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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 26 August 2008
Right, what you have here is the original Iron Fist album on disc one in its entirety. Yes, everyone has their own opinion about it, even the band, and they agree it wasn't / isn't one of their best for the reasons well documented in their now almost 33 year history.
CD2, however, just to keep things filed chronologically, has the 'Iron Fist' single B-side as it's opening track. Then, again, as with each of these 'Expanded Box Set' releases from Sanctuary, we have tracks recorded within the same era as the album itself, with the soundtrack to the 'Live In Toronto' video.
14 tracks recorded Live at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens in May 1982, and the show prior to Fast Eddie Clarke leaving the band, so a very historic recording within the world of the Motorhead fan. Not only that, 'Live In Toronto' has only ever been released on VHS tape, if you have a DVD of it then it will be a pirate copy, and no doubt of naff quality, too. So, rather than wear out your already well-worn VHS tape, you can slip this little blighter into the CD player tray and be Live In Toronto'ed all over the place without kicking either the Mrs or the Parents' out of the lounge - perfection, eh!
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on 9 November 2015
Following the No.1 chart success of the 'No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith' live album (1981), the Eddie Clarke produced 'Iron Fist' arrived in 1982 to a mixed reception. As Lemmy said "how do you follow a successful live album?" The single 'Iron Fist' reached No.29 in the charts in April 1982. The B side 'Remember Me I'm Gone' is also included on CD2 of this release.

Although this album might be called 'patchy', there are still a number of strong tracks which make it worthwhile; tracks such as 'Grind Ya Down', 'Don't Need Religion', 'America', & 'Loser' (nice guitar solo!) are stand-outs, and there are other decent songs such as 'Go To Hell' & 'Heart Of Stone.' The Alternative version of the latter 'Lemmy Goes To The Pub' is not included in this package, nor are the 'Loser' & 'Religion' instrumental takes, or the different mixes of 'Speedfreak' & 'I'm The Doctor'.

What is included, on the second disc, is 'Live In Toronto May 1982', which was once only available as a VHS video. The sound is that of a decent 'bootleg', but it is still very enjoyable. Live recordings of the 'classic line-up' from this era are to be cherished. The varied set-list makes it interesting, with favourites (of mine) such as 'Shoot You In The Back', 'The Hammer', 'Capricorn', plus 4 strong tracks from the 'Iron Fist' album.

My least favourite songs on 'Iron Fist' are 'I'm The Doctor', 'Sex & Outrage', and 'Bang To Rights', which sound a bit 'run of the mill' and 'formulaic'.

Sadly, this was the last 'Motorhead' studio release to feature Eddie Clarke on guitar, after an argument whilst recording a (dreadful) cover version of Tammy Wynette's 'Stand By Your Man' with the late Wendy O'Williams from the 'Plasmetics' group. Thin Lizzy's guitarist Brian Robertson was brought in as a replacement, but only lasted for one album ('Another Perfect Day'). Perhaps it wasn't a good idea to wear satin 'hot pants' and ballet shoes with a short, spiky, carrot-coloured haircut at a 'Hells Angel' gig !
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on 31 December 2011
Iron Fist is what I'd call a "fan's album". It doesn't contain enough immediate hooks to be of interest to the new or casual Motorhead listener, and will probably be considered by the recent Motorhead convert to be somewhat lacking when compared top the more well known albums of this era such as Overkill, Bomber or Ace of Spades.

But that doesn't mean it's bad. I believe it's fair to say that Iron Fist does hold a number of songs which wouldn't sound out of place on the aforementioned albums. The title track itself is a pure Motorhead classic, equal to the best of anything the band had released up to this point. I'm The Doctor wouldn't have sounded out of place on Overkill, being a more lighthearted cousin of Damage Case. Go To Hell, Shut It Down or Speedfreak would have sat perfectly comfortably upon Bomber. Heart of Stone, Sex and Outrage and Speedfreak (again) would have slotted perfectly well into Ace of Spades. Fifty percent of this album is solid quality Motorhead.

The problem lies with the other fifty percent, which is noticeably lower in standard than Motorhead's average lower standard of the time. Loser, America, Don't Let 'Em Grind You Down and I Don't Need No Religion suffer from a mixture of flaws, ranging from clearly rushed lyrics or vocal melodies to bad production choices. I Don't Need Religion almost sounds like a demo take because of the clunky manner in which the lyrics fit the music. There really is an overall feel with this grouping of tracks that a little more work should have been undertaken before release.

But once you been a Motorhead fan for a while and have heartily digested Overkill and Bomber etc. you'll be ready to re-appreciate and re-evaluate Iron Fist. And I believe when that day comes you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised.

To be honest, if I'd reviewed this album when I'd first heard it I'd maybe have rated it two stars. However, here I am a couple of years later. And today I have no problem giving it a four.

It's a grower. And well worth the wait.
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on 9 December 2008
Following this one, the "classic" line-up split. After Ace of Spades and No Sleep til Hammersmith, this was a real disappointment. The songs are not very strong, with Iron Fist being the only one that remains in the Motorhead live set. But the real problem with it is the production. Things did not work out with producer Vic Maile, so Fast Eddie took on the role here, and ended up with a really weak, tinny sound. Quite a few Motorhead albums suffered from really poor sound, the first album and Orgasmatron being other examples, but this one has it combined with weak songs.

I tend to cluster Motorhead albums into three categories, and this one is firmly in the bottom category.
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on 7 February 2006
Hard to believe that this album isn't held in the same high esteem as Overkill or Ace of Spades. It's very much business as usual so far as I can see. There are Motorhead classics here in the form of America, I'm the Doctor, Go to Hell, Don't Need Religion, Don't Let 'em Grind Ya Down and the title track. Tragically Fast Eddie left the band after this one and Motorhead would never be quite the same again.
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on 3 August 2008
I bought this album on the day bit was originally released. Unfortunately it was a huge disappointment after the preceeding three studio LPs (Overkill, Bomber and Ace of Spades). Overkill was outstanding and was the album that originally turned me on to Motorhead. Then came Bomber which was simply OK, although it does contain one of my fave Motorhead tunes: "Stone Dead Forever". After that was Ace of Spades which was simply AWESOME!!! I therefore had high hopes after AOS but alas Iron Fist was poor - easily their worst album up to that point. It just does'nt rock like the previous albums. The songs are weak, the production rubbish. All in all a complete failure of an album and a wasted opportunity. The only half-decent song on it is the title track and even that is hardly one of 'heads best. One for die hard 'head fans only who have already got all their other albums.
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on 20 March 2008
`Iron Fist' was and is all things considered a bit of a let down. The previous 3 Motörhead records were thoroughly excellent, particularly `Overkill' and `Ace of Spades' which set a new standard for loud, fast and Philthy rock `n' roll. Lemmy admits that the band got way too complacent after the success of `No Sleep Till Hammersmith' which to this day remains the bands only number 1 album, well in the UK at least. As such `Iron Fist' is a weaker album, directionless and features a couple of unfinished songs. But as its Motörhead its still quite good.

`Fast' Eddie Clarke handles production is what is his last Motörhead album. This has been a point of contention for many fans, people absolutely despise this production. However, a slightly thinner sound is not `Iron Fist's real problem and in actual fact this "raw as a badgers arse" sound is very much suited to Motörhead. Although many the line up of Eddie, Phil and Lemmy is widely recognised as the classic Motörhead line up from the sheer lack of development (yes, Motörhead do actually change and develop just their too good at it, so you don't really realise) and sonic stagnation on display here I feel it was a necessary step for Eddie to leave.

`Iron Fist' does despite my criticism feature some awe inspiring songs and these make more than essential listening for Motörhead fans. The title track occupies a place in the bands encores to this day, simply because it's a classic, too fast, dangerous and brimming with a rock `n' roll attitude sadly lacking in a lot of today's...um rock `n' roll. The lyrics happen to be some of Lemmy's finest too with a menace and darkness he rarely displays, `Sacrifice' is another example of this. `Go to Hell' in my mind is a Motörhead classic, some very memorable riffs from Eddie and brilliant good-love-gone-bad type lyrics...because remember children, women are bad and should not be trusted. `Loser' is one of the more interesting songs on `Iron Fist', the sliding riffs aren't typically Motörhead by numbers and the song catchy on the whole. `(Don't Let 'Em) Grind You Down' is a more mid paced number at which the band excel (Motörhead never really get any recognition for doing a lot of mid paced numbers...which probably felt like funeral dirges to a band who did so much speed, the drug not the tempo).

Sadly the much of `Iron Fist' is forgettable and often comes across as with a feeling of déjà vu...as the band had done it before and better. `Heart of Stone' is perhaps the worst example of this, Lemmy says `Iron Fist' features two unfinished songs and I'm guessing this is one of them as I'd like to believe Lem wouldn't submit such a mediocre exercise in speed as a finished product. `(Don't Need) Religion' isn't bad per se its just a blatant rip off of Ted Nugent's `Cat Scratch Fever' and no where near as good, Motörhead seem to have a thing for Special Ted as they covered the aforementioned track (badly might I add) on `March or Die'. There are some other good songs on `Iron Fist' namely `Speedfreak' but much of it descends into a bland Motörheady mush and that's not something I'd like to say about one of my favourite bands.

Somewhat surprising on such a comparatively weak album (Motörhead don't do real stinkers...well maybe `Snake Bite Love') is that the performances are great and energetic. `Fast, but probably the slowest guitarist in Motörhead' Eddie Clarke is a magical player, he's so simple yet effective, Eddie generally only uses simple chords and as such when he puts an extra 5th in a power chord he sounds immense...even more so than usual. Eddie's playing shows economic guitar playing at its best; no balls but all balls. Philthy Animal pre `Rock `n' Roll' as always is a great drummer the logical successor to the unrestrained energy of the late great Keith Moon. Lemmy is well just Lemmy, no surprises...everything you want.

`Iron Fist' is a weaker album from the band and is in the unenviable position of being sandwiched in between many superior albums, its sad that Eddie's swansong in Motörhead is a tad patchy, ending the era with a whimper.
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on 8 January 2017
great raw album from motorhead many people have said this is not a great album but I disagree and would urge you to give it a listen
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on 19 January 2016
very good quality CD and you can read about motorhead inside
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on 15 October 2016
Not one of the best but it is Motörhead fan's only
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