Our Top 10 Hanoi Rocks Songs takes a look at a legendary rock band from Finland that played a big role in the 1980s Glam Metal Scene.Formed in 1978, Hanoi Rocks is a band that puts Finland on the map for rock music thanks to vocalist Michael Monroe aka Matti Fagerholm, and guitarist Andy McCoy aka Antti Hulkko, formerly in the punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy, for their efforts to see the Hanoi Rocks band established. The two would have a pact that Andy would join the band later on to have a smooth transition from his previous band to the new Hanoi Rocks band. Other founding members were guitarist Stefan Piesnack, drummer Peki Sirola, and bassist Nedo Soininen.
The band was quite popular, having them be the first Finnish band to chart in the UK. In the first years of their inception, Hanoi Rocks would tour tons of Finnish clubs for live performances playing Monroe and McCoy’s songs and covers to other songs. Sadly, the band would disband following the death of their recent new man in their lineup, drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, who died in a car accident in December 1984. However, the band would later rejuvenate their love for rock music, having the band team up from 2001 to 2009. And as you can guess, the band has had quite a reshuffle of their line up with the total number of members ever to grace the stage under the name Hanoi Rocks hitting twenty. Here we usher in our top 10 Hanoi Rocks songs.
# 10 – Malibu Beach Nightmare
Starting us off at number ten is the song “Malibu Beach Nightmare,” simply called many “Malibu Beach.” The song features in the Finnish rock and glam-punk band’s 1983 album, Back to Mystery City. Thanks to the band’s guitarist Andy McCoy for quite some great lyrics that make the song stand out amongst the band’s songs. You cannot help but notice Razzle’s impact on the band, having him on the drums.
# 9 – Up Around the Bend
Probably making the best of what they used to do in the Finnish clubs, the Hanoi Rocks band went to release the cover to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song “Up Around the Bend.” In its times back in 1970, the song would prove to be a great ballad having it climb up to the fourth position in the Billboard Hot 100. Hanoi Rocks took on the song releasing it in their 1984 album Two Steps from the Move. The song would require quite some translation since going around the bend means going crazy. However, the song channeled a message of hope in a better future despite the hard times the 70s had proved to be. And have we got into good times yet? Well, that remains subject to debate!
# 8 – 11th Street Kids
Hanoi Rocks’ song “11th Street Kids” brings some raw, punky glam rock to music lovers. You ought to love the guitar’s sound in the song, which starts off the song in quite some powerful and catchy tune. So what happens when you are falling so hard for someone, but he or she doesn’t seem to be interested? Well, this is what this song is all about. The persona in the song goes so taken away by a lady who seemed less interested and left the guy. It’s an empty street, and the persona wonders where all the 11th street kids went.
# 7 – Underwater World
The song “Underwater World” is one of the greatest songs from the Hanoi Rocks band’s 1984 album Two Steps from the Move. Its history remains unforgettable, having it be among the songs that led to the positive reception and breakthrough of the album Two Steps from the Move in the US. However, the song’s lyricist Andy McCoy would not even come clear with the lyrics having him say that the song’s lyrics are open to interpretation.
# 6 – Don’t You Ever Leave Me
“Don’t You Ever Leave Me” made its first appearance in the music arena in Hanoi Rocks’ album Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks. However, the band would later feel that the song had a punky feel, characterized by some faster tempo. This led to the band remaking the song and featuring it in their hit album Two Steps from the Move. Andy would later admit that they had messed up with the song, which the band was proud of redoing. Comparing the two versions, you will undoubtedly love the 1984 version of the song.
# 5 – Million Miles Away
The song “Million Miles Away” combines band members Andy McCoy, Michael Monroe, and producer Bob Ezrin in having the lyrics done. However, Andy had previously written some of the lyrics to the song inspired by the song “Never Get Enough,” having him work on the song for years on the piano. As a result, the song features a sax-solo by Michael and a guitar solo by Andy. Andy used to play the piano in live performances, leaving the guitar for other guitarists in the band.
# 4 – Fashion
Reminding us of the great band Hanoi Rocks was is the song “Fashion” from the band’s 2007 album, Street Poetry. Thanks to the great composition and sublime instrumentals, the song became a number one hit on the Finnish singles list. A music video was made for the song, depicting the band performing on a catwalk with fashion models. You ought to love the drumming skills from Lacu, who also played with Popeda and Snakegod.
# 3 – Boulevard of Broken Dreams
For true rock fans, the song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is one of the songs by Hanoi Rocks that brings to life the true rock n roll feeling. Andy McCoy wrote the song in conjunction with Bob Ezrin and Ian Hunter. Notably, the song features some sublime instrumentals, which are the key selling point of the song. In addition, the vocals from Michael Monroe adds to the song’s catchy vibe making it a worthwhile rock song to add to your playlist.
# 2 – A Day Late, A Dollar Short
Written by Andy McCoy, the song “A Day Late, A Dollar Short” is featured in the band’s 2002 album, Twelve Shots on the Rocks. Notably, “A Day Late, A Dollar Short” became the most successful song in their 2002 album, bringing more attention to the band after their reunion. The music video featured the Hanoi Rocks band playing the song at a concert while vocalist and frontman Michael Monroe tries to go to the concert.
# 1 – Tragedy
And now to the most successful song from the band here, we usher in the song Tragedy from the band’s. It is quite amazing how a song written in the teenage years can become a ballad to be remembered for years. Andy wrote this song when he was about 15 or 16 years having; the lyrics deal with a teen story of first love and how he imagines it will last for a lifetime. And as you can guess, the result is tears and tragedy!
Hanoi Rocks Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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