It’s hard to think of a band that epitomizes longevity like the Rolling Stones. Mick, Keith and the rest of the band have been rocking out and touring the world (including a tour they did this year) for over 50 years. That’s just insane, and not many bands can compete with that.
Well, did you know that metal pioneers Motörhead are touring (through health issues) this year in support of their recently released 22nd studio album and 40th year together? Slackers. But in tribute to their elders, lead singer Lemmy and the band covered the Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” The original classic has it all; dark allegorical, religious and historic narrative, bluesy piano chords, plenty of vamping, call and response between Mick’s vocals and Keith’s guitar, and a killer solo. Probably the most important element, though, and the one that brings it all together, is the slow, steady build of the song over the course of six minutes into a feverish jam band finish.
Motörhead’s cover is pretty good, but considering the original material, it lacks some finesse. For instance, unless you are already a pretty solid Motörhead fan, Lemmy’s vocals are not much of a draw. At times they reveal raw power, but for most of the song it almost sounds like he is reading the lyrics. The guitars are solid and punching, and the solo is pretty solid, but they are cranked to 11 nearly right out of the gates. The slow build of the original is abandoned for a quick-hitting, straight-forward rocker. Which is fine; if you are a metal fan or just enjoy hearing a cover you never expected, this song won’t disappoint. But you might find yourself throwing on the original version next.
Check out more from Motörhead at their website, and check out their new album “Bad Magic,” out now.