Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
It was always going to be tough introducing a new guitarist into the Motörhead fold, the ‘classic’ line-up having lost ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke when he walked out of their 1982 American tour.
When Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow from Anvil turned down the offer to replace him, Lemmy and Phil Taylor had another name on their hitlist: Brian Robertson.
Both being big Thin Lizzy fans, the idea of getting the Scottish wildcard onboard was an appealing one, his reputation as a musician and hellraiser a seemingly perfect fit.
Although the line-up only made the one album, it stands as a tantalising promise of grand adventures to come and has been wrongly overlooked in the Motörhead canon.
This new 40th Anniversary edition gives the chance to reassess those times and the work the trio produced, all with the added bonus of a live cd recorded on the tour to promote it.
Initially welcoming Robertson into the fold, the trademark roughness of Motörhead’s sound was tempered with some smoother edges that added extra layers of melody but the novelty soon wore off when the guitarist to hours recording in the studio.
This was a band who focussed on a real, live sound and so with their new recruit taking so long to put down his tracks, the wheels started coming off the locomotive.
Things were to get even worse on the tour and Robertson was ousted but whilst the album was much maligned at the time, there’s still some real diamonds here that show a slightly different band and it’s a fascinating listen.
Starting with the usual bass rumble and then going into a keening guitar pattern, ‘Back at the Funny Farm’ is a blast of ice water to the senses, the solo unlike anything the band had put out before and opens the album in fine style. It’s a distinctly different approach to their sound and something Motörhead had to do after the very mixed reception to ‘Iron Fist’.
This isn’t to say that the trio had turned their back on their roots, far from it as tracks like ‘Shine’ and ‘Tales of Glory’ are full of the fire and venom they’d always made their own, this was just new chemistry.
The balls were there but also a sense of blues and hard rock, rather than pure blistering rock ‘n’ roll and Lemmy’s usual gravelly tones are a little smoother at times, particularly in single ‘I’ve Got Mine’. Of all the Motörhead albums, it could be argued that this one has the greatest variety and listening to it again now there’s gems a plenty throughout.
From blockbusters like ‘Rock It’ and ‘Marching Off To War’ to the closing rush of ‘Die You Bastard!’, ‘Another Perfect Day’ is a treat. It may not have a key, anthemic track like ‘Ace of Spades’ or ‘Bomber’ but there’s certainly enough here to be warmly welcomed by fans old and new.
It may be that the switch from Clarke to Robertson and this different sound that caused hardcore fans to jump ship at this point but this new chapter showed the band were sticking to their own vision. With their next move expanding the line-up to a quartet, it’s possible that this era was something that spurred the new dawn onwards, their fortunes revived. Irrespective of what happened following this mismatch, the album is a great one and demands to be heard.
As a bonus, a second disc featuring their previously unreleased live set at Hull City Hall on 22nd June 1983 is a scorching document of the band at the time. The tour, with support fittingly by Anvil, covered the many highways and byways of the country and they were on fire by the time they hit this date. With the set leaning heavily on the album, a few noticeable big hitters were missing but this doesn’t detract from the rumbunctious noise tearing from the speakers.
With Robbo’s playing not trying to ape that of Fast Eddie’s and taking his own distinctive style, there’s a different flavour to tracks like ‘Iron Horse / Born to Lose’ and ‘The Chase is Better than the Catch’ alongside the newer numbers, giving this slice of history a compelling twist for the legendary rockers.
Overall, Another Perfect Day isn’t perfect and doesn’t reach the heights of the untouchable Ace of Spades, Overkill or Bomber but it’s so much more than previous perceptions.
Arguably up there in the ranks of great Motörhead albums, the fractious recording and subsequent tour may have been a low point for Lemmy but the results speak for themselves.
Full of all the dirty grit you could hope for and enough verve to stop you in your tracks, this is the long lost black sheep you can grow to love.
See below for full details of the Another Perfect Day releases and be sure to visit www.iMotorhead.com for news and updates!
LP AND CD TRACKLISTING
Original Another Perfect Day album
1. Back At The Funny Farm
3. Dancing On Your Grave
4. Rock It
5. One Track Mind
6. Another Perfect Day
7. Off To War
8. I Got Mine
9. Tales Of Glory
10. Die You Bastard
CD & Digital Bonus Tracks
11. Turn You Round Again (I Got Mine, B-Side)
12. Hoochie Coochie Man (Live, Shine B-Side)
13. (Don’t Need) Religion (Live, Shine B-Side)
14. Climber (Demo)
15. Fast One (Demo)
16. Chinese (Demo)
17. Climber (Instrumental Demo)
Live at Hull City Hall, 22nd June 1983
1. Back at the Funny Farm
2. Heart of Stone
3. Shoot You in the Back
4. Marching Off to War
5. Iron Horse / Born to Lose
6. Another Perfect Day
7. Hoochie Coochie Man
8. (Don’t Need) Religion
9. One Track Mind
10. Go to Hell
13. Dancing on Your Grave
14. Rock It
15.Bite the Bullet
16. The Chase Is Better Than the Catch
PREORDERS & EXCLUSIVE MERCH BUNDLES HERE: https://motorhead.lnk.to/APD40PR