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Motorhead Biography


Home > Music > M > Motorhead > Biography


Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1975–present
Genres: Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Rock And Roll


Motörhead is an English rock band formed in 1975 by bassist, singer and songwriter Ian Fraser Kilmister, known mainly by his stage name Lemmy, who has remained the sole constant member. The band is often considered a precursor to or one of the earliest members of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which re-energized heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Motörhead is typically classified as heavy metal, and their fusion of punk rock into the genre helped to pioneer speed metal and thrash metal. Motörhead's lyrics typically cover such topics as war, good versus evil, abuse of power, promiscuous sex, substance abuse, and, most famously, gambling. The name "Motörhead" is a reference to users of the drug amphetamine.

Usually a power trio, Motörhead had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the U.K. Top 40 chart, including “Motorhead,” “Iron Fist” and “Ace of Spades.” The albums “Overkill,” “Bomber,” “Ace of Spades,” and particularly “No Sleep 'til Hammersmith,” cemented Motörhead's reputation as one of Britain's foremost rock bands. Though hard to track, the band has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, and 15 million in the U.S. alone.

The band's distinctive fanged-face logo, with its oversized boar's horns, chains, and spikes, was created by artist Joe Petagno in 1977 for the cover of the “Motörhead” album and has appeared in many variations on covers of ensuing albums.