Michael Monroe – The Best
Release Date: July 7, 2017
Record Label: Spinefarm Records
Michael Monroe made a name for himself as the vocalist for legendary Finnish glam rockers Hanoi Rocks who influenced everyone from Motley Crue to Guns N’ Roses (who blatantly ripped them off). The band never achieved commercial success and after the death of their drummer Razzle (thanks Vince Neil), the band called it quits. While Hanoi Rocks was put to rest, Michael Monroe still had so much to say and do so he launched a solo career. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since the release of Michael Monroe’s debut solo album Nights Are So Long and to celebrate 30 years of making music, Monroe has released a best of compilation. Michael had this to say:
“I’m releasing a compilation of… It’s been thirty years now since my first solo album, ‘Nights Are So Long’, came out, so it’s like a thirty-year-anniversary kind of year. So we’re releasing a best-of of all these years of all my solo albums. It’s twenty-six songs, including the last three, and there’s five bonus tracks, including a new single called ‘One Foot Outta The Grave’, which is also included. There are five bonus tracks, previously unreleased…”
The bonus tracks are a cover of the Steppenwolf classic “Magic Carpet Ride”, “Fist Fulla Dynamite”, “Simpletown”, “It’s A Lie” and finally, an explosive cover song, “Get On” by the Finnish rock legends, Hurriganes. These additions were a great way to round out this compilation by giving us something new along with something old. The album kicks off with a couple of songs from his most commercially popular album Not Fakin’ It and these songs still kick as much ass as they did back when they came out in 1990. “It’s a Lie” featuring Dead Boys guitarist Stiv Bators (RIP) and some of Mike’s signature sax playing. This is such a beautiful song and again shows the depth and the versatility of his material.
“Nights Are So Long” sounds like it could’ve been an amazing Hanoi Rocks song and begin that it was his first solo album, you can feel that he was still channeling and maybe even missing a piece of Hanoi Rocks enough so to take it into his solo material. The rest of this awesome compilation covers a lot of ground and definitely showcases some of Monroe’s best material. The only thing I would have loved to have seen would to have seen the inclusion of “All Nights With the Lights On” but the track listing on this album is so stellar that I can let this one slide.
The Best is definitely the appropriate title for this album as this is truly the best of Michael Monroe. He is a terribly underrated and underappreciated singer/songwriter/musician but those that know of this guy know just how magical his material is. Michael Monroe’s songs are timeless rock n’ roll classics that pull from so many of his early 60’s rock influences. I’ve always wished that one day Monroe would get his due. Maybe he’ll never be in the rock n’ roll hall of fame or win a Grammy but the fact that he’s put out music that moves, inspires, and makes his fans happy should hopefully be the greatest reward of all.