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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Back to Mystery City

Hanoi Rocks

1983

Wikipedia

Back to Mystery City

Rating

2.67

Votes

3126

Reviews

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1

I'm genuinely confused by this album, or at least its inclusion on this list. Nothing I heard seemed new, novel, or influential. The recording quality was mediocre, and song writing basic, the execution lukewarm. Maybe I missed something, but I don't think I'll be listening again to find out.

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1

Not really sure how this made it onto the 1001 list, but I can only assume it's bribery.

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5

I loved this album, even though the first time I listened to it tracks 2-8 were not the correct songs. Seems Apple Music has the wrong songs associated with tracks 4-8 were the wrong songs. Whatever songs those were I listened to the first time sounded like Hanoi Rocks and I really liked them... After re-listening with the correct tracks (than you YouTube): I LOVE THIS ALBUM. This band is really amazing. Some pretty strong rock tracks in here ("Malibu Beach Nightmare") with some punk and glam and 50s stuff - all blended together into BACK TO MYSTERY CITY. There are touches of Queen, Meat Loaf, the B-52s, the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack - all have done some similar mixing before… What's great here is Hanoi Rocks has their own spin on these winning combinations. I loved every song on here. The styles varied a bit but still felt like a cohesive album. Some wild fun sound-effect shenanigans in the opening and scattered here and there - like the farm animals in "Tooting Bec Wreck", the spacey echoey effects in "Until I Get You,” the bells in “Ice Cream Summer.” Well done without being overdone. This is some of the best punk/rock/glam/50's style music around. I wish I had discovered them in the 80s as I think it would have enhanced my adolescence. Nevertheless lots of fun now, the lyrics were interesting, and I will listen to this often. And after being exposed to some additional Hanoi Rocks through the misidentified mystery tracks, will follow up with some more of their albums. HANOI ROCKS ROCKS!

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4

Hanoi Rocks delivers a delightfully catchy glam rock record, with favorites coming out of 'Until I Get You' and 'Mental Beat'. The arrangements are quite methodical and measured, with Razzle's familiar classic rock drum patterns fastening the album. A Finnish band singing in English could make you mistake Hanoi Rocks for a Brit band, which affords it extra substance as a generally pleasant listen.

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3

Not on Spotify, and the track order is backwards on the YouTube playlist. Fuck you, nerds. This guys hair is so amazing. I wish I had enough hair to rock that look. This is an otherwise solid rock and roll album from the 80s. Definitely worth the listen.

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2

Dumb glam that doesn't really go anywhere or do much interesting. A couple of fun hooks

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2

Um yeah, not too sure. Some sort of 80s punk/hair metal from Finland. If this has any relevance to the world of music, it must be lost on my ill-informed ears, but this could safely have never been made.

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5

Everything that I love about rock!

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5

Normalnie byłoby 4, ale 5 za kickoff ;-)

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5

Long time music listener, first time glam rock enjoyer. Seriously, the 80s form of glam rock has never really jelled with me, but *man* did I enjoy this album. Sounds like it was made for huge stages and big festivals, insert your own crowd chanting while listening. I'm not sure if it's the use of the name "Rosalita" and the killer saxophone solo in "Ice Cream Summer", but man, it sounds just like Springsteen went glam. Early on in the record, I thought, "this isn't bad," and near the end I was super into it. Fuck it. I'm feeling generous tonight. Favorite tracks: "Mental Beat", "Tooting Bec Wreck", "Beating Gets Faster", "Ice Cream Summer"

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4

Je ne connaissais pas, ça rock !

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4

FInnish glam rock. Surprisingly enjoyable. Need to dig deeper into these guys.

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4

Rather enjoyed this album.

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4

Never even heard of this bunch before. Nice fun glam mental album.

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4

Better than I expected, influences of/on the clash, manics, ultrasound, maybe even the jam. Didn't know they were Finnish before this, makes them 77% more interesting!

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4

Nice hardrock

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4

enjoyed it a lot

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4

Better than expected

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4

LOVED IT

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4

Fun glam rock album! Way to go Finland!

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4

Muy bueno

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4

Mah mah mah maaaa rosalitaaaaa Loved the classic rock vibes, really great album 4/5

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4

Rock on!

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4

03/23/22

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4

this is from the 80s

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4

Better than I expected, influences of/on the clash, manics, ultrasound, maybe even the jam. Didn't know they were Finnish before this, makes them roughly 77% more interesting!

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4

Pretty good. A cross between punk rock and a hair band…glam rock?

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4

Normally I wouldn't give the time of day to heavy guitar oriented rock from the early 80s but something about this caught my interest. At the end of the day I'm happy Spotify had only half the tunes available since I would have likely got bored if I had to listen to an hour of this.

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4

Never even heard of this band but damn if this album wasn't a lot of fun.

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4

I really need to stop judging a book by its cover. This band looks terrible by all accounts and I was ready to hit the 1, maaaybe 2 star button. Boy was I wrong, this wasn't 80s synth heavy glam, but a rock album through and through. Fast guitars, driving drums, a singer that can belt, this was a fun listen to aside from one or two songs that didn't land. Hanoi Rocks sounds like what Kiss looks like.

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3

1984. Key Songs: Malibu Beach Nightmare, Back To Mystery City

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3

3.5

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3

Enjoyable but not enough to leave a lasting impression

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3

Record is good but the album they did after this one has way more bangers on it. Very underrated band but didn't age as well as Motley Crue.

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3

Another familiar name with little context that comes to mind. Finnish glam rock? Extra points for weirdness, especially in the first half, and a really first tier album title.

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3

not my cup of tea but had some enjoyable moments

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3

I was going to give a two, but then when I heard the saxophone I decided to add another star.

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3

more 80's meh... at least it doesn't have those synths

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3

rock de los ochenta. No esta mal.

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3

rock. from the 80s. some songs missing on spotify. nothing lifechanging

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3

Nothing too special but some enjoyable glammy punk. I managed to get the whole album on YouTube as Spotify didn't have it all

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3

better than expected

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3

Not a huge fan of hair metal, other than the aesthetics, but this album was a pleasant surprise.

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3

Très sympa n'en deplaise à l'horrible Rob Wuppert qui n'aura décidément jamais rien compris à la musique

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3

Some solid 80s rock 'n' roll. 7.9/10

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3

I don't think I've heard of this band before, and all of the music seemed new. There was some decent rock on this album. There were tracks that hinted at hair metal of the 80s ("Strange Boys Play Weird Openings") and other tracks that fit in with tracks from Billy Idol ("Back to Mystery City"). The album was okay, but I don't think I'd ever sit down to listen to the whole album again.

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3

Overall I liked it. Not amazing but ok.

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3

had never heard this album - and i may well have heard of these guys, but gotten them mixed up with saigon kick, which would most certainly have tainted my view of them. good to have that cleared up. this was fun - and super cool that these guys are finns, to boot.

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3

Vaikka kuinka suomilasein yrittää katsoa niin vähän keskinkertaiseksi rokkipläjäykseksi tämä jää. Ei sinänsä häiritsevää, mutta ei kyllä millään tavalla innostavaa tai mielenkiintoistakaan. Oikeastaan ainoa biisi joka jollain tavalla herätti mielenkiinnon oli Back To Mystery Cityn demoversio. Varmaan siinä oli enemmän rockmeininkiä kuin muussa levyssä, joka toisinaan kuulosti häiritsevän siloitellulta ja lattealta. Peruskolmonen.

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3

Not call album on spotify

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3

Some I liked and some I didn't. 0RS

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3

Sounds a bit like the clash. Strong bass. But... Kinda sounds basic.

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3

It is catchy rock n roll, and maybe a few more listens might endear it to me, but for the moment so-so 3stars

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3

Pues bien, lo escuché de fondo, mientras trabajaba y no logró cautivarme. Me llamaron la atención solamente "Lick Summer Love" y la canción titular. De ahí en fuera, yo creo que okay sin aplausos. 7/10

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3

I'd never heard of Hanoi Rocks. I think I would have really loved this album 30 years ago when I was listening to L.A. Guns and Motley Crue. I really liked Malibu Beach Nightmare and Back to Mystery City and, to a lesser extent, Mental Beat. The others felt like a bit of a slog for me.

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3

Some rock from the 80s. I wasn’t a big fan of similar music in the 80s and I guess I am still not. It doesn’t offend my delicate sensibilities, and it doesn’t stand out as something that I will listen to again.

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3

It's decent rock 'n' roll. Absolutely listenable. I love the descriptions of the songs on Wikipedia maybe more than the songs themselves. They certainly enhanced the experience. I think I liked "Tooting Bec Wreck" the best. Synthesizer, rats, drugs, and a great neighborhood name.

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3

I liked this more than I expected to based on the cover. It was actually pretty enjoyable.

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3

5/10

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3

Interesting story, I was only vaguely aware of this band and no idea they were from Finland. But album is pretty average

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3

Looked intimidating but was good!

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3

Considering I don't ever listen to glam rock, this is probably one of my favorites in the genre. Especially because of the punk sound they have. I look forward to checking out their other records.

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3

it was veryyy hardcore. I didn’t hate it i thought it was loud and cool but it didn’t have like a click or something specific i liked about it.

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3

Might be the only Finnish album on here. Gotta respect it

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3

Hanoi rocks ROCKS!!!!

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3

Solid album. Finland represent.

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3

Kinda fun. Not a fan of the glam subgenre but this felt kinda different. Love the random ass use of horns.

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3

I enjoyed this more than I feel I "should" do (or expected to, for that matter). I think I just admire the sheer unlikeliness of a Finnish band writing a song about Tooting Bec.

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3

Basic glam rock from the 80s. Nothing special. Reminded me of The Clash sometimes.

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3

Another reviewer describes this album as "dumb glam." I mean, yeah. Isn't it great? Well, I had a blast listening to this album, but it turns out if you're listening on Spotify, this is not Back to Mystery City. About half the tracks are mislabeled. With a little digging on YouTube, you should be able to find the others. These are the actual songs Spotify shows as being on the album: 1) Strange Boys Play Weird Openings; 2) Malibu Beach Nightmare; 3) Mental Beat; 4) Don't You Ever Leave Me (mislabeled); 5) Lost in the City (mislabeled); 6) First Timer (mislabeled); 7) Cheyenne (mislabeled); 8) Beating Gets Faster; 9) Ice Cream Summer; 10) Back to Mystery City. In spite of the annoyance of having to find the right tracks, I really enjoyed listening to this. Hanoi Rocks gets associated so much with 80s glam metal that I was expecting not to like this, but they're better than a lot of those bands. This album has a Mott-Meets-Sweet-Meets-New York Dolls vibe to it, ramshackle but with a surprising pop sensibility. The songs are glammy and trashy and tongue in cheek, all of it in good fun. Fave Songs: Tooting Bec Wreck, Beating Gets Faster, Until I Get You, Ice Cream Summer, Mental Beat, Malibu Beach Nightmare

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3

meh glam rock. Must've been a bummer to listen to the radio in the 80's. Can respect that they became an influence for later Glam bands that were better in my opinion.

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3

Never really listened to this band before, Slightly better than expected - more rock n roll, as I was expecting a Poison vibe. Seems like a band that could have been huge with some really good production - where’ Rick Rubin? I liked “Sailing down the Tears”, rest is good, but not good enough to bump to a four.

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3

They do rock. Classic 80s hairball tunes.

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3

p508. 1983. 3 stars. Above average rock band with glitter and a sly sense of humour. A refreshing change from the 80's synths at the time. You can see where The Killers got their inspiration from. Well done of its kind, but it's hardly essential listening.

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3

Really enjoyed "Tooting Bec Wreck" some of the other songs were ok.

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3

Most enjoyable.

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3

This was something of a throwback to my past and though enjoyable it feels old, like me.

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3

Greit nok

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3

Competent fun rock, not really anything special

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2

Interesting Finnish Glam Rock before the time thought would be there. Not my jam.

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2

Ok, nothing amazing

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2

Kinda felt like generic punk rock.

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2

As far as I know they did not have any hit in the Netherlands. Had never heard of them. The album had a glamor rock sound especially the song 'Back to Mystery City'. That song sounded to me a lot like Mony Mony by Tommy James and the The Shondells.

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2

Meh

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2

Competent.

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2

Ice Cream Summer sounds like Weezer. Rest of album is just okay but heard worse on this list.

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2

Spotify only gave me a few songs from this album to listen to? And what I did listen to, I wasn't a fan of.

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2

A decent listen, Lots of the bands I used to listen to would name these guys as among their influences, but I have never got around to checking them out. I quite like, it didn't sound as dated as I expected, and the songs are really catchy. It does all get a bit samey quite quickly though.

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2

It only let me hear like 3 songs, they were alright i guess

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2

Fun at times, but annoying at more times than that. It felt like the guitars and vola swere fighting against each other rather than complementing each other.

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2

Could only listen to a couple songs on Spotify. The two songs were good though

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2

2/5

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2

Not very fond of the genre

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2

Cute Finnish New York Dolls impresarios. Their English is as good as Johansen's but their joi de vivre duller, identity crises absent and wildness overwhelmed by too much attention on 'the look' and too little on gay abandon. Tooting Bec Wreck is a passable Stranded in the Jungle imitation though. Let's hope we get In Too Much Too Soon next so we can see how this shit's really done.

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2

You wanna talk 80s as pejorative? How about 80s as performative? I think what’s missed by the received wisdom that Hair Metal was an aberration is the fact that they actually embodied the fun that they had physically in their music. And just because something’s fun, doesn’t strip it of merit. Quite the opposite. Fun is essential. That being said, it has to be paired with at least one memorable song. This felt like musical candy floss without the aftertaste. Which is to say I remember snaffling down on it and getting a kick at the time. I couldn’t hum you a single snatch of a single song now, though.

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2

every other song is not available on spotify, how annoying. nice intro, deceiving probably. first song is okay, not crazy about it. same goes for the rest of the songs on the album. nothing special. lick summer love is the only song i like a little bit more and its not on spotify :/

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2

Back to Mystery City fait une entrée fracassante dans le classement des albums avec une pochette moche.

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2

Definitely an 80s feel but not really good 80s. I was not familiar with any of the songs. No need to listen to again.

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2

Non descript inoffensive and ultimately unremarkable hard Rock. 2.5 🌟

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2

Aika tyhjänpäiväistä pehmorokkia. Vaikka onkin suomalainen bändi, niin ei pysty ihan kolmosta antamaan.

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2

Not even their most popular album. Very very generic 80s pop

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2

Very much reflective of the time -- early 80s rock/pop -- and I can see why it would popular. Didn't really do it for me, though. Not sure exactly why, but part of has to with the feeling I get when listening to most of their songs that there's just too much going on and not often in a way that brings it all together.

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2

Didn’t hear anything that interested me, sounded like very underwhelming generic late 80s/90s rock BUT then I saw the date and the fact that this inspired a lot of future bands like Guns N’ Roses. Still very underwhelming, but 2 stars instead of 1 for being ahead of its time.

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2

really plain hair-metal

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2

I feel like this might be the album that created pop punk (as opposed to punk or new wave). Whether that is a good thing or not, I leave to you. I must be honest, it did very little for me... I can see how it might have been important, but it's too affected, too studied to do anything for me. A lot of the noises are right, but they feel constrained by a hideous politeness.

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2

80s cheese

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2

Bleh. Boring rock from the 80s

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2

Has a razor-thin punk edge to the glam rock that this definitely is. Malibu Beach Nightmare has a Ramones surfer music vibe and then weird rockabilly harmonica but it's a banger. They are somehow 'heavier' than more traditionally melodic glam rock whilst still having a very intense 80s vocal curl. Lick Summer Love is a horrendously rapey narrative in the way that the 80s kind of excused a lot in media. Beating Gets Faster has a Blue Oyster Cult feel that really stands out. The good - Malibu Beach Nightmare, Beating Gets Faster, Back to Mystery City. The low - Lick Summer Love

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2

Must admit I only ever knew the story of Razzle and didn't bother to ever listen to this band. Coming from Sweden or Switzerland or wherever it was I guess what they did was different, but I feel like many other LA bands were doing this genre much better than Hanoi Rocks were at the time.

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2

Nothing groundbreaking

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2

Eh.

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2

If I judged this record by the album cover photo alone, I would had given this a hard pass! It was produced by a couple ex-Mott the Hooples (NOT Ian Hunter or Mick Ronson), so it slightly has their sound, as well as maybe the NY Dolls and some riffs from the Dictators, though not done nearly as good as those bands. Parody at best, I expected worse, but they can still go back to mystery city, please.

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2

Meh. I like the beats but the lyrics are rather cheeseball

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2

Generic.

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2

Wow. This seems...random. For years my only exposure to Hanoi Rocks was from the car accident with Motley Crue (I can only hope they're not on this list) that killed their drummer. A bit of reading shows these guys (from Finland) were *hugely* influential on the early 80s hard rock scene, bringing a mix of glam and metal. Ok cool music history moment but what about the music? Yes as it turns out this has a strong early 80s sound but it's more Bowie+New York Dolls+Poison. If that's your bag. Aside from the fact that this sounds like a demo (I'm reminded of Van Halen's unreleased mid-70s demo that sounds similar yet better than this) the album is filled with simple melodies and predictable if not bad good-time party hooks, it's.... fine. So why is this on the 1001 list? Influence? I could be mean and complain that bands that merely influenced some emerging trends but weren't any good themselves should probably not be on this list (...but then i'd just be talking about the horrific abomination that were the Velvet Underground and that's playing dirty). "Sailing Down The Tears" sounds like a coke-fueled bash with Slash playing aside a drunk Alice Cooper. To sum up: this sounds like a good high school band that played their dance in 1983 and then should have gone to college and gotten better at songwriting instead of becoming Poison a few years later. 3/10 2 very dim and generous stars: early 80s "hard rock" for 13 year olds. At least there's melody.

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2

Somewhat generic post punk sounds.

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2

I guess good for them for figuring out the 80s rock sound by 1983. It's pretty middle of the road, wouldn't turn it off but wouldn't turn it up

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2

This is a sleazy unremarkable glamrock album which grabs their influences from Alice Cooper to the New York Dolls. The songs are very stock-standard, 13-in-a-dozen. Never bad, but never achieving anything more than mediocrity. Thus far, 50 albums in, I have the feeling that the creators of the list of 1001 albums you must hear before you die never really enjoyed hard rock much because the inclusion of the albums are terrible, even though there's so much greatness to be found in the genre.

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2

Well, this is mock rock at iut's worst I think, a pastiche of the New York Dolls, with sub Sex Pistols and Adam and the Ants. I get a Mott the Hoople without the talent or irony vibe. (Not surprising as it was produced by Dale Griffin & Overend Watts) I can get what they were trying to do but for me it is a mediocre punk/glam offering. If I had to choose a favourite Track it would be the title track. Not one for me I am afraid.

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2

Not as bad as I expected. But still bad..

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2

Non descript inoffensive and ultimately unremarkable hard Rock. 2.5 🌟

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2

I mean...I didn't HATE it, but I can't say there was anything memorable about this album for me. I guess my fave track was Malibu Beach Nightmare, and I have a memory of liking the first few tracks MUCH more than the second half of the album. Not a BAD album but would never re listen.

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2

This is music that a band would play in a cutaway gag from 30 Rock. Gotta respect that man’s hair tho.

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2

Only thing I know about this band is that their drummer was the guy Vince Neil killed. This is mostly glammed up new wave - I was expecting hair metal, which would have been preferable. Amateur hour. 2.5/5.

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2

Very inoffensive in what feels like a novel way.

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2

Nothing special, had to listen via YouTube which is never a good experience

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2

The only possible reason this could be on this list is because the author has some nostalgic memories of listening to this while drinking beer in the parking lot after high school with his buddies or something. This is pretty bland and generic glam rock.

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2

Dude whatever. This is absolutely not something you need to listen to before you die. This is something you find in your dad's CD rack and even he would be like "I don't remember this one". A 2/5 since I don't actually hate the songs here, they're really simple and kind of boring, but I can still listen to them. I'm mostly just baffled at why this was included.

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2

Ok.

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2

Scores low on the 'why is it on the list' scale (as far as I can tell it's special because... they're from Finland?) Gains back 2.5 stars for some rather fun and catchy glam rock bops.

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2

Hard rock, tunge trommer, rimelig skinger vokal, et par okay numre

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2

nah

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2

min første tanke va at detta såg plagsomt ut va heldigvis litt bedre men ikkje så veldig likte tooting bec wrecked for den va litt joy division aktig i starten

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2

It tinges with hair metal production and punk music. It sadly doesn’t do either of these things very well. To quote NOFX “I don’t think Hanoi Rocks.”

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1

Gosh early 80s hair metal was terrible

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1

Not my thing.

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1

Zu alter Rock.

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This album is like a ridiculous self-parody of glam rock. The standard "Back to Mystery City" formula is awkward lyrics hurled over milquetoast guitar riffs with a surprising amount of passion and absolutely zero self-awareness.

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1

Bad 80s Glam. The sound of doing blow off of a Macy's credit card

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1

Heavy rock, cercano al metal a veces. No me dice nada ni me atrae el sonido. Olvidable

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1

Feels like these dudes really wanted to make fun of shitty 80's rock so they made an album of all shitty 80's rock. Respect. UPDATE: Ripping on glam rock by making parody glam rock still means you made glam rock.

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1

Tie back my cyst, Troy! This was woeful

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1

Finnlands Antwort auf Mötley Crüe, ich hatte mich bisschen darauf gefreut, die auf der Bahnfahrt zur Arbeit zu hören. Schön raunchy/horny sich im Regionalexpress nach L.A. denken, den inneren Kajal am Anschlag und so. War aber Fehlanzeige wegen schlimmer Langeweile. Konventioneller hätten die Sounds nicht gehen können, und Texte wie aus ner Bravo-Fotolovestory. Totale Enttäuschung.

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1

Da Da Da Da Da Uh! Da Da Da Da Da Uh! Dubček, Dubček, Dubček, Mao Tse-tung, King Kong etc. geben mehr als 1.1

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1

Maybe it's a blessing that this full album wasn't available on Spotify. And maybe that means Neil Young and Joni Mitchell were involved with this band. I certainly know I heard enough that I didn't need to seek the full album elsewhere.

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1

Nothing special and like half the songs were missing on spotify

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1

This is the fourth album from the rock band Hanoi Rocks, and it was moderately successful. This band is from Finland so English is not their native tongue, and you can sorta tell by listening to the lyrics. The songs did not contain any memorable hooks, but did have some good guitar playing. This is a good album to listen to if you want to know what 80's hard rock sounds like through a Finnish filter. However, I will not listen to it again.

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1

The album cover jarred me back to some bad 80s clubs and parties that involved dubious fashion choices. There were some moments in the 80s that are best forgotten and this album is on that list. Like WTF were they thinking back then? Cheesy, cliched lyrics and licks that add nothing to music history IMO and I can't understand for the life of me why this album is on this list.

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1

It's interesting that, in Wikipedia, featured prominently in the lead paragraph of the review of this album is the fact that one of their (studio) back-up singers had also sang back-up on one of Pink Floyd's albums - wow!!! And the only reviews offered up are negative. The hooks are cliched, they are more pre-occupied with their looks than the music, the commercial rock sound was pretty dead by '83 and . Another questionable 1001 selection!

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1

Terrible album! How does this at all belong on this list. I don't care who it allegedly inspired. It is a badly badly mixed album and bad music. I can't understand why this is on here. These are the albums that make me consider if this project is even worth finishing. I mean it's so bad Spotify doesn't have half the songs and whoever made the YouTube playlist couldn't even be bothered enough to put playlist the right way up so I heard the first 5 seconds of each song at least twice. Xbox 360 headsets had better audio quality than the mics they used to record this album. I am still hesitant to give it a 1 because there are worse albums, but I am just so tired of getting so many bad albums so it gets what it gets.

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