Fans of the legendary hard rock band Motorhead are getting a second helping of the band’s live material this year. It came in June in the form of the re-issue of the band’s classic live recording, No Sleep Til Hammersmith. Scheduled for release Friday through BMG/Sanctuary, it will come less than two months after the release of the band’s latest live recording, Louder Than Noise…Live in Berlin. That recording was released in April through Silver Linings Music. This 40th anniversary re-issue of No Sleep Til Hammersmith offers a lot for audiences to appreciate, beginning with the main concert’s set list. This will be discussed shortly. The expansive bonus content that accompanies the main feature adds even more to the appeal of the re-issue’s presentation and will be discussed a little later. The production of the content rounds out the most important of the re-issue’s elements and will be discussed later, too. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make the recording another welcome addition to the music library of any Motorhead fan.
BMG/Sanctuary’s forthcoming 40th anniversary re-issue of Motorhead’s 1981 live recording No Sleep Til Hammersmith is an impressive new presentation. It is a recording that will appeal to any Motorhead fan. That is due in part to the set list featured in the recording’s main concert. The 16-song set list featured in the new re-issue features the original 13-song set from the band’s original No Sleep Til Hammersmith recording plus three bonus soundcheck performances. One of those soundchecks is of the band’s song ‘Stay Clean,’ which was originally featured in the band’s 1979 album Overkill. There is also a full live version of that song featured as part of the set list along with five other songs from the album, four of eight songs featured in the band’s self-titled 1977 debut record, two tracks from the band’s other 1979 album, Bomber, and three more from the band’s timeless 1980 album Ace of Spades. Given, Overkill gets the most nods in this main concert, but the bigger picture is that even though the concert itself was in support of Ace of Spades, it pulls from all of the band’s albums up to that point. So what audiences got (and get here again) is a rich cross section of the band’s catalog up to that point. That rich cross section (which is created in part through the bonus soundcheck performances) is made even richer through the addition to this re-issue of the band’s previously unreleased concerts that made up its very brief “No Sleep Tour.”
The concerts that made up Motorhead’s brief “No Sleep Tour” were held March 28-30, 1981 at the Queens Hall and Newcastle City Hall in England. All three concerts repeat songs originally featured in the band’s original No Sleep Til Hammersmith concert, but also offer some variances. Case in point is the March 30 concert at Newcastle. That concert replaces the three soundcheck performances and its cover of ‘Train Kept A Rollin’’ with performances of ‘The Chase is Better Than The Catch,’ ‘Bite The Bullet,’ ‘Too Late Too Late,’ and ‘Fire Fire’ while also adding in the songs, ‘Leaving Here,’ ‘Jailbait,’ and ‘Shoot You In The Back.’ That brings the total song count from Ace of Spades performed live eight of its 12 songs, enriching the overall catalog representation even more. ‘Too Late Too Late’ is taken from Overkill, bringing that album’s total representation to seven of its 10 songs. So between the two concerts, audiences are getting that much representation of the band’s catalog, which is pretty rich to say the very least. The other two concerts do not offer any additional songs in their set lists. That aside, the performances thereof in each concert makes for its own enjoyment. That is because of the amount of energy that Kilmister and company put forth in each performance. All things considered between the primary concert and the bonus, previously unreleased concert recordings, this new re-issue offers audiences so much to appreciate. The only downside to the whole is that the concerts are being released in audio formats, but not any full, audio-visual presentations. Officials at BMG and Sanctuary can be forgiven for that shortcoming. Sure, it would have been nice to have had a full audiovisual presentation of all four concerts, but the audio-only presentation is still enjoyable in its own right.
Speaking of the concerts being presented in audio-only platforms, that makes the box set’s audio production just as important as anything else in this presentation. Listening through all of the box set’s concerts, audiences will be pleased at the work put in to remaster the original tapes here. Kilmister’s voice was always a house rocker. That goes without saying. His powerful vocals are well-balanced with the audio levels of his band mates’ performances in each performance. The sound is just as raucous in these recordings as in any of the band’s other live recordings. Keeping that in mind, the production that went into this recording’s presentation paid off. It ensures that the concerts are just as enjoyable for their sound as for their content. When all of this is considered with the story featured in the box set’s companion book, the whole becomes a completely immersive and enjoyable offering that any Motorhead fan will enjoy.
BMG/Sanctuary’s forthcoming re-issue of Motorhead’s No Sleep Til Brooklyn is a presentation that any Motorhead fan will appreciate. That is due in part through the remastered presentation of the band’s original main concert feature. It sounds just as good as the original concert if not better. Adding to the main feature are the bonus soundcheck performances previously unreleased in the recording’s original release. The addition of the three bonus concerts in whole enhances the presentation even more. That is because they are themselves previously unreleased and that at least one of them builds on the amount of the band’s catalog released up to that point. The production of the recordings brings everything together, completing the box set’s presentation. That work ensured that the audio-only presentations all sound the best possible and succeeded in the process. When this element is considered along with the rest of the box set’s noted elements, the whole (including the new bonus book) makes the re-issue overall a presentation that most Motorhead fans will appreciate.
No Sleep Til Hammersmith is scheduled for release Friday through BMG/Sanctuary Records.
More information on Motorhead’s upcoming re-issue of No Sleep Til Hammerstein is available along with all of the latest Motorhead news at: