Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Motorhead - No Remorse: Original release vs current available CD release

Okay, first let me say that I've never owned a vinyl copy of No Remorse. The version that I first bought, and still have, is on cassette. It has two bonus tracks, both entitled "Under The Knife". Other than that, the tracks appear to be identical to the LP. I am writing this under that assumption. (Feel free to correct me if I am mistaken.)

The first time that I saw a CD release of No Remorse, it was on a single CD and was missing two tracks: "Louie Louie" and "Leaving Here". That was not exactly a bad idea, since those are among the weaker tracks on the album and the continuity of the album was not affected too much. The fact that it was not necessary to change CDs halfway through was an added bonus.

Nevertheless, Castle Communications in the UK decided to come out with a two-disc version of No Remorse with all of the tracks from the original intact plus the two cassette bonus tracks. But that's not all! The three tracks from the Stand By Your Man EP (a collaboration with Wendy O. Williams) were, also, included, bringing the count of bonus tracks up to five. Eventually, this release made it's way to the U.S. by way of the Metal-Is division of the Sanctuary Records Group.

Well, there are noticeable differences between the current Metal-Is CD and original LP. After some investigation, here is what I have discovered:

Jailbait - Five seconds of studio banter have been added to the beginning of the CD version. Someone (not Lemmy) can be heard saying "Stop wincing about!". This is a minor change and no part of the song itself is different from the original.

Too Late, Too Late - The original LP contained a live version of this song that was taken from the Golden Years EP. The current CD has the studio version of the song which originally appeared as the b-side of the "Overkill" single. This is a major difference.

Bomber - The original LP contained a live version of this song that was taken from the No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith album. The current CD has the studio album version of the song. This is a major difference.

Overkill - The original LP used an edited version of this song that was a little over three minutes long. The current CD contains the full five-minute album version. This is a significant difference, but one that would be considered an improvement.

Louie, Louie - The original LP used the original single version of this track. The current CD uses an alternate version which is cleaner sounding. I do not know the origin of this cleaner version.

Iron Horse - On the original LP, this live track began with Lemmy introducing the song as follows: "This ones dedicated to all the angels in here...and everybody else really...but especially them. It's called 'Iron Horse/Born To Lose'." This introduction is missing from the CD. The song simply starts. Not major, but annoying.

Now, I do not take issue with the differences to "Jailbait" and "Overkill" as they are additions to what was already there and do not affect the overall feel of the album. In the case of "Overkill", the listener benefits from the longer track.

The change to "Iron Horse" doesn't affect the song itself, but the intro is typical Lemmy-speak that is now gone. It is not a significant omission, but one that many listeners will not be happy about.

The changing of the other three tracks are, however, are inexplicable. The studio versions of "Too Late, Too Late" and "Bomber" are slower than their live counterparts, so anyone familiar with the original LP will be significantly put off with these changes, as they affect the overall flow of the album. Furthermore, what sense does it make to restore "Louie Louie" to the album if it isn't even the same version? Although the single version of "Louie Louie" does appear on other CDs, it has never appeared on any CD release of No Remorse, although it does appear on the LP and cassette.

Now, since this is a newer pressing, I do not know if all of the two-CD versions of No Remorse contain these changes or if they are due to a more recent remastering. I do know that the single disc version did not have any changes other than the omission of the two tracks mentioned above. Until I find evidence to the contrary, I will assume that the above statments apply to all two-disc versions of No Remorse released through the Sanctuary Group (Castle Communications, Metal-Is, etc.).

Despite these changes, No Remorse is still the most definitive Motorhead compilation, even in its current configuration. The tracks that are different are still good cuts, so anyone who is listening for the first time won't know the difference. It is those of us who are familiar with the album already that will be annoyed.

A quick word about the bonus tracks. On the cassette release, the faster version of "Under The Knife" preceded the slower version, which made for an awkward segue. On CD, the tracks have been transposed, which flows better. Also, the bonus track of "No Class" is not Motorhead at all. It is Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics performing a Motorhead song. It is included because it appeared on a Motorhead release.
No Remorse

Disc One
1. Ace Of Spades
2. Motorhead
3. Jailbait
4. Stay Clean
5. Too Late, Too Late
6. Killed By Death
7. Bomber
8. Iron Fist
9. Shine
10. Dancing On Your Grave
11. Metropolis
12. Snaggletooth

Disc Two
1. Overkill
2. Please Don't Touch
3. Stone Dead Forever
4. Like A Nightmare
5. Emergency
6. Steal Your Face
7. Louie, Louie
8. No Class
9. Iron Horse
10. (We Are) The Road Crew
11. Leaving Here
12. Locomotive
13. Under The Knife
14. Under The Knife
15. Masterplan
16. No Class - (featuring Wendy O Williams)
17. Stand By Your Man - (featuring Wendy O Williams)


At 7:45 AM, Blogger Glammetal Willneverdie said...

Nice post! :)
The one saying "stop wincing about" at the begenning of the song Jailbait is Phil, the drummer.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Glammetal Willneverdie said...

Nice post!! :)
The one saying "stop wincing about" at the begenning of the song Jailbait is Philthy Animal, the drummer.

At 5:45 AM, Blogger Adam S said...

There are two Japanese releases from '91 & '93 that have all 24 tracks and use the same edits/versions as the 2LP version.


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