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Album review: '1979'





We could rave on and on about all the fan-friendly goodies in the new Motörhead box set, "1979," and wait with bated breath as BMG plans on rolling out future releases. But don't let the swag overshadow the music.

It was Motörhead's frontman and founder Lemmy Kilmister who once bemoaned that if all the fans who bought the T-shirt had bought the album, he'd be rich.

The legendary "everything louder than everything else" band is loud no more since Kilmister's death in 2015, just four days after his 70th birthday. But with the wealth of material the band had both in the can and out, it was just a matter of time for the collectibles and re-releases to begin hitting record store shelves.

The box set captures an important period in Motörhead's history. The year 1979 was a big one for the band, with the release of two seminal albums, "Bomber" and "Overkill." Both records were remastered for this collection. These releases featured arguably the best lineup the band ever had: Killmister on bass and vocals; "Fast" Eddie Clark on guitar; and Phil "Philthy" Animal playing the drums.

Motörhead is credited with inadvertently inventing speed metal, fusing punk and metal in a muscular, high-octane amalgam of speed and guts. After spinning the bonus live concerts from 1979 at the end of each CD, it's clear that those accusations still stick. As if there were ever any doubt. Ha.

"Sharpshooter" and "Good 'n' Loud" are both ragged in spots, but take you on that special high-decibel ride that is Motörhead live. Volume had a lot to do with the band's appeal, but so did the crushing groove. Christ, they were great.

The "1979" box set itself is quite impressive, with both "Bomber" and "Overkill" available in vinyl or CD formats. There are tour programs, sheet music, 7" singles, posters, buttons, and more odds and ends -- all encased in a black biker jacket-themed box. Play loud.