Being embraced in both punk and metal scenes for its unique music, Motörhead has become a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, re-energizing it in the late 1970s and early 1980s. So, in this list, we have gathered the best albums of Motörhead ranked to go deeper through their successful career.
Formed in 1975 in London, Motörhead woke up the British heavy metal scene, although the members had always insisted that they are a rock and roll band until the last day the band disbanded in 2015. Even so, the band has become one of the biggest rock bands in history credited with being part of and influencing many musical scenes, thrash metal and speed metal especially.
Comprised Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister on the bass and lead vocal, Phil “Wizzö” Campbell on the guitar, and Mikkey Dee on the drums, Motörhead released 22 studio albums, 10 live recordings, 12 compilation albums, and 5 EPs throughout its 4 decade-served careers. And the regarded band was disbanded right after Lemmy’s sad passing away on December 28, 2015, because of cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure. Phil Taylor followed him dying shortly after before also Eddie Clark passed away in 2018.
So, let’s see what Motörhead accomplished during its long-served and successful career by checking out its best 12 albums ranked.
What was Motörhead’s last studio album?
Bad Magic is the 22nd and final studio album by Motörhead. This album was released on 28 August 2015, it is the 5th. release under the UDR / Motörhead Music collaboration of the previous five years.
Rock ‘n’ Roll
The eighth studio album of Motörhead, Rock n’ Roll was released on 5 September 1987. Although the album is credited for being the worst-performing of all of Motörhead’s top 40 chart hits, we also known that the album still could inspire many young metal artists to start their own musical journey in the industry, as well. And despite all the bad comments it received, the album also could find its way into high places on some charts worldwide, peaking at number 34 in the UK, 33 in Germany, 41 in Sweden, and 150 in the US Billboard chart alongside a few others.
No Sleep ’til Hammersmith (Live)
The first live album of Motörhead, No Sleep ’till Hammersmith was released on June 27th, 1981, being criticized as an ideal “go-to” album to start listening to heavy metal music by both critics and fans. In the meantime, the live album also won the British Phonographic Industry’s (BPI) Gold with over 100,000 album sales just in the UK alone, while it also peaked at the number one spot with the UK’s Official Album Chart. The other success of this album also includes being ranked 4th overall with Germany’s Gfk Entertainment Charts, 24th with Norway’s VG-lista, 28th with the New Zealand Official Music Chart, and 27th with Sweden’s Sverigetopplistan, as well.
Ace of Spades
The fourth studio album of Motörhead, Ace of Spades was released on 8 November 1980 as it was also the band’s debut release in the US. The album has become the band’s most commercially successful album, peaking at number four on the UK Albums Chart, as it was also ranked at 408 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list later in 2020. While the fourth album of Motörhead also reached BPI Gold selling over 100,000 copies in the UK, it also peaked at high places on charts worldwide as number 10 in Germany, 37 in Norway, and 39 in Switzerland, among others.
The seventh studio album of Motörhead, Orgasmatron was released on 9 August 1986, conjuring up one of their most popular songs. It is also the first album that features Phil “Wizzö” Campbell and Michael “Würzel” Burston, along with the only full Motörhead studio album to feature Pete Gill on the drums. And riff machines of “Deaf Forever,” “Ridin’ With the Driver” and “Doctor Rock” sure benefited the band after an extended layoff while all helped this album to become one of the band’s most popular albums worldwide. Orgasmatron peaked at number 86 in Australia, 47 in Germany, 69 in the Netherlands, 21 in the UK, and 157 in the US.
As the last album to feature the classic lineup of the band, Lemmy, “Fast” Eddie Clarke, and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, together, Iron Fist was released on 17 April 1982 as the fifth studio album of Motörhead. Peaking at number 6 on the UK album charts, Iron Fist also reached high places on other charts worldwide taking 4th place in Norway, 25th in Sweden, 26th in Netherlands, 27th in Germany, 80th in Australia, and 174th in the US.
The second studio album of Motörhead, Overkill was released on 24 March 1979, as it leave behind their troubled beginnings, showing off their unique musical style. Overkill peaked at number 24 in the UK, 96 in Germany, while it is also listed the album at number 46 among the “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time.”
The seventeenth album of Motörhead, Inferno was released on 22 June 2004 and made its way to charting high places on the lists worldwide despite none of the songs of the album becoming a hit. Distinguished by the acoustic guitar by all three members as also Lemmy contributed adding harmonica towards the end, the whole album has still inspired young artists along with gaining huge regard despite some of the negative critics it also received for “churning out the same record repeatedly.” Eventually, Inferno still peaked at high places as being ranked at number 10 in Germany, 17 in Finland, 34 in Sweden, 36 in Switzerland, 44 in Austria, 58 in France, and 95 in the UK.
Kiss of Death
The eighteenth studio album of Motörhead, Kiss of Death was released on 29 August 2006, continuing the heavy sound of the band’s previous album Inferno. But contrary to the previous album, this eighteenth album of Motorhead could find its way to high places on the charts despite being criticized for not having innovation and progression in it, again.
The album could also earn good critics for the band’s longevity along with for its good songs even though they are old-fashioned, anyway. However, Kiss of Death marked Motörhead’s highest entry ever in German charts anyway as well, peaking at number 4, as it also peaked at number 9 in Norway, 13 in Sweden, 16 in Finland, 20 in Austria, 26 in Switzerland, 37 in France, 45 in the UK, and 64 in Netherland.
The Wörld Is Yours
The twentieth studio album of Motörhead, The Wörld Is Yours was released on 14 December 2010 as an exclusive edition, and a month later on 17 January 2011 as a standard release. Lemmy dedicated this album to Ronnie James Dio who had died from cancer seven months earlier, while also the album has become a worldwide cult for metal fans instantly although the album received some mixed critics. While most of those critics were positive, most critics still cited the same problem that the regarded band had always suffered for the albums’ to be very similar to most of Motörhead’s past works. So, The Wörld Is Yours peaked at number 15 in Finland as its best chart rank for the country, as it also made its way higher to the number 24 both in Sweden and Switzerland. The album also reached 25th place in Germany charts, 34th in Austria, 40th in Norway, 45th in the UK, 89th in France, and 94th in the US.
The nineteenth studio album of Motorhead, Motörizer was released on 26 August 2008, meeting with mostly positive reviews on release along with being ranked on every prestigious music chart except for Australia. Marking the band’s highest-charting album in the UK since 1916, Motörizer peaked at number 2 on the UK Rock & Metal chart as well as 32 on the UK Albums Chart, 5 in Germany, 9 on Finland, 10 in Sweden, 11 in Norway, and Switzerland, and 82 on the US’s Billboard 200 chart.
The 21st album of Motörhead, Aftershock was released separately on 18 October in Germany, on 21 October in the rest of Europe, and on 22 October in North America and the rest of the world, while it was expected to be released in mid-2013, originally. Selling over 11,000 copies in the US in its first week, the album got into the best albums of Motörhead gathering mostly positive reviews as also one of its songs, Heartbreaker, was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
But the regarded band couldn’t make its album reach a high place in its home UK, instead, it landed at number 22 on the US chart as its highest rank in the country for the first time. The album also peaked at number 5 in Finland and Germany, 6 in Norway, 7 in Austria, 8 in Sweden, 14 in France, and 64 in the Netherlands, while it could peak at 115th place in the UK.
The final album of the regarded metal band Motörhead, Bad Magic sure proved and sums up the band’s great music it produced over the 4 decade-lasted career it has. Right after it was released on August 28, 2015, the album immediately got into the top 10 status among eight prestigious album charts worldwide. Receiving positive reviews from critics.
Bad Magic peaked at number one right away in Germany, Finland, and Austria as it also reached number 4 in Sweden, number 7 in Netherlands, and Norway, 10 in the UK, 16 in France, and 35 in the US.