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Every Motörhead Album Ranked Worst to Best

After being kicked out of the best psychedelic rock band of all time (Hawkwind, not Pink Floyd you posers) for doing the wrong type of drugs, Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister ended up forming a band to provide the soundtrack to his favorite narcotic (amphetamine), and thus Motörhead was born. Greasy, loud and aggressive, Motörhead would have a legendary forty-year run as a band, fueled by Sex, Drugs, Rock’n’roll (Lemmy never considered them a metal band and neither should you, since these were the words of “God” himself), and composed of a rotating door of various band members over the years, most famously “Fast” Eddie Clark (RIP) channeling the early rock and roll feel with a then modern twist, while Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor provided the fury behind the kit. The band even helped metalheads and punks bond over something other than a degenerate lifestyle of beer drinking and hell-raising, with much of their early work forming the basis of Thrash Metal and other crossover genres.

Motörhead was a powerhouse of a band, consistently recording, writing, releasing and touring consistently from 1975-2015. While your Naysayers may claim that all of Motörhead sounds the same, you’re not wrong, but try to write something as good as “Terminal Show”, this offer goes out to seasoned vets as well. I dare you, double dare you, double dog dare you and dog double dog dare you (there are a surprising amount of Motörhead songs with Dog in the title, who knew God liked canines so much?).

And that’s not to mention the legendary life of their frontman, Lemmy Kilmister, who played, smoked, sped, and fucked his way through a life we ALL wish we could have lived. He saw the Beatles play at the Cavern Club, toured behind the Iron Curtain with the Rockin’ Vickers (pretty sweet in their own right), was a roadie for Hendrix, and played in TWO legendary bands, all by the age of 30. Lemmy’s departure of this mortal coil in 2015 was most certainly our generation’s equivalent of Elvis’s death, but less depressing, because while Lemmy may have been old by the time of his death (Motörhead played their final show two weeks before Lemmy succumbed to Brain Cancer), he was still putting on one of the best live shows in the game as Rock’n’Roll’s real king. And no one played the games quite like you, old chap.

The fact that there is no Motörhead ranking on this site is frankly an unacceptable sin, one we will repent for by giving the definitive Motörhead ranking, from worst to best.

23. Another Perfect Day (1983)

The only album to feature Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy and terrible fashion fame, “Another Perfect Day” couldn’t have been a more misleading title. Plagued by recording issues, lineup incompatibility and a shift towards a more accessible sound. This led to the inevitable sacking of Brian Roberston and the Recruitment of longtime axeman Phil Campbell (he served for 32 YEARS IN Motörhead). So while not perfect, maybe this day wasn’t so bad after all?

Play It Again: “Marching Off to War”
Skip It: “Back at the Funny Farm”


22. Self-Titled (1977)

Motörhead’s debut album is by no means a bad album, but compared to everything that came afterward, this LP feels like Motörhead finding their (admittedly already pretty rad) sound, and it’s the only album to feature Larry Wallis on guitar and Lucas Fox on drums. It’s said that if you don’t succeed, try and try again, and when the first attempt is this good, you better believe what comes after is something to get stoked about.

Play It Again: Just listen to “On Parole”
Skip It: “Vibrator”


21. Sacrifice (1995)

The title of this album presumably refers to the future sacking of guitarist Wurzel (RIP), since this was his last album with the band. This album is (by Motörhead standards) pretty run-of-the-mill, with very little variation to the tone, songwriting and overall sound. The band may have been losing steam at this point, but through “Sacrifice,” Motörhead had brighter horizons to look forward to.

Play It Again: “Over Your Shoulder”
Skip It: “War to War”



20. Aftershock (2013)

Recorded after Lemmy’s admittedly hedonistic lifestyle started to catch up with him around 2012, this album is the first in their career to feel like it is slightly lacking in energy. But with a title like “Aftershock,” a band that once seemed like they would live forever were starting to see cracks in this mortal coil, with the lyrics starting to reflect this change, looking towards potential change, for better or worse, a decision the band decided not to go with, instead staying the course for the rest of their existence, shining bright in the night sky like those stars on Christmas (Lemmy’s Birthday).

Play It Again: “Coup De Grace”
Skip It: “Going to Mexico”

19. March Or Die (1992)

Drawing more from classic rock than many Motörhead albums, “March or Die” finds a way to fit between both of these extremes, and we’re not sure how we would describe such a stroll. It also features presumably Lemmy’s second tribute to a punk band in the form of “Bad Religion” which, while decent, definitely ain’t not R.A.M.O.N.E.S. But as a midlife crisis record, this is definitely better than “St. Anger,” even predating that album too, proving how even at their most average, Motörhead were still capable of turning heads and creating revolutionary concepts.

Play It Again: “Jack the Ripper”
Skip It: “Cat Scratch Fever”

18. Kiss of Death (2006)

“Kiss of Death” is a Motörhead record through and through, and it contains the songwriting of their ‘70s and ‘80s work mixed with the more modern, frankly better production on later records, leaving a midrange Motörhead record that could have been recorded in any era of the band and probably turned out the same. But “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” could easily be the motto of this band, and this album is absolutely listenable, even if it doesn’t break new ground.

Play It Again: “Trigger”
Skip It: “Devil I Know”


17. Snake Bite Love (1998)

If we’re being completely honest, we could have scrambled all of these next listings up to number twelve and this article would still make sense without changing a word. But that’s not how these listings work, so here we go. This late ‘90s work stands on par with their ‘80s classics, and contains one of Motörhead’s most underrated ballads in the form of “Dead and Gone,” which upon first listen, wouldn’t sound out of place on a Simon and Garfunkel record, proving that Motörhead ain’t a one-trick pony after all.

Play It Again: “Snake Bite Love”
Skip It: “Joy of Labour”

16. Bastards (1993)

Named for the plural form of what Lemmy originally wanted to call the band upon formation, this album pulls from everything Motörhead past, present and future, just like a tweaked-out Scrooge McDuck. It was also the first album to feature Motörhead’s technically best (the best kind of best) drummer Mikkey Dee. The production on this album is strangely abhorrent though, for reasons we don’t completely understand, maybe the producer, his crew, or the record label were the titular “Bastards” that the album title is referring to.

Play It Again: “Burner”
Skip It: “We Bring the Shake”

15. The World Is Yours (2010)

Just as Lemmy had prophesied way back during “The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2, The Metal Years,” the band would be inspired enough by something to rip it off in their music. And while this wasn’t in the form of a musical ripoff, the title derives from the video game “Scarface: The World Is Yours.” Well we hope so anyway since we know Lemmy was a gamer, and this late-career gem was released a couple of years after the aforementioned video game. But it’s far more memorable than that cheap Scarface cash grab of a game, so who’s ripping off who doesn’t matter.

Play It Again: “Devil’s In My Head”
Skip It: “Brotherhood of Man”

14. Motörizer (2008)

More Motorizing than moisturizing, “Motorizer” is an instructional manual on how to perform Rock’n’Roll (courtesy of the track “Rock Out”) and the blues too (there’s literally a song entitled “Teach You How To Sing the Blues”). It’s a great two-for-one deal, and that’s some great lessons from some Rock’n’Roll veterans deep into their third decade, with Lemmy recording this record at 63, and this album still sounds young and vibrant regardless of age. But you know, “If You think you’re too old to Rock’n’Roll, you are” which is a saying to live by, musically or otherwise.

Play It Again: “Rock Out”
Skip It: “One Short Life”

13. Inferno (2004)

Infernally furious, especially with a band who was approaching their 30th year as a band, coming in Hot as the Hounds of Hell, so fiery that the band had to do a blues number to cool off with the final track “Whorehouse Blues.” If any other band would have released this album, it would have been considered their masterpiece, but it’s just another Motörhead album, and Motörhead has the benefit of being fronted by “God” himself, and you can’t have god without the devil, so burn on “Inferno.”

Play It Again: “Terminal Show”
Skip It: “In the Black”

12. Hammered (2002)

Lemmy and the boys favorite state to achieve in their off time, this record is a perfect fusion of every era of Motörhead, brought directly to your homes courtesy of theme song for WWE Superstar Triple H, the aptly titled “The Game.” But wait, there’s more, so much more to the greatness of this album, with the frankly underrated “Walk a Crooked Mile” being the best Motörhead album opener of the 2000s.

Play It Again: “The Game”
Skip It: “Brave New World”


11. Rock’n’Roll (1987)

Named after some obscure style of music that Motörhead helped perfect, this was the last album the band would release in the metal-tinted ‘80s, and it is every bit as invigorating as prior albums. When contacting the estate of Lemmy Kilmister researching this article, they refused to share the recipe for a “Bacon Torpedo,” which if we’re being honest, sounds kind of delicious, but some things are better left to mystery.

Play It Again: “Eat the Rich”
Skip It: “Dogs” (only one canine-themed song per album, and “The Wolf” has us covered)

10. Overnight Sensation (1996)

Conventional wisdom would dictate that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but this only applies to canines, and everyone in Motörhead has been human mixed with demons (as far as we know). While the band may not have been breaking any new ground on this album, they still find plenty of nuance in old territory, fine-tuning the Motörhead formula like bored chemists discovering a brand new, exciting variation on an old recipe, which still excites to this day.

Play It Again: “Civil War”
Skip It: “Listen to Your Heart” (still good)

9. On Parole (1979)

Released after “Overkill” and “Bomber” became an overnight sensation but recorded before. United Artists (funny name for a greedy record company) had heard that this little pub band they recorded made it to the big time and decided to release this previously shelved recording, and Lemmy originally saw it as a greedy cash-in by an already wealthy company. But this is the first record to be recorded with that classic lineup of Kilmister, Clarke, and Taylor, and oh boy is it ever a step up from their first album, refining everything that made the band already great and propelling them to future glory.

Play It Again: “Motörhead” (still the best use of “Parallelogram” in a song)
Skip It: “Vibrator” (so bad that it gets skipped twice on this list)

8. We Are Motörhead (2000)

Due to their aging fanbase starting to suffer from dementia (substance-fueled or otherwise), Motörhead kicked off the turn of the Millennium in the most Motörhead way imaginable by releasing both a kickass album and improving the original “God Save the Queen” by taking it out of the hands of the Sex Pistols and making it awesome. Doing what the band was born to do, this album kicks your ass.

Play It Again: “We Are Motörhead” and “God Save the Queen”
Skip It: “Out to Lunch”


7. Orgasmatron (1986)

While the production leaves much to be desired, there are still many great songs to be found within, including the title track which was both a critique of organized religion and a humble brag on the band’s collective sexual prowess. It’s also the band’s first release as a four-piece, the first with Phill Campbell and “Wizzo” bringing that ‘80s twin guitar proficiency and increasing the band members’ ability to be an “Orgasmatron” by increasing the surface area to band member ratio, whatever and “Orgamsatron” is (tell us if you know, it sounds awesome).

Play It Again: “Orgasmatron”
Skip It: “Built for Speed”

6. 1916 (1991)

Motörhead entered the ‘90s with one of their strongest records, and even though it was their last release to feature “Philthy Animal” Taylor on drums (RIP to the father of the modern blast beat), his opening drum beat to “One To Sing The Blues” stands right alongside the intro to “Overkill” as a beat that is both brutal and makes you want to move. This album cemented Lemmy’s songwriting prowess with the title track showcasing Lem’s softer side while lamenting the loss of life in World War One scarring a generation, showing the man’s ability to write a ballad just before he wrote another heart-wrenching track in “Mama I’m Coming Home” for Ozzy.

Play It Again: “1916”
Skip It: “Going To Brazil”

5. Iron Fist (1982)

The last album to feature “Fast” Eddie Clark on guitar, this record was plagued with problems from the beginning, with the loss of a producer leading the boys to take even more cues from the nascent hardcore movement and attempt to produce the album themselves, to mixed results production-wise, but this led to the grand finale of the best lineups to ever grace rock’n’roll, even it felt a Harley Davidson running on fumes, it was the end to “Another Perfect Day” in Rock’n’Roll.

Play It Again: “Iron Fist”
Skip It: “Go to Hell”

4. Bad Magic (2015)

Motörhead’s swan song ironically begins with the ultimate anthem for life in the form of “Victory or Die,” and the rest of the album sees Lemmy making a deal with the Devil by offering him all of his then-limited lifeforce in exchange for one last, great Motörhead album. This even gave Lemmy some “Sympathy for the Devil” and that Rolling Stones cover feels like a man who has lived his life to the fullest given’er for one last great record, while honoring the Gods of Rock’n’roll who Rock’n’Rolled before him. Sniff, sniff, no I’m not snorting drugs, I’m crying over this masterpiece. Baaaaaa.

Play It Again: From the Top to the End, Hell Yeah
Skip It: Not if you’re a man of class and taste

3. Ace Of Spades (1980)

Containing Motörhead’s most popular song in “Ace of Spades” and anthem for professional musicians in “We Are the Road Crew,” this record was Motörhead’s highest charting record of their career, and the band was comfortably settled into their loud, fast and abrasive sound at this point in their career. Motörhead had reached a point in their career where the only people they had to bicker with were themselves, which planted the seeds of destruction in their classic lineup.

Play It Again: “We Are The Road Crew”
Skip It: “Ace of Spades” (despite being overplayed, it’s still sweet)

2. Bomber (1979)

Playing like a well-maintained B-52 delivering its payload, “Bomber” saw both the classic iteration of its configuration and frontman Lemmy stepping into their unique and groundbreaking approach to loud, fast music. With lyrics drawing both from frontman Lemmy’s real-life experiences (Dead Men Tell No Tales) and fascination with history (the title track), Motörhead were pushing boundaries, and that’s not even mentioning Lemmy’s revolutionary approach to bass (Big Guitar goo BRRR).

Play It Again: “Lawman”
Skip It: Nope

Honorable Mention: No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith

For those unfortunate enough to have never seen Motörhead live, the band fortunately recorded this flawless performance at the height of the band’s popularity, relative youth and straight-up raw power. Deafening, bombastic and fantastic, this is a must-listen for anyone who is a fan of Rock’n’Roll or musicologists looking for a time period of pure, raw, unadulterated perfection.




1. Overkill (1978)

Beginning with one of the most iconic and revolutionary drum beats/imitation of a heart full of speed on the title track, courtesy of Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, “Overkill” is Motörhead in full force. Merging Heavy Metal, Good time Rock’n’Roll, and even some Psychedelic Influences on “Metropolis”. Everyone and their relatives love this album, from the Punks, Metalheads, and straight-up rock fans singing the praises ever so highly, there’s even some feminist messaging in “I’ll Be Your Sister” (for the late ‘70s anyways). This Groundbreaking release paved the way for punk and metal to get beyond their petty squabbles and embrace a brotherly love that has only grown every year since. And God Bless ‘Em. Every one of ‘em.

Play It Again: Every time louder than anytime else
Skip It: WHAT!?!?!