The following list of Motorhead albums, ranked from worst to best, carries special irony. After all, in their earliest years, Lemmy Kilmister and his accomplices were actually nicknamed "the worst band in the world." Of course, they'd roar to the top of the British charts within just a few years – and, over a decades-long career to follow, they proved themselves to be one of the world's very best bands.

Most impressive of all was that Motorhead accomplished this remarkable turnaround very much on their own terms, initially pioneering the fusion of metal and punk that became thrash. Then they steadfastly defended their music's roots in good-old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, even as their minions branched off beyond thrash to death, black, grindcore, blackened thrash, deathly thrash and every other extreme metal subset.

Through it all, the only constant in Motorhead's trajectory was their iconic leader Lemmy, who shaped his band's original "classic" trio with the help of guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, transformed it into a quartet for close to a decade, and then resumed the power trio set-up with guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee over their last 20-plus years.

In all, Motorhead released an impressive 22 studio albums (plus literally dozens of singles, EPs and greatest-hits sets) before Lemmy's untimely death in December 2015. Ironically, Motorhead's perennial fan favorite "Ace of Spades" finds Lemmy asserting that he didn't "want to live forever." This list of Motorhead albums ranked worst to best reminds us that he always will.

Remembering Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister