No Sleep 'til Hammersmith

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No Sleep ’til Hammersmith
Motorhead - No Sleep 'til Hammersmith (1981).jpg
Live album by
Released27 June 1981
Recorded(7 February–20 April) 1980;
28–30 March 1981 [1]
VenueUnspecified location
(Winter/Spring 1980)
Queen's Hall
(Leeds, England – 28 March 1981)
City Hall
(Newcastle, England – 29 & 30 March 1981)
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock
Length40:31 (Original)
51:20 (CD Reissue)
Label Bronze (Worldwide) (1981)
Mercury (North America) (1981)
Castle Communications (1996) [1]
Metal-Is (2001)
Producer Vic Maile [1]
Motörhead chronology
St. Valentine's Day Massacre (EP)
No Sleep ’til Hammersmith
Iron Fist
CD Reissue
Motorhead - No Sleep 'til Hammersmith (2005).jpg
Singles from No Sleep 'til Hammersmith
  1. "Motorhead (live)"
    Released: 11 July 1981

No Sleep ’til Hammersmith is the first live album by the band Motörhead, released on 27 June 1981, on Bronze Records. It peaked at #1 on the UK album charts. [2] It was followed by the release of the single "Motorhead" (coupled with the non-album track "Over the Top") on 11 July, which peaked in the UK singles chart at #6. [3]

Motörhead English rock band

Motörhead were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member, guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. The band are often considered a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though several guitarists and drummers have played in Motörhead, most of their best-selling albums and singles feature the work of Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums and "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitars.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.



After releasing three albums and touring for five years, Motörhead's 1980 album Ace of Spades (their first LP to be released in the United States) gave the band its first taste of major success. However, as drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor wryly notes in the documentary The Guts and the Glory, "The more famous we seemed to get, the more we were working all the time, and we just never seemed to see any moneyThis is how you know you're being ripped off, when they work you like dogs and hardly give you any time off, 'cause when you got a bit of time off you might start thinking about things.' In February, 1981, the band released the St. Valentine's Day Massacre EP co-recorded with Girlschool, and in March headed out on a British jaunt called the "Short Sharp Pain in the Neck" tour, from which the songs on No Sleep 'til Hammersmith would be culled. [1]

<i>Ace of Spades</i> (album) 1980 studio album by Motörhead

Ace of Spades is the fourth studio album by the band Motörhead, released 8 November 1980, on Bronze Records. It peaked at No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart and reached Gold status by March 1981. It was preceded by the release of the title track as a single on 27 October, which peaked in the UK Singles Chart at No. 15 in early November.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

<i>St. Valentines Day Massacre</i> (EP) 1981 EP by Headgirl

St. Valentine's Day Massacre is an EP recorded by members of Motörhead and their Bronze Records labelmates Girlschool, under the moniker Headgirl. It reached number five in the UK Singles Charts in 1981.


The original No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith LP includes two songs from their debut album, the title track from 1979's Bomber , five songs from 1979's Overkill , and three songs from Ace of Spades . The track "Motorhead" would be released as a single and become the band's biggest hit to date, reaching #6 on the U.K. chart. With the exception of "Iron Horse / Born To Lose," which was from a 1980 show, No Sleep 'til Hammersmith was recorded at the Leeds and Newcastle shows during the Short Sharp Pain In The Neck tour. The name of the tour was a reference to the injury sustained by Taylor when he was dropped on his head during some after-show horseplay.

<i>Bomber</i> (album) 1979 studio album by Motörhead

Bomber is the third studio album by the band Motörhead, released on 27 October 1979, on Bronze Records, their second with the label. The album reached #12 on the UK charts at the time.

<i>Overkill</i> (Motörhead album) 1979 studio album by Motörhead

Overkill is the second studio album by the band Motörhead, released 24 March 1979. Peaking at #24 on the UK charts, it was the band's first album with Bronze Records. Kerrang! magazine listed the album at #46 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time".

Leeds City in England

Leeds is a city in the United Kingdom, located in the county of West Yorkshire in Northern England, approximately 170 miles north of central London. Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city. It also has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a High Sufficiency level city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Leeds is served by four universities, and has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy.

Despite the title of the album, the London venue the Hammersmith Odeon was not played on the tour, the shows being:

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Queens Hall, Leeds

Queens Hall was a concert and exhibition venue located in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was originally a tram and then a bus depot and had latterly became a venue hosting events such as the Ideal Home Exhibition and the 1981, 1982, 1988 and 1989 Great British Beer Festival, flea markets, travelling fairs and concerts.

Newcastle City Hall concert hall located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England

The Newcastle City Hall (currently known as O2 City Hall Newcastle for sponsorship reasons) is a concert hall located in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It has hosted many popular music and classical artists throughout the years, as well as standup and comedy acts. The venue is operated by Academy Music Group and named under a group sponsorship agreement with telecoms company O2.

Backstage at the Leeds and Newcastle shows the band were presented with silver record and gold record for sales of Ace of Spades, a silver record for Overkill and a silver record for "Please Don't Touch." [5] The sound at Leeds Queens hall was not good and most of the original album is taken from Newcastle. Vocalist and bassist Lemmy has stated that originally they intended No Sleep 'til Hammersmith to be a double album but they only had enough material for three sides. At time of the album's release, the band were in the middle of their first tour of North America, supporting Ozzy Osbourne. [5] "When No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith came out", Lemmy stated to James McNair of Mojo in 2011, "it made a difference financially, but a lot of it went back into the show."

"Please Don't Touch" is the debut single by English rock and roll group Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, released in 1959 reaching number 25 on the UK Singles Chart.

Lemmy British singer-songwriter

Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, was an English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the founder, lead singer, bassist, and primary songwriter of the rock band Motörhead.

North America Continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [6]
Robert Christgau B+ [7]

"No Sleep 'til Hammersmith" is the band's most successful in terms of chart positioning, peaking at #1 on the UK charts, having capitalized on the preceding success of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre EP and Ace of Spades album and single. Lemmy believed its success was due to a building anticipation from their fan base for a live album, due to the band having toured so heavily in the past, but also considered it "our downfall" due to the difficulty in following up its success. [8] The album is listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die . Jason Birchmeier of AllMusic writes, "Motorhead could do no wrong at this point in time, as they were laying the foundation for the coming thrash movement, in a way, and their winning streak continues here on No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith, one of the best live metal albums of all time." "Motorhead's No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith captured the band at its earth-shattering, genre-forming peak...No Sleep is one of the best live albums of all time, capturing the live high-octane impact of the legendary power trio line-up." In the 2011 book Overkill: The Untold Story of Motorhead, biographer Joel McIver calls the album "the peak of the Lemmy/Clarke/Philthy line-up's career."

Track listing

Original Edition

Side A
No.TitleOriginal ReleaseLength
1."Ace of Spades" (30 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades 3:01
2."Stay Clean" (30 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill 2:50
3."Metropolis" (30 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill3:31
4."The Hammer" (29 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades3:05
5."Iron Horse / Born to Lose" (1980) (Unknown Date)1977 ~ Motörhead 3:58
6."No Class" (28 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill2:34
Side B
No.TitleOriginal ReleaseLength
7."Overkill" (30 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill5:13
8."(We Are) The Road Crew" (30 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades3:31
9."Capricorn" (30 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill4:40
10."Bomber" (28 March 1981)1979 ~ Bomber 3:24
11."Motörhead" (29 March 1981)1977 ~ Motörhead4:47
Castle Communications 1996 CD reissue bonus tracks [1]
No.TitleOriginal releaseLength
12."Over the Top" (30 March 1981)1981 ~ Motörhead (Live Single)3:04
13."Capricorn" (Alternative Version)1979 ~ Overkill4:54
14."Train Kept A-Rollin'" (1980) (Unknown Date)1977 ~ Motörhead2:44

Metal-Is Records 2001 2CD Complete Edition

Disc one is the original album, without the previous reissue bonus tracks, which are replaced with

Disc 1 bonus tracks
No.TitleOriginal releaseLength
12."Over the Top" (30 March 1981)1979 ~ Bomber (Single)2:57
13."Shoot You in the Back" (30 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades2:43
14."Jailbait" (28 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades3:34
15."Leaving Here" (28 March 1981)1977 ~ Leaving Here / White Line Fever2:48
16."Fire, Fire" (29 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades2:55
17."Too Late, Too Late" (30 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill (Single)3:04
18."Bite the Bullet / The Chase Is Better Than the Catch" (30 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades6:38
Disc 2
No.TitleOriginal releaseLength
1."Ace of Spades" (28 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades2:47
2."Stay Clean" (29 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill2:54
3."Metropolis" (29 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill3:46
4."The Hammer" (28 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades3:01
5."Capricorn" (29 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill5:00
6."No Class" (29 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill5:00
7."(We Are) The Road Crew" (28 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades3:31
8."Bite the Bullet / The Chase Is Better Than the Catch" (28 March 1981)1980 ~ Ace of Spades6:07
9."Overkill" (29 March 1981)1979 ~ Overkill4:53
10."Bomber" (29 March 1981)1979 ~ Bomber3:26
11."Motörhead" (30 March 1981)1977 ~ Motörhead5:31


Per the No Sleep 'til Hammersmith liner notes. [1]


Chart positions

Chart (1981)Peak
UK Albums Chart [9] 1

Release history

27 June 1981UK Bronze BRON 535vinylPeaked at #1 in the album chart.
Has a photo-montage inner-sleeve
27 June 1981UKBronzeBRONG 535gold vinyl
1990UKCastleCLACD 179CD
1996UKEssentialESMCD313CD3 bonus tracks, gold picture disc
1996North AmericaDojoDOJO 3035-2CD3 bonus tracks
2001UKSanctuarySMEDD 0432CD"Complete Edition": bonus unreleased tracks
(disk 1) and alternate takes (disk 2)

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, Motörhead, Castle Communications Ltd, ESM CD 313, 1996 Liner Notes, rear cover
  2. Burridge, Alan Illustrated Collector's Guide to Motörhead Published: 1995, Collector's Guide Publishing p70. ISBN   0-9695736-2-6.
  3. Burridge, Alan (April 1991). "Motörhead". Record Collector (140): 18–19.
  4. 1981 tour dates
  5. 1 2 Kilmister, Ian Fraser and Garza, Janiss White Line Fever (2002). Simon & Schuster p. 145. ISBN   0-684-85868-1.
  6. Allmusic review
  7. Robert Christgau review
  8. Shaw, Harry (2002). Lemmy... In his own words. Omnibus Press (c) 2002. p. 38. ISBN   0-7119-9109-X.
  9. "Number 1 Albums – 1980s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2011.