After the innermost journey, it seems about right we should engage with ‘Satans helpers, War Lazer Eyes And The Money Pig Circus’. Confused? Relax, sit back, and take a deep breath its only an album title.

I’ll set the picture for you, Sami Yaffa managed to turn in the album of the year when he released his debut solo album in 2021. It had everything and confirmed with many of us how fuckin talented the guy is. Not content with being the coolest bass player on the planet or playing on some of the best records ever he had to go and write produce sing and play on a solo album that was so fuckin good it was almost unfathomable. Roll on a couple of years and Mr Yaffa is back in the ring and taking precision shots again like the heavyweight player he is.

The first glimpse into album number two was the Iggyfied ‘Crashing Down’ and with a confident swagger, Sami was on top of his game with another earworm that sounded so good it made me grin for days. Excited at what was coming down the line and the first taste was exactly what I wanted to hear. Such is Samis laid back demeanour is infectious and engaging and it puts the listener in the best frame of mind for listening to some of the finest music currently being laid down anywhere by anyone.

The title track rolls in on a cool countrified lick that gathers pace before exploding into widescreen as Yaffas well worn, warm vocal wraps itself around you like a warm comforting blanket and the opening of this much-anticipated album is done.

‘Silver Or Lead’ rattles in off the back of the widescreen opener with a sharp, stripped back song with plenty of punch and gang vocals on the chorus but it’s the arrangement that gives the song an air of excitement that draws you the listener in. ‘Hurricane Hank’ is one cool motherfucker by the swagger of his soundtrack. A cool bluesy lick is held by some cool keyboard rattling over a rapid fuzzed guitar.

One thing Yaffa is clearly gifted is the ability to change pace and style yet keep it perfectly on point whatever the style so ‘Death Squad’ is the first glimpse of the reggae skank we had on that first record and it’s here with the keyboard slap with rhythmic stabs to groove alongside the skank of that clean guitar with its bluesy licks.

‘Down Home’ is laid on a bed of acoustic guitar chords and a warm pained vocal. It’s not quite a ballad but has a gentler hand maybe more Americana in the vein of say Jesse Malin at the top of his game. In contrast ‘Shitshow’ is rockin’ out at its finest from the storming the gates guitar break that’s scorching the speakers as it bursts through. No time for finery or complicated arrangments it’s heads down and lets rock! Some wonderful piano fills and backing vocals to accompany this rocka.

Whilst we’re deep into the record we have the first single that dropped several weeks ago ‘Crashing Down’ and it still sounds like the best song Iggy never wrote anytime over the last thirty years. ‘Chemical Life’ has the funk pulsing through the bassline sounding like an adventure through the NYC underbelly from the keys and that funkified bass to the cool lyric and fucked up flavours created by the brass and percussion exploding all over the place. A fantastic song and even after so few plays it sounds like a track to delve into for years to come.

A more varied album than his debut and touching upon all his previous bands and roles within bands Sami Yaffa has really spread his wings on ‘Satans Helpers’ there is perhaps a supreme confidence happening here before our eyes and ears and the off-kilter groove of ‘Far Star’ is his most varied offering yet. It could have been offered up to Harry and Chris Stein around the time they were eating to the beat it has that LES charm as the mist rolls in off the Hudson it might turn out to be the record’s buried gem the more play I give this, Only time will tell.

The record is almost done and already I’m excited to do it all again and see what pops out of my speakers on the next play. ‘Faster Than Me’ has a carefree vibe that is like a ray of sunshine after the storm. You know that satisfying smug feeling when you’ve looked forward to a new record and it absolutely doesn’t disappoint, well, ‘Satans Helper’ is exactly that record. I think it’s safe to say that Sami Yaffa will once again be challenging for the album of the year title such is the quality of this album after only a few plays.

Now, go and ask your local record store to get you a copy of ‘Satans Helpers, Warlazer Eyes & The Money Pig Circus’ it might just be the best record you buy in 2024 and you can quote me on that!

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Author: Dom Daley

Completists and people who have never heard of Hanoi Rocks keep reading. Everyone else not curious please look away and yes I know there are complete vinyl box sets out there as well as several one-stop box sets but there’s always room for another Hanoi Rocks catch-all set.

What we have here is a very neat and tidy summary of the world’s bestust band and all their hard work in one clamshell box spread over five CD’s. For those well rounded individuals who always knew Hanoi Rocks were the greatst band to emerge from the beautiful 1980s their musical output might well have been flawed and it moght well have been scatterguned over the early to mid eighties but they never dipped below better than anything else you were listening to and they alway did things differently to other bands and they were such an underated bunch of reprobates to ever lay down music.

It always makes me laugh when people say it’s music for fans of Guns N Roses or they were a glam band because your average supermarket music-buying Guns fan or your die-hard glam fan wouldn’t have a clue. Call me a music snob but Hanoi was far more than a glam band and it was they who influenced Guns n Roses and a whole bunch of tripe that was to follow in the decade of decadence. Hanoi was a rock n roll band who were more influenced by punk and what went before them in the 70s – a perfect mix of The Clash and T Rex as well as adding equal measures of early Japan with Chuck Berry they had Jaggers swagger and the elegance of Bowie and weren’t afraid to mix it up from disc on and the magnificent bass drum count in of ‘Tragedy’ with the familiar Yaffa rumble it has never ever lost its flavour. A youthful Monroe leads this bunch of renegades through a magnificent album with all its imperfections and charming backing vocals it’s still the beating heart of a magnificent journey and an album I’ve never tired of.

The skank of ‘Village Girl’ to the teary ‘Don’t You Ever Leave Me’. The Harmonica honk of ‘Lost In The City’ is still a magnificent blast of youthful energy – the levels are everywhere the mix is chaotic but that was the appeal, too fast too young too fuckin beautiful. McCoy’s vocals howling over the top is brilliant and the energy that drives on this record. Who else was doing songs like ‘Cheyanne’? it’s beautiful from the bv’s to the drum pound and runs down of the Yaffa bassline to the strain on Monroe’s vocals its still one of the greatest debut albums ever. I’ll fight anyone who disagrees.

The recent Svart real mix of ‘Oriental Beat’ this one brings on mixed feelings for me now and I wish and hope the others get the same treatment if it’s available. ‘Motorvatin’ is still a banger which is why it’s still prominent in today’s Monroe set. ‘No Law Or Order’ is still one of the best songs Strummer never wrote. Ending with ‘Falling Star’ was and is a tear-jerker of the finest order.

I’m trying to imagine what it must be like to take the plunge and hear these albums as one package for the first time and not have to wait in real time over half a decade for them to unfold. My memory is foggy due to the fact it’s 40 years ago (holy shit, but I’m still here) ‘Self Destruction Blues’ was or shouldn’t have ever been but thank god it did. A million miles away from the debut production-wise and songwriting wise but hell, it still gives me chills playing these songs loudly and whilst I might not have played some of these songs for years when I do I still get that feeling of “hell, what a band, what a record” how weren’t these one of the biggest bands on the planet?

Disc four is obviously ‘Back To Mystery City’ and where they truly hit their stride – every one a banger from ‘Malibu Beach’ through ‘Tooting Bec Wreck’ to the beautiful ‘Until I Get You’ one of the finest soft songs for tough guys ever written. Razzles’ touch and understanding of what was needed on the loud ballad is exceptional. ‘Lick Summer Love’ is awesome and sets the tone for the spectacular ‘Beating Gets Faster’ deep dive classics I think the kids would call these album tracks that don’t get the oxygen they deserve.

This box set might be a time capsule and something awesome to discover but to hear ‘Mystery City again for the first time whilst pawing over the artwork would be priceless and some kid is going to discover that when they pick this up in a record store or online. Imagine hearing ‘All Those Wasted Years’ for the first time and wishing you were forty years older haha! what a beautiful thought ‘Taxi Driver’ Boom heads gone!

Maybe if this had had a sixth disc full of unheard demos or lost tracks it would sell like hotcakes to the Hanoi (de)generation looking for a fix. If you know a kid whos just discovering music and looking for a collection that will blow their mind then this might just be the clamshell all encompassing boxset you need. If for no other reason other than being a completist sucker I applaud Cherry Red for keeping the Hanoi heart beating – God bless em and God bless all those who sailed in the good ship Hanoi Rocks you truly were game changes for some of us punks looking for our band. Buy It!

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Author: Dom Daley

The year is 2023 and I’m sat at home waiting for my Hanoi Rocks album to be delivered but with many things you simply have to wait and good things are worth waiting for and any original or should that be classic Hanoi Rocks album is well worth the wait.

I used to be a bit sceptical about bands doing a remaster or remix especially if its a classic album but as I’ve got older I’ve dug deep into some of my favourite records when they’ve had the overhaul treatment, especially some of those half speed jobs from Abbey Road and when I heard the difference Japans ‘Quiet Life’ had or some of the classic ‘Rolling Stones’ records sounding like a different album at times it can be a bit of a head fuck when they’re done well. What lowered my scepticism was hearing the Senseless Things overhaul of ‘The First Of Too Many’ and how much better the new version was compared to the muddy original I was converted and won over in one fell swoop and now I’d happily champion and shell out for a well-done remix/master which has brought us to this hallowed spot and the mighty, unparalleled, unrivalled Hanoi Rocks and this here Svart release of ‘Oriental Beat’.

Delays delays delays, I’ve put off reviewing this album and its re(al)mix but couldn’t wait any longer for my record to turn up so I’ve delved into the digital and sat back with my hands over my face as the virtual needle dropped and ‘Oriental Beat’ hit the ether and blew my fragile tiny mind. Wow, congratulations to Svart for doing something I didn’t think possible. ‘Oriental Beat’ sounds like an album that was released yesterday it’s got volume, punch, new clarity and moments I’d either forgotten about or were never listenable to the human ear. Sweet Baby Jesus! Hallalulija hark the herald angels sing. This is how Hanoi Rocks sound just listen to Sami Yaffa’s bass thumping its way through the title opening track it’s unbelievable. Truly a cut above and those BV’s are exceptional. I’ll admit it’s been a couple of years since I spun this album and when I heard it was being treated to an overhaul I wasn’t sure if Genius should be tampered with but on the evidence, Man I’m converted.

The strangest thing abou tthis version would be the track listing but dropping ‘Motorvatin’ deeper into the album is worth it because once you get your head around the sound the intro is a real highlight. The second Hanoi album saw them becomeing a real unique force sure they still leant on their heroes like the best song the Clash never wrote in ‘No Law No Order’ or the Mick n Keif locked in playing on the epic ‘Teenagels Outsiders’ where I think Monroe sounded amazing. Youthful exuberance and developing a unique style I think he’d really come into his own here and the saxophone use was and still is exceptional and I never understood why it wasn’t used more in punk rock when Hanoi used it it was brilliant as it was for bands like The Lords Of The New Church and Johnny Thunders but Hanoi were different, they used it best of all.

The groove and open-heart honesty of McCoys playing on ‘Sweet Home Suburbia’ is incredible the sustain is almost visual. I can’t express how much better this version is and once I get used to the track listing all will be well in the world and I will start to get on to whoever I have to to see if the master tapes for other albums are available for this sort of treatment. I don’t think I’m saying anything outrageous here but this album has only gone to cement how vital each member of the band was and how integral and truly amazing Yaffa was to the sound of the band. There are moments I haven’t fully appreciated before and some of the walking bass lines are majestic ‘Lightnin’ Bar Blues’ as is the harmonica of Monroe on ‘Devil Woman’. The band should be rightfully proud of this project its an emotional and exceptional piece of work that is an absolute must heart for any fan old or new it is worth every single penny and some. Special praise must also go to Petri Majuri for his input into this project and his exceptional work of drawing out the demons and replacing them with angels’ wings ‘Oriental Beat’ is already one of the best albums ever and is now even better – Buy this record!

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Author: Dom Daley

35th Anniversary 3CD Box Set featuring a remixed version with extra tracks, the live version, the original album plus a 36-page booklet and the reinstated ‘Tie Me Up’

Coming September 11th – FULL TRACKLISTING and PRE-ORDER HERE
The 1985 studio album – ‘Resurrected’ – revamped with two new tracks plus six bonus outtakes, all remixed by The Vibrators’ Pat Collier.
Disc 2 is ‘Que Sera Sera – live in Europe’ – 18 mostly unreleased recordings, 1984-85.
Disc 3 is the original album mix and related single tracks.
Packaged in a clam-shell box with a 36-page booklet featuring new notes by Johnny’s biographer Nina Antonia, plus lyrics and unseen photos

In 1985 Johnny Thunders went into the studio in London, to record his third and final solo album. He gathered friends Mike Monroe, Patti Palladin, John Perry, Wilko Johnson, Henri-Paul Tortosa, Nasty Suicide, JC Carroll, Stiv Bators, Glen Matlock and others, and the resulting album was christened ‘Que Sera, Sera’.

It wasn’t all plain sailing – with Johnny it rarely was. Johnny had spent the previous two years in relative stability. He’d been gigging around the world, and between tours he was filming in France. Life was a series of nice apartments and hotels shared with his constant companions – his girlfriend Susanne and his manager Christopher.

Now circumstances meant he had neither. Without a new release, touring slowed, and his high-maintenance lifestyle led him to seek friend favours for somewhere to live. The major labels that Christopher hoped would provide financial support hadn’t materialised.

In a row with Susanne, she complained that Johnny had never written a song for her. Johnny obliged, and along with new songs from his live set, he recorded I Only Wrote This Song for You. Before the album was finished, as soon as he had a rough monitor mix of the song, he flew to Sweden to attempt a reconciliation.

Those remaining at the studio were left to put the pieces together. Patti Palladin oversaw the mixing with the engineer, and found there wasn’t really enough for an album. Patti added Tie Me Up from the b-side of her Crawfish project, and Blame It On Mom was found from an earlier session. The title-track was actually an afterthought; recorded as a single 16 months later.

The album was well-received, and it got Johnny touring again, but there was always a sense that it could have been better, and that the guitar was restrained – in ’85 many artists were seeking mainstream crossover. Two tracks had been left off – Jerry Nolan’s Countdown Love song was unused as he hadn’t yet recorded it; and Talk About You, a lengthy blues workout that didn’t seem to fit.

With those two tracks in mind as bonus tracks for a reissue, Pat Collier, former Vibrators’ guitarist, was asked to mix them. When the results came through, it became obvious that Pat should remix the whole album using today’s technology and viewpoint.

In the multi-track tapes a few outtakes were discovered, and last year the ‘Resurrected’ version was released as a Record Store Day double-vinyl with 5 bonus live tracks. After interruptions, the CD version was reappraised and expanded to a three-disc box set. The original album is included, reinstating Tie Me Up and the old, familiar mixes. Three live gigs were uncovered, and they became the live version of the album as a bonus CD.

Johnny Thunders’ biographer, Nina Antonia, has written new notes with interviews for the 36-page booklet. It also includes lyrics and unseen photos from the recording sessions, the cover session and from one of the featured live gigs.

Tracks:
DISC 1: Resurrected: Alone In A Crowd, Countdown Love, Blame It On Mom, Talk About You, M.I.A., Little Bit Of Whore, Short Lives, I Only Wrote This Song For You, Cool Operator, Billy Boy, Endless Party, Que Sera Sera. Extras: Copy Cat, Blame It On Mom (outtake),Taking You Up Avenue D, Short Lives (outtake), I Only Wrote This Song For You (outtake), Cool Operator (first version).
DISC 2: Live in Europe: Geneva: Blame It On Mom, M.I.A., Cool Operator, Personality Crisis, Countdown Love, Little Bit of Whore, Amsterdam: Short Lives, So Alone, Sad Vacation, Too Much Junkie Business, Little Bit of Whore, Born To Lose, Chinese Rocks, Lyon: Countdown Love, Just Another Girl, Talk About You, Alone In A Crowd, It’s Alright (Blame It On Mom). (74 mins)
DISC 3: The original album: Short Lives, M.I.A., I Only Wrote This Song For You, Little Bit of Whore, Cool Operator, Blame It On Mom, Tie Me Up, Alone In A Crowd, Billy Boy, Endless Party. Extras: Cool Operator (Black Cat mix), Short Lives (Heavenly ver.), Short Lives (Johnny’s remix), Que Sera Sera

Way back in the mists of time there were records that got released that a small collection of people went absolutely nuts over much to the bemusement of the rest of the population and still to this day some bands – records are the things of legend and that first Fallen Angels album can certainly be placed into that bracket somewhere near the top if you please.  Sharing the same management and having the stars align meant Knox could have what some (me included) to have the dream team rhythm section helping knock these tunes into shape that would eventually make up The ‘Fallen Angels’ album.  It originally surfaced early 84  after being recorded late 83.  Fallout records released it The band consisted of Knox, Sami Yaffa, Razzle, Nasty Suicide Knox cousin Richard Wernham (The Motors), Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy also guested on the recordings.

The sleeve notes are the same as those used on the CD reissue in 2006 but this RSD exclusive has an extra two tracks to that CD so don’t dismiss this out of hand because those of us who know – know right? Right!

Judging by the sleeve notes it was a bit of a riot recording this and those Hanoi boys had a ball as Sami testifies but lets not gloss over their efforts here because those kids could play and whilst they did like to indulge they were also extremely talented players and Knox knew this and with the rock and roll songs he’d written they would lend themselves perfectly to each other.  From the single ‘Inner Planet Love’ to the ‘Chinese Rocks’ of ‘Rain Rain Rain’ its blistering stuff.

What’s not to love about the snotty ‘Runaround’ and the magnificent ‘Amphetamine Blue’ probably the definitive version right here edging it due to Razzles sense of rhythm and his floor tom rolls having said that how he managed it with Yaffa and Nasty trying to put him off god only knows. The album proper finished with the melancholic ‘Vipers In The Dark’ with its acoustic strum which just about wrapped up an absolute 24 carrot album from the middle of the ’80s make no mistake about that and seeing as its celebrating its 35th year this year why not bring it back for more people to enjoy.

This version pulls in the singles and B sides over the two discs and to complete the set and make this the definitive copy it also has the 12″ version of ‘Inner Planet Love’ and the 7″ version of ‘Amphetamine Blue’ oh and it does come pressed on a couple of lovely coloured records.  Make this one you head straight for on RSD on forever kick yourself its a belter! The biggest shame is the line up never got to play these songs live now that would have been something.

Author: Dom Daley

Website: Here

How about every Monday morning RPM brings you some of our favourite videos, call it Three of the best. Banish those weekend blues and back to the daily grind as we bring you classics – New videos – exclusives and just ones we love.

 

We won’t waffle on but let the music do the talking. First up this killer Demolition 23 live performance of ‘Hammersmith Palais’

If that didn’t put a smile on your face then get a load of this old classic from Steve Marriott and his beat combo The Small Faces with ‘Tin Soldiers’

Why not wrap this up with a much maligned period of the band but not in my book.  with two of the businesses finest barnets Keif and Ronnie were peerless but Mick was and still is the man.  Star fuckers indeed.  Happy Monday folks!