Few songs can get a unified grunt out of a dive bar like Motörhead’s classic ‘Ace of Spades’ can. The song is ubiquitous with whisky breath and broken glass, and it remains a tune that can never truly be topped when powered on through the amplifier. But, while the song is a searing combination of Lemmy Kilmister and Phil Taylor and Phil Campbell’s talent, there is so much weight in the guitar riff that it deserves to be reflected upon on its own.
That’s why we’ve grabbed the isolated guitar track and are bringing it to your ears with an unapologetic shrug. There’s no riff quite like Campbell’s buzzsaw guitar on Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’. It’s a tune that deserves its place in the pantheon of rock and roll, and what better way to appreciate it than with this bruising isolated guitar track.
One of the most anthemic songs in rock and roll, ‘Ace of Spades has a life of its own. Speaking with Mojo in 2011, frontman Lemmy said of writing the track: “‘Ace of Spades’ is unbeatable, apparently, but I never knew it was such a good song. Writing it was just a word-exercise on gambling, all the clichés. I’m glad we got famous for that rather than for some turkey, but I sang ‘the eight of spades’ for two years and nobody noticed.”
The song has become so famous that few artists would be hard-pressed to pull out the riff if asked. In fact, we’d bet that almost every rock band, following the release of the track, has learned how to play Campbell’s riff. It’s become so ubiquitous that even Lemmy got tired of the track, but he pledged to keep playing it because, “If I went to a Little Richard concert, I’d expect to hear ‘Long Tall Sally’.”
The truth is, ‘Ace of Spades’ never disappoints. Written around the ‘dead man’s hand’ the track is bristling with rock and roll hyperbole and ranks as one of the most iconic songs of a generation. As Dave Grohl once said: “I have an ace of spades tattoo but the truth is, Lemmy and Motörhead left their mark on me a long time ago, just as they did for everybody who has ever loved rock and roll.
“As Lemmy taught us in the song ‘Ace of Spades,’ the pleasure is to play.”
With that in mind, let’s feast on the backbone of the track, the stunning riffs of Phil Campbell as we devour the isolated guitar track for Motörhead song ‘Ace of Spades’.