CD Reviews

Michael Monroe - 'Best Of...' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 08, 2018    
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A wonderful document of Rock 'n' Roll history.

Michael Monroe is celebrating thirty years of his "solo" career. Yes, that is his solo career and doesn't include Hanoi Rocks, which means he's actually spent more time making music outside, rather than inside, the band where he originally made his name. The good news is there's still plenty to shout about from his solo career. Guns N' Roses acknowledged his greatness and that fact, given they're a pretty irreverent bunch, makes him rather cool indeed – a living legend in fact.

Although this is technically a compilation of his solo work since he left Hanoi Rocks, it also includes material from Demolition 23 and there's so much to cover. It's a double album jam packed full of tasty stuff, not just music, but also full lyrics in a well-designed booklet with plenty of great shots of the man himself to raise the blood pressure of the most sanguine of Rock chicks.

Blasting off with 'Dead Jail Or Rock 'N' Roll', this is probably Monroe's defining Rock anthem, it's timeless and kicks ass, and if you don't have a copy then this alone is a reason to buy the record. Axl Rose doesn't generally appear in other people's videos, but the fact that he did for this song shows you it's something special. Little Steven can also be found on backing vocals. There are four Demolition 23 tracks on the first disc including Punk style epics like 'Hammersmith Palais' and 'Nothin's Alright'. These are both pretty much a permanent fixture in Monroe's killer live show for very a good reason. The latter is a genius song on the theme of how your family really "fuck you up" to quote another poet. In truth, both songs are a celebration of Rock 'n' Roll and recognition that without a little sand in the mix there's no grit in the oyster to rub and this album truly is a pearl.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The second disc shows you how much of a Rock 'n' Roll party Monroe has continued to have with the recent and current incarnations of his band. Songs like 'Trick Of The Wrist' and '78' (featuring Ginger Wildheart), 'Ballad Of The Lower East Side' (featuring Dregen – Backyard Babies) and 'Old Kings Road' are every bit as good if not better than what Monroe did in Hanoi Rocks. It must be great for him to know he is releasing this compilation still at the top of his game. Slash gave permission for his collaboration with Monroe on 'Magic Carpet Ride' – the Steppenwolf song – to go on the album (an unreleased version not used for the 'Coneheads' movie soundtrack) and there are other rarities and outtakes including a version of 'It's A Lie' with Stiv Bators (Monroe's mentor) which is close to his heart unsurprisingly following Bators passing and his influence on Monroe's career. Finally, the compilation has the last single 'Goin' Down With The Ship' and the new single 'One Foot Outta The Grave'.

This compilation is not only for the newbie who wants to discover Monroe, it's been thoughtfully and lovingly put together for aficionados of Michael Monroe's work. With almost thirty tracks mixing classics as well as new stuff for old fans, there's something for everybody as well as being a wonderful document of Rock 'n' Roll history.

Dawn Osborne

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