London heavy metal band Motörhead was started in 1975 by founder and multi-talented singer, song-writer and bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister.
Motörhead is one of the most successful metal bands of all time in Europe and in the US, with over 30 million album sales worldwide, and a number of top albums such as Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades and No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith.
In the early years, Lemmy was also a member of Hawkwind but he left after a run-in with the law and started his own band calleded Motörhead. Auditions for the band took place and he recruited Larry Wallis (ex-Pink Fairies) on electric guitar and Lucas Fox on drums and later on, "Fast" Eddie Clarke also joined Lemmy’s new band.
Their eponymous titled single "Motörhead" was followed up with debut album Motörhead. The album launched straight onto #43 on the UK Album Chart.
Bronze records signed the band in 1978 for a one-off contract for the band’s next album. The album was called Overkill, and based on its impressive sales Bronze Records extended the contract with Motörhead. Overkill was the band’s first album to reach the Top 40; making it #24 on the album charts and the single “Overkill” reached #39 in the respected charts.
With the success of Overkill, Motörhead worked flat out with on their next album and didn’t perform, except to appear at Reading Festival.
Motörhead’s next album Bomber reached #12 on the UK Album Chart and took the band on the Bomber Tour in Europe and in the UK in 1979.
The single Ace of Spades, along with the album of the same title was released in 1980 and catapulted the band to stardom.
Motörhead enjoyed their commercially most successful time during this period. The song Ace of Spades has since not only become the band’s trademark tune but is also considered one of the quintessential Rock songs of all time.
During Motörhead’s heyday during the years 1980 – 1982, the band released the St. Valentine's Day Massacre EP and No Sleep 'til Hammersmith and toured frequently. It was during this period that the band performed their now legendary appearance for the BBC’s Top of the Pops program, and recorded some tracks at Maida Vale 4 studios.
"Fast" Eddie Clarke left the band after a disagreement over Motörhead’s cover version of the classic track Stand By Your Man. Lemmy quickly found "Fast" Eddie Clarke’s replacements with new members, Würzel and Phil Campbell.
A bitter feud between their management company and Bronze Records during the mid-1980’s, forced Motörhead to tour heavily in order to support themselves.
The band played extensively across Europe and in the summer of 1986, Motörhead’s performed at the leading Hard Rock festival, the annual Donnington Monsters of Rock. The show became legendary in parts due to the band’s decision to have an aircraft show taking place during the performance of their song The Bomber.
The legal battle continued into the next decade but while still fighting the lengthy legal battle, Motörhead began recording the new album 1916 (1991) in Los Angeles. Throughout the ‘90s, the band toured with notable acts, including Black Sabbath.
Overnight Sensation, the band’s 14th album, hit the record shops in 1997 and promoted with an intimate gig at The Astoria in London and it was during this time that the band along with their fans celebrated Motörhead’s 25th Anniversary at the O2 Brixton Academy.
Wrestlemania invited Motörhead to perform The Game live at the 2001 Wrestlemania event at The Astrodome. The appearance was followed by no less than 12 Summer Festival appearances that same year. The long years of touring paid off and almost 30 years into their career, Motörhead are still considered at the vanguard of the metal scene.
The band’s tight live sound, legendary status as one of the world’s most recognised rock acts along with their iconic leader, Lemmy, was finally recognised in 2005. Motörhead were awarded their first-ever Grammy for 'Best Metal Performance' for their cover of the Metallica song “Whiplash”.
Better Dead Than Motörhead was the band’s 19th album and it was released in 2007 and coincided with Motörhead’s 30th Anniversary.