Motörhead disavows new box set: "greed once again rears its yapping head"

Motörhead has officially disavowed the "Complete Early Years Box Set" new $600 product issued by the band's former label, a division of Universal Music Group, which controls the rights to the band's early recordings. Quoted on CNN, the band's frontman Lemmy Kilmister said "Unfortunately greed once again rears its yapping head. I would advise against it even for the most rabid completists!" (I can't locate an underlying source for this quote -- it's not clear whether the band published the statement somewhere, issued a press-release, or were interviewed by CNN). Writing in this Motörhead forum, a fan called Juggernaut describes the set as a "re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-release."

Housed in a Motörhead-style skull with red light-up eyes, the package includes the eight early albums -- from the self-titled debut to "No Remorse" -- plus the band's early singles, along with some posters and a photo book.

"Motörhead have no control over what's done with these early songs, and don't want fans to think that the band is involved in putting out such a costly box set," the band said.

CNN notes that the band has a new DVD/CD set out called "The Wörld Is Yours," which they do endorse.

You may recall that Elvis Costello recently decried his own label's box set reissue of his discography, and exhorted his fans to buy a Louis Armstrong box-set instead, and, if necessary, to acquire his own music by "unconventional means."

Motorhead: Don't buy our new box set


  1. The barely-literate promo copy on the Universal site is especially depressing. Somebody signed this off.

    “Motörhead had huge success the early 1980s with several successful albums overkill, bomber, ace of spades, and particularly no sleep ‘til Hammersmith, this cemented Motörhead’s reputation as one of Britain’s foremost rock bands and are now at the top of their game with their 20th studio album the wörld isyours being released internationally.”

    1.  This is what happens when you get the work experience kid to write copy because you’re too coked-up, sorry, too busy “thinking outside of the box” to do it yourself.

      Remember kids, it’s piracy that’s killing the music industry, and absolutely not corporate greed and massive incompetence!

  2. The packaging looks like something out of Spinal Tap. For $600 it should be in the shape of one of Lemmy’s famous woman-attracting facial warts and topped with authentic wart-whiskers.

  3. I understand this article as a way to highlight the chasm between the label and the artist, and thereby the issue of IP rights. What I don’t get is the idea that it somehow should not exist. Yes, it’s a gaudy, overpriced monstrosity. To me, and maybe you. Or maybe you actually want this product. I’d venture so far as to suggest this will be purchased by somebody. And everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.
    Making the case that it sullies the name of the artist, or if it were a case of them not getting any money from it, that’s fine. But as a matter of taste.. at the risk of being flippant, just look at the BoingBoing shop right below the article.

    1. I’m trying to picture the Motörhead fan with enough spare change to buy this in the first place.  I bought this guy right here nine years ago for something like $79.95, which was just about right for 80 songs, five discs, and a handy booklet with lotsa pictures and no big words.

      Six hundred bucks for a plastic snaggletooth skull is probably too rich for the blood of any ‘Head-head.

  4. That is actually pretty cool.  But $600 worth of cool?  No.  Even Billy Corgan knows better than that.  I just hope Lemmy keeps his schedule because I bought a ticket to Mayhem Fest on the 4th of  July in Nampa, ID.  The show will go on with or without Motorhead, but I sure hope they will be there.

  5. Please, please, please, please, please stop describing the Elvis Costello release as a box set!  Cut it out!  It wasn’t a boxed set and it wasn’t a reissue!  It was a newly issued single album!  That’s why its price was consider obscene and why he recommended a boxed set over it, because you could get 10 Louis Armstrong albums for the price of one of his.  Does no one on the internet have any fucking reading comprehension?  I tried my best to set you straight the first time you wrote about it.  Now you’ve gone from just “box set” to “box set reissue of his discography”.  That’s even less accurate!  It was bad enough to get it wrong the first time, but now you’re compounding the mistake!

    1. Here is the item on Amazon.  It’s described as a boxed set consisting of a CD and a DVD, just like Cory described it in his original post.

      Elvis Costello addresses his fans in an editorial called “Steal This Record,” in which he notes the absurdity of the price set by his label on “The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook,” a live CD and DVD combination priced at $262.46 (“either a misprint or a satire”).

      1. You’re both right, and both wrong. The Costello release was a box set, yes, but it wasn’t a “reissue of his discography” as this article suggests. There’s a CD of a live show, an EP with four more tracks, a DVD of a live show, plus various non-musical extras (book, poster, postcard). It wasn’t a reissue.

      2. You’re definitely correct that he got it right in his original post.  My memory said told me that everyone I saw discussing it at the time called it a boxed set, when, in fact, it was everyone but Corey, which is why there is no irritated comment by me on his original post unlike on Slashdot or my various friend’s blog articles or Facebook statuses about it.  I was wrong to say that he got it wrong the first time, when, in fact, he was the only one who got it right.  And, as such, I should’ve been less irritated since he was only making a new mistake and not reiterating a past one.  I apologize for sounding so upset.

        But it’s still not a boxed set.  Whether or not they call it one in the description, if it contains exactly two discs, one CD and one DVD of the same material, that’s just a CD with an included DVD or vice versa.  I have dozens of those and have seen dozens more.  None of the rest call themselves box sets.  And it wasn’t a reissue.

        1. Well… if you look at Antinous’ link, the item description is “The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook [Super Deluxe Edition] [1 CD + 1 DVD + 10″ Vinyl EP] [Box set]”

          If you look at the photo, it literally comes in a large box and has a poster and a hard-bound book and so on. It’s not just two discs.

          And the current price is $329.48, which is kind of funny. You’d think they’d lower the price, if anything, not raise it.

  6. Are there ANY Motorhead fans willing (able) to drop $600 on a set like that? And ABBA – really? I like boxed sets, with the neat little books etc, but if you pay more than $20 a cd and another $20-30 for the book – then you over payed an already overpriced price.

    1. If you are implying that Motorhead fans are all of limited means, let me assure  you:  that isn’t the case.

  7. Unless its a limited edition (I mean *proper*, numbered limited edition) I care not for repackaged things. You’d be better downloading the lot in FLAC and buying the nicest book you can find.

  8. I hate UMG.  Every time they take down a YouTube soundtrack, etc. it just makes me hate them more and more.  Every artist needs their own online account so they can be paid directly for their music.

  9. I  recently heard God was saying the same thing about the Bible, too many re-releases. Always following Lemmy’s lead.

  10. The guy I feel most sorry for is Joe Petagno, because that abomination is a travesty of his original, brilliant album artwork. 

    And speaking as a lifelong Motorhead fan (I used to draw comics for the fan club, back in the day) I wouldn’t touch that set with a barge pole.   Ick. 

  11. This is adorable, considering the perpetual whining from large music labels that piracy is what keeps starving musicians starving. Wouldn’t have anything to do with outrageous contracts that rob the musician of the rights to his own work, nope. 

    1. They keep saying people are losing jobs. Here’s musicians telling us to not buy it? 

      I don’t think it’ll effect the artist if I pirate something they have no control over, probably make little to no money off of, and ASKED ME TO PIRATE.

  12. This is why the RIAA and MPAA need to have our congress in their pocket so the poor, trampled on music and movie industry get their “fair” share.

    1. He’s not exactly Gene Simmons, but I imagine he’d recognize him as well from across Jumbo’s Clown Room.

  13. I love Motorhead and love the idea of Lemmy recommending that fans not throw their money away on that package.  However, I wonder what he intends to do with any money he receives from the sales on the package.  Buy a round of drinks for some real fans?  Donate it to charity?  Or just cash the check and figure “Well, I warned them.”?

    1. I’m curious about just how much of that $600 would actually end up in his pocket anyway.  I’d be pleasantly surprised if the number hit the mid two figures.

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