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MOTÖRHEAD- White Line Fever, b/w Leavin’ here 7″ (Skydog Records, France, 1977) & second version (Stiff Records, UK, 1980)

In late 1975, MOTÖRHEAD had just recorded (under the name of BASTARDS still) their debut album, but as you know, the label (United Artists) flaked out after hearing the dirt’n’roll these geezers had laid down there in a studio somewhere in London Hammersmith. As soon as commercial success kicked in a few years later with “Bomber” and “Overkill” though, the album was released as “On Parole” without the band’s consent. Be that as it was, I’m happy they did, cause up to this day, “On Parole” is one of the best sounding records I heard in my life!
Needless to say, MOTÖRHEAD weren’t amused at all about the label’s pussyfooting. A while later, a newly founded Punk label, Stiff Records, got wind of the promising groups’ trouble and offered to release a 7″, so Lemmy, Eddie and Philty went into the studio again to lay down two tracks. Promising band? In 1977, MOTÖRHEAD got nominated “worst band” in NME music paper – remember SUICIDAL TENDENCIES being “worst band” in Flipside 1982 and then the phenomenal debut was “best album” of 1983 in the same zine? Never trust a journalist or rock magazine readers …..
But things didn’t turn out well. The group had hoped to finally hava a record of their own out, when UA intervened and the release plans were shelved yet again! This is where Skydog Records from Paris (also released the first DAMNED 7″) come in – they somehow got hold of these recordings and released the 7″ half legally, with a license pressing in Sweden (purple instead of black color imprint on the sleeve – looks really nasty!). Not too many were made, and soon the selfproduced first version of the epochal debut album appeared, sold out over night and was repressed by Chiswick Records in a great rush. From there on, MOTÖRHEAD took off in rapid speed.
Unfortunately, Lemmy doesn’t give us much more insight in his “auto”biography “White Line Fever” (put down by some guy named James Garza), except for stating that these songs were recorded during summer 1976 already, but not released until 77 (Lemmy: White Line Fever, Simon & Schuster [first ed.6], p. 111.).
The Stiff version wasn’t published until 1980, when it came out as part of a singles box.

One short note on the recordings-history, as to be found on Wikipedia for instance: The Skydog-version is not the same as the Stiff-version. It’s obviously a slightly different mix (less reverb in the vocals and a dryer, muddier sound). Also, it doesn’t have the reverse-voice intro the Stiff 7″ has. “Leavin’ here” is identical on both singles.

Here’s for you to compare:

White Line Fever.mp3 (Skydog)
Leavin’ here.mp3 (Skydog)

White Line Fever.mp3 (Stiff)
Leavin’ here.mp3 (Stiff)

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