Archetypal “band who the bands you like like” for me. Had so much fun listening to this and can see the influence it had on so many bands I’m in to. Regret not having listened to them before.
New York Dolls is the debut album by the American hard rock band New York Dolls. It was released on July 27, 1973, by Mercury Records. In the years leading up to the album, the Dolls had developed a local fanbase by playing regularly in lower Manhattan after forming in 1971. However, most music producers and record companies were reluctant to work with them because of their vulgarity and onstage fashion as well as homophobia in New York; the group later appeared in exaggerated drag on the album cover for shock value. After signing a contract with Mercury, the Dolls recorded their first album at The Record Plant in New York City with producer Todd Rundgren, who was known for his sophisticated pop tastes and held a lukewarm opinion of the band. Despite stories of conflicts during the recording sessions, lead singer David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain later said Rundgren successfully captured how the band sounded live. The resulting music on the album – a mix of carefree rock and roll, influences from Brill Building pop, and campy sensibilities – explores themes of urban youth, teen alienation, adolescent romance, and authenticity, as rendered in Johansen's colloquial and ambiguous lyrics. New York Dolls was met with widespread critical acclaim but sold poorly and polarized listeners. The band proved difficult to market outside their native New York and developed a reputation for rock-star excesses while touring the United States in support of the album. Despite its commercial failure, New York Dolls was an influential precursor to the 1970s punk rock movement as the group's crude musicianship and youthful attitude on the album challenged the prevailing trend of musical sophistication in popular music, particularly progressive rock. Among the most acclaimed albums in history, it has since been named in various publications as one of the best debut records in rock music and one of the greatest albums of all time.
Archetypal “band who the bands you like like” for me. Had so much fun listening to this and can see the influence it had on so many bands I’m in to. Regret not having listened to them before.
I imagine I have listened to the New York Dolls before, but I didn’t recognize anything on the first listen. This sounds a bit like The Rolling Stones gussied up with lipstick and a chainsaw. The album cover drew me in immediately and perfectly reflects the rough and raw contents right down to the can of Schlitz next to the high-heel clogs. I love it… and I like to think I could make it with Frankenstein!
I don't think I've ever actually heard these guys before, although heaps of bands I like rate them. Ok it sounds like a punkier version of the rolling stones, which is about what I expected I guess. But it's catchy in that "fun enough sleaze rock that I would never accuse of being fantastic" kinda way. And it really drives home just how unoriginal Faster Pussycat was, hahaha. 3/5.
The epitome of the New York punk scene, absolutely L-U-V this album.
Sleazy as fuck, messy, trashy and raunchy. The Dolls’ sound was a powerhouse of glam-rock swagger, bluesy attitude, proto punk looseness and 60s rock’n’roll homage. It’s this fusion that gives the record its edge, its timeless sound, and is the essence of its influence and legacy across the decades. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun.
This album just annoys me. Not because it's awful; it's fine. It's whatever. The musical equivalent of the color beige contained in a light punk record. But this was just another album that made me think "I don't understand this lists obsession with bland classic rock" It's like this list went to a used record store, grabbed every single record out of the Classic Rock section as is, and just pasted all those albums into a "1,000 must listen to albums" list, and then occasionally sprinkling in a jazz or electronic album to seem more well-rounded; but it comes across as so token. So you're left with a list that is pretty much a boomer's nostalgia trip that thinks "back in MY day, we had REAL music; now let me put on KISS and AC/DC" with a surface level nod to a different genre 1 out of every 10 albums. I do not need another band that is just the Great Value version of Dylan/Strokes/Stooges/Doors for the umpteenth time here. I've had enough of that for a lifetime at this point in this list.
this slaps hard. good one!
10/10 heard this for the first time today, but I really think this is one of the best punk albums I’ve ever heard perfect from beginning to end
What can you say. It's iconic? Sure is. Utterly irreverent? That's obvious. It changed the music we know today? Wait really. Oh yeah. Without the New York Dolls, there is no punk and new wave. Without punk and new wave, we're still listening to arena rock and suffering through endless drum solos. This album changed everything.
I can understand how they inspired so many punk acts that followed. Good history lesson into the genera
I listened to 2 songs and got bored. Listened to the Smiths instead.
Who knew Americans could do punk?
great stuff, great hair
Iconic, cool, and tradition-breaking Glam rock masterpiece.
mid-70's Big Hair Rock & Roll
ну оказалось лучше чем я думал, даже мне как челу не рокеру зашло
Now this is more like it! rock and roll! woo-hoo! I so enjoyed this record. it's raw, and dangerous, and rock and roll, and funny, and offensive, and everything I want from a rock and roll record. It has dead-set classic songs (Personality Crisis, Trash, Looking for a Kiss), some songs I already loved (Subway Train), and few that I am now just learning to love (bad Girl, Frankenstein). Loved this record. play it real loud!
Wasn't expecting this. Absolute rammer
Nice 70s rock vibes
No punk without the Dolls. Not surprised to see Todd Rungrens name over this either, hes been a common denominator in a few 4 and 5 star albums lately
Trash, don’t pick it up, take them lights away
Crap! Why have I never listened to this? So much pure energy coming from this band. They could power Vegas for a few years.
This is very enjoyable. A classic?
Some foundational rock and roll there!
One of the most powerful end revolutionary albums in the history of music where almost every track is a masterpiece and the others are also beautiful and where the music is as perfect as the ideas behind it. Fantastic record from the start to the finish!
One of the most influential and important bands of my music listening career. Paved the way for Glam, Punk, and Post-Punk.
Fun love the guitar
A wonderfully punky glam-rock album that slaps hard! Really enjoyed this and will be coming back to it. Favourite: Trash
The New York Dolls. F*ing Rock and Roll baby.
Pre punk Glam Rock. Don't ya love the can of Schlitz in the cover art? This just makes me wanna get surly. Influenced so many bands. I just love this thing.
The archaeopteryx of rock. Like how the paradigm-smashing fossil established the evolutionary connection between the dinosaurs and the birds, the New York Dolls are the missing link between so much of 70s rock. Along with the hard rock instrumentation, the most obvious strand to their DNA is glam: just look at the cover. But this is not the elegant, new aristocracy glam of Bowie and Roxy Music, but a base, trashy glam of crassness, crapulence and good bad taste. This trash glam had its cohorts in Jayne County and its progeny in the Cramps and, later, hair metal (Guns N Roses covered the Dolls' Human Being on "The Spaghetti Incident?"?. But combine that trash glam with short, fast, raucous and devilish music, and the resultant mutation is late 70s punk rock (Malcolm McLaren managed the New York Dolls for a short while, ludicrously trying to give the Dolls a communist image). This punk link has led many acts, particularly British ones, to cite the Dolls on the educational section of their CVs. Indeed, the New York Dolls are Morrissey's favourite band, and he once wrote a fan history of the group and got the surviving members to reunite at a festival he was curating. Yet the New York Dolls' bluesiness shows that the main forefathers of the Dolls were the Rolling Stones, and David Johansen's cockwalk is a straight lift from Mick Jagger's peacock strut. Extrapolating their influences further, plenty of the New York Dolls' oeuvre reveals an iron connection to 60s garage rock (the genre-defining garage rock compilation Nuggets came out in 1972). In any case, like the archaeopteryx, the New York Dolls also had a few feathers. Still. historical importance is not the same as quality. Amalgamating so many trends in rock may just mean you don't fully satisfy anyone. Now, I like the New York Dolls, both the band and the album, but I need to digest before I can judge whether I find them filling. Well, let's start squirting some enzymes onto this bad boy. Firstly, the titles are brilliant. Personality Crisis, Looking for a Kiss, Trash, Bad Girl, Pills: those are exactly the names of the songs you want from a band looking like this. You don't put on this record expecting a soundtrack to acupuncture at the spa, you want to hear this while you score (a line or a fuck) in the most mould-encrusted bathroom imaginable. So, on the first front, the New York Dolls win that battle. But the war, as I see it, shall be fought on two fronts: whether the music is good and whether the aesthetic is worthwhile. I know I'm being cautious in my assessment, because I love many of the songs on here, and I love the sleaze of the New York Dolls. I love the idea that the trash, the bums, the losers are the ones having the most fun, with their sucking dick to get some green to blow on Chinese rocks (and yes, I understand the reality is not quite so gleeful). Hell, I prefer the New York Dolls to the Ramones; it's safe, conservative even, to like the Ramones. You don't even need to listen to them, you can just buy the t-shirt. At least the New York Dolls aren't quite so corporate. With hindsight, it's evident that the New York Dolls could only produce at most two albums at their peak. Their stance was not conducive to a sustained career, they were too troubled, the limitations of their skills at the time would have meant their style would have quickly become formulaic. That said, they only produced two albums at their peak, so such counterfactuals are moot. And I'm just reviewing one album here, which happens to be their best. Why am I dancing around instead of praising this album efflusively? Well, the most signifcant flaw to this album is the production. The producer was Todd Rundgren, who by his own admission was not simpatico with the New York Dolls or the juvenile punk movement. As such, the occasional song feels a tad underpowered, but not enough to devalue the songs themselves. But the main reason for my dithering goes back to that list at the beginning of what the New York Dolls were. Yes, they were a crucial fusion of glam, punk, bluesy rock and hard rock, but they were not the best at any of those genres. They were not the best glam group, duh, that was Bowie, with Roxy Music the clear silver medallists. They weren't the best punk groups (the Sex Pistols, who also did trash better), nor even the best American punk group (the Stooges). The best Rolling Stones ripoffs were probably still the Rolling Stones. They were not the hardest rocking band in hard rock, which surely discounts them from the title of best hard rock band. They were not the best New York band (although the standard answer is the Velvet Underground, I'll go for the wondrous Suicide). They weren't the most sordid band of the time (Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, or is it technically Gary Glitter?). They weren't even the best band managed by Malcolm McLaren. You want some superlative to attach to the New York Dolls, but for any adjective you suggest, you can always think of a band who were just a little bit more. After all, does anyone have the archaeopteryx as their favourite dinosaur? Mine's the deinonychus. Still, brilliant album, so 5 stars for that. NoRadio, signing off.
Very good, surprisingly cheeky for being smiths inspo
Hell yeah. Glam rock me.
Whether or not this is ground zero for punk rock is largely irrelevant. What the Dolls accomplish on this record is a youthful exuberance which threatened to change pop music in a very dangerous way. As a diehard (yet reluctant) Morrissey fan, my exposure to the band came largely as a result of the latter's passion for their music. In the mind of one of pop music's most literate voices, this is the pinnacle. The songs are rammed with memorable hooks thanks to Johnny Thunders' ear for a melody, and David Johansen's flamboyant snarl obliterated the boundaries of 'taste' for the next several decades. They were a band ultimately blighted by misfortune, and Todd Rundgren's less than flattering production slightly dulls some of the energy of certain tracks. But this is a bonafide classic - from 'Trash' to 'Subway Train', this is all killer no filler. Enough with the banalities already, it's a five star masterpiece.
This album is a lot of fun. Raucous, trashy proto-punk that never gets old. The music is rough edged and fall-down-the-stairs messy, but served up with humor and sass. The Dolls were destined not to last very long, but wow, what an impression they made. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Trash, Jet Boy, Subway Train, Private World, Vietnamese Baby, Looking for a Kiss, Personality Crisis, Pills, Bad Girl, Lonely Planet Boy, Frankenstein
Protopunk that plays more like the Stones through a glam filter.
Perfect loose RnR!
Rokkaa niin pirusti ja meno vitun punk! 5/5
This album is an incredibly influential one. The aggression and energy in most of the songs would influence punk in the next few years. The bands look would be a major influence on hair bands. Every song is great and still hold up. The album is very striking it really gets your attention. It makes you think what the band will sound like. I’m sure people then were surprised looking at guys who dressed that way, then listened to the album and heard the deep voice of David Johanssen.
One of the main influences in early punk bands and hair metal bands, this album ran so others like "Nevermind the Bollocks" by Sex Pistols and "Appetite for Destruction" by Guns n Roses could takeover their scene. Some great riffs on the album and you can see where other bands have taken influence from them. There's a couple of songs that don't make as much of a mark as others but my only complaint is that they were apparently a massive influence on Morrissey, and I fucking hate Morrissey 😅
Cracking album. Changed the way people looked and music and helped spawn a whole genre.
According to the Apple music blurb: "The Dolls were a sleazier Stones in eye liner." Sounds about right. 5 stars.
One of my all time favourite albums. Ground Zero for a lot of the punk, new wave and hair metal to follow
Yes yes yes
I was familiar with several tracks, but I doubt I've sat down and listened to this whole album all at once before. Classic, seminal, brash. The sound, the look. Massively influential, and fun to listen to or thrash dance pogo around to. Rock and roll, baby!
Now this is more like it! rock and roll! woo-hoo! I so enjoyed this record. it's raw, and dangerous, and rock and roll, and funny, and offensive, and everything I want from a rock and roll record. It has dead-set classic songs (Personality Crisis, Trash, Looking for a Kiss), some songs I already loved (Subway Train), and few that I am now just learning to love (Bad Girl, Frankenstein). Loved this record. Play it real loud!
One of the best debut albums ever. Guitar rock as guitar rock should sound. I like it for exactly the same reason as the debut album of the Ramones - the songs are a bit longer and slower, but the sixties pop influences are very similar.
One of the best albums I’ve listened to on here, had me bumpin.
A near perfect debut and the crucial link between the Stooges and everything NY & London that was soon to come. The songwriting is exceptional, especially considering where these guys came from. The blend of 60's pop with a sort've trashy, unrefined Stones feel in overdrive is genius. Holds up better than much of what happened musically in the late 60's/early 70's.
Yep. Dis Good. More good please.
Glam is glam!
It's a good to great album. But it's even more important than it is great, the NY punk scene in the late 70s and early 80s would not exist the way it did without the Dolls. And Trash is such a banger.
Fun, proto punk glam! My buddies played this for me my freshman year of high school and it definitely helped influence a path toward punk rock and hardcore. Some good party tracks on here!
Musically the entire album is about a 4 if you disregard the year this came out. While I think this is built off the Stooges sound, I think it's still quite original especially for the time. Therefore I give the bump to a 5.
When I say I'm in love with this album, you best believe I'm in love! L-U-V!
"New York Dolls" is the debut album by American rock band New York Dolls. Hard rock, proto-punk, glam rock and punk rock. An apt description is "a mix of carefree rock and roll, influences from Brill Building (60's pop subgenre) pop and campy sensibilities." The album was produced by Todd Rungren and the bandmembers on this album included David Johansen (vocals), Johnny Thunders (guitar, vocals), Sylvain Sylvain (piano, rhythm guitar, vocals), Arthur Kane (bass) and Jerry Nolan (drums). They appeared on the cover in drag purely for shock value at the time. The album did not do well commercially but had wide-spread critical acclaim and is considered one of the best debut albums of all-time. A searing guitar, Johansen screaming and we're off to a rip-roarin' start in "Personality Crisis." Dual guitars, a boogie-woogie piano. About people who are controlled by culture. A gong opens "Vietnamese Baby." More driving guitars and a searing guitar solo along with other musical chaos at the end. The impact of the Vietnam War on everyday life. "Frankenstein" has a dramatic musical entrance. A sax is added. A busy song and sounded a lot like Roxy Music which is a good thing. The second side begins with "Trash." This has more of 60's pop sound mixed with punk. A low-life love story. The only cover they do is Bo Diddley's "Pills." A harmonica and vocal harmonies. They take this in a punk blues direction. A guitar solo, stomping/handclaps and we're into "Jet Boy." Dual guitar solos. This is more hard rock. The so high Jet Boy stole his baby. Is Jet Boy Johnny Thunders? This is a great album. The layered guitars, sometimes absolutely great guitars. Johansen's interesting lyrics and delivery...sometimes very punk. Punk pop, hard rock and a tilt towards 60's pop songs with the melody. It's very influential as I hear their music in The Ramones and punk in general and glam rock. One to hear.
This has everything I love about punk rock but with better guitar licks. It was so much fun. There's something to be said for joyful, nihilistic abandon on a rock album and this has it in spades. Loved every minute of it.
Perfection. This is somewhere between punk, glam, and metal and kills it however you choose to categorize it.
I love the messy but very moving music & energy of the Dolls. Sometimes they bring to mind Jim Carroll. Altogether I really liked their sound. Wish they had lived/played together longer
These guys were certainly there at the beginning. Sounds like Rocky Horror now (in a good way).
I don’t know why I’ve never taken the time to listen to this glowering, glittering, gobsmackingly grand record. It’s more glam than Ziggy Stardust. It’s more punk than The Stooges. It’s more 70s NYC than The Velvet Underground. TIL that David Johansen is the last surviving New York Doll. Fascinating.
I like to think that at least sometimes I have fairly intellectual takes about albums on here. I try to do some research to get the context and see what they might've been getting at. Sometimes though something just hits in a way that I can't really explain. This is that. This album is super gritty, fairly simple, not particularly impressive musically, and I loved it. Basically every song just worked for me, and now I'm listening to it again and it's still working. I don't quite get it, I don't expect the community rating to be all that high, but it's just great. The band gives strong Velvet Underground vibes, which is probably at least partly what I like about it. This came a little later than peak Velvets, so it seems like they were pretty influenced by them, and it's very obviously coming from the same NYC base that the Velvets are. I'm not really convinced any of these guys are great musicians, but somehow put them together and it works. A few major thoughts. It seems like one could reasonably tie the New York Dolls to the beginning of both punk rock and glam rock. It's hard to pin genre beginnings to any band, but this feels reasonable to me (it came out like 4 years before "Marquee Moon", which is another album that's considered to be foundational punk). Musically it definitely has some glam rock elements too though, and certainly that's what they were going for with their look (which seemed to be big hair and makeup and whatnot). This album is just also an awesome portrait of New York City in the '70s. It feels gritty, and the city was definitely gritty at that time. This feels like a pretty good encapsulation of what I imagine things were like in the city in the '70s. This is an aside, but the urbanist in me can't help it. There's so many cliche rock songs about cars, everyone can't stop singing about cars. The Dolls sang a whole song about the "Subway Train" on this album though, and while it's not the most beautiful portrait, I salute them for their support of public transit. I've seen some reviews saying these guys were just a bad version of the Rolling Stones or whatever. I don't know, I think sometimes it's bad to overanalyze things. I liked this a lot. I'm glad it exists, no notes. Favorite song: Lonely Planet Boy Other: Personality Crisis, Looking For A Kiss, Frankenstein, Trash, Bad Girl, Subway Train, Private World, Jet Boy 2/7/24
4.5/5 You can feel the influence this album still has on music today. This was your favorite band's favorite album. Bridges the gap between 60s rock and punk fantastically with a view into a NYC that doesn't exist anymore. Definitely a must listen.
I like Glam-Rock!
Early NYC punk from 1973
Another really good punk album by one of the originals.
Good rock stuff. An earlier album contained a cover of one of these songs
Excellent album. Punk before anyone knew what punk was. 4 stars.
I love this record. "Personality Crisis" is so good.
Pues rock bien hechecito, rock pesado (?), a veces hasta vibras pank, sentí. No tengo mucho más que añadir, sino que me entretuvo, las modulaciones de la voz están divertidas. Mis preferidas: "Lonely Planet Boy", "Trash" y "Pills". 8.5/10
Lol. Pues al fin de cuentas sí me gustó aunquenlo empecé con hueva sabiendo que era glam rock. Sobretodo Frankenstein tiene un build-up muy divertido. Mood: don't cha ask me of I love you
It's decent this, not something I'd rush to put on but I like the sound
Another great album. I feel like I'm being very generous recently but its been a good run.
Cool and edgy
Pretty good listen!
This is a classic. I hear all the proto-punk, what surprised me was when they settled down into some more Stones like qualities from the era. I look forward to digging deeper into this album
This album just makes me laugh. the vocals are so funny to me, and the music is pretty rocking. A very unique sound and I can appreciate that
cooler Punk Rock
4 for sure, would do 4.5 if I could. A couple classic ones in here and just a good rambunctious sound all around.
This album is great. I enjoy their sound a lot. I probably won’t listen to this much if at all, but I enjoyed the time I spent with it. I’m definitely glad I heard this.
Solid punk rock album. "Personality Crisis" stood out the most, I'd say.
A perfect album. It just kicks ass top to bottom. People don't know the New York Dolls and that's a real shame.
A great album of sleazy rock and roll. Great guitar work interesting touches like the piano in personality crisis. Still holds the seeds of Punk with the energy and the do whatever we want attitude. A very important album. 4.5 stars
Really groundbreaking album in the punk rock scene, but not as hard as. I expected to be. Got a Rolling Stones vibe if they tried to be punk. Very good.
The original GLAM!!! Loud, proud, and definitely cross-dressing, these Dolls will let you know what you're in for with the very first track. The vibrancy of David Jo Hansen's vocal performance brings the music to life, you can tell the group was destined for greatness just listening to it. Iconic.
Don't like pianos used like this Corny Good voice Good energy Busy It's good! Trash is v.good This is great.
Good punk/hard rock with a buzz from New York. This must have been bitchin live.
A lot of glam, a lot of punk, and a whole lot of rock n roll. These guys were way ahead of their time.
Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Frankenstein, Trash, Jet boy
Great album - you can definitely see where it's come from and where music is going to go after it.
Wham bam thank you glam