Motörhead - Another Perfect Day (1983)Release ID: 378
The early days of metal were dominated by a small number of bands & most of those artists have remained amongst the true heavy-weights of the genre still to this day with legendary metal bad-boys Motorhead being one of the more major contributors right up until their sad demise in 2015. Following on from a quick succession of premium quality releases with their classic lineup, 1983's "Another Perfect Day" record really stands out from the rest of Motorhead’s long & distinguished back catalogue for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s noteworthy for being the only Motorhead album to feature Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian “Robbo” Robertson who had been called in to replace long-time guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke. Eddie had left the band in the middle of their 1982 “Iron Fist” tour after becoming increasingly frustrated with the band’s direction following the mixed reactions to 1982's “Iron First” record which was the first & only Motorhead record where Clarke handled the production duties personally. The band’s participation in a sequel to the St Valentine’s Day Massacre E.P. with US punk & metal outfit the Plasmatics featuring a cover version of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” was the straw that broke the camel’s back though as Eddie really struggled with the decision to use the Plasmatics guitarist while he handled the production duties. It’s open for debate as to whether Eddie quit or was fired as there are conflicting stories from Eddie & the rest of the band but Eddie was replaced within a week of his departure with Robertson recruited to fill his boots for the remainder of the tour. This eventually led to Robbo’s contributing to the recording of the “Another Perfect Day” album as well which would be one of the major elements in making the album stand out so much from your average Motorhead record.
I’ve read some heavily opposed viewpoints on the production job on “Another Perfect Day” over the years. Some people think it’s one of the best sounding records of Motorhead’s career while others think it’s a bit lacking. Personally I fall into the second category as I think the guitars & bass sound a bit muddy & washed out while Robbo’s lead solos could do with a bit more strength & definition in the mix. But overall it’s not that big a deal because you don’t want a Motorhead record to sound too clean.
Musically it’s very clear that Robbo’s inclusion has had quite a substantial impact on the band’s musical direction. Firstly, the songs are longer & more drawn out with a lot more time being given to shreddier & more melodic extended guitar solo parts rather than the short bursts of electricity that Eddie was known for. Robbo’s rhythm guitar work is also quite different to Eddie’s with the inclusion of some inventive arpeggios & open chords giving the new version of Motorhead more of a traditional hard rock feel with less punk rock aggression & speed. Robbo is always doing something interesting melodically & although his lead work is clearly more expansive than Eddie was capable of his performance also sounds a lot more controlled. Phil has toned down his drumming a little bit in order to give the additional melodic content more room to move & I think it works pretty well but not everyone agrees with me on this.
Lemmy was a stubborn old bastard & he’s made no secret of his distaste for this particular Motorhead lineup. He did grow to love “Another Perfect Day” over time but it initially left a bad taste in his mouth. He elected to take a more serious approach to his lyrics on this record for some reason with a stronger focus on real world issues than on the sex, drugs & rock ‘n’ roll direction he’s generally pushed in the past. I have to say that I do miss his sarcastic sense of humour although the new direction certainly suits the dark album cover pretty well. Lemmy certainly didn’t change much about the way that he conducts himself musically on this record though & for that reason you’re never in doubt as to who you’re listening to but it’s still ended up being a bit of a divisive record nonetheless. Personally I have quite a bit of time for it though. Being a guitarist I have no issues whatsoever with Robbo’s inclusion because as cool as Eddie was Robbo does make him sound a little one dimensional in comparison. Plus the slower tempo & more melodic numbers here tend to be the best tracks on the album as they have a similar appeal to the more brooding numbers from the band’s classic 1979 albums “Overkill” & “Bomber” only with none of the psychedelia of a like song like “Capricorn”. The tracklisting is generally pretty consistent with just a couple of weak songs amongst the ten on offer & I’d surprised if any open-minded heavy metal or hard rock fan doesn’t find a lot to like about “Another Perfect Day”.