Motörhead-The Best of Motörhead (1979) (NTSC)

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Released 2-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Booklet
Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Music Video-Killed By Death
DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1979
Running Time 48:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Keef
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Lemmy Kilmister
Eddie Clarke
Phil Taylor
Brian Robertson
Case Click
RPI $34.95 Music Motörhead


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Hands up all of you who have heard Triple M's rather hilarious compilation that purports to be the best ever driving songs? Okay, there's quite a few of you out there, I can see that much. Now hands up all of you who have heard the real thing, i.e. an album by Motörhead, or a compilation of their best work? Well, it looks like there's obviously quite a lot less out there.

    Motörhead have been making waves on the British music scene for nearly thirty years now, and their bassist/vocalist Lemmy Kilmister makes a mockery of the idea that one has to mellow with age, considering he's older than the members of Black Sabbath. It all began one day when Lemmy was a bass player for Hawkwind, and the name Motorhead was actually that of one of Hawkwind's B-sides. In essence, Lemmy was ejected from that band when he was caught trying to cross the Canadian border with what he claims was amphetamine sulphate. Many members have come and gone since then, but the contents of this DVD are mostly culled from the Overkill and Bomber albums, with a few classic tracks thrown in for good measure.

    Naturally, some Motörhead fans will be disappointed that this disc doesn't contain videos for Orgasmatron (Lemmy considers this his lyrical masterpiece) or Iron Horse, but the real question is what this disc does contain. The videos are taken from 1979, when VCRs were the exclusive domain of the rich, and music videos normally consisted of artists miming the vocals from a particular song. Unlike some music videos from this period, however, there is very little about these ones that can be considered interesting - only one of them, Iron Fist, features anything that can be considered creative. Once you get tired of the band playing their instruments, even with the occasional crew member running around them, it's all downhill from there. However, the really hard-core Motörhead fans will want the rare footage of guitarist Brian Robertson playing with the band.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. The Ace Of Spades
2. Overkill
3. No Class
4. I Got Mine
5. Stay Clean
6. Iron Fist
7. The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
8. Dead Men Tell No Tales
9. Shine
10. Capricorn
11. Poison
12. One Track Mind
13. Motorhead
14. Bomber
15. Killed By Death

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced. Note that in contrast to the majority of music videos from British bands, this one is NTSC formatted, so please make sure your equipment can play back this signal before buying.

    This footage was obviously shot using the video cameras of the day, judging by some of the visible artefacts. Consequently, it is not a very sharp transfer - as a matter of fact, the lighting is so strong on the stage set that the drummer is frequently indistinguishable from the glare. The shadow detail, when called for in such places as the Iron Fist video, is adequate, and there is only a minor hint of low-level noise.

    The colours are almost always washed out and dull, with occasional bleeding and cross-colouration to boot. On top of all this, some bright spark who was responsible for making these videos decided to apply some of the showy colouring effects that are associated with music videos of the 1970s. The result is a colour scheme that is very hard on the eyes.

    Motion trails were occasionally discernable, most notably during Ace Of Spades, when the old image of the head from Lemmy's bass is visible for a second longer than it should be. These could have been in the source material or could have been MPEG artefacting - it was hard to tell. There also appeared to be minor Gibb's effect in the end credits, but this was not nearly as objectionable. This is surprising, given that the total bitrate of the transfer is almost constantly up at the maximum ten megabits per second. The only time I saw it drop at all, and I had the meter engaged through ninety percent of the program, was during the end credits. Film-to-video artefacts were not really apparent, except for the occasional aliasing on microphone stands - this transfer lacks the resolution to make such artefacts a serious problem. Video artefacts consisted of an almost constant microphony, which can be seen at 9:33 for a good example, but it never completely lets up at any point in the programme.

    There are no subtitles present on this DVD. I doubt that Hearing Impaired viewers would really consider purchasing this disc, anyway - Motörhead's music can be held responsible for a lot of hearing impairments.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two soundtracks on this disc, both of them being the original English lyrics. The first, and default, soundtrack is the Dolby Digital 2.0 224 kilobit per second effort, while the second is a Dolby Digital 5.1 448 kilobit per second effort.

    Lemmy's vocals are as easy to understand as the music and the production methods used to record it allow - considering his voice sounds like he's been drinking paint, the fact that only a few words are difficult to make out every now and then is astonishing. There are no discernable problems with audio sync, at least none that cannot be blamed on the methods by which the video was made (it was actually shot years after the music was recorded).

    The music on this disc is wholly and solely the work of Motörhead, which in turn means that it is mostly written by Lemmy Kilmister, with contributions from whomever he happens to be playing with at the time. The one image that comes to my mind whenever I hear Motörhead's work is that of an eighteen-wheel truck doing a marathon across a great desert. As a matter of fact, anyone who has seen Eat The Rich will probably have the scene where Lemmy is driving across England on his motorbike to the tune of Orgasmatron permanently etched in their brain. In a nutshell, this is what driving music actually sounds like, and given some of the trucks Lemmy has in his collection, it will probably remain the standard for driving music for a long time to come.

    The surround channels are not worked especially hard by the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack - all they receive is the occasional cymbal or guitar ambience. This is not surprising, considering that the line-up which recorded the music on this disc basically consisted of a bass, a guitar, some drums, and some vocals, but what is surprising is how thin and anaemic even the 5.1 soundtrack sounds compared to the compact discs I have of Motörhead that sit in my shelves and get played once in a while when I want to scare my neighbour's dogs. I can only hope that this problem is, like most others with the disc, related to the source materials. The 2.0 soundtrack, by comparison, is so thin and anaemic, not to mention congested, that I gave up on it within five songs.

    The subwoofer was used in moderate amounts to support the bass and drums. Being that Lemmy plays chords on a Rickenbacker bass, the bass in a lot of Motörhead songs tends to drown out the guitars, but in this instance, the bass and guitar tend to happily co-exist, thanks to some extra channel separation.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is heavily animated and accompanied by Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Unfortunately, it tends to create false expectations as to the quality of the video on the main feature.

Music Video - Killed By Death

    Now if only the rest of this disc was like this. This music video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with a choice between Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1 audio. It is quite a creative video, especially in comparison to the main feature, and it makes me wish someone would bring out more of these efforts from the Motörhead vault.

DVD Credits

    A listing of everyone who toiled upon putting together this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    It appears that this disc is the same all over the world, except that the Region 1 version has a Snapper case. Considering that the current sale price on Amazon is $15.28, it would be more economical to buy the local version, given that it has a replaceable case that can easily outlast cardboard.

Summary

    Motörhead are one of the historical curiosities from the 1970s that should be preserved forever, so people can take a good look at it and see when certain radio stations or record companies are trying to palm off inferior imitations. Unfortunately, it is hard to recommend The Best Of Motörhead to anyone other than hardcore fans due to a lack of imagination in most of the videos and the quality of the transfer. It made me want to send out a plea for somebody to get their hands on Eat The Rich and distribute it here so that people can see this band at their very best. Considering that the disc only contains about 52 minutes of material, the value-for-money aspect of this disc may be of concern to some, unless your need to see rare footage of a certain guitarist is overwhelming.

    The video transfer is poor, but this is because of the source materials.

    The audio transfer is decidedly average, but the same cause also applies here.

    The extras are reasonable - the bonus music video is actually more interesting than the main program!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Dean McIntosh (Don't talk about my bio. We don't wanna know.)
Saturday, July 13, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySamsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DE-835
SpeakersYamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer

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