Iron Horse/Born To LoseMotörhead
Stay CleanOverkill
No ClassOverkill
Stone Dead ForeverBomber
Ace Of SpadesAce Of Spades
Leaving HereNo Sleep ˈTil Hammersmith
We Are MotörheadWe Are Motörhead


Motörhead playlist



Contributor: Keith Shackleton

I started going to see bands at a time when it was the best time to be doing that, I reckon. I had not only the teenage excitement of forming opinions and being allowed to discover myself, but also doing it at a time when popular culture – screw that though, we’d never call it that and I feel bad about calling it that now – and the ideas we had, especially about music (books, film, clothes) were changing every week. The part of the world you know as a kid, the area centred on home and school … the radius gets bigger, the boundary extends, the anticipation of discovering something else that’s new … that feeling never leaves you, I guess, but it’s never as acute as it was in the days when your eyes were clearer and wider, and your head took things in so readily, instead of pushing them out to make space for what these days seems like an endless stream of inanity. The music I’d found in my early teens, the stuff I considered mine – glam, rock that was a little tougher, rock and roll, blues, mere hints of soul and reggae at that time (but definitely present) – was augmented by punk and electronic music. When we lowered the needle on The Clash for the first time, and those opening bars came bursting out of the speakers, whatever we thought about Janie Jones (and I do remember receiving mild rebuke from some of my contemporaries for daring to suggest that THIS might be … er … the kind of thing I liked and we should really be enjoying now), it was evident times were changing, even if some attitudes weren’t. I didn’t have an attitude, though, which was a source of discomfort at the time. I’m not saying I’d have rushed out and bought eyeliner, bondage trousers and coloured up a Mohawk, but that’s a statement, right? Stick two fingers up at society. We mean it, maaaan. God, I wanted an ‘attitude’ so badly.

But if I’d done that, it wouldn’t have been my own path. I’d have been walking on one that someone else made, imitating something I’d seen and copying it and it wouldn’t have been ‘me’. You learn all too late in life that true punk spirit is sticking to your guns, believing what you believe, doing it your own way. As long as you’re respectful of other human beings, the planet, and the animals that live on it, do what you do, be the best at it you can be, and all else is trivia. Stand or fall by your own choices and decisions. Wear what feels good. Cut your hair trendy if you want. Or not at all. See if I care. It doesn’t matter. Tattoo? Go for it, if that’s what you want. If you’re in a band, get up there and play what you want to play, as fast and hard and loud as you want. If you stuff up a chord or a lead run, forget it, there’ll be another one along in a second that you’ll hit right. None of those embarrassing gaps between songs to pose around: get on stage, rip through the set, take the applause, get back to the bar. If people like it, fair play to them. If people don’t like it, well, there’s the exit door, my friends, it’s best you go home to your armchair, your slippers and your white wine spritzer. Put on some Lighthouse Family when you get in.

“We are Motörhead, and we play rock and roll.” That’s the real spirit. That’s all I need, right there.



NB: My Motörhead is a trio. My Motörhead is Kilmister/Clarke/Taylor. My Motörhead is the Motörhead I saw first in Manchester Free Trade Hall in November 1978. My ears are still ringing.

I must pay tribute to Dee and Campbell, because they are precisely the right people to be with Lemmy right now. I didn’t believe they could pull off anything as monumental as Inferno this late in their career. Stick your head in the bass bins one more time, folks.

And here’s something I so wanted to do: it would have been the only top ten on this site which is 10 x “song title = album title”. Guess what? It’s pretty good. But it’s just for fun.

Ace Of SpadesAce Of Spades
Iron FistIron Fist
Rock 'n' RollRock 'n' Roll
Overnight SensationOvernight Sensation
We Are MotörheadWe Are Motörhead



Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister (1945–2015)
Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor (1954–2015)
“Fast” Eddie Clarke (1950–2018)
Michael “Wurzel” Burston (1949–2011)


The official Website for the World’s Loudest Band, Motörhead

The Most Detailed Motörhead Discography

Motörhead lyrics

Motörhead biography (Apple Music)

Read more of Keith Shackleton’s musings on music at his website, The Riverboat Captain.

TopperPost #485


  1. David Lewis
    Oct 27, 2015

    Wot? No ‘We Are the Road Crew’? ‘Jailbait’? ‘Go To Hell?’
    Actually it’s a great list. No one does it like Motörhead (and like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones the phone corrects it to the right spelling and capitalisation.) Lemmy is apparently unwell (which I guess is not surprising) but as a review I read years ago said ‘if they ever put a fifth head on Mount Rushmore …’

    • Keith Shackleton
      Oct 27, 2015

      Yeh, Road Crew was in there right up to the end.. but the need to have a couple of current line-up songs won out. Age has quickly caught up with some of our singular heroes in the last couple of years. Lemmy and Mark E. Smith both seem frail, whereas just five years ago they were still pretty vital forces.

  2. Tony Allen
    Oct 28, 2015

    Good read Keith and top choices. Tracks 1-5 absolute perfection. Only biggie missing in my book would be Killed By Death.

    • Keith Shackleton
      Oct 28, 2015

      Cheers. Fine tune and it was in early drafts of the list. What to do when you only have ten choices?

  3. John Cooper
    Oct 30, 2015

    Bravo, I was wondering when the site would get around to Motörhead and how much they would hash it up but that’s nigh on perfect, maybe ‘The Watcher’ instead of ‘Iron Horse’ [that’s a big maybe] and ‘Die You Bastard’ instead of ‘Iron Fist’ but that would spoil your original trio symmetry. The Alternative top ten would be ‘No Sleep’ minus ‘The Hammer’ about as much a perfect ten as you could get.

    • Keith Shackleton
      Oct 30, 2015

      Thanks John, very kind of you. Indeed, No Sleep is to Motorhead as Live and Dangerous is to Thin Lizzy.. all you’ll ever really need. I don’t know if you’ve read Marcello Carlin’s words on No Sleep.. over here. And here are my ramblings on Lizzy on this very site, if I may be so bold.

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