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Hanoi Rocks – Back to Mystery City (1983)

August 31, 2016

NordicCountriestunesNifty Nordic logo by Sarca @ Caughtmegaming

Nordic Artist #1: Björk
Nordic Artist #2: ABBA
Nordic Artist #3: Röyksopp
Nordic Artist #4: The Sugarcubes
Nordic Artist #5: Hanoi Rocks


[Album 470/1001]

If there hadn’t been Hanoi Rocks, would there have been Guns n’ Roses?

But, if I hadn’t been into Guns n’ Roses, would I have dug Hanoi Rocks?220px-Back_To_Mystery_City

For me, the two acts are (un)fairly linked, as Michael Monroe’s guest harmonica part and GNR’s Bad Obsession are simply inextricable. On Back to Mystery City, Monroe is credited with lead vocals, saxophone, and harmonica. Incidentally, vocalist, saxophonist, harmonicist, that’s a triple threat!

Which is not to say that GNR is entirely derivative, nor Hanoi merely an influential footnote for a more important act.

It is to say however, if you’re going to be your country’s lone representative on the 1001 list, you might as well pull a Hanoi Rocks; make it memorable & represent your nation with style, even if the high-volume rawk & higher-volume hair likely isn’t entirely representative of the Nordic Country (Finland) from whence it came!

Despite the indisputably ‘of its time’ cover fashion, the ten tunes hold up nicely. Well, more sleazily & rocking than nice, but undoubtedly durable.

Most importantly, if this is their only album I “must hear” (according to some book?), I’ll be happy to “recreationally hear” much more Hanoi Rocks before the end.


Today’s 200 words were part of the #200wordchallenge,
happening all this week over at!


From → 1980s

  1. Wow what a awesome read Geoff and surprise! Gunners swiped the blueprint from Hanoi to a certain extent in the look dept circa 1987! Even some garage like rock tones as well! The last Hanoi album Two Steps is one of my all time fav’s
    Great job!

  2. My favorite Hanoi Rocks album! I like the debut too… But I’ve kinda overlooked their other stuff by concentrating on those two too much.

  3. Now THIS was a surprise! I don’t even have this. I only have Saigon Shakes Hanoi Rocks… I guess I should look for this.

  4. Two Steps From The Move I tell Ya!

  5. I learnt a new word today. Harmonicist. And I would buy that album based on the cover alone. With a look that good (I mean the gentleman on the left, though both seem to be representing the dominant styles of the time), I’d be less inclined to be judgemental on the music.

    • When I typed vocalist, saxophonist, I admittedly typed in “harmonicist” to see if it was a word – according to the world wide web (but not microsoft word), it is!

  6. “Well, more sleazily & rocking than nice, but undoubtedly durable.” Cool!

    I had GnR but never these guys. Apparently I only went so far into this type of stuff…

  7. Yikes! I’ve heard of the band (thanks to GN’R), but never heard this – or anything else by the band! (Can you believe I always thought they were American!?! – oooft!)

    • They don’t sound un American – and though not actually featuring any gnr members, it may still qualify as a gnr alternative in your series J!

      • Yikes! The series! I planned to get a couple up this week as part of the 200 challenge, but that plan went south!!

      • As many of my best laid plans often do J, I can relate!

  8. Like you, I gave it the thumbs up Geoff, and hats off to them for the obvious influence to G N’ R. Axl has said that they should have been bigger than his band.

    • I remember you wrote about welcome to the jungle recently – you’re right, chances are Axl & friends had heard a Hanoi record or two before writing that!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Sigur Rós – Ágætis byrjun (1999) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 1983 | 1001albumsin10years

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