Gotta thank HMO who sent me a copy of the extra disc that was added to Hanoi Rocks “Two Steps From The Move” Rock Candy reissue from a couple of years ago.
It’s hard to believe that in an instant that this band grinded to a complete halt in December 1984 after drummer Razzle was killed in a car driven by Vince Neil.
I’m not going to get into the whole deal with the accident so to speak but i will say that Hanoi to this day in my humble opinion has put out a game changer album that when I purchased this back in 1984 it easily became of my all time fav’s in my little world of rock.
When Hanoi limped to a couple of farewell shows in early 85 that was it until they regrouped many years later but it didn’t really interest me. What does though is anything from this era of Hanoi(1984).
So with the reissue came a bonus disc of live and studio tracks. Lets check it out shall we!
Don’t You Ever Leave Me(12 inch single) is tweaked around somewhat with some kind of echo added during the chorus when Razzle smacks his snare drum. Singer Micheal Monroe sings the verses and chorus in english but the spoken word part that starts the second verse has guitarist Andy McCoy speaking in Finnish(I think,haha).
The next three tracks Back To Mystery City/Until I Get You/ Mental Beat are live tracks that I believe are all from the live All Those Wasted Years double live album from 1983. Three great tracks that has Hanoi firing on four cylinders as a punky/glammy act.
The three studio tracks that follow the live tracks are a little out there. Magic Carpet Ride/Oil and Gasoline are almost psychedelic trippy like tracks that to be honest fall way short of the classic Hanoi sound.Lets go with an experimental Hanoi here.
The third track Shakes has an almost Clash like vibe to it. Kinda neat actually as this is pre Two Steps Hanoi perhaps trying to figure out there sound.
Now here’s where it gets real good….
Four live tracks from the BBC featuring Four classics from Two Steps are played…
Leading the charge is I Can’t Get It. Considering Monroe had that glam frontman look down I always dug that under that pretty boy look the fella had a bit of a growl in his voice. With this track being played live they keep the tempo to the same pace as the studio track. McCoy tosses out a real gnarly like solo that blasts some heavy metal licks mixed with a shot of glam syringed in….
Underwater World features Monroe not only on the vocal but on the sax as well! Underwater World oozes a cool groove as Razzle pushes the pace while bassist Sami Yaffa and guitarist Nasty Suicide keep the rhythm machine moving.
If Vince hadn’t tanked this band, Don’t You Ever Leave Me would have been a huge single. It had all the trimmings of a super classic single without sapping out. Razzle drives the bus on this track while Monroe delivers a great vocal and McCoy dials up a super solo.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams has an old Aerosmith like swagger to it and is such a great song with quick little tempo changes that just make the song soar.
This bonus disc is a great time capsule but its the last four live tracks that are the real score here. I wish there was more live Two Step Hanoi kicking around….
posted on his FaceBook Page his Top 20 which Jon also said you could have easily done a Top 40 Fav Album List! True That!
Jon had some real cool albums such as Whitesnake(Slide It In) Y&T (Meanstreak) Motley Crue(Shout At The Devil) and KISS Alive amongst others!
It got me thinking about my Top 20 (a few months ago we did a Top 15 list with fellow WordPress Bloggers which was a ton of fun to see people’s tastes in music and books etc). So via Jon’s page I clicked the link and voila right to the page to enter my Top 20!
It was easy to do and entered in my Top 20. So I linked it right to Facebook went my list and first order of business was issuing a bit of a fun challenge to others as what your favourite 20 albums would be! Only could be studio releases(no live albums) and one album per artist as I would have loaded up on VH, old Aero,old Kiss,Maiden,AC /DC and that would have been it….hahaha…No Cheatin!
Tbone(whom I have known for 4 Decades!) right away came through in the clutch as he posted right away his list ( T’s list is at the top of the page) and it was great to compare! A buddy of mind Tony also posted his Top 20 but he broke the rules with as Tbone typed “19 Anvil compilations and High N Dry don’t count!” Hahaha….Seriously though thanks for participating Tony and how about a shout out to Blackie Lawless!
My Top 20 you can see posted just below……
It’s cool to see and compare lists with Tbone….I thought a post about Tbones Top 20 along with my usual smart ass comments would be a fun thing to talk about ….Shall we…?!
We are on the same page with The Cults Electric and Guns N Destruction albums and it’s kinda cool to see that back in the year that both of these albums were released (1987) myself and Tbone turned 20 years young and that Guns had opened up for The Cult on the Electric Tour! Yup groundbreaking info here! Hahaha…..
Of course Rush would be there as Tbone tossed in Moving Pictures which was basically our introduction to Rush that year of 1981 when we started at Lakeview High School and quickly learned that Rush had played at our very own School back in 1973!
I was very surprised and glad to see Maidens Number Of The Beast (1982)on there! Ha….Tbones parents at the time probably thought he was gonna burn down a church after they could hear the Air Raid Sirens wails of “6-6-6 The One For You And Me!” resonating from his bedroom. I’m sure his parents were relieved when they heard Bryan Adams Reckless(1984) which itself is a solid pick T! It is indeed an all time slab of great CanRock that even to this day does not sound dated! Another great call is Tom Pettys solo album Full Moon Fever and its 40 minutes of an Ass Kicker Album!
Speaking of Maiden a few sentences back I went with Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son! Moonchild is one of the best opening tracks on any Maiden album….EVER!
I take full Blame and responsibility on Tbone hoping aboard the HALEN Tour Bus Sonically that is and it didn’t surprise me in the least to see Fair Warning (1981) on his list! I mean any of those first 6 Dave Roth Albums could easily be in The Top 20 no problem! Speaking of Roth. Bam! Here comes Eat Em And Smile (1986 ) and with that kick ass musical combo Dave had behind him(Vai,Sheehan,Bisonette and Tuggle) we spent many an hour chatting up songs like Bump And Grind,Big Trouble and Elephant Gun and wishing we were Dave(1980s Dave that is)….Another great pick T!
U2 with Achtung Baby we both could have had on our list easily and perhaps I should have as well but man Bono annoys me …..Achtung though what a brilliant album and along with the production angle of Lanois/Eno is so groundbreaking and to this day to my ears is still one of the best sounding studio albums! Not as good as Rick Rubin’s produced Cult Electric Album mind you but Achtung holds it own..
Great call on ZZ Tops Eliminator Tbone! Man how could I miss that one? I could have easily bumped out Cheap Tricks Dream Police for that It goes without saying that Tbone dug deep into this list and pulled out some Gems! After which Tbone drank deep into his Scotch! Haha…
Safe to say Standing Hampton(1981) by Sammy Hagar is the Ultimate Shock A Roo! What a fantastic add! I just about spilled or was it spit out my coffee at that pick… Like I said earlier T did his homework and stepped up! Course this album features Heavy Metal and One Way To Rock but how about I’ll Fall In Love Again and Baby’s On Fire….easy peasy pickins! It’s a great album as it has a good sound as Sam I Am hadn’t fallen Into those 80s trappings of whiney synths!
Nice to see Tbone select Stone Temple Pilots (1994) as well here with the Purple album and this was when we saw STP open for The Stones in Toronto on the Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour! Not to be outdone I selected Superunknown(1994) by Soundgarden! Man I love Cornell’s voice! Limo Wreck is a classic ! The Stones both made our lists with Tbone selecting Sticky Fingers and me going with Some Girls! Another band match was Zep with Tbone tossing down Zep 4 and Ol DeKEs dialing up Physical Graffiti!
Tbone rolling with Aerosmiths Toys In The Attic and myself choosing Rocks are actually no brainers as it proves without a doubt that me and Tbone like our Aero slopped up when Steve n Joe were loaded up on party treats (special mention must be given to Done With Mirrors) and wrote real cool songs before they became that AeroSap Band doing soundtracks and wanting to become something they weren’t ….
Another Shock A Roo pick from T would be Mr Books favourite band Sloan with Navy Blues! How can you go wrong with She Says What She Means,Izzy and Angus and the classic DC stolen riff of Money City Maniacs! Exactly you can’t! Did not see this one coming as well but a real good pick!
I went with another Canadian Band and that’s The Tragically Hip with Road Apples (1991) actually any of their first four albums I could have picked! I love Road Apples as it reeks Canadiana,smells of Weed and Cold Canadian Beer! ” You Just Hit Me Where It Hurts,I Guess It Felt Quite Primitive!” Bellows lead singer Gord Downie during Twist My Arm! Great track!
Bon Jovi with New Jersey(1988) made Tbones cut and fair enough as it was a strong album (the tour for it was a real good show)and still holds up well by today’s standard! Too bad Jon has currently disintegrated a once great act into a big pile of Music Poop!
Tbone sneaks In Collective Soul’s (1985) self titled second album which is a great rock record. Ross Childress plays some real supped up leads while Ed Roland is a talented singer songwriter! My only knock are the drums sound programmed but still great songs especially the opener “Simple!”
Before I let you all get back to reality(thanks for reading) how could we not talk about AC/DC pre Axl Rose era! T says Highway To Hell(1979). DeKEs says Flick Of The Switch(1983)Can’t go wrong with either! Tons of salty lyrics (Rising Power and Beating Around The Bush) Lotsa Angus! What more do you need?
Def Leppard with its mega zillion selling album Hysteria (1987) made TBones Grade while I prefer the hard rock stylings of High N Dry(1981). Both are classics and like I have said in every Lep review I have done that once Steve Clark died lots of creativity in the riff department went to heaven with him…..
Holeeeee Shatz! This kinda went on but it was fun to go down memory lane sonically with my pal of 40+ years! (WHUT?) Thanks for reading and well….
So Aaron at the KMA wanted us all to toss down in print our Top 15 albums of all time! I will link later today some other Blogger Gals And Guys Top 15s as well so you can click their name and cruise their site! All worthy reads if you ask me!
There are no rules for doing this. Just list your albums! Myself I had to make rules as in I would have loaded my Top 15 with just Iron Maiden and Van Halen! Ha…..
For myself personally I had to make rules. I dated the album the year was from ….
So it’s only one album per artist,just studio albums,no live albums or Greatest Hits(Blah) are allowed……. You can Search these artists as I have reviewed 11 of these albums . Not saying which ones I haven’t!
So here it be Folks….read,comment,ummmmmm Rock!
Top 15 ….
1-Van Halen/Women And Childern First(1980)
3-Iron Maiden/ Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son(1988)
4-AC/DC/Flick Of The Switch(1983)
5-Guns N Roses/Appetite For Destruction(1987)
7-Led Zeppelin/ Physical Graffiti (1975)
8-Def Leppard/High N Dry(1981)
10-Judas Priest/Screaming For Vengeance(1982)
11-Kiss/Rock N Roll Over(1976)( TIE) Motley Crüe/Too Fast For Love (1981)
Some Neanderthal Findings from this list include….
My mind is basically frozen from the 1980s with 10(plus 2 Ties) of my selections from that decade!
4 albums from the 70s….(Zep ,Stones,Kiss And Aero)
1 album from the 90s(Soundgarden)
IN CONCLUSION- No Surprises Really….I’m A One Trick Musical Pony!
Some of you may go for instance is DeKEs high? He’s saying Flick Of The Switch is better than Back In Black in regards to AC/DC! Yes everyone and their dog loves Back In Black myself included but for some reason the rawness the down n dirty of Flick was right up my alley when Flick was released in 1983 when i was about to turn 16! It’s just where my noggin was pointed in that direction back in time! Next week i could flip any DACCA album into the 4 spot like Powerage,Highway To Hell,Back In Black…..yeah man just Fill Your Head With Rock!
*The music selection is Cutting Corners by Hanoi Rocks! Easy peasy selection in my book as out of this whole list of bands Hanoi had the least success but as we all know they were about to break huge but….. Cutting Corners is the last song on Two Steps From The Move and it’s such a great friggin track! It goes to show you with it being the last song just how strong the whole album was! Check It Out!
FYI- I came oh so close to having U2’s Achtung Baby on this list its bounced around my top 15 as it’s a fantastic sonically,produced well written record etc but I bumped it out for the reason that U2 2015 bores the piss Outta me…..sorry Bono! Ha like Ya Care!
Hanoi Rocks will probably for me anyways go down in rock history as the band that got robbed of well fame and fortune. ( I’m not gonna go into details as everyone knows the deal) still though I was in grade 11 and here’s this band that looks like well a heavy metal fashion disaster but I tell ya what’s inside on this 10 song LP is one of the,if not best sleazy street rock master pieces of our time! So after getting pumped on Hanoi and buying the record and seeing there Up Around The Bend Video on MuchMusic .Two months later…Boom, Razzle the drummer dies….Bam….Hanoi’s career evaporates into a puff of smoke!
But hey 30 yrs later this album still sounds current and vibrant….so thanks Mike,Sami,Andy,Nasty and Razzle(RIP)….
Like they say Saigon Shocks….Hanoi Rocks…..
UP AROUND THE BEND- Is the CCR track …cool cover version first time I seen the video for this I was like the lead singer looks like a chick but he has some cool gruff in his voice. Now having said that,for me personally for a first track on an album this is the weakest song . That just goes to show you how strong the original material on this was!
HIGH SCHOOL-So Mike(singer ) teaches us about the birds and bees of teaching a classroom filled with girls..the song starts with a quick riff and Razzle(drummer) just let’s it rip on the skins. The production on this album is mint.CBS hired Bob Ezrin to produce it. Imagine Ezrin going from producing Kiss’ The Elder tracks like Just A Boy/World Without Heroes to Hanoi singing about a bunch of horny 17 yr girls learning the abc’s of life….
I CANT GET IT- This is Hanoi’s frustration on not getting it,like the Girls,rolls,private jet ,dirty blonde and red corvettes,wife,kids,house and pets…This is Hanoi at its finest catchy verse/pre Chorus/Chorus …listen to the link above. One of my fav tracks by Hanoi ….
UNDERWATER WORLD-ahhh Hanoi branches out with this song they sing about welcoming you to the Under World…could it be sumthin in the sea? Na I doubt it. It has tons of coolness to it. Different vibe to the rest of the tracks on Two Steps but it works never the less….
DONT YOU EVER LEAVE ME-Is the power ballad tune on here. I think the way the music climate was back than this song would have been huge if Razzle hadn’t gotten into that car. The guitar solo at the end as well as lead vocal in this tune are awesome. Michael gives er!
MILLION MILES AWAY- Is that there women are a million miles away….Michael plays a wicked sax solo in this tune(you didn’t know that I bet right?) and then the song kicks into a whole different rhythm like If Duran Duran was on crack down in RIO.
BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS- Is a song about someone being strung out but it’s a very catchy number. Tons of cool percussion on this,plus the solos ..it’s all good…
BOILER-If this song was redone nowadays (2014) it would be called Cougar! It’s a very catchy track with a real sense of humour. Good on those Hanoi boys just wanting to have fun and hang out with some Boilers back in 1984! Crank the video posted below…..
FUTURAMA- Seeking fame and fortune..a pretty quick snappy Little number…brief and to the point!
CUTTING CORNERS- Is another one of my favs the band just rips it up in an old Aerosmithy kind of way. Love Mike Monroe’s vocal delivery in this song . Hanoi is basically telling me back than to get thru life you have to cut corners…Jesus I’m glad I had direction from Hanoi back in 84! Thanks guys….
WARNING-Total Dud free recording!
Two Steps sits pretty somewhere in the bottom half of my all time top 10 album favs! Everything about this one just rocks but in a different way. Andy McCoy the guitar player and main songwriter knew how to craft some real cool street rock and he had the lead singer in Micheal Monroe to deliver it….me and TBone played the crap out of this album and after some drinks one of us will or perhaps with Tbones brothers Darr and Rugg all will occasionally recite the I CANT GET IT LYRICS…..