Hanoi Rocks was a Finnish rock band formed in 1979. They were the first Finnish band to chart in the UK and they were also popular in Japan. The band broke up in June 1985 after the drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley had died in a car accident during their first US tour in December 1984. Original vocalist Michael Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy reunited in 2001 with a new line-up of Hanoi Rocks until 2009. Although musically closer to traditional rock n’ roll and punk, Hanoi Rocks have been cited as a major influence in the glam metal genre for bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Skid Row and Poison.
According to Finnish radio and TV personality Jone Nikula, who was the band’s tour manager in the 2000s, Hanoi Rocks’s albums have sold between 780,000 and 1,000,000 copies around the world, but mostly in Scandinavia and Japan.
Hanoi Rocks was formed in Helsinki in 1980 by Michael Monroe (Matti Fagerholm) and his friend, guitarist Andy McCoy (Antti Hulkko). McCoy did not join the band immediately, because he was the guitarist for the Finnish punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy. McCoy allowed Monroe to form the band with an agreement that McCoy would join later.
The original lineup of Hanoi Rocks was Michael Monroe on vocals, former Pelle Miljoona Oy guitarist Stefan Piesnack, Monroe’s guitarist Nasty Suicide, bassist Nedo Soininen, and drummer Peki Sirola.
The band toured Finnish clubs, playing McCoy and Monroe’s own songs and covers like Cheap Trick’s “He’s a Whore,” The Police’s “Born in the 50’s” and MC5’s “Looking at You.” At one of the band’s first shows was Seppo Vesterinen, who had brought big name artists like Iggy Pop and Frank Zappa to Finland. Vesterinen soon became the band’s manager after speaking with McCoy and Monroe. In late 1980 Andy McCoy left Pelle Miljoona Oy to join Hanoi Rocks, and was later joined by another former Pelle Miljoona Oy member, bassist Sami Yaffa. McCoy replaced Stefan Piesnack, who had been arrested for drug possession, and Yaffa replaced Nedo. By then Peki had left the band, and when it relocated to Stockholm, they hired an old friend of Monroe and McCoy’s, drummer Gyp Casino.
When the band moved to Stockholm, its members lived mostly in the streets, begging for money, except Andy McCoy, who lived with his wealthy girlfriend. In November 1980, the band struck a deal with Johanna Kustannus and released its debut single, “I Want You / Kill City Kills.” “I Want You” was a new version of the Swedish song “Vill ha dig” by Heartbreak. McCoy had translated the song, whose title means “I Want You” in Swedish, into English and claimed it as his own. “Kill City Kills” was one of McCoy’s oldest songs, which he had written when he was hanging around at a Finnish block called Kill City. Gyp Casino was the band’s drummer but did not play on the single as he was recording with another band in Stockholm.
The band launched a 102-day tour in January 1981, which is believed to be the longest rock tour in Finnish history. The tour developed the band’s energetic and wild playing style, which audiences were slow to find pleasing but later praised the band for.
The second single “Tragedy / Café Avenue,” written by McCoy when he was fifteen or sixteen years old, was released in February 1981. That same month, the band released its debut album, Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks, produced by Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy, calling themselves “The Muddy Twins.” The album was well-received, reaching number five on the Finnish album charts.
In September 1981, after extensive tours in Sweden and Finland, the band moved to London, where it recorded its second album. On September 19, 1981, the band made its debut at the Marquee Club in London. In late November, it returned to Finland and released the single “Desperados / Devil Woman.” Another single, “Dead By X-Mas / Nothing New,” was released in December.
In January 1982, Hanoi Rocks recorded its first music videos at the Lepakko, a concert venue and center of independent youth culture, for the songs “Tragedy,” “Oriental Beat,” and “Motorvatin’.” That same month, the band released its second album Oriental Beat. The album was mostly well received by critics and magazines, including Sounds and Kerrang!, whose Dave Dickson continued to extensively cover Hanoi Rocks’s career in the Eighties. The band spent the spring of 1982 touring in Sweden, and had its first Japanese breakthrough with “Tragedy.” In May, the single “Love’s an Injection / Taxi Driver” was released.
By June 1982, the band had permanently moved to London. Monroe met a Hanoi Rocks fan called Razzle at a Johnny Thunders show, and when Razzle found out that Monroe was the singer for Hanoi Rocks, he attended some shows, showed up backstage, and asked to be the band’s drummer. McCoy and Monroe fired Gyp Casino for his drug use, depression, and suicidal thoughts, and Razzle was hired as the new drummer.
In August 1982, Hanoi Rocks released its third studio album, Self Destruction Blues. The album featured old singles like “Love’s an Injection.” Razzle had yet to join the band when the songs were recorded, but he is credited on the album. The album was released in October in Finland, with “Love’s an Injection” spending a week at number one on the Finnish singles charts. The band also signed a contract with the Japanese record company Nippon Phonogram.
The band later said that without Razzle they probably would have broken up, since Razzle revitalized the band.
By January 1983, the band was touring outside of the UK, Finland, and Sweden. The Asian tour was largely covered by British magazines, and the band was featured on the cover of Sounds. The tour started in Bombay, continuing in Hong Kong and Japan. In Japan the band was very popular, with fans breaking into hotels to see the musicians. The ticket prices for the show were as high as for stadium-fillers, and some phone booths in Tokyo played Hanoi Rocks songs. The tour continued from Tokyo to Vietnam.
In April, the band returned to London for the recording of their fourth album, and went to Israel, where it was not well received. Monroe could not leave the hotel because of his somewhat odd appearance: local people thought he was an improperly-dressed woman and would gather around and spit on him. Also, Nasty Suicide broke his ankle, and people did not like the band’s loud playing style. In late spring, Hanoi Rocks toured London and Norway, and released a single before the new album, “Malibu Beach / Rebel On The Run”.
The band’s fourth album, Back to Mystery City, was released shortly afterward. It reached number 87 on British album charts. Hanoi Rocks toured the UK and in Finland until June 1983, when the band made a deal with CBS worth £150,000.
In August 1983, Hanoi Rocks released the 7″ single “Until I Get You / Tragedy”, and the 12″ maxi-single “Until I Get You / Tragedy / Oriental Beat.” On August 13, Lick Records released Hanoi Rocks’s first three albums in Britain for the first time. The next day, the band played a show at the Ruisrock festival in Turku, Finland. Before the show, Michael Monroe stated in an interview with the Finnish television station YLE that McCoy and Suicide’s alcohol use had gotten out of hand, and that he did not drink or use drugs. In October 1983, producer Bob Ezrin flew from the US to see Hanoi Rocks live in London, and in December he was confirmed as the producer for the next album.
Their November shows at Marquee were recorded and released as a live album and an accompanying live video, both titled All Those Wasted Years.
In early 1984, Hanoi Rocks and Bob Ezrin recorded Two Steps from the Move in New York and Toronto. Ezrin had invited Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople to help with the song writing, and Hunter brought Jack Bruce (formerly of Cream), who in turn brought Pete Brown, to the recording sessions. Brown wrote a lot of lyrics, but the only one the band used was “Smoked a lot of sky, drank a lot of rain,” in “Million Miles Away.”
By the end of April the new album was almost ready for release, but Ezrin and the label thought that the album was missing a hit, so they recorded Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Up Around the Bend”, which was already a favorite of Michael Monroe and Nasty Suicide.
In May 1984 Hanoi Rocks went on tour in Bombay and Japan. In Japan, excitement over the band led to sold-out concert halls and fans following the band everywhere. Even in Finland people were baffled by the extent of the band’s popularity in Japan.
The Japanese tour was followed by a tour across England and Scotland. British magazines raved about the band, and were certain that the next record would be their breakthrough. In June, the single “Up Around The Bend / Until I Get You” was released, but it also appeared as a double single and as an EP. A music video for “Up Around the Bend” was also produced. At the time it was the most expensive music video for any Finnish band. The song climbed to number 61 on British single charts and got radio airplay in America.
After a July tour in England, Two Steps From The Move, whose title was changed from Silver Missiles and Nightingales at the last minute, was released. “Underwater World / Shakes” and Two Steps From the Move were released as singles in the UK, and right away the band went on tour with Johnny Thunders.
In November the single “Don’t You Ever Leave Me / Oil And Gasoline” was released, by which time the new album had sold 200,000 copies; most in America (60,000), Britain (50,000), and Finland (20,000). In the US the album sold 44,000 copies in its first two weeks.
After a Swedish tour, the band toured America until Michael Monroe fractured his ankle onstage at USA Sam’s in Syracuse, NY on November 29, resulting in some of the dates being canceled. Los Angeles shows were all sold out in less than half an hour.
On December 8, Hanoi Rocks band members (except for Michael Monroe, who was recuperating from his fractured ankle) were partying with their friends Mötley Crüe, at lead singer Vince Neil’s house. The party stopped when everybody noticed they were out of beer. Neil and Razzle, both drunk, went to a nearby liquor store in Neil’s Pantera, with Neil driving. On the way back, they crashed into another car. Razzle was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead at 7:12 p.m.; he had died instantly in the collision.
Both occupants of the other car were seriously injured, sustaining brain damage as a result of the crash.
Andy McCoy and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee went looking for Neil and Razzle. They drove by the crash site and saw Neil handcuffed and put into a police car. They were informed that Razzle had been taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. McCoy informed the band’s manager Seppo Vesterinen, who then told the rest of the band.
The band returned to London. The only tour dates not canceled were two shows at Helsinki Kulttuuritalo on January 3 and 4, 1985, which were broadcast live under the title of “Europe A Go-Go” to a worldwide audience of 200 million viewers. Both shows became memorials to Razzle, with “Million Miles Away” dedicated to him. Former Clash drummer Terry Chimes played the drums.
In 1985, after the shows, Sam Yaffa left the group due to personal differences with Andy McCoy. The band returned to London to take a short break. Yaffa was replaced by bassist René Berg. Terry Chimes remained as the new drummer. Monroe planned to quit, but the record label convinced him to do a short tour in Poland, where “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” was rising on the charts. Monroe agreed on the condition that no live record would be released, but a semi-official live album was released. Entitled Rock & Roll Divorce, the album was panned by the managers, band members and critics. René Berg often stated that Hanoi Rocks was “his band,” which led to his replacement by bassist Timo Kaltio. This lineup never performed live, and on June 17, 1985, Monroe officially left Hanoi Rocks, ending the band. At the same time, “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” rose to number 6 on the Polish singles charts and Hanoi Rocks’s popularity continued into the 1990s.
In February 2001, Monroe and McCoy performed together for the first time since 1985 in Turku, Finland. They toured again in the summer of 2001, under the moniker “Hanoi Revisited.”
After the short tour, Monroe and McCoy agreed to reform the band. This would be (as the two put it), a “rebirth,” not a reformation of Hanoi Rocks, mainly because none of the other members were able to join: Razzle was dead; Nasty Suicide had become a pharmacist; Sami Yaffa was a member of a New York-based group called Mad Juana and the bassist for the New York Dolls; and Gyp Casino was no longer active in music. “The Muddy Twins” chose Kari “Lacu” Lahtinen from Monroe’s solo band to play the drums, Timpa Laine (also from Monroe’s solo band) to play the bass, and Costello Hautamäki from the Finnish rock band Popeda to play guitar.
The new Hanoi Rocks toured. McCoy and Monroe made a deal that they would be equal writers on songs, and not just McCoy. By 2002, the two had written enough songs for an album, and Twelve Shots on the Rocks was released. Although the album was a hit in Finland and Japan, Monroe and McCoy were not present when the album was mixed, and when they heard the finished product they were not happy. The album was remixed in 2003, featuring two new songs, “Moonlite Dance” and “Bad News.”
Most of 2003 and 2004 consisted of touring, but Costello departed to continue his work with Popeda. Costello was replaced by guitarist Stevie Klasson, whose only recording with Hanoi Rocks was the “Keep Our Fire Burning” single. Klasson was fired from Hanoi Rocks in the fall of 2004 for not getting along with other members. Bassist Timpa left because of family issues.
In 2004 the band (now consisting of Monroe, McCoy and Lacu) headed to the studio to record the album Another Hostile Takeover. With no bassist and no guitarist, Monroe had to play some of the bass and guitar parts, but in early 2005 the band was able to find a new guitarist, Conny Bloom. Bloom had played with Gyp Casino and the Electric Boys and fit well with Hanoi Rocks. He suggested that bassist Andy “A.C.” Christell, who had also played with the Electric Boys, should join the band.
The reaction to Another Hostile Takeover was mixed. Critics liked the album’s diversity and braveness to try new things, but some of the old fans and hard rock fans thought that the album was weird and that Hanoi Rocks had changed too much since the 80s.
In 2005 and 2006, the band toured in Europe and Asia.
For 2007’s Street Poetry the band worked on some of the unfinished songs from the 80s, such as “Teenage Revolution,” which was first thought of in the Two Steps from the Movesessions in 1984. This album also marked the first time that other band members besides Monroe and McCoy got to write songs. Street Poetry was released on September 5, 2007 and a music video was shot for the first single, “Fashion”.
On 25 January 2008 Lacu suddenly announced that he would be leaving Hanoi Rocks to join Popeda. On 20 March, the band started their first acoustic tour, titled “Hanoi Rocks Steppin’ Out Acoustically”, during which the band’s drum technician played drums. On 25 May, it was announced that the band’s new drummer would be Swedish drummer George Atlagic. By this time Monroe and McCoy had come to a decision that Hanoi Rocks’ time had come to end, as they no longer had collaborated 2007 and things were getting stale. Eventually Monroe and McCoy released a statement that they had taken the band as far as they could and that the band would break up.
In late 2008 an autobiography titled “All Those Wasted Years” was released. It mainly covered Hanoi Rocks’ career in the 80s and included rare photos of the band and its members and new interviews with Monroe, McCoy, Nasty Suicide, Gyp Casino, Seppo Vesterinen, Richard Bishop and countless others.
Hanoi Rocks announced that they would play 8 farewell shows in 6 days at the Tavastia Club, in Helsinki. All the shows were sold out, and the band’s original guitarist Nasty Suicide appeared as a special guest on 3 of the last gigs, and Lacu also appeared at the final show.
The last show was released as a DVD in late 2009, titled Buried Alive.
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Street Poetry / 2007
2. Street Poetry
5. Power Of Persuasion
6. Teenage Revolution
7. Worth Your Weight in Gold
8. Transcendental Groove
9. This One’s For Rock’n’Roll
10. Power Trip
11. Walkin’ Away
12. Tootin’ Star
13. Fumblefoot and Busy Bee
14. Trouble Boys
15. Fashion (Music video + Making of)
16. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (Live video)
17. Highschool (Live video)
14. Selfdestruction Blues
Street Poetry is the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks’ seventh studio album. The album reached the top 10 on the Finnish charts, and succeeded very well elsewhere in Europe too. The first single spawned was “Fashion”, and the second was an internet-only single “This One’s For Rock’n’Roll”. The album’s release was celebrated at the Tavastia Club with three live shows, which were followed by a tour across Scandinavia, England and Japan.
The album’s title comes from a time when the original Hanoi Rocks were living in London. A drifter was living in the London Underground Ladbroke Grove-station, where he wrote poems of things he saw. He was called a “Street Poet”, and hence the title “Street Poetry”.
Some reviews said that the album was Hanoi Rocks’ first real rock record since the 80’s.
Another Hostile Takeover / 2005
2. Back In Yer Face
3. Insert I
5. The Devil In You
7. Talk To The Hand
8. Eternal Optimist
9. Insert II
10. No Compromise, No Regrets
11. Reggae Rocker
12. You Make the Earth Move
13. Insert III
14. Better High
15. Dear Miss Lonely Hearts
16. Insert IV
17. Center Of My Universe
18. Heaven Is Gonna Be Empty
Another Hostile Takeover is the seventh studio album by the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks, released in 2005. This was the second album, of the “reborn” Hanoi Rocks of the new millennium. When it was released, critics praised the album, but fan reactions were mixed.
Twelve Shots on the Rocks / 2002
Tracks on the Finnish release:
3. Watcha Want
4. People Like Me
5. In My Darkest Moment
7. A Day Late, A Dollar Short
8. New York City
9. Winged Bull
10. Watch This
11. Gypsy Boots
13. Designs on You
Tracks on the North American release:
1. Intro” – 0:28
3. Bad News
4. New York City
6. A Day Late, A Dollar Short
7. In My Darkest Moment
8. People Like Me
9. Whatcha Want
10. Moonlite Dance
11. Gypsy Boots
13. Watch This
14. Designs on You
16. Are You Lonesome Tonight
17. Winged Bull (Hall)
Twelve Shots on the Rocks is the sixth studio album by the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks, released in 2002, however it was their first studio album since the band’s break-up in 1985. Critical and commercial acclaim for the album exceeded expectations and the album went Gold in their native Finland. The CD was issued twice. The first issue in Finland had 13 tracks and a different mix to the North American release which had 17 tracks.
Two Steps From The Move / 1983
Two Steps From The Move is the fifth studio album by the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks, released in 1984. The album was their last before disbanding after drummer Razzle’s death in a car accident on 8 December 1984.
Before this album, all of Hanoi Rocks’ albums were released on Lick Records and Johanna Kustannus, but this was the band’s first album on a major label, CBS. Originally the album was supposed to be called Silver Missiles And Nightingales, but the name was changed at the last minute. Andy McCoy and Nasty Suicide later used the name as the name of their album, when they worked under the moniker, “The Suicide Twins”.
The album’s producer, Bob Ezrin had previously worked with big-name artists like Pink Floyd, Kiss and Alice Cooper, which was one of the main reasons Hanoi Rocks’ wanted him to produce the album. Ezrin wanted the album to have a heavier atmosphere and darker guitar playing than the band’s previous efforts, still keeping it melodic and punky, and he also worked on the writing of almost every song on the album. Ezrin knew that a more hard rock-style would sell more units in the United States.
The album also features some of Hanoi Rocks’ biggest hits, like “Up Around The Bend”, “Underwater World”, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, “Million Miles Away” and “Don’t You Ever Leave Me”. A music video was also made for “Up Around The Bend”, which received much airplay on MTV and it still remains one of the most expensive rock-music videos. A music video was also made for “Don’t You Ever Leave Me”, but the song differs from the album version as it’s shorter, has a different guitar-solo and only features Razzle’s spoken words in the middle. There was also supposed to be a title-track, but according to Razzle it was replaced with “Up Around the Bend”. The song was later released on The Best of Hanoi Rocks compilation, and appears as a bonus track on this albums reissue.
Two Steps from the Move was Hanoi Rocks’ biggest hit when it was released, reaching number 28 on the UK Album Charts and the singles “Up Around The Bend” and “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” also rose up the singles charts. The album also gave Hanoi Rocks their first gold record in Finland, but not until 1986 after the group had already disbanded. Still, Two Steps from the Move is often considered as a glam rock/hard rock classic.
While touring to promote the album, Hanoi Rocks rose to fame in Japan even more and had two sold-out concerts in New York City. Following drummer Razzle’s death, the group canceled their concert dates and eventually broke up, while on the verge of an international breakthrough.
The line “Welcome to the Jungle” featured in the song “Underwater World” arguably inspired the long time Hanoi Rocks-admirer Axl Rose to write the eponymous song for Guns N’ Roses, due to its similar tone and similar use of fifths (power chords).
The song “Futurama” was later covered by the band Bang Tango.
Andy McCoy’s comments on the songs from a 1984 issue of Suosikki.
“Up Around the Bend”
“Nasse (Nasty Suicide) liked it. Then one time at rehearsals we were jamming and I remembered it from Nasse’s tape. We played it and it sounded fucking good. We figured, let’s play it in the set. After a few gigs, we decided that we want it on an LP. The recordings for the album were already over, but I called Bob and he came over to London, where we recorded the song.”
“Or like ‘Quit High School’, like it was originally called. We figured it was a little boring. What do you do? Quit high school just to queue in unemployment line. I didn’t like it. It’s about this dude, who thinks “why the hell should I sit in school and study, because the system is a piece of shit”. There are some funny lines in that song. “I tell the little buggers what to wear, I show them how to set and dye their hair. There will be no costumes at our swimming pool. There will be no ugly girls in my high school”. It’s a fun song.”
“I Can’t Get It”
“It had mine and Ian Hunter’s lyrics originally. But in the end Bob looked through it and re-did the whole song. I put some stuff into the song that anybody can relate to. It has good ground, because it’s one of the facts of life. There’s always things you can’t have. But I figured it also has a kind of humorous side to it. Laughter through tears. It’s kinda bitter sweet.”
“What could I say about it? It’s a cool song, it swings. I don’t want to say anything about the lyrics. Everybody can have their own interpretation.”
“Don’t You Ever Leave Me”
“Well yeah, we fucked up that song so bad back then, that we had to remake it now. As a song, I think it’s fucking great and this version is what the original should have been. I think, that we might release it as a single later.”
“Million Miles Away”
“At first it was a love song to Anna (McCoy’s then girlfriend), but it built stuff on top of it, – all of my love songs have been made with Anna in mind – but like I said, it’s grown from the original version. The song has gotten to flow in development, and doesn’t feel so personal anymore.”
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
“The song is about junk (drugs). Used to take ’em back in the day. It’s about the illusions, with which it all starts, but eventually it leads to broken dreams, when you notice where using them has taken you.”
“I really dig London’s cockney pub-culture and “Boiler” is a pub-song like that. I wanted to capture that feeling that’s in pubs. I like that song a fucking lot. The more I play it, the more it seems to fit.”
“It’s a good old sweaty booger.”
“Everyday life. We take shortcuts in everything. You get off easier, like in school when you cheat on a test by writing the answers on your hand. The same system continues through your life.”
Back to Mystery City / 1983
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
2013 Japanese remastered edition:
11. Malibu Beach Nightmare (Calypso)
12. Back To Mystery City (demo)
13. Until I Get You (demo)
14. Ice Cream Summer (demo)
Back to Mystery City is the fourth studio album by the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks, released in 1983. It was produced by ex-Mott the Hoople members Dale Griffin and Pete “Overend” Watts, and was the first with Razzle on drums. Besides Hanoi Rocks, the album also features keyboardist Morgan Fisher, and Miriam Stockley on backing vocals, who had also sung with Pink Floyd.
“Strange Boys Play Weird Openings”
An acoustic intro that Andy McCoy came-up with in the studio.
“Malibu Beach Nightmare”
McCoy wrote song at home while smoking hashish. The song was originally recorded in 1981 as a calypso version titled “Malibu Nightmare”. This version was just made as a joke but it was re-recorded for this album, as a more serious rock song. The song was also released as a single.
The song is about speed, and was inspired by Michael Monroe wild behavior as a child. This was also the only song that (according to Pete Watts) drummer Razzle had a hard time recording.
“Tooting Bec Wreck”
This song was inspired by a London apartment full of rats, in Tooting Bec, where Hanoi Rocks lived.
“Until I Get You”
Andy McCoy wrote this song at the band’s manager Seppo Vesterinen’s house in Helsinki. McCoy hated the song but Razzle loved it, and wanted it on their next record. Ultimately, McCoy also fell in love with the song. The song is also a great example of Hanoi Rocks’ melodic glam rock-style. Also, the arrangement for the song was inspired by Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen”. L.A. Guns covered the song on their 2004 album Rips the Covers Off.
“Sailing Down the Tears”
Written in 10 minutes, but the band still loved the song. The song was written as a mid-tempo, standard 70’s rock-, pop-song.
“Lick Summer Love”
This song sparked some controversy when it was released. McCoy wrote the song when he was 17 years old. The song deals with making love and having oral sex with his girlfriend. Monroe has since said that he thinks the song is an “awful slime-ball”, and that he hated the lyrics.
“Beating Gets Faster”
A love-song written by Monroe and McCoy.
“Ice Cream Summer”
A song dealing with a summer romance.
“Back to Mystery City”
At the time of its release, the song was very popular, but it has since been overshadowed by the many other Hanoi Rocks’ hits. Andy McCoy wrote the song about Hanoi Rocks’ adventures in the Far-East, the band’s fans and the buzz that was also surrounding the band in 1983. The song is also composed in the same style as Tommy James and the Shondells’ song “Mony Mony”. The song’s title was inspired by the London club Mystery City.
Self Destruction Blues / 1982
1. Love’s An Injection
2. I Want You
3. Café 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
11. Problem Child
12. Dead By X-Mas
2013 Japanese remastered edition:
13. In The Year ’79 (It’s Too Late)
14. Love’s An Injection (demo)
15. Black Sabbath (featuring Razzle on vocals & Michael on drums) (BLACK SABBATH cover)
Self Destruction Blues is the third album by the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks, released in 1982. Although often listed as a studio album, Self Destruction Blues is a compilation of singles and B-sides that the band recorded in 1981 and 1982. None of the tracks on Self Destruction Blues, however, appear on their previous albums. Guns N’ Roses were rumoured to record a cover version of “Beer and a Cigarette” for their 1993 release “The Spaghetti Incident?”. Of note is the fact that although Gyp Casino appears on the LP, his replacement Razzle actually appears on the cover.
“Dead By X-Mas” has been covered by the Japanese hardcore band The Piass in 1994, the US punk band The Hillstreet Stranglers in 2005, US punk band The Murder City Devils, the British electro group Sohodolls in 2007 and the Finnish rockabilly band Big Daddy & Rockin’ Combo in 2008.
Oriental Beat / 1982
2. Don’t Follow Me
4. Teenangels Outsiders
5. Sweet Home Suburbia
6. M.C. Baby
7. No Lar Or Order
8. Oriental Beat
9. Devil Woman
10. Lighting Bar Blues
11. Fallen Star
2013 Japanese remastered edition:
12. Devil Woman (original version)
13. Do The Duck
14. Hometown Breakdown (demo)
15. Willing To Cross The Ocean (demo)
Oriental Beat is the second studio album by the Finnish glam punk band Hanoi Rocks, recorded in London and released in 1982. Oriental Beat also opened markets in the UK and Japan, where Hanoi eventually became very popular.
Recordings for Oriental Beat (then with the working-title, Second Attempt for Suicide) started in late 1981, at the Advision-studio in London. The album was produced, recorded and mixed by Peter Wooliscroft who had worked with Frank Zappa for example. This album also marked the first time McCoy was not the sole songwriter, with Monroe being the second songwriter on the songs “Motorvatin'” and “Teenangels Outsiders”. Many of the lyrics deal with typical rock n’ roll topics like breaking the law (“No Law or Order) and teenage rebellion (“Teenangels Outsiders”). The album features backing vocals by Katrina Leskanich, the lead singer of Katrina and the Waves. There’s also a legend that originally Nasty Suicide sang the song “Devil Woman”, but when asked about it Suicide replied: “you know too much”.
The previous album, Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks, was only released in Finland and Sweden, but this album opened the doors to an international career. British music magazine Kerrang! released their first article about Hanoi Rocks, when they reviewed Oriental Beat. Kerrang! since covered Hanoi Rocks career in the 80’s extensively.
The band’s drummer Gyp Casino—who can famously be heard missing a beat during the song “Motorvatin'”—was fired from the band shortly after the album’s release and tour, due to his increasing heroin addiction and for being too critical of his own playing.
The artwork features the band covered in paint behind a glass panel with blue and red paint-pressed hand marks on it. The artwork was originally supposed to feature guitarist, Andy McCoy’s girlfriend’s naked breasts painted blue and red with the legend “Hanoi Roxx” written across it. This was changed due to Castle Records view that some record shops may refuse to stock the album due to the graphic nature of the cover. The record company was also worried that potential customers may get confused by the alternate spelling of the band’s name. The original cover was used as the album’s back-cover.
Even though Oriental Beat is considered a Hanoi-classic, many of the band members have called the album a failure. Michael Monroehas called the album great, but blamed the producer, Pete Wooliscroft, of ruining the album’s sound by all-around bad producing and mixing. Wooliscroft had mixed the album while Hanoi Rocks was on tour, and didn’t know what Hanoi Rocks was about, so he went with a completely different style on the mixing. Sami Yaffa had called the album “a piece of shit” in an 1985 interview. Even with these comments, the album was voted the 91st best rock album, in the “100 Greatest Rock Albums” poll by the Finnish radio station Radio Rock. Oriental Beat beat-out such albums like Kiss’ Lick It Up and The Doors’ Morrison Hotel.
Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks / 1981
2. Village Girl
3. Stop Cryin’
4. Don’t Never Leave Me
5. Lost In The City
6. First Timer
8. 11th Street Kids
9. Walking With My Angel
2013 Japanese remastered edition:
11. Cafe Avenue (original version)
12. Rebel On The Run
13. I Love You (demo)
“Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks” is the first studio album by the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks, released in 1981.
Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks was recorded in February, 1981, between Hanoi Rocks’ club shows. While the album was produced by Andy McCoy and Michael Monroe under the name “The Muddy Twins” (inspired by “The Glimmer Twins”), the album was recorded by Swedish Seppo Johansson, who worked at the studio. Even though the album is regarded by many as good, Andy McCoy commented in the December, 1981 issue of Soundi that Johansson ruined many of the songs. Also Michael Monroe says that he can’t listen to his singing on the first Hanoi-album, as his voice wasn’t very good yet.
The album was originally going to be titled Some Like It Hot or Some Like It Cut, but Jim Pembroke suggested the name Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks, which the band ultimately chose.
The biggest hit of the album was “Tragedy”. “Walking With My Angel” is a cover of a song from 1961 by Bobby Vee. “Don’t Never Leave Me” was re-recorded and released as “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” on Hanoi Rocks’ fifth album Two Steps from the Move.
The album appears several times in the 2000 film High Fidelity.
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