I've been asked many times in the shop what I think the best live album is. In my world the hierarchy of the great live albums goes like this
- Slade Alive !
- Ramones “It’s Alive”
- Hanoi Rocks “All Those Wasted Years”
- Bob Marley & The Wailers “Live!”
- It doesn’t really matter after those 4…and those that make a case for the Allman Brothers, no, OK, just NO!
The first time I heard Hanoi Rocks was live. Live was where Hanoi Rocks made perfect sense and because of that this is probably their best album. Over 4 sides they run you through the “greatest hits” from their 4 studio albums up to that point (“Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks”, “Oriental Beat”, “Self Destruction Blues” and the one you read about yesterday “Back To Mystery City”). All delivered in that atmosphere of fag smoke, hairspray and glitter that seemed to surround them onstage.
After I’d seen them live (also see yesterday) I’m pretty sure my dear friend Phil Barlow told me he had this, their live album, and on hearing it, it confirmed everything I’d thought about them at the Tower Ballroom. Hanoi Rocks were never gonna change the world but if you just wanted a Rockin’ good time then this was the band you needed playing.
Some years later I worked 2 UK tours with a band called Cheap ‘n’ Nasty led by Hanoi Rocks guitarist Nasty Suicide and with Hanoi’s old roadie Timo Kaltio on 2nd guitar. Took me some time to get into them but to be around 2 guys who’d been a part of this whirlwind was a joy, and the stories were glorious. Timo sadly passed away in 2021 but I’ll never forget him greeting anybody and everybody with an enthusiastic “Heeeeey didn’t I meet you in Helsinki ?”
The video below is the first part of the “All Those Wasted Years” video release, you can find the whole show on YouTube if this has intrigued you. Hanoi Rocks were one helluva live band.
Pipeline/Back To Mystery City - https://youtu.be/Ik0n5ZYzl5Y