New York Dolls - New York Dolls (Cover Artwork)

New York Dolls

New York Dolls (1973)


"From New York. The New York Dolls emerged in the post-rock pre-punk early-'70s welter of glam-rock, championing trash, androgyny, old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, drugs, and fun. They were much loved as a live act but somehow the point never quite made it to vinyl. Still, they knew their place and worked it well -singer David Johansen looked back to Mick Jagger and forward to Axl Rose, while his compadre Johnny Thunders did the same with Keith Richards and Slash. They had that seductive, unruly, swaggering poise about them; that much, anyway, has survived." -- quote from someone that I don't remember

The New York Dolls were THE glam band. To my knowledge, they were the first ever full-blown cross-dressing musicians. They were managed by low-life money-grubber Malcolm McLaren who, of course, went on to "create" the Sex Pistols and then claim he created "punk" (much like Al Gore saying "I invented the internet."). Musically they were no-nonsense, straight up balls-to-the-wall rock 'n' roll. I guess I should skip all the crap and head right into the review.

The opening track on the New York Doll's self-titled debut is the classic tune "Personality Crisis". The song starts out with a howl of "ooowwww-oooooo yea, yea, yea" then counters with a personality confliction "no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no". This song is a classic New York Doll's song, possibly their best. "And you're a prima ballerina on a spring afternoon. Change on into the wolfman howlin at the moon hooowww"

"When I say I'm in love, you best believe I'm in love. L - U - V." starts out the song "Looking For A Kiss". The topic of love is the favorite song topic of the New York Dolls, nothing surprising from a group of cross-dressing drug addicts, right? Straight up rock 'n' roll here, "Listen when I tell ya, you got no time for fix // Cus I just gotta make it, cant afford to miss // And there's one reason, I'm tellin you this // I feels bad.... // And I'm lookin for a kiss."

"Vietnamese Baby" is another definite one of my favorite Dolls songs. The music is "doomy" and the searing riffs mixed with the overdriven drums after each verse build on the songs strength, as do the spiteful lyrics.

"Lonely Planet Boy" is a very soft, quiet acoustic song. I can't say I care for it all too much.

Up comes another great song, the original version of "Frankenstein", the better of the two versions. Over 6 minutes of heartache and teen angst.

"Trash" is probably the catchiest, or at least tied with "Personality Crisis" as the catchiest, Dolls song. The lyrics are basically one verse repeated, altered slightly each time. Perhaps that is why it is so catchy? Actually, it is the rockin' rhythm of the song that makes it catchy.

"A new bad girl, who get on my block // I gave her my keys, said don't bother to knock // I said c'mon, ya got what I need // I said come on, don't make my heart bleed" are the lyrics that open "Bad Girl". I think that is all that needs to be said.

"Subway Train" is one of the slower songs on this album. "Ever since I been // Ridin, right on the // Subway Train // You can hear the whistle blowin // Ya might think I'm insane"

"Pills" is yet another classic New York Dolls song. You may be wondering why there are so many classic Dolls songs. It is because they are fucking awesome. Harmonica charged raunch rock. "As I was lyin in a hospital bed // A rock n roll nurse go into my head // She says, hold ya arm boys, stick out ya tounges // I gots some pills I'm gonna give you some." "A little pill for my legs, but that didn't ache // I tried some pills for my heart, but a little to late // Got some pills for my love, try to get me at ease // when a rock n roll nurse shook me down to my knees."

"Private World" features an exceptionally odd intro for the Dolls. The rest of the music sticks out a bit when compared to the rest of the music. The song is a plea for a private world, which is probably fairly obvious to anyone with a working brain. " The club starts shakin, its ready to crumble. The boys start dukin, lookin for a rumble. I need a private world."

The album rounds out with "Jet Boy", a song about a jet boy who stole his girl.
" Jet Boys fly
Jet Boys gone
Jet Boy stole my baby
Flyin around New York City so high
Like he was my baby

Well, that's it. Nothing more to see here folks, move along. In fact, move to the record store and get this album, because it is one of the best rock albums of all time.

For more reviews and stuff, check out Mediaocre Industries. We are so punk that we make Black Flag look like The Go-Gos.