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Classic Albums DVD: Motorhead – Ace of Spades

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This was my first foray into the Classic Albums line of DVD releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment. They are documentaries on the making of the respective albums. This one, obviously, is on Motorhead’s landmark Ace of Spades.

Motorhead is a band that I don’t really know much about. I of course am familiar with the them, they are rock mainstays that are still putting out crushing music after all these years. They have had a goof relationship with the WWE, supplying them with a few entrance songs for the likes of Evolution and Triple H. I also had the opportunity to see them live a couple of years ago, and they put on a great old school rock show.

This show features interviews with all of the members of the band from the album, guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, drummer Phil ‘Philty Animal’ Taylor, and of course the leader of this gang bassist/vocalist Lemmy. There are also clips featuring Slash and Lars Ulrich, as well as friends, road crew and others.

These guys are crazy, the attitude and energy is still there, even if they aren’t together anymore, they still convey a certain edginess. They aren’t musicl technicians, they aren’t really cultured, but they came together and created some great music. It is raw, chaotic, and unlike anything that was around at the time. Like them or hate them they made an impact, whether they liked it or not.

Lemmy and Phil are together for the interview, joking with each other, reminiscing, clearly having a good time. Eddie, is filmed on his own, for what reason I am not sure, I don’t know if they had a falling out or what. But they discuss the creation of the album, and a lot about the touring. Going onstage and tearing it up, never looking for trouble but seeming to attract it wherever they went.

There is a good deal of live footage shown, mixed in with some promotional photos. There is even some pre-Motorhead live footage of Lemmy from the Hawkwind days. Some of the best parts feature the guys playing parts of their songs, particularly “Ace of Spades,” solo. There there is Phil’s drum solo, proving that he still has it, despite admitting to not actively performing for a number of years. Then there are portions with them sitting in front of a mixing board seperating each player and commenting on the performance, good stuff.

The insights that the band and others are able to give are interesting. Live playing anecdotes, what it was like to be on the road during the heyday, the creative process they went through to create the songs, inspirations they had through the years. Stories like a tour when Phil broke his hand, but played with the drum stick taped to his hand.

It’s not the most in depth documentary you will ever see, not even close, but at the same time it is a blast watching these guys reminisce about a time in their lives that no one thought would be as legendarya s it has become. Who would have thought this band of miscreants and their mixture of punk and rock would last this long?

Video. The image is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is anamorphically enhanced. It is nothing special, but nothing awful either. It looks good.

Audio. Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, it sounds decent. It is not an outdtsnding mix, but it fits the attitude of the music.

Extras. The extras actually run longer than the feature! They are comprised of more interview footage and the classic lineup playing some of the tracks off of Ace of Spades live in the studio.
Tracks include:
-We are the Road Crew (instrumental)
-The Chase is Better than the Catch (instrumental)
-Ace of Spades (drums only, band on backing track)
-Jailbait (drums only, band on backing track)
-Ace of Spades (Guitars only)
-Jailbait (Guitars only)
-The Hammer (Guitars only)

Interviews include:
-Friends and acquantances talk about Lemmy.
-Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. The dangers of life on the road. Talking about the high level of alcohol and drug consumption went on in those days.
-Song Writing. The style that Lemmy would use when writing lyrics, how he would put it off until late in the writing process. How he could be mundane and philosophical at the same time.
-The story of when Lemmy left Hawkwind, or rather was fired while on a trip to Canada.
-Some thoughts with Lemmy at the local bar. Very cool segment, Lemmy unchained.

Bottomline. This is an interesting disk, more a series of rememberances than a straight up documentary, but it is definitely worth it for Motorhead fans, or for those who are curious as to what these guys are about.

Recommended.

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