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Back to Mystery City

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Editors’ Notes

Finland’s Hanoi Rocks bottled punk rock, pub rock, glam, Chuck Berry, and old pics of Johnny Thunders and David Johansen, added some carbonation, shook the concoction up, and then popped the cork like cheap champagne. It fed a short-lived career that skidded to halt in 1984 when drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley was tragically killed in a car crash. Hanoi Rocks had swayed an entire generation of Hollywood scenesters, from Guns N’ Roses to Poison to Mötley Crüe, who all misinterpreted the band’s riffed-out humor and purposely tarty and cheap Euro-trash aesthetics. This 1983 album (the band’s fourth, produced by ex–Mott the Hopple men Dale Griffin and Overend Watts) soft-shoes in on the self-mocking “Strange Boys Play Weird Opening” (chirping birds, folksy guitars, Irish flute, natch!), which segues into the frighteningly prognostic anthem “Malibu Beach Nightmare.” The rest dives gloriously into odes to speed (“Mental Beat”), a ratty London existence (“Toting Brec Wreck”), masturbation (“Beating Gets Faster”), and pending band fame (“Back to Mystery City,” a poppy riff-fest loaded with New York Dolls nods and Tommy James cops).

Customer Reviews

Great band! itunes has the wrong song titles though...

I recently re-discovered this band after reading Slash's book. He mentions they were an early influence on Guns n' Roses. I remember them from the 80's but never listened to them until now.
I was glad I did! The music holds up damn well. It is a great mix of punk, glam, and straight up rock n' roll.
For some reason the track listings are wrong on here. Songs titles for 4-8 are switched with the song titles for the same track numbers from their debut album.
So, for this album the right song titles and track #'s are:
4. Don't Never Leave Me
5. Lost in the City
6. First Timer
7. Cheyenne
8. 11th Street Kids

Great song. But iTunes has the wrong song listed.

The music you will download is not the correct song. I have been trying to get this situation corrected by iTunes and I am having a very difficult time. Very unhappy.

You don't have this?

I had this on white vinyl after I had Two Steps... This should have been their first release here. Not too thin, tight but not "prettified". This is a truer offering and was kind of mesmerizing. It is so familiar, yet different from what I was expecting. The songs are catchy, not cliched, with a certain attitude not found in US bands. How could anyone not have this?


Formed: 1980 in Helsinki, Finland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Finland's major export to the world of heavy metal, Hanoi Rocks, drew much of their sound and inspiration from '70s glam rock and were thought by some to have fused the two styles more successfully than similar acts such as Mötley Crüe. Hanoi Rocks were founded in 1980 by singer Michael Monroe (born Matti Fagerholm) and guitarist Andy McCoy (born Antti Hulkko); after some lineup changes, the rest of the group consisted of guitarist Nasty Suicide (born Jan Stenfors), bassist Sam Yaffa (born Saki Takamäki),...
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