Last Updated on 10:33 PM by Giorgos Tsekas
‘Bastards’ was released almost 25 years ago.
Having grown up with this album, one month after it’s release till today, I think this album is underrated for it’s true value. Motorhead were unlucky before and after this release, but in music terms ‘Bastards’ is a total masterpiece.
A couple years back the band gets “involved” with Epic and WTG Records and releases ‘1916’. ‘1916’ is a total different story. The label had done a different mix of the album, full of percussion and effects without the band’s permission. Gladly they find out in time and the album was released in it’s known form. They tried to manipulate the sound for a second time, with ‘March or Die’, trying to make the band sound more commercial and more American friendly and the rest is history.
After that, the band makes a deal with the German ZYX Records, which was known in the 80’s for the italo-disco releases and in the 90’s for the techno releases! In Germany, the album did it quite good, but with the bad promotion of the label, the album could only be found as an import in the rest of the world and sold poorly.
A couple years later when introducing ‘Burner’ in the live album ‘Everything louder than everything else’, Lemmy says: “This is from the album Bastards. Which you could only get in Germany actually, rest of the world you couldn’t fucking buy it. You couldn’t even steal it!”. On one hand the label promoted ‘Born to raise hell’ as a single, because they thought it was a dancing song and it made it in the British Top 50 and Hollywood’s Airheads, in a different version with Ice-T and Whitfield Crane! In the movie, Lemmy appears for a second. He also did a short appearance in the Wayne Bobbitt’s Uncut, a year later, a porn movie about a wife who castrated her husband for cheating. Based on a true story, the husband had his penis surgically reattached and made it operational again.
On the other hand, Howard Benson’s (with whom they released their next 3 albums) work on group’s sound is simply killer, fully refreshing their sound, making it more metal and characteristic, one of their best in their huge discography. The band is in a great mood and is rocking hard as always. ‘On your feet or on your knees’, the opening track, must have burned a lot of speakers. ‘Burner’ (which was successfully covered by our own Steamroller Assault) is a meat grinder on it’s own. When played live, it is even more devilish, like for example in the 1997 bootleg from Osaka entitled brilliantly ‘Titty Twister’. Come on speak the truth. What happens to you when you listen to ‘Death or glory’? Ok, it’s not only about destroying things, the album has it all. The filthy hymn called ‘Bad Woman’ and the gigantic ‘Born to raise hell’. But above all, it has the Motorhead feeling.
Another good reason the album kicks ass is Mikkey Dee himself. He recorded two songs with Motorhead, for the music score of Hellraised III, and even if he appears on ‘March or die’ photo sessions, he didn’t played on the album. The drums were all recorded by Tommy Aldridge. So ‘Bastards’ was his first album with Motorhead. Lemmy knew something when he first asked him to join the band, back from when they toured with King Diamond. The Greek-Swedish drummer with the love for soutzoukakia, brought a different style and class, refreshing their sound like the producer did.
That’s why you should listen to Bastards.
It’s not ‘Ace of Spades’, ‘Overkill’ nor ‘Orgasmatron’, but it’s a 100% classic Motorhead album, with songs that his mentioned above brothers would be jealous of. It honors with pride the heavy and historic name of the band, it continues the streak of classic releases and it opens the door to the huge ‘Sacrifice’ which followed.
Enough said, play ‘Bastards’ loud you bastards!