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

Back to Mystery City

Hanoi Rocks

1983

Back to Mystery City
Album Summary

Back to Mystery City is the fourth studio album by the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks, released in 1983. It was produced by ex-Mott the Hoople members Dale Griffin and Pete "Overend" Watts, and was the first with Razzle on drums. Besides Hanoi Rocks, the album also features keyboardist Morgan Fisher, and Miriam Stockley on backing vocals, who had also sung with Pink Floyd.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.7

Votes

9288
Genres
Hard Rock
Metal

Reviews

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Fri Feb 26 2021
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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Wed Oct 20 2021
1

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

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Mon Jul 12 2021
1

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

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Wed Jan 27 2021
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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Thu Jun 23 2022
3

Um, interesting choice for this list. I have never heard of Hanoi Rocks but they aren't terrible. This album feels like one on your guilty pleasure list - don't really want to tell anyone you like it but deep down there's something about it that you're drawn to. For that reason, it gets an average rating. But nothing more. I just can't justify a higher rating for a fun sounding album by, from what I can tell, just another 80's glam rock band with some tragedy. Really don't know why they're on this list.

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Wed Mar 01 2023
4

Never listened to this band, but this is stupid glam metal and I am absolutely here for it. This was better than I thought and influenced Poison/Motley Crue and others. Great album as long as you are willing to have fun with it.

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Tue May 23 2023
2

Pretty dumb but... fine I suppose. I dunno, I think there's better stuff out there in this style.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
2

The Mystery: What would it sound like if Poison made a Replacements album? The Answer: This record.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
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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Fri Sep 18 2020
4

Je ne connaissais pas, ça rock !

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Fri Dec 03 2021
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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Tue Nov 10 2020
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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Fri Mar 25 2022
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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Fri Jun 11 2021
2

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

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Mon Jan 10 2022
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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Tue May 30 2023
2

Wondering how this got onto the list. The band was known but never really suggested anything original. For this album the band doesn't seem to know whether it should be rock, not powerful enough or pop, lacking memorable catchy tunes. So it fails on both.

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Sun Jun 04 2023
2

Only listened to the songs available on spotify. Kinda disappointing ngl. Just some more wanna be rock stars

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Wed Dec 27 2023
2

Solve the puzzle! Hanoi + (Rocks - R - O + S + U) = ? I quit listening to a song when I lost interest and didn't make it to the end of a single one! Pass.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

Everything that I love about rock!

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

Normalnie byłoby 4, ale 5 za kickoff ;-)

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Fri May 27 2022
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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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

I spent my entire 8 hours of work listening to just this artist.... good stuff

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Fri Mar 03 2023
5

Yeah, this is great. Due to the fatal car incident with their drummer and the Motley Crue singer, I somehow always associated this band with MC and never paid it the attention it deserves. Turns out: it does not have those silly glam rock sing along refrains, but it is much more rock n roll: think New York Dolls a decade earlier. My bad.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

I don’t know much about Hanoi Rocks, but I do know that the drummer Razzle was killed by Vince Neil’s drunk driving, who served only 19 days in jail. Mötley Crüe then went on to carry on making music. It’s one of the most bizarre things to happen in rock music and a massive injustice, and it really needs a Netflix exposé. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: Malibu Beach Nightmare, Sailing Down The Tears, Beating Gets Faster I don’t know why I haven’t listened to much Hanoi Rocks before. Glam rock and metal was a big part of my life for a good while, but I just didn’t look much into this band for some unknown reason. This album was pretty spectacular. It has plenty of catchy melodies, nice distorted guitars, and vocals that don’t tend to shriek quite as much as some similar styled bands. I liked this a lot, and I’m very glad I’ve finally given them a good listen.

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Thu Jan 04 2024
5

Album Nr. 10 Einfach gute Rockmusik.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
5

Sehr gut. Leider ist das Album zu kurz

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

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

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

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

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Wed Nov 17 2021
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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Wed Jan 19 2022
4

Fun glam rock album! Way to go Finland!

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

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

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Thu Mar 31 2022
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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Thu Mar 31 2022
4

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

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Fri Apr 22 2022
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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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

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

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Thu Apr 28 2022
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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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

This is a weird album. It seems as though Hanoi Rocks was unsure of what kind of band they were. It's glam, it's rock, it's pop, it's punk. It's a really odd, and at times exceptionally awkward, stew of genre tropes and my initial impressions were not good, to be honest. But, as the album progressed, it started to win me over. "Back to Mystery City" is very strange but, on balance, it's fun and interesting. I think the novelty is worth a star.

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Thu Jun 23 2022
4

I know Hanoi Rocks from the "Peacemaker" show. So I was kinda prepared for HR... ...what I was not prepared for was the fact that I was going to actually like the album. Yeah, it's very 80s, but it hit something in me that I kinda was missing. I really kinda dug it. Can't explain, really, Maybe it was the other stuff I was listening to previously today, I don't know. But I really enjoyed it.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

Hell yes. Toes that very fine line between shambolic and inspired, a sleazy, poppy, dirty little diamond that draws equally on punk and glam heritage. 'Mental Beat' is a brilliant track. You know why? Because it's basically 'Next Big Thing' by the Dictators, which also ruled. They wrote 'Lick Summer Love' themselves though, which also smokes. Great record!

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Thu Aug 11 2022
4

Pretty good actually 3 Love it 4

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Sun Aug 14 2022
4

Really enjoyed this punkish dose of proto hair metal.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
4

Really great stuff. It’s a shame I can’t listen to Apple Music. YouTube ads kind of ruined the flow a bit but there’s some killer tracks on here!

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

Gets a lot of hate, but enjoyed the ride

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

Big hair, big riffs, big fun. Rating: 3.5/5 Playlist track: Malibu Beach Nightmare Date listened: 31/08/22

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

Chips and hooks and charisma

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Thu Sep 22 2022
4

I've got a soft spot for 80s glam rock. Lot of this sounds like it could be on a GTA vice city radio station and that's no bad thing Tacky but enjoyed it!

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Wed Oct 12 2022
4

One of few occasions where I'd say that Vice City missed out not adding tracks from this album

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Tooting bec wreck

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Mon Oct 31 2022
4

This would be a fun, 3 star-worthy album if it were just some guys from, like, Branson Missouri. The fact that they're from Finland bumps it up to 4 stars for me. They do such an excellent job of imitating/replicating that early 80's American sound of punk-leading-into-glam-rock. It's good!

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Mon Oct 31 2022
4

Pretty good compared to most of the mid 80s European post punk that we absolutely HAVE to listen to

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Fri Dec 02 2022
4

Jaunty 80s rock and roll which is pretty entertaining throughout and Rosalita is a classic track.

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Fri Dec 16 2022
4

Увидев столько негативных отзывов, я испугалась, но послушав мне понравилось Прикольный глэмрок какой то Звучит приятно

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Thu Dec 22 2022
4

Didn't strike me as particularly influential but it was fun and short. 7/10

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Thu Dec 22 2022
4

7/10. I thought this was pretty cool. Only gets a 7, but it's like the 7 I gave Bat Out Of Hell where it's way more interesting than a 7, but that doesn't actually make me like it enough to be an 8.

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Wed Feb 15 2023
4

I saw a Finnish band from the 80s and thought another tedious Gen X nostalgia thing that sucks, but I actually kinda liked this one

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Mon Mar 27 2023
4

хмм хмммм смесь всего

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Fri Apr 07 2023
4

For whatever reason, Spotify is missing half of this album. It is a pity because I was really enjoying what I listened to.

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Tue May 09 2023
4

Pares de tot el moviment hair metal dels '80. Curiosament des de Helsinki, molt lluny del glamour i estètica de L.A., bullidor de tota aquella escena. Discografia molt curta però impecable. I aquest tercer disc és una bona mostra de la seva facilitat per les bones melodies i per uns temes irresistibles. La veu de Michael Monroe és de les millors del rock 80's, i les guitarres d'Andy McCoy fan la resta. No hi ha tema a saltar en els seus poc més de 40 minuts de música. És impossible de no disfrutar

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Tue May 23 2023
4

This is labeled as glam metal on Wikipedia, but it's so goofy and all over the place I'm not sure that's an accurate way to pigeonhole it. There's almost a punk energy to their irreverence, but it mostly sounds like some bizarre strain of sarcastic power pop. If this is hair metal, I enjoy it a helluva lot more than almost any of the other big names of the genre. This went from 3 to 4 stars on second listen. I appreciate that they don't take themselves too seriously. Fun stuff.

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Wed May 24 2023
4

Liked this. Sad all the songs aren’t on Spotify

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Sun Jun 04 2023
4

Song #1, "WTF is this, Jethro Tull or something?" Song #2, "No wait, it's like the Bay City Rollers or Van Halen. Actually sounds a little like Tom Petty. Or Springsteen maybe?" Song#3, "Alice Cooper! That's what it reminds me of." Song #4, "I don't care what it is, I like it!" 4 stars.

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Fri Jun 23 2023
4

I thought it was going to be rubbish 80's glam based on the cover, and the first few 1 star reviews on here... but I really liked this! They've got something about them. They have a real manic energy, with tons of personality and attitude. Nice rocking guitars and rock vocals. Plenty of 'waows' in there and so on. Good stuff!

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Fri Jun 30 2023
4

'Until I Get You' sounds like a classic glam metal song of it's day, the rest of the album is decent listen

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Fri Jul 28 2023
4

This was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it a lot

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Wed Aug 16 2023
4

4.5 because half of the album were blocked in my country

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Sun Aug 27 2023
4

My Mrs loves these, and she turned me onto The Cramps so her taste must not be questioned. However I haven't heard much of them, and mention of Motley Crue doesn't fill me with confidence. Surprisingly though, this is a much more punk rock record than I expected, the glam cock rock stylings are around the edges rather than the main thrust. A few songs remind me of Pink Grease, obviously influenced by these, and they're great.

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Thu Aug 31 2023
4

Glam rock. Está bien. Venga, un 4.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
4

This was a fun listen! Obviously not an album that takes itself very seriously, but was still fun all the same. Kinda raucous, kinda dirty minded. But a fun romp throughout. In a weird way, it kind of reminded me of the New York Dolls and the Replacements, very similar energy. I'm not sure I feel like it is a particularly important or influential album, but still fun all the same.

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Sun Sep 17 2023
4

ah, another fourth studio album and a band that references itself in song. I could see myself loving this punk rock sound back in the day if I had my hands on this album. pretty derivative sound, but still pretty good.

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Thu Sep 21 2023
4

I enjoyed this album far more than I expected. It’s cheesy at times, sure, but it’s like a more distorted take on new wave and New Romantics, and I’m here for that.

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Wed Nov 08 2023
4

With the teased up hair and glam description I kept waiting for this album to get cheesy, but it never came. This blows Mötley Crüe, RATT, Poison, Whitesnake, and the like out of the water.

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Wed Nov 08 2023
4

You can't talk about Hanoi Rocks without mentioning Vince Neil. Ok. Done. Moving on... Back to Mystery City isn't isn't glam rock-y enough and that's the surprise here. There's no soup-y overproduced love ballads or high-pitched crooning. It's dirty, lo-fi and relatively basic. Put this against the other glam rock bands of the day, I'd choose this.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
4

Det her album var superfedt allerede fra det første nummer. Jeg kunne hel sikkert finde på at vende tilbage til det senere.

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Fri Nov 17 2023
4

I think this is an album that I might have been less interested in if I hadn't read some of the background. Knowing that this band was highly influential on the hair metal bands of the 80s, especially Guns N Roses, provides a lot of useful context when listening to it. Sonically, the album is really good. It's wel-produced, and the songs are fun with a lot of energy. So much of what makes hair metal fun is found here, and I can't really think of anywhere else I heard a lot of these motifs before this album. I don't know that this is an album that I would have ever picked up on my own, but fitted into its proper context, it's an easy album to appreciate 4/5

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Fri Dec 01 2023
4

Ooh, I liked this one. I've heard the band name many a time, but I never took the time to delve into their music. 80s glam rock with lots of energy. Will listen again.

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Wed Dec 13 2023
4

A bit of a Brit pop punk kind of vibe. Gave me some Ramones feel. 4.5

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Wed Dec 20 2023
4

Glam Metal is good, and it's interesting to listen to this and think about its' reverberations into the world. A shame about Razzle their drummer, the band had so much potential with this album, but this album still stands as a big success.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
4

Fun grimy rock. Some catchy things on here.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
4

Nice album, I like this type of rock quite a bit. Not sure if it's full on glam but sounds a little more modern than other hair bands from this era. My favorite was probably Malibu Beach Nightmare.

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Wed Jan 17 2024
4

I enjoyed it. Great punk music.

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