Another Perfect Day 05

It’s hardly an obscure album, but I think Motörhead Another Perfect Day is a pretty underappreciated one.  Pressing Thin Lizzy’s Brian Robertson into service after the departure of Fast Eddie was always going to change the dynamic of the band, Lemmy and Phil Taylor hoped it would reinvigorate them after the, comparative, lack of success of Iron Fist* and that Robbo would inject a bit of extra class into proceedings, taking them onto new heights.  It sort of did; it sort of didn’t.

I reread the relevant chunk of Lemmy’s entertaining biography White Line Fever as research for this and I’d forgotten what a furore the new man’s dress sense caused, both inside the band and throughout their fanbase,  ‘… he arrived in Toronto with reddish-dyed short hair. I was fucking horror-stricken’.  Lemmy goes on to recount how Brian’s green satin shorts almost earned him a Hell’s Angels beating and how his fashion sense continued to ‘shock and horrify fans throughout our tour of Europe … let’s face it ballet shoes and Motörhead do not mix!’.  Worth mentioning of course that this was 1983 and silly as it may seem, metal had a strict orthodoxy surrounding the metal uniform.  This was only really shattered, Graham Bonnet aside, in the diaspora that followed grunge when even proper rockers started to get haircuts.  Metal treason!

Another Perfect Day 01

Lemmy also goes on to say that as well as pissing all and sundry off by refusing to play most fans’ Motörhead favourites, drinking to excess (even by the band’s standards) to the point where he was catatonic on stage and generally being awkward and disagreeable at all points, Brian Robertson is the only person in any of his bands that he has ever threatened with physical violence – the way Lemmy describes it is as a Mexican stand-off with chairs! In between all of this though they cranked out a belter of an album.

Another Perfect Day kicks off with one of my all-time favourite Motörhead tunes, ‘Back At the Funny Farm’.  After a smatter of chatter, that familiar growling bass and drums drive a straight line down the middle of the tune and then the guitar, more lyrical than usual licks around the edges of the track, then the captain of our ship steps up to the mic,

Hammer pounding in my heart, I think it’s gonna burst,
Spring unwinding in my head, I don’t know which is worse,
I hear you talking but the words are kinda strange,
One of us is crazy and the other one’s insane
Stay Calm, don’t be alarmed, it’s just a holiday,
Back At The Funny Farm

Straight rock genius, no chaser.  It also contains no fewer than two guitar solos, Lemmy said later that he thought there was ‘too much guitar’ on Another Perfect Day, I dare to disagree, in full flow Brian Robertson was a wonderful lyrical guitarist, especially soloing and the crime would have been to throttle back on his contribution.

Another Perfect Day 02
Motörned

Second track ‘Shine’ could be, if you took it to the Rock Sink and scrubbed away the Motörgrime on it an offcut from Tres Hombres, you don’t have to look far to see how much Lemmy and co clearly adored ZZ Top, their cover of ‘Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers’ being a bit of a give away, as was their wholesale theft of the riff from ‘Tush’ for ‘No Class’.  Again Brian Robertson’s guitar here has the melodic deftness to capture the melodic edge of Billy Gibbons, which is I think what makes them such a deceptively complex band.  But this is no slavish rewriting, ‘Shine’ has a really interesting rhythmic structure all of its’ own.

It’s customary for me at this point to say ‘I’ll spare you the whole track-by-track’ before going on to talk about every single track on the LP; I put it down to my rampant ego, being the emperor and sole arbiter of taste here on 1537 has had that effect on me.  Now kneel as I dispense my wisdom, serfs!

Another Perfect Day 03

I’ll spare you the whole track-by-track but here are the other real highlights for me:

  • Dancing On Your Grace – a menacing, slow (by Motörhead’s standards at least) tribute to (what else?) a dirty, double-dealing babe.
  • One Track Mind – musically slower again but has a really neat 1-2-3 verse structure, which also plays on the word ‘free’ in the final verse – Wordsworth eat your heart out!
  • Another Perfect Day – another of my real faves, showing off Robertson’s chops perfectly.  You don’t get to use the word ‘subtle’ often in connection with this crew, but there are definite subtleties here, possibly even melodic layers.  Trust me.

It ain’t perfect, there is a bit of Motör-cruise-control-head on the second side, but it all ends in rousing style with ‘Die You Bastard’**, notable for its attack and the fact that Lemmy somehow against all the odds and in the face of everything that everyone ever knew about the English language manages to rhyme ‘step’ with ‘neck’.  Word up.

Another Perfect Day 08

Okay admittedly it never scales the heights of the classic Motörhead line-up^ but Another Perfect Day is a really good album and I think unfairly lambasted at the time as fans confused the album with the dysfunctional line-up and Brian Robertson’s antics.  It remains a bit of a hidden gem, their Fly On The Wall, in my opinion.  Plus you have to love any album with a cartoon insert and Joe Petagno’s fabulous bad trip cover art, originally painted on a beer box.  Just give yourself a proper blast of ‘Back At The Funny Farm’, it will blow away all your preconceptions and woes.

Can’t find no windows but I gotta get outside,
Can you help me stand it feels like both my legs have died,
What was that injection ‘cos I think it’s going wrong,
I really like this jacket but the sleeves are much too long
Stay Calm, don’t be alarmed, it’s just a holiday,
Back At The Funny Farm

Another Perfect Day 07

A few months after Brian Robertson’s, inevitable, sacking Philthy Animal Taylor left the band too, leaving Lemmy, briefly, the only member of Motörhead, playing a one-armed bandit in a pub with the idea of expanding his band into a four piece.  But that’s another story.

384 Down.

Another Perfect Day 06

*still not heard that one, is it any good?

**possibly another one for the 1537 funeral mix, for the title alone.

^but there again very little music ever has for me; or probably ever will.

22 thoughts on “Motörgrime

  1. Check out Brian Volmers Gimmie A…R biography where he talks in detail about when Helix opened for Motörhead on there Another Perfect Day Tour and Robbo almost killed him at a instore Signing somewhere in the USA ….
    Crazy and funny as hell…

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    1. Thanks Deke, sounds like a good steer. Drink just seems to have affected Robbo in really crazy ways. I mean to be thrown out of Motörhead of all bands for hitting the booze too hard … Wow.

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  2. Graham Bonnet. The go-to singer for all your faux metal needs. I had the Alcatrazz album ‘Disturbing The Peace’ and the Impellitteri album he sang on. Oh, the 80s.

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  3. I don’t have this album – or any vinyl at all. My daughter (like you an obsessive record collector) stole all of mine. But I do collect anecdotes. Here’s a little Lemmy one for ya. We used to frequent a club in Soho in the early nineties (I think) called Butts and Spikes, run by our friend Pam (girlfriend of John from the Queer/Quire boys). We used to get in free (thanks Pam) so, from what I can remember, we’d go there quite a lot when the pubs shut. That’s all I can remember about the place, apart from meeting Lemmy. He was propping up the bar wearing his cowboy hat and I purchased him a drink. I thought at least we could have a little chat. But for someone who takes speed, I found him to be quite monosyllabic. I couldn’t hear what he was mumbling over the music and I didn’t think he could hear me either. So, feeling a little bamboozled, (emphasis on the boozled) I said after a bit of inspection, “Fuck, your warts look much bigger in real life.” Just in time with a lull in the music. To which he promptly replied, “In July” and smiled.
    I think I must have caught his deaf ear/ears as they apparently were doing something, releasing a record or a tour in July, I later found out.
    Oh what a night.

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    1. Sorry I somehow missed this first time around. I think that’s such a great anecdote. Henceforth my answer to any question anyone asks me will be ‘In July’.

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  4. Whale oil beef hooked, I think you nailed this one. It’s a great album, definitely unappreciated but it seems to get more respect these days. It is maybe a bit patchy on side 2 like you point out but easily one of their best.

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  5. Interesting that you refer to it as their Fly On the Wall. I have always thought of it as their Born Again — bring in talented member from rival big name band, and fans have trouble accepting. Thoughts?

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      1. I did this LP today a) because I feel the way I do about it and b) because I got Ned this morning and came up with the picture caption. Fact.

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