Nov 1, 2008

Motorhead - Killed By Death (1984)

"Killed by Death" is a song by the heavy metal band Motorhead.
Released in 1984, in 7" and 12" vinyl pressings.

The Lyrics:

If you squeeze my lizard
I'll put my snake on you
I'm a romantic adventure
And I'm a reptile too

But it don't make no difference
'cos I ain't gonna be, easy, easy
the only time I'm gonna be easy's when I'm killed by death

I'm a lone wolf ligger
But I ain't no pretty boy
I'm a backbone shiver
and I'm a bundle of joy

But it don't make no difference
'cos I ain't gonna be, easy, easy
the only time I'm easy's when I'm killed by death

Its B-side is "Under the Knife", the 12" vinyls have a bonus track "Under the Knife" (a different song) and a free colour poster. The title song is taken from the No Remorse compilation album. Bronze Records also issued a shaped picture disc (approx 12") version of the 7" vinyl release, depicting the band's logo, some lapses in quality control allowed through a number of pressings that play King Kurt on the 'B' side.

To assist its promotion in the States, Bronze'Island pressed a 12" radio play edition, with identical versions of "Killed by Death" on both sides of the vinyl, so that disc jockeys couldn't play the wrong track by mistake. It is one of the hardest Motorhead items of all to track down. There is also a video made for the track.

The original song is not included on any official release albums except the compilation album 'No Remorse', along with three other new songs, 'Snaggletooth', 'Steal Your Face' and 'Locomotive'. It is included on several other retrospective budget-release compilations and on live albums such as 'No Sleep At All'.

Despite relatively high profile exposure on TV programmes such as Channel 4's The Tube, the single failed to make any significant impression on a UK Chart saturated with New Romantics. This proved particularly disappointing to Lemmy, who at live shows regularly made jokey references about its lack of sales.

The song itself has been a mainstay of live performances since release. As with many Motorhead songs, the lyrics show Lemmy's skill at composing songs which are at the same time menacing and tongue-in-cheek. Another common theme is Lemmy's use of animal images. Phrases such as "If you squeeze my lizard, I'll put my snake on you, I'm a romantic adventure, And I'm a reptile too" recall the song 'Love me Like a Reptile' from the earlier Ace of Spades album. The second verse also contains the line, "I'm a lone-wolf ligger".

Guitars - Phil Campbell and Wurzel
Drums - Pete Gill
Bass, lead vocals - Lemmy

Photography - Fin Costello
Designed - Steve Joule

Dedicated to my old friends!
"the only time I'm easy's when I'm killed by death"

1 comment:

  1. Next:
    Trip to the roots of The Motorhead:

    Meet THE HAWKWIND be continued