Alan ballard 3

Upon its release in 1980, the Ace Of Spades album was nothing short of a gamechanger for all forms of hard rock. Like lightning in a bottle, it perfectly captured everything great about hard rock, heavy metal, and punk, amped it all up to 11, and came racing out of the gates at what felt like a million miles an hour, pushing at every musical boundary. Nothing was harder. Nothing was faster. And certainly nothing was louder.

In 1980, off the back of two essential albums, Overkill and Bomber the previous year, Motörhead continued to get bigger, better, louder and faster by the second. This time, on Ace Of Spades they teamed up with producer Vic Maile and came up with twelve songs; each and every one of which crams a regular band’s ten minutes of playing into an average of three. The song titles alone made ears bleed; ‘Love Me Like A Reptile’, ‘Shoot You In The Back’, ‘The Chase Is Better Than The Catch’ and ‘The Hammer’ were a few examples.

This landmark album saw the three amigos of Lemmy, Fast Eddie Clarke and Philthy Animal Taylor at the helm of the juggernaut that was Motörhead, gaining phenomenal growth in popularity as they forged onward. The band’s and their fans ideas, wants and inspirations, converged at a perfect tangent. Anyone disputing this fact need look no further than any heavy metal gig of the time and play ‘spot the Motörhead T-shirt and jacket’. They outnumbered anyone else by at least five to one. A statistic that is still accurate some forty-five years since they first began!

The Ace Of Spades album release was a magical moment in rock’n’roll history, an album which had enormous global impact and continues to resonate and inspire people worldwide. Fans to this day still remember where they were when they first heard it, and it immediately inspired bands worldwide to absorb the album’s energy, speed, and attitude into their own work.

40 years on, Ace Of Spades received the royal celebratory treatment it deserved. Reissued in all its glory alongside rare tracks, live performance cuts, unreleased music, forgotten tour relics and more, it continues to be an influential slab of essential rock’n'roll, acting as ground zero for thrash, speed metal, and punk / metal crossover.