On April 1, 1977, after a few unsuccessful years of toiling in obscurity hoping for a record deal, Motorhead decided to perform their last show at the London Marquee Club. They asked Ted Carroll, head of Chiswick Records, to record the show for posterity. Instead of recording it, he offered a chance for the band to record a single. This being their last chance, they recorded 13 backing tracks in just two days, impressing Carroll enough for him to offer them further studio time to complete the tracks. Eight of these tracks were released on this eponymous debut album. The album did well enough to ensure the band would remain together, but it was their next album, 1979's Overkill, that was their real breakthrough. The band had earlier recorded their debut album On Parole for United Artists Records, but the record company was stalling on its release, unsure of its commercial viability. For this album, the band chose to re-record that album in almost its entirety, only "Fools" and "Leaving Here" weren't re-recorded at these sessions. In addition two new self-penned compositions were added in "White Line Fever" and "Keep Us on the Road", as well as a cover of "Train Kept A-Rollin'". The title track "Motorhead" coupled with the non-album track "City Kids" for release as 7" and 12" singles. The four remaining tracks from the session were shelved until 1980, when they were released on the Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers EP. Later the B-side and the EP were added as bonus tracks to remastered CD releases. The sleeve artwork featured War-Pig, the fanged face that became an icon of the band, created by artist Joe Petagno.