New York Dolls

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New York Dolls - classic or dud, etc.

Also were they clever or radical? What did their ultra femininity/ultra masculinity mean? The first words on their first album are something pre-verbal and then: 'yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah- no no no no no no no no.' What of this? Did they promise something that wasn't acted upon, exchanged for the easier to contain cynicism of punk?

Maryann, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

proto punk proto glam often out velveted the velvets and i worship the velvets. Classic

anthony, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Should listen to New Yawk Dolls again since only now have I started to appreciate the Stones. Classic? Nah.

Stevie Nixed, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I like their songs but everything they did ("hard" as opposed to "heavy" rock - i.e., 70s AM toons vs 70s FM[Stones/MC5 instead of Hendrix/Cream influence] with a package full of ambiguous gender signals) was done better earlier by Alice Cooper - except Alice admitted most of their influence was from TV and their albums had a go-all-the-way-showbiz production, so critics didn't find it as authentic and 'cool'.

tarden, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

tarden - Critics preferred The Dolls to Alice Cooper because a. David Johansen was a much better singer and b. they made albums that sounded great from beginning to end, not 2-3 great songs in the midst of oceans of theatrical crap.

Patrick, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Taking Sides: Glen Buxton vs Johnny Thunders

Cooper invented Glam *and* Goth (which is pretty good going), but his version of genderfuck was way timid (loud panto, basically), compared to the Dolls (who knew how to sew and cut cloth). "School's Out" is a way better *popsong* than the NYDs ever wrote: and both the Dolls LPs are so MUFFLED (but I know I turned Muddy Production-Presentation into a positive complication in re Pistols/Bollocks arrival and listener-inhabitation...).

The critics crack is just evasive: Tarden finding a way to avoid having to take responsibility for his own opinions.

mark s, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

buxton vs thunders - gee i ain't even gonna try & choose ('cause fortunately in real life one does not have to)
but coop vs dolls is, c'mon tarden, another BOGUE POLARITY. coop vs aerosmith, go play with that if you wanna do that dumm shit.
Were they clever or radical? Johansen was clever, Johnny Thunders was radical even if he wouldn't've known why himself. What did their ultra femininity/ultra masculinity mean? it meant that it was 1973 & time to take rock back off the hippies once & forever. & it still is. (1973 I mean).
Dolls - classic/the Coop - merely Classic Rock (& round here that & 2 bucks might get you a cup of coffee.)

duane zarakov, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Mark - that wasn't really a 'crack' at critics ('own opinion' - I prefer Cooper, OK? You know why? Because "Stranded in the Jungle" is the fucking LONGEST, STUPIDEST, most IRRITATING waste of space in vinyl history, that's why! Evasive enough for you?) Just an attempt to use a bit of historical perspective - in the early 70s TV wasn't the post-ironic all-embracing 700-channel amusement park it is today. There were only 3 channels (even in the US - I'm guessing, was about 3 at the time) and it provided a sense of community for the "squares", i.e. it was the citadel of "establishment" entertainment, where you could still see Dean Martin in prime time and the drug of choice was still Martinis, not Mandrax. TV in the US was notoriously conservative, Archie Bunker was a bigger nuclear alarm than "South Park" could ever be today. All the hippies and Weathermen shunned the 'glass teat' (Harlan Ellison - even 'Star Trek' was 'radical' at the time!) as another tool of 'the Man', but Cooper, WAYYY before the golf period, openly bragged of his addiction to shows like "Mod Squad", "Mannix" and "Mayberry RFD", all of which were seen as fascist propaganda by such tremendously influential types as Paul Kantner. Alice killed the 60s, not the Dolls. Wasn't really having a crack at the critics, it's more like, "Who knew"?
Also, I think that the Dolls' painfully deliberate lifestyles (you just KNOW they were looking in the mirror while turning blue in the tub) just looks silly 30 years on. In an endearing way, of course.

tarden, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I mean, it has to be said that some of the Dolls appeal is based on their junkie "attitood" - but then, they came across as lovable, bumbling, oafish Queens urchins, while brothers of the poppy Led Zeppelin were coldblooded, sneering aristocrats, so critics didn't like them as...

tarden, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Duane...what? Aerosmith did blues songs (alright, "Pills" yes I know) and worshipped the fucking Yardbirds - Alice did songs like "Dead Babies"! And remember what John Lydon mimed to when he wanted that gig with Malcolm Mclaren's boys!

tarden, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

why Aerosmith? 'cause they were the calculated mersh version of the Dolls. I.e. they were in the same game as the Coop. The Dolls weren't. They probably didn't even know they weren't but they just weren't. NO FUCKIN SHIT Johnny Rotten mimed to Alice Cooper for his "audition", he was going to be a POP STAR. Miming to a Dolls song, that would've been like if he'd mimed to a - do we have a sarcasam emoticon - Big Star song. Apparently there was all this NEXT-YEAR'S-BIG-THING hype around the Dolls around the time they got signed but i think their record co. were just throwing shit at the wall, i don't think the Dolls would've really "made it" if David Bowie had given them fuckin' "Rebel Rebel", & (sincerity emoticon) YAY for them.
Todd Rundgren tried (fuck him) but they weren't radio-ready in 1972 or whenever that shit was , the voice wasn't saying the right stuff in the right tone for then or maybe ever - unlike Cooper's totally calcated commercial "outrageousness" (& i love that shit too BTW. (yeah & Aerosmith also)) - & the guitar sound/style was too rude for radio too - which gives us a winner out of Buxton-vs-Johnny, a rock guitar player who makes radio programmers sick is doing his job real well. Rock'n'roll isn't the same kind of music as pop 'cause it (after its tenure as the main "pop" form, which was over by - what, 1967?) is generally done better by LOSERS.

duane, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Maybe a combination of sound factors is most important? There's something genuinely expressive about Johnny Thunder's guitar playing. He solos all through the songs – often just distorted extended notes. It bears little relation to the 'acceptable' guitar playing of commercial radio; it's even 'decorative,' fragile, or delicate. It makes all the lyrics of the songs much more melancholy, because they're accompanied by this sporadic, almost contrapuntal, harmony. It doesn't sound like other music. I think the producers tried to make up for it by making these random notes really quiet except in the 'proper' places (at the end of the song usually) but you can still hear them, all the time – it's quite disturbing. I guess he's actually listening to what they sound like.

Johnny Thunders was the one who went on to make great music after the New York Dolls, in my opinion.

The image question; perhaps that's misguided - that wasn't what PREVENTED them from becoming popular, if anything, that was their selling point. You could argue that the NYD image was really scary because it didn't seem calculated enough - unlike Alice Cooper's - but then early Prince, same, still he went on to be acceptable.

Maryann, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

> image question >if anything, that was their selling point. yeah EXACTLY. as music it wasn't really very marketable.
anyway for people that've never heard them that have bothered to read this far down the New York Dolls sound about half way between the '60s Rolling Stones & the Sex Pistols. So if you don't like either of those bands you might as well not bother. But! if you do! these guys are better than BOTH OF THEM!
they did 2 albums & todd rundgren produced the 1st one & tried to make it sound "good" which is why i said fuck him (not 'cause i don't like his own music 'cause i do) but it has fantastic songs. 2nd one they got produced by - INSPIRED choice - SHADOW MORTON & he got it much righter but there are a few varying-degrees-of-filler songs. Both records are CLASSIC though.

duane zarakov, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

two years pass...
just pulled out my dolls recs for the first time in years. good on them! was it christgau or [x] who pointed out the semantic brilliance of the chorus to "trash"?

except i wish they were recorded a bit better. where was mutt lange back then?

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 13 June 2003 05:51 (seventeen years ago) link

i want mark s to come back to this thread.

and please god someone tell me why their first record always calls to mind "the pirates of penzance"!

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 13 June 2003 05:58 (seventeen years ago) link

in theory i adore the dolls. in practice they've never quite done it for me.

johansen's entire performance on the first album is totally classic, especially his shangri-las rip on "looking for a kiss," but am i the only person who doesn't see what the big deal is about johnny thunders?

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Cool stuff on this thread. I'm not really a Dolls fan (it boils down to the songs, which I always found kinda half-assed and unremarkable). I like Johansen's early solo albums though.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Heh, crosspost with Justyn.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:07 (seventeen years ago) link

actually now that i said that i realize that i like "born to lose" and "chinese rocks" more than any dolls song. i just don't see why everyone thinks he's such a fantastic guitarist, at least on the two dolls lps. he's not keith richards and he sure ain't steve jones.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:07 (seventeen years ago) link

i like the rhythm guitar sound but the lead guitar sound (is that thunders?) is sort of unvaried and wearing after awhile. i guess the idea is that it's all messy and stuff but even messiness should have its own internal logic and variation.

johnny thunders is like one of keith richard's musical tics made flesh.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:12 (seventeen years ago) link

They were sloppy. Put them up there with Radio Birdman in hugely revered bands with very poor rhythm sections and poorly recorded albums. Yeah, I like the Dolls well enough, but the albums sound like such crap its hard for me to get into them.

mark s is wrong: Black Sabbath invented goth! Or maybe it was Black Widow. I've never heard them though, so I'll say it was the Sabs.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:12 (seventeen years ago) link


thunders does some cool stuff on "jet boy" until the end when it gets kind of rote.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:14 (seventeen years ago) link

Also, Johansen is great in Let It Ride, seriously one of the funniest movies I've ever seen.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:14 (seventeen years ago) link

He's dead, that's mostly the thing I always thought... "You Can't Put Yr Arms Around a Memory" is classic, yes?

Andrew Thames (Andrew Thames), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:15 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah what are those thunders solo records like? we shd do a johnny thunders classic or dud/search and destroy.

i really don't like his voice. johansen adds so much to the dolls i don't know why they bothered. it;s like that ccr album where the other people sing. what's the point?

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Well "Born to Lose" by the Heartbreakers is more memorable to me than any individual Dolls song. I get that in my head at odd random moments. I'm not sure if it's as good as "Johnny Thunder" by the Kinks though.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:19 (seventeen years ago) link

(anytime anyone wants to tell me stop sounding like Eddy is fine)

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:19 (seventeen years ago) link

you DON'T sound like Eddy thank god. [/cheap shot]

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:29 (seventeen years ago) link

no, it's funny; I mean, he's totally a favorite of mine but I think that's because my mind tends to work in similar silly associative ways. Like I read Johnny Thunders and I think of the Kinks song and the Heartbreakers song. I get self-conscious if I write something like that though since he kind of oWNz0rS that style.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Friday, 13 June 2003 06:37 (seventeen years ago) link

Absolute classic. First album is pretty much their '72 live show in the studio, second album is the most awesome sound-effects record this side of Van Halen's debut. Among their many accomplishments, the Dolls invented 80s hairspray metal (yes, this was a good thing) and made it cool to be less-than-killer musicians, leading directly to the Ramones (merged with Hamburg-era Beatles) and the Sex Pistols (the Malcolm connection).

PS Alice Cooper mostly deserves credit/blame for turning rock concerts into a spectacle sport, although "Killer," "School's Out" and "Billion Dollar Babies" was as great a triple-crown run as the Replacements' "Let It Be," "Tim" and "Pleased To Meet Me."

Chris Clark (Chris Clark), Friday, 13 June 2003 10:47 (seventeen years ago) link

Nico invented goth.

btw, Alice Cooper and the Dolls are two of my favorite bands, I'm surprised I didn't notice this thread the first time around. And yeah Cooper had the better singles, but I could never ever choose between the two.

Sean (Sean), Friday, 13 June 2003 14:24 (seventeen years ago) link

steve jones is a piss-terrible gtrist

duane, Friday, 13 June 2003 15:09 (seventeen years ago) link

even worse than the guy in the clash

duane, Friday, 13 June 2003 15:10 (seventeen years ago) link

Ha - they're available at the iTunes store! Including a song I hadn't heard, "Lone Star Queen," into which Johansen stuffs almost all of the stylistic tics that have always made him so indispensible for me.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Friday, 13 June 2003 19:19 (seventeen years ago) link

oh duane, you are SO SO wrong.

(which guy in the clash?)

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Saturday, 14 June 2003 05:24 (seventeen years ago) link

hi, my name is jess, and i have never liked the new york dolls. i have always thought there was something wrong with me until now. thank you.

jess (dubplatestyle), Saturday, 14 June 2003 05:37 (seventeen years ago) link

oh there's something wrong with you all right. but if you go listen to personality crisis, trash, and lookin' for a kiss everything will be alright.

scott seward, Saturday, 14 June 2003 05:45 (seventeen years ago) link

Nah, jess is right on, they're overrated. Glad to see him here.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 14 June 2003 06:43 (seventeen years ago) link

(but still, Johansen in Let It Ride = brilliant)

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Saturday, 14 June 2003 06:43 (seventeen years ago) link

(which guy in the clash?) um you know, the guitarist. steve jones tho - i like the sex pistols but oh man, don't you think he is one of the most unimaginative squares in the hist of the elec gtr...i didn't mean "terrible" like "can't play", just stodgy & undynamic...you know when he does stuff like that (bo diddley/pete townshend type) scrape along the strings thing, "raunchy" hi-energy takeoff sound as used by say for inst maybe the gtrist for pat benetar or someone - a real stiff!

duane, Saturday, 14 June 2003 09:19 (seventeen years ago) link

the clash had two guitarists, Mick Jones and Strummer. I can see what you mean, S. Jones isn't the most interesting or original punk guitarist by a long shot, but I think his very direct style works for the Pistols' songs and Thunders' doesn't for the Dolls: as someone said upthread, it just sounds sloppy.

(haha Pat Benatar = OK by me)

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Sunday, 15 June 2003 04:56 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh, it was hott! Classic.

Francis Watlington, Sunday, 15 June 2003 05:28 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah i knew that about the clash really, i don't think joe strummer played much gtr on their records tho. also like someone else upthread said There's something genuinely expressive about Johnny Thunder's guitar playing. He solos all through the songs – often just distorted extended notes. It bears little relation to the 'acceptable' guitar playing of commercial radio; it's even 'decorative,' fragile, or delicate. It makes all the lyrics of the songs much more melancholy, because they're accompanied by this sporadic, almost contrapuntal, harmony. It doesn't sound like other music. I think the producers tried to make up for it by making these random notes really quiet except in the 'proper' places (at the end of the song usually) but you can still hear them, all the time – it's quite disturbing. I guess he's actually listening to what they sound like.

Johnny Thunders was the one who went on to make great music after the New York Dolls, in my opinion.
, i agree although actually most johnny thunders solo albums are pretty bad i guess

duane (doorag), Sunday, 15 June 2003 06:37 (seventeen years ago) link

how do you all feel about buster poindexter?

amateurist (amateurist), Sunday, 15 June 2003 06:41 (seventeen years ago) link

i thought he sucked but i only remember seeing him on tv, i never listened to the actual records

duane (doorag), Sunday, 15 June 2003 06:45 (seventeen years ago) link

he's hot hot hot

jess (dubplatestyle), Sunday, 15 June 2003 06:46 (seventeen years ago) link

Criticizing the New York Dolls for sounding "sloppy" = Classic

David Allen, Sunday, 15 June 2003 06:47 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah they could've tightened up & been as good as the clash or the sex pistols

duane (doorag), Sunday, 15 June 2003 06:51 (seventeen years ago) link

>how do you all feel about buster poindexter?

Thrilled that DavJoh finally made some money, although it figures it would come from extending "Stranded in the Jungle" into a full act.

>i don't think joe strummer played much gtr on their records tho

What?!? All that Telecaster dub-scratching/powerchord mania is him! Jones handled the Mott the Hoople lead lines and harmonic counterpoints. Both totally classic, as was Steve Jones, who merged Ramones chainsaw with Chuck Berry boogie (well, so did Eddie and the Hot Rods) to make the Pistols (dare I say it?) swing!

Chris Clark (Chris Clark), Sunday, 15 June 2003 09:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Joe Strummer just played along unplugged while he sang, didn't he? He probably played a bit later, I suppose.

Andrew Thames (Andrew Thames), Sunday, 15 June 2003 09:45 (seventeen years ago) link

Veg with THE REAL TALK.

I DJ occasionally at a '70s Rock night, so I've been picking up at lot of favorites that I didn't previously have on vinyl. Back around the first of the year I scored a nice copy of the Dolls twofer Mercury put out back in the day to cash in on Punk. I hadn't listened to them in a while, but as soon as the needle dropped, I remembered just how much I'd loved them. That was a good night.

They had this goofy junkie joie de vivre, even in wonderful nightmares like "Frankenstein". The Dolls and Shadow Morton were a match made in Heaven on TMTS; between it and that one Mott single, it's a shame he didn't work with more Glam artists. I love their covers too, they were great at picking stuff that fit right in with their originals (and in pretty much every case, I discovered the originals through the Dolls' versions).

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 8 November 2019 05:27 (eight months ago) link

VG and C.G/M otm

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 10:43 (eight months ago) link

I love pretty much all of the 1st 2 albums.

2nd album gets maligned a bit but I think only because the first album is so good - an album with Who Are The Mystery Girls, Puss N Boots and Babylon on it can't be that bad surely

then there's their cover of Great Big Kiss. there's a few versions of that around, but there's one which sounds like a proper studio version, not just a sloppy demo, but it took me ages to track down where that came from - there are lots of NYD outtake/demo compilations out there, none of which have that version on - but I eventually found it on the Night Of The Living Dolls compilation LP

Colonel Poo, Friday, 8 November 2019 11:07 (eight months ago) link

Slightly prefer the second album.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 11:08 (eight months ago) link

Like when people refer to it as In Too Much Too Soon.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 11:12 (eight months ago) link

Only know the version of “Great Big Kiss” from “So Alone.”

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 11:14 (eight months ago) link

Argh. I shouldn’t bother with the quotes and italics, So Alone.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 11:16 (eight months ago) link

That's great--you're the second person I know who saw them first time around.

to be honest, arthur was m.i.a. that night, with their roadie peter jordan filling in on bass. though that wasn't an uncommon occurrence, from what i understand. this site lists three shows in february 1975 at long island's my father's place club. it was one of them, most likely. we were chaperoned by my buddy's older brother. i even remember the conversation i had with him afterward. me: "well they never claimed they could play their instruments." him: "i'm glad they don't claim that!"
http://www.fromthearchives.com/nyd/chronology.html

i also saw the "dollettes" a couple of times, which was johansen and syl carrying on with some of david's staten island cronies, working out the material that later became his first solo album. those were great fun because they'd through just about anything at the wall.

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 8 November 2019 11:40 (eight months ago) link

*throw*

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 8 November 2019 11:41 (eight months ago) link

Supposedly Peter Jordan played on the albums as well, at least some of the time.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 11:54 (eight months ago) link

Not really sure about the recordings though. Maybe it was mostly or all Arthur.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 11:56 (eight months ago) link

peter jordan's band stumblebunny wasn't half bad either.

https://stumblebunny.bandcamp.com/album/while-you-were-out

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 8 November 2019 12:22 (eight months ago) link

"Lonely Planet Boy" and "You Can't Throw Your Arms Around a Memory" are pretty much the same song, aren't they?

fetter, Friday, 8 November 2019 12:31 (eight months ago) link

i think to johnny thunders a "ballad" meant playing d and d-suspended chords slowly. that's just what it was. the reformed dolls used to segue from one to the other. i always thought it nice that they did a post-dolls thunders tune.

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 8 November 2019 12:59 (eight months ago) link

So it would seem.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 13:21 (eight months ago) link

I gotta ask you one question.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 13:58 (eight months ago) link

To me they are the better, fuckup version Kiss. Shitty songs, a lot of terrible recording & not-great cohesion, and a Look. But NYD make you kinda love them for all that whereas Kiss repels it more and more over time. NYD have an endearing likeability that draws you in despite their terribleness & idk, give off this wacky (junkie) musketeers vibe that Kiss doesnt have. NYD feel like they are all still kids performing in front of their bedroom mirrors, living out a rocknroll fantasy, but playing it out in real life as adults with very few real-world concessions

This is so dead on, also (& I'm gonna get roasted for this) but I feel this same way abt Aerosmith "hey what if the New York Dolls were more competent and totally charmless?"

I saw a Sylvain Sylvain gig in 98 that reminds the most glorious, joyful, life-affirming show I've ever seen and in a funny bit of pre-internet info dissemination, one of the "opening acts" was a 30 minute VHS highlight reel of all those Dolls clips that are on Youtube now, and I hadn't seen any of it and was it big a deal!

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 8 November 2019 15:20 (eight months ago) link

i saw the Musikladen video years ago, but i never saw this smokin' performance from long beach, '74 before

https://youtu.be/-uZQ7lgJijk

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 8 November 2019 15:29 (eight months ago) link

Love everything on the first two albums. And I remember listening to the "reunion" 3rd album once and being shocked that it wasn't awful or disappointing.

And VG OTMFM.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 8 November 2019 15:36 (eight months ago) link

just realised I've never actually heard the 1st reunion album. I thought the 2nd one was pretty awful. The 3rd one's OK though.

Colonel Poo, Friday, 8 November 2019 15:56 (eight months ago) link

well if i've got to dream, dontcha know that im a human bein'

speaking of which, anyone know how syl is doing? there was a gofundme for his cancer treatments.

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 8 November 2019 15:59 (eight months ago) link

I didn't even realize they'd made three albums after they reunited. I've only heard the first of those (One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 8 November 2019 15:59 (eight months ago) link

The Dolls and Little Feat are the only bands I can think of offhand that have more reunion albums than original ones.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 8 November 2019 20:03 (eight months ago) link

I guess the Allmans and Skynyrd too.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 8 November 2019 20:06 (eight months ago) link

WHEN I SAY I’M IN LOVE YOU BEST BELIEVE I’M IN LOVE L-U-V

https://i.makeagif.com/media/1-29-2017/w4KX8Z.gif

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 November 2019 20:50 (eight months ago) link

Recommend the Arthur Kane documentary from a few years ago--the scene where David Johansen saunters godlike into a practice session (forget the context--I think it was a reunion between the two of them) is hilarious.

clemenza, Friday, 8 November 2019 20:59 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, that doc is 14 years old now(!) but it's great

quinn morgendorffer stan account (morrisp), Friday, 8 November 2019 21:10 (eight months ago) link

Someone mentions charm upthread, and that's what sets the Dolls apart from Kiss, Aerosmith etc. Read the interviews from the 70s in NME etc and you can see how witty / provocative / "hip" they are.

fetter, Friday, 8 November 2019 22:20 (eight months ago) link

WHEN I SAY I’M IN LOVE YOU BEST BELIEVE I’M IN LOVE L-U-V

Is he a good dancer?

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 23:08 (eight months ago) link

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain) at 2:03 8 Nov 19

The Dolls and Little Feat are the only bands I can think of offhand that have more reunion albums than original ones.

Mission of Burma

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 10 November 2019 15:43 (eight months ago) link

Gang of Four and The Buzzcocks too.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 11 November 2019 00:20 (seven months ago) link

Dinosaur Jr original lineup as well.

kornrulez6969, Monday, 11 November 2019 13:35 (seven months ago) link

two months pass...

Sometimes I impulsively buy cheap CDs for the car, even though I already have the vinyl. Bought a really good 26-song Lovin' Spoonful compilation a few days ago, along with the New York Dolls' Millennium Collection--2/$10.

The Dolls thing isn't bad. It does all right with the five songs from the first album, although I'd rather have "Subway Train" and "Lonely Planet Boy" than "Pills" and "Jet Boy" (not to say they aren't great). Not as well with the second--they omit both "Who Are the Mystery Girls?" and "Human Being," easily my two favourite, and include all three covers. There's also "Lone Star Queen," not on either album--think I have it on a bootleg.

Let me now stupidly wade into something I usually stay clear of: could they put their version of "Stranded in the Jungle" on an album today? Conceding that the originals were the work of African-Americans (always thought the song belonged to the Cadets--didn't know about the earlier Jayhawks version until now), and also that Johansen is given to campy theatricality all over both albums, his vocal on "Stranded" is kind of blackface, isn't it? I'm not suggesting at all that you'd ever try to erase it from history, and I know that he and they are paying tribute to a song they love. Made for uncomfortable listening yesterday, though.

(Checking back on this thread, I think the same thing is implied on a couple of posts.)

clemenza, Sunday, 26 January 2020 15:06 (five months ago) link

Haven't heard the Dolls' version in a while, or prev records ever, but the latter come from that era of wry, droll, cool (just a little bit distanced) vividly voiced, broad and clear, delivery of novelty r&b etc (the Coasters and all)---Johansen's performance is in that tradition, not so many years after its heyday.

dow, Sunday, 26 January 2020 20:32 (five months ago) link

Or at least, when I was listening pretty often, always heard it that way.

dow, Sunday, 26 January 2020 20:34 (five months ago) link

It sounds kind of blackface to me tbh.

Corduroy Stridulations (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Sunday, 26 January 2020 23:25 (five months ago) link

So much American music comes through the brush, one way or another. It's not written to be taken seriously though; an attempt at doing it tastefully might be more offensive--if you're gonna do it at all... I thought it worked, as a tight, cartoony song and track, ironic if you want to take it that way, though racists could like it for the wrong reasons, as is too often the case.

dow, Monday, 27 January 2020 01:32 (five months ago) link

I’ve never really cared for the song, in any of its versions; or understood why the Dolls — who wanted to avoid being seen as a “novelty act” — recorded and released it as the first single from their make-or-break 2nd album. But it must mean a lot to David Johansson, didn’t use the title for his autobiography?

dad genes (morrisp), Monday, 27 January 2020 02:07 (five months ago) link

Weird fact I just learned, the bass singer on The Cadets' version of the song was Will J. "Dub" Jones who later sang bass on "Yakety Yak" and "Charlie Brown" for The Coasters.

TS: Kirk/Spock vs. Marat/Sade (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 27 January 2020 02:37 (five months ago) link

(xp sorry, I had that last detail wrong; Wikipedia sez DJ did include a live version on a 1982 solo album, though.)

dad genes (morrisp), Monday, 27 January 2020 02:39 (five months ago) link

You were close, that title was used for a biography of Jerry Nolan, I believe.

TS: Kirk/Spock vs. Marat/Sade (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 27 January 2020 02:55 (five months ago) link

i will not have my enjoyment of this song sullied by performative anti-racism. this culture is suffering death by woke!

Thus Sang Freud, Monday, 27 January 2020 12:48 (five months ago) link

johnny thunders' swastika armband was dumb, i'll grant you that.

Thus Sang Freud, Monday, 27 January 2020 12:59 (five months ago) link

this culture is suffering death by woke!

I'm with you 100%. I don't really care for the song period--if I did, I likely wouldn't have posted. Which wouldn't be tacit approval, more like "ancient history, no need to bring it up."

clemenza, Monday, 27 January 2020 16:15 (five months ago) link

I mainly remember liking the transitions from the "solemn" verse narrative to the frenetic chorus---and back again! Also recall that Johansen explained that he started out wanting to sing high---Byrds, Left Banke, Bealtes ballads---but as his voice changed, got settled into that rough baritone---but then he heard the Four Tops: " "Bernadette!" Hey, I can do that---"Bernadette!" So he worked with what he had, and always sounded (though I don't know if he mentioned this) like he was also influenced by Eric Burdon---couldn't really wail like EB on the chorus of "House of the Rising Sun," but that gruff blurt that Burdon was more known for---and he was sometimes taken as a dumbo bar band appropriator, although there were far worse---somebody in Rolling Stone said that the next Canned Heat album should be titled Yassuh Boss, because Bob The Bear Hite (not Al Wilson, who sounded like Skip James, eerie and deft); And Burdon kept finding his way to okay or better songs---incl. on Eric Is Here, arranged by Benny Golson and Horace Ott, jazz pros showing "horn rock" and brainy rock producers how to do it, without overdoing---and here Burdon adapted his sound to early covers of Randy Newman songs, other good stuff: still sounded like himself, but also, like, sensitive (enough).
So maybe Johansen eventually followed this example in his best solo work ("Frenchette," for inst), or even some of the more relaxed-larynx Dolls songs, like "Lonely Planet Boy." But when you've got that kind voice, and a big collection of old rock, r&b etc, it's tricky. Also if you come from that era, but not to let Justin Timberlake and other "tasteful" unoriginals off the hook.

dow, Monday, 27 January 2020 20:12 (five months ago) link

kind *of* voice!

dow, Monday, 27 January 2020 20:14 (five months ago) link

coasters is a great comparison. it reminds me a little of "shoppin' for clothes," which johansen has also covered -- a hapless but intrepid narrator who'll never have that jacket/girl but loves it/her more than anything, willing to jump out of the boiling pot, thumb down a whale, etc. it's a perfect song for the dolls to inhabit, with syl's sound effects, thunders' domination of that jungle riff, nolan's negotiation of the time shifts. for what it's worth it was written by an african american man and woman.

Thus Sang Freud, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 01:42 (five months ago) link

Best Dolls cover is There's Gonna Be a Showdown! That thing is incredible.

timellison, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 03:42 (five months ago) link

you'd best be at that dance down on 14th street, ya hear?

Thus Sang Freud, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 13:12 (five months ago) link


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