RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Hanoi Rocks – Two Steps From the Move 
Rock Candy Records
http://www.rockcandyrecords.com/store/?letter=recent

Rating: B

Hanoi Rocks, with their colorful – and we mean colorful – front man Michael Monroe , were poised to take the hard rock world by storm in the early 1980s.  Hanoi Rocks was part Ziggy era David Bowie, part Motley Crue and part classic ‘60s style Rolling Stones.  They wrote catchy songs, were not afraid to pull out a remake from one of their heroes, had a snotty attitude, an outlandish look and an androgynous charm that made the girls hot and the boys secretly uncomfortable.  On top of all of that, they made pretty darn solid rock and roll tunes. 

The band was signed to CBS Records and was produced by Bob Ezrin, most famous for his work with Pink Floyd, Kiss and Alice Cooper.  Ezrin took their raw talents and sculpted the band into a pop rock hit making machine.  His influence on the band is evident, as a lot of Classic Alice Cooper-ish stylings were woven into Hanoi’s songs. 

This was a band on the rise… then… the shit hit the fan.

During a jaunt across America, Monroe broke his ankle resulting in many live dates being postponed.  During the break, Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil decided to take the bands British drummer known as Razzle with him on an alcohol run.  On the trek to find more booze, he was in a horrific car accident killing his passenger and ending the bright future of this unknown band.

The album was released and songs including “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” were received well, but without a band to tour them, the album came and went without much fanfare.  The shame is that this really is a solid album, leaving one to wonder what might have been if the sands of time had drifted just a bit differently. 

Rock Candy Records has now remastered and re-released this lost classic.  The new version is the best on the block and includes a bonus CD. The Special Deluxe Collector’s 2CD Edition includes 11 bonus tracks, fully remastered sound, a 20-page full color booklet, a new interview with Mike Monroe, a 3,400 word essay, rare photos and enhanced artwork.

While Monroe has gone on to have a successful solo career, his New York Dolls meets Poison style was never more fresh and out front as it was on Hanoi Rock’s best. 

TRACK LISTING:

DISC ONE (ORIGINAL ALBUM):

Up Around the Bend
High School
I Can’t Get It
Underwater World
Don’t You Ever Leave Me
Million Miles Away
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Boiler (Me Boiler ‘N’ Me)
Futurama
Cutting Corners
Two Steps from the Move

DISC TWO (BONUS TRACKS):

Don’t You Ever Leave Me (12” Version)
Back to Mystery City (Single B-Side)
Until I Get You (Single B-Side)
Oil & Gasoline (Japan Single B-Side)
Magic Carpet Ride (Japan Single B-Side)
Shakes (Japan Single B-Side)

BBC Friday Rock Show Session
I Can’t Get It
Underwater World
Don’t You Ever Leave Me
Boulevard of Broken Dreams

By Jeb Wright

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