Skip to main content

The 10 best songs recorded by Hanoi Rocks between 1981–1984

The best of everything, every day on

During the mid '80s, if you were to walk down Hollywood's Sunset Strip and lob a can of hairspray in any direction, you'd probably hit a band influenced by Hanoi Rocks.

The Helsinki glam rock quintet released five studio albums in quick succession – kicking off with their 1981 debut Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks – before parting ways in 1985, following the tragic death of drummer Nicholas 'Razzle' Dingley.

Vocalist Michael Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy reunited in 2001 and continued for a further eight years, before bringing the band to an end with a series of six sold-out hometown shows. Here, Monroe picks the 10 best Hanoi Rocks songs recorded during that proflific 80s period... 

TRAGEDY (Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks, 1981)
“This was the first song on our first album and it really sums up our career. Sadly. I suppose you could say it became prophetic, given what happened to us. But it is a good rock 'n' roll song. It's actually one of the first songs we ever wrote, so it went right back to the start of our career. I don't actually think Andy McCoy really knew what he was doing on guitar. But it worked!”

ORIENTAL BEAT (Oriental Beat, 1982)
“I have to admit the production here wasn't very good. But there's something about the song that's just so colourful. It has an attitude that summed us up. In those days, there were so few musicians with tattoos, so I thought I was cool and different having one, which comes through in this song. If I'd have known that everyone would end up having tattoos, then I probably wouldn't have bothered – ha!”

MOTORVATIN' (Oriental Beat, 1982)
“I wrote half of this. The idea suddenly came to me, and I took it to Andy and together we got it into shape. The title is Andy's tribute to Chuck Berry, and you can hear that influence in the song. It's got a great rock 'n' roll feel.”

MENTAL BEAT (Back to Mystery City, 1983)
“Typical of Hanoi. We did it with no real idea of what we were doing. Originally we did it in a calypso rhythm. I'd compare it to something you might expect Ian Dury to come up with. But one day we were sitting on a tour bus, and Andy suddenly suggested we do it in a Ramones style. So, off we went and it changed the whole mood of the song.”

Get Involved

Trending Features