Archives For 1916

ot only are we at the 100th anniversary of 1916 the year, we are also at the 25th anniversary of 1916 the record.

Now a fearsome foursome with the addition of Wurzel on Guitar 2, Motorhead kicked off the 90s chapter of Motorhistory with this album. An avid historian and collector of war paraphernalia, Lemmy Kilmister was undoubtedly aware of the year 1991’s significance: it was the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, still the bloodiest single day in British Army history with 60,000 casualties. What a price to pay for 6 miles of German territory. A horrific day of sorrow and exhaustion.

So it’s fitting that the title track here may be the best-known song from this Motorhead outing. Yes, in “1916” Lemmy actually sings! Mournful organ and cello with a light martial drum make this ballad a moving tribute to the men of the First World War. Though many metal bands choose to explore the horrors of war by trying to match the battlefields din and aggression with their instruments, Lemmy’s spare poetics are perfect and deserve a hearing as nations reflect a century later. An unusual song for Motorhead, but they really knocked it out of the park.

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