New York Dolls

Not sure how long I had been buying Greatest Hits and other compilation albums by a single artist before coming up with the idea that if I liked a particular track, then I would buy the album that it came on. Let me explain…when you buy a Greatest Hits compilation, that’s what you’re getting, the hits and just the hits. That’s all well and good. But I got to thinking. When you just hear the hits on an album, you don’t hear the low points or the gems that could’ve been hits. There may be a track that you would have never listened to if it weren’t for you buying the album that it was originally released on. That’s when I started migrating to the original albums before tucking into the greatest hits albums.

For so many bands that were around in the 70s and 80s that released a slew of albums that contained enough hits to fill up almost a whole 80 minutes (without throwing in “Bonus Tracks”), the compilation was the way to go if they wanted to fatten their wallets without doing the rounds on a casino circuit.

I was reading Rolling Stone online and they had an article with the 100 Best Debut Albums Of All Time. I was looking for new music at the time and I thought I would find inspiration in the list. In it, I would find albums that I already had and was curious about artists that were missing from my collection.

Starting at the top of the list (Lady Gaga’s, The Fame), I plummeted methodically with either:

  • “Have it”
  • “Want it”
  • “Don’t care”
  • “Curious…”

The first “Curious” mention happened before I cracked the Top 50…it was New York Dolls self-titled debut at #53. I had heard of the New York Dolls before, often mentioned in the same breath with Marc Bolan and T. Rex while discussing the roots of Glam Rock. Other than the actual music of New York Dolls, the only thing I remember about them was lead singer David Johansen performing “Hot, Hot, Hot” under the pseudonym Buster Poindexter.

After listening to New York Dolls for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. Not in the thinking that the album was groundbreaking or special other than it was a good album. From start to finish, it was a good album. The production values are unpolished and a little underwhelming. Released in 1973, I came to an almost understanding of how Axl Rose felt when he heard albums like this…it just drips attitude. It’s unapologetic, unsophisticated, and raw.

Personality Crisis3:43
Looking For A Kiss3:21
Vietnamese Baby3:40
Lonely Planet Boy4:11
Bad Girl3:05
Subway Train4:22
Private World3:40
Jet Boy4:40