Live At Montreux Jazz Festival '07

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Snaggletooth
02. Stay Clean
03. Be My Baby
04. Killers
05. Metropolis
06. Over The Top
07. One Night Stand
08. I Got Mine
09. In The Name Of Tragedy
10. Sword Of Glory
11. Rosalie
12. Sacrifice
13. Just 'Cos You Got The Power
14. Going To Brazil
15. Killed By Death
16. Iron Fist
17. Whorehouse Blues
18. Ace Of Spades
19. Overkill

Once upon a time, live albums were major events, but the constant demand for "additional content" has rendered them largely redundant, except in very special cases. When it comes to playing live and destroying people's hearing, MOTÖRHEAD were the most special case of all, and so despite the existence of no fewer than 16 previous live albums (only one of which – "No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith" – natch is a certified classic),  the arrival of yet another is still cause for celebration. In fact, "Live At Montreux Jazz Festival '07" is a particularly great MOTÖRHEAD live record. Captured at a moment that, with hindsight, was a major creative peak for Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey, this is an absurdly enjoyable document of what happened when the loudest rock 'n' roll band on Earth introduced themselves to the slightly more sedate audience that traditionally attends the legendary jazz-centric free-for-all.

MOTÖRHEAD were absolutely flying at this point; buoyed by an ecstatic response to both 2006's "Kiss Of Death" and 2004's "Inferno" — high watermarks, both — and driven forward by renewed levels of popularity and acclaim. More importantly, the trio were obviously having a lot of fun, and inflicting tinnitus on a room full of chin-stroking noodleheads clearly tickled Lemmy's funny bone, even though MOTÖRHEAD attack this set with the same venomous enthusiasm that they always did. And what a set it is. With choice selections from those excellent recent albums, a smattering of deep cuts, and all the obligatory hits, this works as a pretty decent primer for the entire MOTÖR-catalogue. Surprises include a face-removing sprint through "Snaggletooth" and a rampant "Over The Top", but it's a powerful cover of THIN LIZZY's reading of BOB SEGER's "Rosalie", dedicated to Phil Lynott ("My hero…and he should be yours too!" barks Lemmy),  that hits the sweetest spot. Elsewhere, an acoustic, gravel-throated "Whorehouse Blues" depicts MOTÖRHEAD at their most relaxed, while a truly demented rip through "Sacrifice" ("If you dance to this, you will not have children later in life…") confirms that they were more than capable of blowing any metal band away. When Lemmy salutes Mikkey Dee as "the greatest drummer in the world," it's hard to argue against. Amazingly, his drum solo is actually worth hearing more than once.

Need more reasons to buy a 17th MOTÖRHEAD live album? Okay then. Firstly, the audio sound quality is great and the excited / exciting atmosphere of this audacious clash of subcultures comes across brilliantly throughout. Secondly, it's fucking MOTÖRHEAD. It ends with "Ace Of Spades" and "Overkill" — because, of course it does — and nothing will ever come close to either of them, or the immortal men that play them again here with such furious, joyous abandon. We will never see their like again, but more live albums like this would be a solid consolation prize.

Author: Dom Lawson
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