Motörhead release Rock 'n' Roll
Rock 'N' Roll is the eighth album by the British band Motörhead and the first appearance of their four-piece line up of Lemmy, Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, Würzel and Philip Campbell, which lasted from 1987 until 1992.
Reaching only 34 in the UK charts, it was, in that respect, the worst performing of all of Motörhead's Top 40 chart hits.
The song "Eat the Rich" was written for Peter Richardson's 1987 film Eat the Rich which starred the regular cast of The Comic Strip and Lemmy himself in a bit part as "Spider." A mock sermon by Michael Palin appears at the end of the song "Stone Deaf In The USA", which closed side one of the vinyl and cassette release.
One of the studios used to make Rock 'n' Roll was Redwood in London, which was co-owned by Michael Palin. The studio engineer helping Motörhead had worked on all the Monty Python records and played the band outtakes the Pythons never put out. Palin was asked to come down and do a recitation for the album and showed up dressed in a 1940s cricketer outfit — V-necked sweater, his hair all brushed to one side. Lemmy remembers Palin walking in and saying, "Hello, what sort of thing are we going to do now, then?" and answering "Well, you know in The Meaning of Life, there was this speech that began "Oh Lord —". Palin replied "Ah! Give me some cathedral" and went in and recorded the 'Oh Lord, look down upon these people from Motörhead' speech.
Lemmy states that Rock 'n' Roll has some great songs, like "Dogs", "Boogeyman" and "Traitor", which they played 'for years', but overall it just didn't seem to work.
Joe Petagno had other ideas for the cover of this album: "I had this great idea and nobody wanted to listen to me. The original Rock 'n' Roll sleeve was supposed to be going up. I said, "Look, the tongue goes up. This thing is lifting off... it was supposed to be rocketing. So it was like a bomb. A projectile of some sort. When I finished it, they said, "We can't have it going up, it doesn't make any sense". So it's coming down. Couldn't convince them. This fucking band...(laughs)"
Rock 'n' Roll renewed commercial hope for Motörhead in the States with Lemmy and company moving to Los Angeles. The fans in the States appeared willing to see this band live and buy their albums whereas Britain is criticised as having lost interest in the band.