"The Nottingham Tapes" DVD (Cherry Red; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

This DVD is of a show that was recorded at the Palais in Nottingham, England on April 23, 1984. As this show documents, I think Hanoi Rocks were at the peak of what would ultimately be an all too short first run. This was real glam largely influenced by 1970s acts like the New York Dolls, Alice Cooper and others. Hanoi were a blend of hard rock, pop, punk and others, all tossed together, plus they were far ahead of most of the other 80s acts that most people consider "glam."

This DVD has two of the songs labeled incorrectly on the packaging for some reason, but it's a great show otherwise. Obviously, the band's confidence and flair was over the top by this point and they burst on with "Back to Mystery City." It's a rather tiny stage, but the band just attacks their near 60 minute set, although they do have to watch out not to bump into each other. They bring out all the hooks, shouts, bangs and quirkiness that made their albums so great plus the boys change things up a little as well. 

This was real rock'n'roll as it should be played which means it's highly charged, loud and extremely fun. They easily roll out rockers like "Motorvatin" and "Malibu Beach" plus off kilter slow songs like "Don't You Ever Leave Me" and tracks like "Taxi Driver" which was even a little odd by their standards. 

It's such a shame that this band's prime was cut short as I think these guys were about ready to explode. They could just take songs and twist them, warp them and throw all kinds of oddness into the pot and out would come a very natural progression of sound ... if you were open to it. Very few bands could do that so easily and still make it so enjoyable. 

If you love Hanoi Rocks then you probably already have this on your "to buy" list. If you don't like them then you are certainly missing out and probably have not read this far in my review anyhow. If you have never heard the band, then this DVD is as good a place as any to start as it covers songs from several albums and gives you a good a view of just how great they were.

For more information, check out http://www.hanoirocks.info

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.