Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hanoi Rocks - Two Steps From the Move

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Two Steps From the Move, the fourth studio album from the Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks. It was the final album recorded before the death of drummer Razzle in a car accident near the end of 1984.

Side one begins with a rousing cover of the 1970 Creedence Clearwater Revival hit “Up Around the Bend”. As a single, this version hit number 61 on the UK charts. I like the energy that the band puts into this one, with just enough spin to make it stand up along side the original.

“High School” is a rapid-fire tirade for the band’s teenaged fan base. What student didn’t feel some frustration during those four years? Okay, I did not have any major issue with the establishment itself (mine came from some of the other students). Still, it is a fun song.

Ian Hunter co-wrote “I Can’t Get It” with Andy McCoy and Bob Ezrin of the band. It has a much more angst-filled attitude than the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and a heavier groove too.

“Underwater World”, the second single, went to number 85 in the UK. It has a gritty vibe to it - very urban. It is said that Guns ‘n’ Roses derived the title of their song “Welcome to the Jungle” from a line in the chorus of this song.

The single for the heartbreaking ballad “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” went to number 92 in the UK and number 6 in Poland.

Side two starts with “Million Miles Away”, a song that started out as being about McCoy’s former girlfriend but later took on an additional meaning after Razzle’s death. Lead singer Michael Monroe provides the saxophone solo here. The change up around the 3:10 mark was a little bit unexpected on my first listen through, but it does work.

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” details the fallout from letting drugs take over your life.

“Boiler” has an upbeat blues rhythm to it.

“Futurama” is a full-out, rock throw down. Just try to stay still when this one is on; I bet you can’t. I liked this track a lot.

The album closes with “Cutting Corners”, a song about finding little ways to get through life easier. Again, another fun track to listen to.

I got into listening to Hanoi Rocks about five years ago, and that’s when the singles from Two Steps From the Move first hit my digital music library. Prior to that, I really only knew some of their songs from the occasional video on MTV back in the mid-80’s. I will likely snag a few more of these tracks at some point down the road.

For more Hanoi Rocks on the blog, click here.

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