Motörhead Live at Brixton '87

While none of Motörhead’s nearly 20 official live albums (the count depends on your definition of "official”) can match the filthy sublime of their1981 masterwork No Sleep ’til Hammersmith, there are moments in which Live at Brixton ’87 tries and almost succeeds. All the Motörhead standards are here: rollicking "Stay Clean” nearly runs off the rails; staid "Metropolis” is possessed of its usual sedate dignity; but the essential "Ace of Spades,” though nearly as thrilling as ever, suffers slightly from an imperfect mix, in which the guitars can’t find their way past Lemmy Kilmister’s guttural racket. The performance is strong throughout, but unfortunately the recording quality is not, sounding at times regrettably washed-out. The set dips when focused on the mid-’80s material, not the strongest in the Motörhead ouevre, but Lemmy puts things nearly right with the slow grind and almost-political dissent of the closing number, "Just ’Cos You Got the Power,” before gruffly signing off. No Sleep remains the definitive live Motörhead recording, meaning Live at Brixton ’87 is only worth picking up if you absolutely need to hear Lemmy roar "Good evening!” before launching into an exuberant, headlong "Dr. Rock” — and maybe you do. (Sanctuary)