Back in 2015, Motörhead released what was to become their final album, Bad Magic. At the time I was super excited about the record, but found myself so busy with other website projects and features, that I struggled to find time to listen to it, let alone review it
I think it wasn't until mid 2016, and well after Lemmy's passing that I finally had a chance to sit down and give it a spin. What I heard was an almost perfect swan song for the long standing Metal band, the tracks were typical Motörhead, and sounded like they could have come from anywhere in their 40 year back catalogue, except for one thing, Lemmy's voice.
Lemmy had always sounded a little rough around the edges, it's one of the reasons he was an amazing Rock vocalist. But on Bad Magic, it was more than ever due to his failing health. And that is why I call Motörhead's 'Sympathy For The Devil' the perfect cover.
I remember sitting down at the huge dining table we had in London to do a bit "behind the curtain" work on Ronon's Reviews, and I put on Bad Magic. It had me toe tapping and head nodding straight away, but it was the closer that stopped me dead in my tracks.
I recognised the iconic drumming and tambourine intro straight away and smiled, but it was when Lemmy began singing that it really hit me hard. His voice at this stage of his life was perfect for a song about the Devil's exploits over human history.
Style wise, Motörhead didn't massively change much from the original, other than dampen The Rolling Stones flair, and instead put a bit more of a hard Rock edge, that the song didn't need, but made it in some ways better anyway.
On any other day, I believe that Motörhead's version of 'Sympathy For The Devil' would be a good cover. But a few things need to be noted in order to call it perfect:
I'm not going to recommend 'Sympathy For The Devil' to everyone, I feel it's more for long time Motörhead fans who still miss our fallen, but never forgotten God of Rock.
Written by Dan.