Album Reviews

Lemmy – Damage Case: The Anthology

(Castle) UK release date: 6 February 2006

Lemmy - Damage Case: The Anthology By Christ you wouldn’t think Lemmy was 60 years old. He has retained his warts and rough appearance and he still looks bloody frightening. Yet like Yoda he ages well with each wrinkle (or wart) telling a different tale. There are few rock stars alive who carry such a robust personality and an aura that is almost mystical in its strength – Lemmy is one of ’em.

His sharp intelligence, musical skill and love for the hedonistic rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle is well known and it’s his career in Motörhead that we all largely know him for. It’s a considerable feat that after three decades of Motörhead burning down your lawn and causing utter mayhem they seem to be rather popular again, which is something they have only ever been in sporadic, short spaces of time.

This two-disc collection that contains 31 songs largely celebrates Lemmy’s extra-curricular musical activities outside of the 30-year-old metal monsters back catalogue. With Lemmy recently entering his sixth decade and Motorhead riding on a wave of critical acclaim after 2004’s superlative Inferno (recently reissued and nicely packaged with a DVD) release, now seems like the perfect time to issue this package.

Beginning with Dandy by the Rockin’ Vickers and finishing with a cover of the Iron Maiden classic The Trooper, this is a fun collection, although not completely satisfying. Some of the stuff we could do without (Hellraiser) but there are some gems like Hawkwind‘s Silver Machine and Shake Your Blood, his collaboration with Dave Grohl on the latter’s Probot project that raise the performance somewhat.

It is with the Hawkwind number The Watcher on the first disc that the familiar songs begin, the early stuff is interesting if only to learn how Lemmy began his career. There seems to be more obscure songs than anything familiar but it makes a change from the over abundance of unofficial Motörhead ‘Best Ofs’ and the like, which play the same old unoriginal track listings. So I suspect the point in this release is to make it stand out from the rest as well as to celebrate Lemmy’s entire career

There are collaborations with The Damned on Ballroom Blitz and the late Wendy O’ Williams on a nasty version of Stand By Your Man. Covers of Metallica (Enter Sandman and Whiplash) and Queen songs (Tie Your Mother Down), amongst other entertaining versions, are surprisingly effective. The second disc is more exciting than the first largely because they are better produced, even though it concentrates mostly on cover versions.

There are a few Motörhead classics (the best being Damage Case and Killed By Death) thrown in for good measure. He helped hand pick the songs himself and the complete set simply proves that Lemmy sure does love his rock ‘n’ roll fast and loud.

Lemmy is deservedly a national treasure and rock institution. God bless him.

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Lemmy – Damage Case: The Anthology