Album Review: Motörhead – Bad Magic: Seriously Bad Magic

2015 saw the 23rd and final album by the finest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. Bad Magic was a solid effort indeed and made all the finer when you realised just how ill Lemmy was at the time of recording. It’s certainly a fine record, with some genuinely classic Motörhead tracks. The bombastic double whammy that opens the album – “Victory or Die” and “Thunder & Lightning”, the Brian May contribution on “The Devil”, the fire of “Teach Them How to Bleed” and the poignant reflections of “Till the End” which features one of Phil Campbell’s finest ever solos.  Add to that the fine cover of the Stones’ “Sympathy For the Devil” on an album that saw Motörhead playing as well as ever.

Eight years on and Silver Lining Music are released Bad Magic: Seriously Bad Magic, which contains two previously unreleased songs as well as a live recording of the band’s show at the Mount Fuji festival in Japan in July 2022.

As well as the live recording, Bad Magic: Seriously Bad Magic does give you the chance to return to Bad Magic and it can certainly go toe to toe with any album the band have ever released. The playing is tight, Campbell and Mikkey Dee are on point, and the overall vibe is one of a band who had no indication that this would be their swansong. It’s full of storming Motörhead songs, written in the way that Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey had done for decades. The inclusion of the two new songs makes it essential listening for any fan of the band. “Bullet in Your Brain” is typically bombastic and stands shoulder to shoulder with anything on the album, whilst “Greedy Bastards” put’s Lemmy’s long publicised view of politicians on record. His spoken word at the start of the record is on point. “All politicians are arseholes” he surmises. It’s difficult to disagree.

The live recording sees Motörhead bristling with power and energy. It’s a better representation of the band as they were than the frankly challenging Clean Your Clock release. Although Lemmy isn’t firing on all cylinders, he still brings his roars in a much more composed and robust manner than on the last recording of the band, which just made me weep.

If you like what we do, consider joining us on Patreon for as little as £1 per month!

A 14-track set list is filled with staples like “Metropolis”, “Stay Clean” and “The Chase is Better than the Catch”. In fact, there is no fat here at all. Phil Campbell’s guitar playing is stunning, with some of his blues-soaked lead work on tracks like “Just ‘Cos You Got the Power” fantastic. It finishes with an elongated “Overkill”, a song that truly summarises all that was good about Motörhead live, but one that sadly shows the struggles Lemmy was facing as he has a few issues with lyrics and timing. Thankfully, his able band mates bring it home in style.

A poignant collection then, but a welcome one. Whether the avalanche of additional remasters and unreleased live shows will stop is debatable, but regardless of how you view the harvesting of the Motörhead archive, this is a real opportunity to revisit one of the best Motörhead albums of their career, as well as enjoying their live show one last time.

Don’t fancy Patreon? Buy us a one-off beverage!

Bad Magic: Seriously Bad Magic is out on February 24th

Check out all the bands we review in 2023 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

Motörhead: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | spotify | youtube

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments