Archive for Hanoi Rocks

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Hanoi Rocks- Back to Mystery City

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2016 by 80smetalman

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It took me a couple of listens before I finally was able to get into Hanoi Rocks’ 1983 release, “Back to Mystery City.” At the time, I hadn’t heard of them and it would be another year before I actually did when they played a small club in New Jersey. On the other hand, it’s been fun delving into their backlog of albums, even this one. It might have taken a couple of listens but I can say now, “I like it.”

The weird thing was that Youtube has this album backwards. The actual first track on the album is the last one on Youtube and vice versa. So, I ask myself, would my listening experience have been different if I had listened to the album in the correct order? My answer: I don’t think so. The order doesn’t matter here. The short instrumental opening, “Strange Boys Play Weird Openings” could have been called “Strange Boys Play Weird Closings.” it’s inter-changeable.

Before I get further obsessed with the order of the songs, let’s look at the songs themselves. There are a number of good ones so I’ll start with the one I’m least impressed with, “Lick Summer Love.” It’s not a terrible song, nor even a bad one but it doesn’t move me either. Hanoi Rocks tries to introduce a calypso feel to the song but it doesn’t quite work. Again, I don’t hate the song but it is at a level below the others on “Back to Mystery City.” Then again, Michael Monroe wrote the song when he was seventeen and has since said that he hated the lyrics.

Now let’s go to the positives and there are many. I can’t say a bad thing about the rest of the album and it has been difficult for me to pick a favourite track. Each one seems as good as the last one. For example, after riding the mid tempo “Until I Get You” which has been said to typify the band’s seventies glam rock style, I get pounded with “Sailing Down the Tears.” Now that I have had a moment to think, if I have to pick a favourite, it’s going to be “Tooting Bec Wreck.” This is more up tempo for me and works on so many levels. Maybe it’s me but I do hear a slight influence of the famous Sweet song, “Ballroom Blitz” on it. Plus it’s the best song for appreciating Sam Yaffa’s bass skills. Then there’s the one single from the album, “Malibu Beach Nightmare,” which Andy McCoy wrote while smoking hashish. Maybe certain drugs can influence creativity, lol. It was originally recorded in calypso fashion as a joke but the band decided to record it as a rock song, good decision in retrospect. “Mental Beat” is quite a cool song too.

Track Listing:

  1. Strange Boys Play Weird Openings
  2. Malibu Beach Nightmare
  3. Mental Beat
  4. Tooting Bec Wreck
  5. Until I Get You
  6. Sailing Down the Tears
  7. Lick Summer Love
  8. Beating Gets Faster
  9. Ice Cream Summer
  10. Back to Mystery City
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals, saxophone, harmonica

Andy McCoy- lead guitar

Nasty Suicide- rhythm guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Razzle- drums

Hanoi Rocks were putting out solid albums in rapid succession and beginning to find more commercial success in 1983. “Back to Mystery City” was a good stepping stone in that direction.

Next post: Riot- Born in America

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Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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80smetalman’s Choices for National Anthems

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

National Anthems inspire love for one’s country. Every one I’ve heard definitely does that. Some are hard driving like the US, UK or Canada while others are more somber like Japan or Wales. Even Italy’s which reminded me of a parade or Spain’s which sounds like a sixteenth century dance still can inspire love for the country. However, most national anthems are over a century old and while there’s nothing wrong with that, since they still inspire nationalistic feelings, I wonder if more modern ones could be used. See, I have come to associate certain songs by certain bands with the country they come from and that has me thinking. Maybe these songs should be national anthems for their country.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

USA: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (I’m talking the full fifteen minute live version)

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

UK: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

Rush

Rush

Canada: Tom Sawyer by Rush

Bonfire

Bonfire

Germany: Proud of My Country by Bonfire

TNT

TNT

Norway- Seven Seas by TNT

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen

Sweden- As Above, So Below by Yngwie Malmsteen

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Finland- Tragedy by Hanoi Rocks

Golden Earring

Golden Earring

The Netherlands: Radar Love by Golden Earring

U2

U2

Ireland- Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2

Loudness

Loudness

Japan- Crazy Nights by Loudness

AC/DC

AC/DC

Australia- Highway to Hell by AC/DC

Note: For Brazil, it would definitely be something by Seputura and France would be a suitable song by Gojira.

While this is meant to be a little bit of fun, I’m sure some of you are cracking your knuckles and limbering your typing fingers to contribute some of your own suggestions. Well, I’m waiting.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Hanoi Rocks- Self Destruction Blues

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by 80smetalman

HANOI1

First of all, no one spotted the mistake in my last post. Boppinsblog came close as he pointed out that “Live At Budokan” was a Cheap Trick album, so one 80smetalman gold star awarded there. But that wasn’t the mistake I was referring to. Boppinsblog was close though because the mistake had to do with the quote from Wayne’s World. See, the quote I used on the last post was from Wayne’s World 1 while the photo below it was from Wayne’s World 2. I’m afraid that no one gets the grand prize this time.

Now onto the second album in 1982 from Finnish glam metallers, Hanoi Rocks. When I visited the predecessor, “Oriental Beat,” I commented on what a great feel good, party album it was and I stick by that. I won’t be so flowery about the second album, “Self Destruction Blues.” The album just simply bloody rocks!

Just about every track on this album is an absolute corker and one thing that it has in common with its predecessor is that each songs seems to improve as the album progresses. Except for maybe “Whispers in the Dark,” that’s not quite as good as the others. However, putting it first wouldn’t be a good idea because “Love’s an Injection” is such a great opener. If you think that “Problem Child” was a cover of the AC/DC classic, it is nothing of the sort. It’s still a cool song.

What I find about most of the songs on this album is that the titles of the songs hardly appear in their song. “Desperado,” my favourite track, is only sung once. If I didn’t have the title in front of me, I would have thought it was called “Ten Thousand Heartaches.” Nevertheless, the song is just brilliant so full marks to the band for that little twist. The same can be said for such other cool tracks like “Beer and a Cigarette” and “Kill City Kills.” Again both are great tracks. The title track is actually done in a blues fashion and it’s good to hear Michael Monroe’s voice stretching out a bit. Full marks to the band again. The closer, “Dead by Xmas,” in my mind is a case of Bon Jovi meets The Clash. I mean the piano sounds very similar to that on the first Bon Jovi single “Runaway.” Then when the song kicks in, it sounds very much like The Clash but it’s well done. In fact, I think the humour that went into the album, along with some fine songs, make “Self Destruction Blues” a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. Love’s an Injection
  2. I Want You
  3. Cafe Avenue
  4. Nothing New
  5. Kill City Kills
  6. Self Destruction Blues
  7. Beer and a Cigarette
  8. Whispers in the Dark
  9. Taxi Driver
  10. Desperado
  11. Problem Child
  12. Dead by Xmas
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals

Andy McCoy- guitar

Nasty Suicide- guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Gyp Casino- drums

After the recording of the album, Gyp Casino would leave the band and be replaced by Razzle

Another fun hard rocking album from Hanoi Rocks in 1982. Had I been more aware of this band in the year, I would have concluded that Finland must be a place to rock because albums like this one certainly give that impression.

Next Post: Saxon- The Eagle Has Landed

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Motorhead- Iron Fist

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

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While Hanoi Rocks may be great to play at a party to kick it up a gear, Motorhead has always gone the more direct attack your eardrums approach. Their 1982 album “Iron Fist” is no different. From the very first song, it is determined to assault your ears and leave you shaking so much that some may think your are having some sort of episode. At least it does that for me. Each time I listened to it over the past few days, I strangely found myself headbanging frantically and looking for a mosh pit.

Unlike “Ace of Spades,” there is no signature track on the album. Each time I thought I found one, the next tracks sounds just as good if not better. Every song is determined to pound you into submission with that typical Motorhead sound. I even tried to put forward the view in my own head that possibly the songs are all too similar. No, there are differences in them, it’s just that fearsome musicianship of Clarke, Lemmy and Taylor that make the songs what they are. If I had to pick the best tracks on “Iron Fist,” I would have to go with “America,” “Shut It Down” and “(Don’t Need) Religion.” The middle of these contains Fast Eddie’s best guitar solo. However, pick any track off this album and I wouldn’t disagree with you that it’s a good one.

Track Listing:

  1. Iron Fist
  2. Heart of Stone
  3. I’m the Doctor
  4. Go to Hell
  5. Loser
  6. Sex Change
  7. America
  8. Shut It Down
  9. Speedfreak
  10. (Don’t Let’em) Grind Ya Down
  11. (Don’t Need) Religion
  12. Bang to Rights
Motorhead

Motorhead

Lemmy Kilmister- bass, lead vocals

Fast Eddie Clarke- guitars

Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor- drums

Lemmy has stated in interviews that “Iron Fist” was bad and inferior to other Motorhead material. Frankly, I don’t see it. To me this just another fine Motorhead album that makes me want to get up and smash a large object through a wall.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Intensity in 10 Cities

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren. html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Hanoi Rocks- Oriental Beat

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2015 by 80smetalman

HANOIROCKS_OB

Hanoi Rocks didn’t come to my knowledge until 1984 and there is a story behind that which I will tell when I get to the year, but as far as 1982, they were a complete non entity. Even though I was travelling around Southern Europe at the time the album, “Oriental Beat” was released, it still escaped my attention. I don’t ever recall seeing it in that record store in Toulon, France. It became another album I had to trawl back through Hanoi Rocks’s backlog for. Upon hearing it, I definitely don’t regret it.

Now I don’t want to brandish the term “party album” around too liberally, since I have used the term to talk about other albums but I have to say that it definitely applies to “Oriental Beat.” This an album that would get everyone at a party just pumping their fists high in the air and singing along to all of the catchy choruses. It’s easy to say that the band doesn’t take itself too seriously, especially when I hear the lyrics of “Lightning Bar Blues” but there seems to be a vibe in the music that says that they do want to be taken seriously, at least a little bit. I get it most when I hear the closer, the ballad “Fallen Star.” Plus, there are some good intros, like the opener, “No Law, No Order” and “MC Baby.” Maybe that’s what is so good about “Oriental Beat.”

I have only met two people from Hanoi Rocks’s native Finland and they were both ladies. I did think that with one, our meeting might lead to better things but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. They both told me that all types of music are popular there and they both heard of the band. Though they didn’t venture forth an opinion on them. As I listen again to the albums of Hanoi Rocks, I’m getting the impression that maybe Finnish people do like to have fun and maybe music like this helps them to do that. BTW, I do remember meeting another Finn but he was only eleven. Still, he was one hell of an ice hockey player.

  1. Motorvatin’
  2. Don’t Follow Me
  3. Visitor
  4. Teenage Outsiders
  5. Sweet Home Suburbia
  6. MC Baby
  7. No Law No Order
  8. Oriental Beat
  9. Devil Woman
  10. Lightning Bar Blues
  11. Fallen Star
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- vocals

Andy McCoy- lead guitar

Nasty Suicide- rhythm guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Gyp Casino- drums

Next time you host a party, put this album on. I’m sure that if your guests are like minded about their music as you are, the party mood will be greatly enhanced. While, this might have been a retro album for me, I still enjoyed it quite a lot.

Next post: Motorhead- Iron Fist

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Riot- Full Down Under

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Riot were one band that, all throughout the 80s, I always intended to listen to but never got around to doing so. The opportunity finally came in 1987 when my sister made me a tape of various metal songs on it for my birthday and one of those songs was the great opener, “Swords and Tequila.” That song had and still has the same effect on me that Hanoi Rocks’s “Tragedy” has on me. I want to jump about my living room playing air guitar to it. “Swords and Tequila” has another dimension to it though. The stick in your memory line “Swords and tequila carry me through the night,” had actually meaning for me. Okay, I never had much use for the first item in the title but there were times when the second item did what the rest of what that line says. Oooh, fond memories indeed.

If I had listened to the “Fire Down Under” back in 1981, I would say that it would be the album that set the standard for all future heavy metal. In that sense, it could be argued that Riot were ahead of their time. That could be why they never had the commercial success they should have. There are so many great songs in the classic heavy metal sense that if I were to mention them now, I wouldn’t have to write a track listing but I will say the second half of the album probably just edges out the first. “Don’t Hold Back” is a definite stand out here and I love the guitar solo in it. “Altar of the King” starts with really cool acoustic intro before blowing you ear drums with some great power chords and “No Lies” follows on very very nicely. Saying that, I can’t take anything away from the rest of the album because it’s just that damn good.

Track Listing:

1. Swords and Tequila

2. Fire Down Under

3. Feel the Same

4. Outlaw

5. Don’t Bring Me Down

6. Don’t Hold Back

7. Altar of the King

8. No Lies

9. Run For Your Life

10. Flashbacks

Riot

Riot

Gary Sparenza- vocals

Mark Reale- guitar

Rick Ventura- drums

Kip Leming- bass

Sandy Slavin- drums

After both Hanoi Rocks’s “Tragedy” and “Swords and Tequila” in back to back posts, I find myself contemplating what it would have been like if I had heard both of these songs back in 1981. It would have been mind blowing for sure! Way back when I first introduced 1981, I said that music got me through some rather difficult times that year. It would have been even more up lifting to have had “Fire Down Under” from Riot. If I had heard it back then, I would have declared myself a total metalhead right there and then.

Next post: Triumph- Allied Forces

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Hanoi Rocks- Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Here’s yet another metal band that didn’t come to my attention until they had a few albums under their belt. Unfortunately, I never heard of Hanoi Rocks until 1984 when I saw them play at a small club in New Jersey, almost exactly one month before the tragic event that would eventually cause the band to split up shortly after. I’ll go into more details about that when I get to 1984 but they way I’m going, even with two posts a week, it looks like that’s going to be quite awhile. Right now, it’s their debut album “Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks” which came out long before Razzle joined the band.

I was already familiar with the opening and best known track from the album, “Tragedy,” which I have on a compilation CD and so, that song gave me a bit of optimism when I listened to the album. It is a really good song, arguably one of their best. When I hear it, I want to regress back to my youth and jump around my living room playing air guitar. However, the rest of the album has a good number of rocking tracks too. “Stop Cryin'” has a very ear catching intro and the next three tracks, “Don’t Ever Leave Me,” “Lost in the City” and “First Timer” are all really good rockers on their own. Come to think of it, “Cheyenne” is also a stand out track. My conclusion is that this was another album I regret missing back in the day but am glad that I did get to hear it eventually.

Track Listing:

1. Tragedy

2. Village Girl

3. Stop Cryin’

4. Don’t Ever Leave Me

5. Lost in the City

6. First Timer

7. Cheyenne

8. 11th Street Kids

9. Walking With My Angel

10. Pretender

Hanoi Rock

Hanoi Rock

Michael Monroe- lead vocals, piano, saxophone, harmonica

Andy McCoy- guitars, backing vocals

Nasty Suicide- guitars, backing vocals

Sam Yaffa- bass

Gyp Casino- drums

In 1981, heavy metal was still developing but even then, it was grabbing people’s attention all over the world. Hanoi Rocks is Finland’s most successful band and with their debut album I can certainly understand why.

Next post: Riot- Fire Down Under

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London