Hanoi Rocks – in session from July of 1984. I will freely admit, Hair-Bands in the 80s weren’t my thing – frankly, there was already enough diversity in Pop music at the time to get excited over a lot of what was going on, and these bands represented, to me anyway, a certain revival of mid-70s Hard Rock/Glam. That’s not to say there weren’t a lot of good bands in this genre – there were. Two bands I did videos for, who I enjoyed working with were Ratt and Sea Hags. Ratt became well known. Sea Hags, not so much. Hanoi Rocks, at the time, was a band I could take or leave. They were from Finland, anglicized their names, were properly androgynous and were popular in the Hair-Band/Heavy Metal genre.
So when I ran across this session, recorded for BBC Radio 1 in 1984, I pretty much blocked out all the preconceived notions I had in my head and just listened to them for the music.
One of the biggest drawbacks during the era of the Music Video was the fact that you really could no longer just listen to the music and judge it on its own terms – you had to have visuals accompany what you were listening to. And most of the time it was distracting – a lot of it was silly – some of it was Art, but most of it was commerce, at least by the later-80s. There was a time when Pop Music fueled imaginations – that you could make up your own visuals in your head and not have it spelled out for you. That became a thing of the past when Music Videos became another marketing tool, picking up the slack from radio, which had fallen down badly on the job.
But all of that is by way of saying I forgot the Hanoi Rocks videos and just listened to the music. And what I came away with was the feeling they were a very capable band, good at what they did. And this session proved to be enjoyable.
You may or may not feel the same way – it depends on what constitutes your nostalgia – where you were and what you were doing at the time you first heard something. It’s different for everybody.
Anyway, give this one a listen – you may love it or you may hate it. You have the Play and Stop buttons at your fingertips.