Written By Braddon S. Williams

New York Dolls

A pivotal album in the development of both glam and punk rock, New York Dolls (1973), the self titled debut by the outrageous cross dressing rockers from the Big Apple, served as absolute proof that, musically speaking, less could certainly be more.

In an era when musicians were becoming more and more accomplished and songs were growing complex and sometimes interminably long, the New York Dolls distilled rock ‘n roll to the essence of rhythm, attitude, and basics.

The critics loved them, but the masses didn’t catch on, probably more due to their visual look than their wildly energetic and edgy sonic attack.

With such future classics as Personality Crisis, Trash, Jet Boy, Looking For A Kiss, Pills (a Bo Diddley cover filtered through a sleazy New York sensibility), and Viatnamese Baby, the Dolls influenced so many legendary acts in their wake.

Everyone from Kiss to the Ramones and The Sex Pistols owed a debt to the path that David Johansen, Johnny Thunders, Sylvain Sylvain, Arthur “Killer” Kane, and Jerry Nolan forged as the gloriously decadent New York Dolls.


Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

1974 was the year this amazing album of gloriously decadent rock ‘n’ roll from the New York Dolls dropped on a public that mostly ignored it at the time. It has grown into a cult classic throughout the years, being instrumental in the formative years of punk, glam, and what would eventually morph into hair metal. The Dolls were the real deal, a direct link between The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith, with a dash of Alice Cooper and a whole lot of attitude. The mix on this album is so raw and in your face, with Johnny Thunders’ guitar just gloriously ragged and vicious. David Johansen’s vocals and lyrics presented a streetwise, intelligent fan of fashion and classic movies, wrapped in a Big Apple vision of Jagger from the gutter. Classic tracks include the pummeling Human Being (later lovingly covered by Guns ‘n’ Roses), Stranded In The Jungle, Babylon, and Chatterbox (with Thunders on sneering lead vocals). All in all, an album that I have never stopped listening to in all these many years. Long live the Dolls!

Written By: Braddon S. Williams

“Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind!”