The career of Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister is one of the wildest ones in rock. Like Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy is one of the ultimate survivors in a form of entertainment with a pretty high mortality rate. The fact that he is one tough SOB is undeniable, but there is a lot more to the man’s life and career than initially meets the eye. For one thing, despite his “hard-partying” rep, the guy is quite intelligent. He is also responsible for some of the best hard rock/heavy metal of the past 30+ years.
Motorhead’s latest release The World Is Ours Vol. 1: Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else is a pretty nice career overview. It contains a live DVD, recorded at various locations, plus two live CDs – which also hail from a few different sources. The majority of the material is from a concert in Santiago, Chili on April 9, 2011. The set also contains a few tracks from shows in New York and Manchester.
The World Is Ours Vol. 1 is pretty much a live greatest-hits release. Motorhead have always been basically Lemmy, and his on again- off again cohorts. The lineup that recorded these concerts is actually the eleventh edition of the band. Besides Lemmy’s vocals and bass, the trio this time around features guitarist Philip Campbell on guitar, and drummer Mikkey Dee.
For fans such as myself, one of the main attractions of the band has always been their basic approach to rock ‘n’ roll. They have written a multitude of great songs over the years, but (for the most part at least) have not included any Rick Wakeman-like organ solos in them. So with that in mind, Motorhead always seem to deliver – no matter who Lemmy has along for the ride. This version of the group certainly have the crowd inspired, especially during classics such as “Ace of Spades,” “Killed By Death,” and “Overkill.”
The World Is Ours Vol 1 is Motorhead’s sixth live album. My introduction to the group was No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith, way back in 1980. I’m not going to try and compare the two, because frankly No Sleep is one of my favorite albums of all time – live or otherwise. One big difference however is that the group have recorded quite a bit of material in the 30 years since, so obviously their set lists have changed considerably. Still, it is the old classics which get the biggest response.
I mentioned Rick Wakeman in passing earlier, sort of as a joke in terms of the type of music Motorhead are so well-known for. I wonder how many people are aware that Lemmy actually started out in the progressive-rock band Hawkwind though? I have always found that little rock ‘n’ roll bit of trivia pretty amusing. The “official” reason for him getting the boot from them was for his drug intake. Can you imagine? Has anyone ever listened to Hawkwind’s music? Talk about dope-addled, they gave new meaning to the term. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like Hawkwind. But to say that Lemmy’s drug use was the reason for his ouster is something I just have to laugh at. I don’t think the old saying about the pot calling the kettle black has ever been more appropriate.
Lemmy has always said that he did the “wrong” drugs for that group. It is an argument that is pretty hard to deny. He was a “motorhead.” A speed-freak in the midst of a group of acid-heads. At this point, who really cares though?
The bottom line is that he is a rock and roll survivor and that is what matters. Whether you are a long-time fan, or possibly someone who is just curious as to what this legendary group is all about – The World Is Ours Vol. 1 contains some of their finest material, and is well worth seeking out.