The Cherry Red Boxsets / The incendiary promise of Hanoi Rocks

Cherry Red Records have done it again, their ability to release box sets of some of the best albums from the heroes of rock music forever providing the chance to revisit some largely forgotten gems and deeper cuts, alongside the opportunity of replacing old worn-out vinyl and cassettes with CDs.

The Cherry Red Boxsets – Hanoi Rocks

The Days We Spent Underground 1981-1984

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Whilst streaming music may be a quick fix for many, most real music fans crave something tangible and tactile, something that will transport us back to when buying an album was an almost religious experience as the purchase was carefully brought home, put on the music centre of choice and every note, image and lyric was absorbed.

This quartet of delights from Cherry Red lets the listener immerse themselves in a world long left behind due to the stress of mortgages and rising supermarket prices.

Finnish glam punk superstars Hanoi Rocks brought rough-edged chaos that mixed the Stones with the Pistols and added a fine sprinkling of Bowie. Once touted as ‘The Next Big Thing’ by weekly music bible Sounds, the quintet never really broke through in the way they truly should have.

Michael Monroe and Hanoi Rocks, Oriental Beat
Hanoi Rocks

But in The Days We Spent Underground 1981-1984, you can hear their compelling and incendiary promise writ large. Covering their first five albums going from Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, and Hanoi Rocks through to All Those Wasted Years, their blistering force and gloriously ragged approach are clear. 

To enter their world is to lose yourself, Alice in Wonderland-like, down a rabbit hole of smoke, whisky, exotic lagers, colourful scarves, leopard print and unkempt hair.

There are gems scattered throughout, the band leading the way for others to follow, and the immediacy of tracks like Motorvatin’, Malibu Beach Nightmare and Kill City still have the power to thrill. 

With Self Destruction Blues being a compilation of singles and B-sides previously only available in their native Finland that had been released to catch up latecomers to the party and live album All Those Wasted Years perfectly capturing the band in their rawest state at the Marquee Club, this five-disc set is really all you need. 

Michael Monroe - Norwich UEA - 15 February 2023
Michael Monroe – Norwich UEA – 15 February 2023. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

With Michael Monroe still out there keeping their spirit alive with his kinetic shows, this is an essential purchase to capture that era that brought the transition between garage bands and arena fillers.

Hanoi Rocks – The Days We Spent Underground 1981-1984 is available from here.

The Cherry Red Boxsets:

Hanoi Rocks – The Days We Spent Underground 1981-1984

Raven – Faster Than The Speed Of Light

Oliver/Dawson Saxon – Screaming Eagles : The Complete Works

Magnum – Great Adventures : The Jet Years 1978-1983

To read about each at MetalTalk, visit https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/cherry-red-boxset

DISC ONE – Bangkok Shocks Saigon Shakes Hanoi Rocks (1981)
1 Tragedy
2 Village Girl
3 Stop Cryin’
4 Don’t Never Leave Me
5 Lost In The City
6 First Timer
7 Cheyenne
8 11th Street Kids
9 Walking With My Angel
10 Pretender

DISC TWO – Oriental Beat (1982)
1 Motorvatin’
2 Don’t Follow Me
3 Visitor
4 Teenangels Outsiders
5 Sweet Home Suburbia
6 M.C. Baby
7 No Law Or Order
8 Oriental Beat
9 Devil Woman
10 Lightnin’ Bar Blues
11 Fallen Star

DISC THREE – Self Destruction Blues (1982)
1 Love’s An Injection
2 I Want You
3 Cafe Avenue
4 Nothing New
5 Kill City
6 Self Destruction Blues
7 Beer And A Cigarette
8 Whispers In The Dark
9 Taxi Driver
10 Desperados
11 Problem Child
12 Dead By X-Mas

DISC FOUR – Back To Mystery City (1983)
1 Strange Boys Play Weird Openings
2 Malibu Beach Nightmare
3 Mental Beat
4 Tooting Bec Wreck
5 Until I Get You
6 Sailing Down The Tears
7 Lick Summer Love
8 Beating Gets Faster
9 Ice Cream Summer
10 Back To Mystery City

DISC FIVE – All Those Wasted Years (1983)
1 Pipeline
2 Oriental Beat
3 Back To Mystery City
4 Motorvatin’
5 Until I Get You
6 Mental Beat
7 Don’t Never Leave Me
8 Tragedy
9 Malibu Beach Nightmare
10 Visitor
11 11th Street Kids
12 Taxi-Driver
13 Lost In The City
14 Lightning Bar Blues
15 Beer And A Cigarette
16 Under My Wheels
17 I Feel Alright
18 Train Kept A Rolling

Sleeve Notes

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