the late seventies in regards to radio accessibility.

The Songs
This is by no mean a bad album, I simply feel the production doesn't match the true heaviness of the material. 'Dead Men Tell No Tales, opens with Lemmy bellowing, 'this is it!', the track one of the albums classic moments. 'Lawman' feels mid seventies, and in all honesty sounds less advanced than Deep Purple did in 1970. The pace slows for 'Sweet Revenge' but turns up a notch for the impressively titled 'Sharpshooter', which with an extra riff or two would be monumental. 'Poison' gallops along in rousing metal fashion, outdone by the stomping 'Stone Dead Forever', a Motorhead staple. 'Step Down' sees Clarke take vocals, rather turgid in delivery, and a strange experience without Lemmy present. 'Talking Head' is the melodic high point, and the track I associate most with 'Bomber', although the title track is a violent exercise that moves similarly to 'Overkill' and 'Ace Of Spades', Motorhead at their best.

In Summary
I accept some would take exception to this being secondary to modern Motorhead, but I hear more purpose and fire in their last few albums than I do here, which is not what you would expect from a band thirty years into their career. In Motorhead's defence these were still early days. In 1980 Motorhead cemented their reputation with 'Ace Of Spades' and astoundingly reached number one with 1981's 'No Sleep To Hammersmith'. It was the bands commercial peak, which is why this lineup is considered the vital one. 'Bomber' therefore seems as good as any album from those years to pore over, certainly an influential listen.

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#1 | sabace on June 02 2007 18:42:24
motorheads best stuff is to be found on the Overkill and Ace Of Spades lps.
#2 | aaasreg on August 12 2014 18:42:34
I agree Mr. sabace, especially "Overkill" is my absolute fave
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