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Album Review: Hanoi Rocks

December 19, 2008

So, after some prodding, and because I have nothing else to talk about (I’m still hooked on Tyketto…I haven’t listened to anything else all week) I gave in and decided to listen to and review another album off of my “1,001 Albums to Hear Before You Die” list. The first one I tried was by Nina Simone, because the man I worked for last year had an outrageous number of her albums…so I thought, “well, why not see what the big deal is…” Needless to say, I still don’t see it. She has powerful lyrics, but I just don’t like her voice. So I had enough and decided to try again.

I ended up picking an album at random, with my eyes shut…convieniently enough, Hanoi Rocks was chosen. So that is the band I have the extreme pleasure of reviewing. Now, the album on the greatest hits list is “Back to Mystery City”. I don’t have that one. But I do have “Two Steps From The Move”,which came out a year later, so I cheated and made a substitution. Hope that is ok with you. Too bad if it isn’t.

Hanoi Rocks are among the most legendary glam rockers of the 1980’s. They hail from Finland, and while Motley Crue was creating waves in the USA, they helped kickstart the glam scene in Europe. Unfortunately, it all came to a halt after this album, when Hanoi Rocks’ drummer, Razzle, was killed in a car accident. Every loss of life is a shame, but this one just makes me so mad because it should never have happened. Driving drunk is never worth the consequences…

But without further ado…the tracklisting:

  1. “Up Around The Bend”
  2. “High School”
  3. “I Can’t Get It”
  4. “Underwater World”
  5. “Don’t You Ever Leave Me”
  6. “Million Miles Away”
  7. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
  8. “Boiler (Me Boiler ‘N’ Me)”
  9. “Futurama”

This is one of those CDs you can just put on and listen straight through. There is no need to pick through and skip songs, they all rock. Hanoi doesn’t usually strike me as having a whole lot in common with the american bands, especially as the Americans started to progress into the glam “metal” craze. Maybe more like early Crue…but they don’t ever go the Shout at the Devil route. Hanoi holds on tighter to their 1970’s roots…to me they always seem more like the New York Dolls, the Clash…they’re a lot punkier, which I like. They do, however, have the crazy style and the guitar solos.

Lets see…Up Around the Bend is a cover…the original was written by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Hooray. This isn’t my favorite song ever and I probably wouldn’t ever choose to cover it, but I have to admit, it is a great song to introduce a CD. Hanoi does a great job with it.  Get the party started!

Million Miles Away is a great Ballad. It is sad, touching, y’know…ballad-y. Don’t you Ever Leave Me is the same way. Hanoi was a rather sappy bunch, I guess. Hardcore Superstar does a great cover of that one, by the way.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams is such a solid song. I think it mainly appeals to be because i love the imagery in the title alone, but the rest of the song is lovely, too. I understand Green Day covers that one, but I don’t think I care. a clip:

Underwater World…apparently Axl took influence from this song when writing Welcome to the Jungle. Whatever. Check out the tenor sax, though…Hanoi Rocks is the most amazing band ever for using a saxophone. Don’t think I’d want to perform a concert with that hanging around my neck, though. I had enough in Marching Band.

 

Funny how many bands look to Hanoi for inspiration…yet we hardly ever hear of them in the US. a shame. This is a truly deserving band. Rock on!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 23, 2009 7:51 am

    Indeed, too bad they are quitting, but maybe that’s a good call in the end.

    So, what will be left from them? Merchandise and good music, and as a matter of fact if anyone’s interested BSA-STORE in Finland has a winter sale going on now with pretty affordable prices and cool official Hanoi Shirts…

    http://www.bsa-store.com/PublishedService?file=page&pageID=9&itemcode=HRP-009

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