Motörhead /ˈmoʊtərhɛd/ are an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser Kilmister, professionally known by his stage name Lemmy, who has remained the sole constant member. The band are often considered a precursor to, or one of the earliest members of, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Despite this, Lemmy has always dubbed their music as simply "rock and roll".
To date, Motörhead have released twenty-one studio albums, ten live recordings, twelve compilation albums and five EPs. Usually a power trio, they had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40 chart. The albums Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and particularly No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, cemented Motörhead's reputation as a top-tier rock band. As of 2012, Motörhead have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.
Motörhead are typically classified as heavy metal, and their fusion of punk rock into the genre helped to pioneer speed metal and thrash metal. Their 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. The band's distinctive fanged-face logo, with its oversized boar's tusks, 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. The fanged face has been referred to variously as "War-Pig" and "Snaggletooth". The band is ranked number 26 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
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Motörhead wasn't punk rock ... but they were the first metal band to harness that energy and, in the process, they created speed metal and thrash metal.
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