Motörhead, No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith Box Set (BMG 2021)

Motörhead’s iconic live masterpiece No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith gets the deluxe treatment in a new 4-disc box set.

I don’t have to go on and on about Motörhead and how important that band is in the history of heavy music. And too, their monumental No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith album was huge back when it came out in 1981. It was the first Motörhead album I actually ever heard and it put me on track to be a lifelong fan. I am glad to know it continues to be revered and listened to and sought after.

And at the time, by the way, I didn’t like live albums much. A few years before, Kiss had a massive success with their second big live album Kiss Alive II, and I have to say I didn’t really like it much. I thought the studio versions of the songs were better and I didn’t channel anything extra from trying to listen to the music through the crowd noise on a record in my room. But Hammersmith was something different. It was all new to me at the time, and it is loaded with brain smashers coming, as it did, hot on the heels of Overkill, Bomber, On Parole, and Ace of Spades. I didn’t know what hit me, and after I got myself back together, I was never the same.

This new set is huge and includes a remastered version of the original album plus bonus tracks not included on that first record. In the big box, there are also complete recordings of the three shows that were used for the original album: Leeds Queens Hall on March 28, 1981 and Newcastle City Hall on March 29 and 30, 1981. There are also a bunch more bobs and whistles, one important entry being a previously unpublished interview. Much here to sort through and admire.

Is it too much Motörhead? Not for big fans of the band like me, but for regular metalheads, yeah, it probably is a little over the top. Still, it is worth listening to the remastered original album even if you don’t want to hear all three concerts because it sounds great in its new incarnation and it is classic metal music that never gets old. Recommended.

No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith Box Set is out now from BMG Records. Get yours before this one sells out.




Motörhead, No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith Box Set (BMG 2021)