Lemmy Kilmister’s Confession About Motörhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’
Ace of spades is regarded as one of the deck’s highest and most valuable cards. When it comes to Motörhead’s discography, the track of the same name retains these features. This song, created by the godfathers of speed metal, impacted the metal world from the moment it was released. Even today, after 40 years, it’s hard to find a metalhead who hasn’t enjoyed its exceptionally speedy riffs.
In the spring of 1980, Motörhead released ‘Ace Of Spades’ as a single. They had already contributed to the revival of metal in the ’70s and even pioneered a new subgenre with their faster and heavier tone. This song became one of the greatest examples of Motörhead’s signature sound due to its feel and pace.
It’s not just that the song is fast. These speedy riffs, combined with an ingenious bluesy tune, make it perhaps one of the songs that best fit Lemmy’s immortal motto ‘We are Motörhead, we play rock ‘n’ roll!’ Self-declared rocknrollas, unwittingly, had created an anthem that has preserved its popularity.
If someone dared to call ‘Ace Of Spades’ a bad song, it would probably piss off a lot of headbangers, but that changes if it comes from the song’s creator. Judging by what he said in an interview with Louder Than War in 2011, this song isn’t one of Lemmy’s favorites; in fact, let alone being a favorite, he finds its sound quite primitive and bad. Even their dexterity on guitar and drum in that song doesn’t seem good enough for him because he thinks they didn’t play it well.
“The records are much better now than ‘Ace of Spades’ or ‘Bomber,’” he said, comparing their early works to their later music. “They are not even good; primitive, bad sound, bad equipment, and in a lot cases played really played badly. There is something good about it if you were 16, but the moment has passed.”
He continued, “We do what we do, and no one else does it. If no one buys an album, we put out another one and then another one till they do. Every album up to ‘Hammersmith’ sold more and more, and we were getting bigger and bigger, and all those people who said that we wouldn’t last six months were proved wrong. They said that we would be down and out on heroin. The success was a f*ck you. There’s a lot of f*ck you-ness about me, and my basic f*ck you-ness has survived.”
Lemmy once said that they only knew three chords, but they also knew how to arrange these three chords well. Modesty is, of course, virtuous, but the legendary rocker’s words sound a bit like blasphemy. While ‘Ace Of Spades’ was one of the band’s greatest works, it certainly wasn’t the one and only. Motörhead proved over and over again after that song that they deserve the nickname ‘the godfathers of metal.’