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Music / Ace of Spades

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I don't share your greed, the only card I need is the Ace of Spades.

"Who the hell are these three Mexicans and how do they play so fast?!"
Scott Ian, Anthrax

Ace of Spades is the fourth studio album by Motörhead, released in 1980. The album is most famous for its title track, which became a Signature Song for the band. While it reached classic status in hard rock and metal circles, Lemmy always considered it just another album.

A documentary about the creative process behind the making of this album can be seen in the Classic Albums TV documentary series.


Side One

  1. "Ace of Spades" (2:49)
  2. "Love Me Like a Reptile" (3:23)
  3. "Shoot You in the Back" (2:39)
  4. "Live to Win" (3:37)
  5. "Fast and Loose" (3:23)
  6. "(We Are) The Road Crew" (3:13)

Side Two

  1. "Fire, Fire" (2:44)
  2. "Jailbait" (3:33)
  3. "Dance" (2:38)
  4. "Bite the Bullet" (1:38)
  5. "The Chase Is Better than the Catch" (4:18)
  6. "The Hammer" (2:48)

Bonus Tracks (1996 Reissue):

  1. "Dirty Love" (2:57)
  2. "Please Don't Touch" (2:49)
  3. "Emergence" (3:00)

Principal Members:

  • "Fast" Eddie Clarke - guitar, vocals
  • Lemmy Kilmister - lead vocals, bass
  • Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor - drums

Ace of Tropes:

  • Ace Of Spades: Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Alliterative Title: "Fire, Fire", "Bite the Bullet".
  • Animal Motifs: "Love Me Like a Reptile", where a lizard, black mamba, rattlesnake and a electric eel are brought up.
  • Artistic License – Biology: It's not sure why an electric eel is brought up in "Love Me Like a Reptile", for eels are fishes, not reptiles.
  • Audience Participation Song: Invoked in "The Chase Is Better Than the Catch" where, during the break, Lemmy repeatedly sings "Let me hear ya".
  • Born Unlucky: "Ace of Spades"
    You know I'm born to lose
  • Covers Always Lie: The album cover appears to be shot in an American desert, but in reality it was on a sandy hill photographed in Barney, England (just outside London) and the air was airbrushed in.
  • Dead Man's Hand: "Ace of Spades".
    Read 'em and weep, the dead man's hand again
  • Driven to Suicide: "Bite the Bullet", about a broken love affair.
  • Face on the Cover: The band posing as cowboys.
  • The Gambling Addict: "Ace of Spades".
    You know I'm born to lose and gambling's for fools
    But that's the way I like it baby
    I don't wanna live forever
    And don't forget the joker!
  • Intercourse with You: "Love Me Like a Reptile", "Jailbait" and "Fast & Loose".
  • In the Back: "Shoot You in the Back".
    The rider wearing black, he's gonna shoot you in the back
  • Misogyny Song: "Jailbait", about having a sex with groupie, not caring about her age or name. It does stress the importance of consent though.
  • One-Word Title: "Jailbait", "Dance".
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Live To Win".
    They've got the power now,
    But soon it's our hour now,
    We all know where we been,
    All we do is live To win
  • Playing Card Motifs: "Ace of Spades" is built around gambling metaphors.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: "Love Me Like a Reptile".
    Thunder lizard, stony eye, you got me hypnotised
    Hot tongue breaks in and out and I can't believe my eyes
    And your soft white belly, next to mine
    Scaly baby, see you shine
    Love me like a reptile, you're murder in disguise
    Black mamba, murder in disguise
  • Shout-Out:
    • Mötörhead performed the title track in the episode "Bambi" of The Young Ones.
  • Speed Metal: One of the Trope Makers. Motorhead was the first band to consistently crank the aggression and speed up to eleven. This album on particular was the hardest they had released to date, inspiring Extreme Metal as a whole.
  • Sword of Damocles: "The Hammer".
    Don't try to run, don't try to scream
    Believe me, the hammer's gonna smash your dream
  • Title Track: "Ace of Spades"
    I don't share your greed, the only card I need is the ace of spades
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: "The Chase Is Better Than the Catch".
  • The Wild West: The band members are dressed like cowboys on the album cover. Lemmy is dressed as Maverick, Phil like Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks and Eddie as Clint Eastwood.
  • World Tour: "(We Are) The Road Crew".
    Another hotel we can burn,
    Another screw, another turn,
    Another Europe map to learn,
    Another truck stop on the way,
    Another game I learn to play,
    Another word I learn to say,
    Another bloody customs post,
    Another fucking foreign coast,
    Another set of scars to boast,
    We Are The Road Crew