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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1973 | Mercury Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Discothèque Idéale Qobuz
When the New York Dolls released their debut album in 1973, they managed to be named both "Best New Band" and "Worst Band" in Creem Magazine's annual reader's poll, and it usually takes something special to polarize an audience like that. And the Dolls were inarguably special -- decades after its release, New York Dolls still sounds thoroughly unique, a gritty, big-city amalgam of Stones-style R&B, hard rock guitars, lyrics that merge pulp storytelling with girl group attitude, and a sloppy but brilliant attack that would inspire punk rock (without the punks ever getting its joyous slop quite right). Much was made of the Dolls' sexual ambiguity in the day, but with the passage of time, it's a misfit swagger that communicates most strongly in these songs, and David Johansen's vocals suggest the product of an emotional melting pot who just wants to find some lovin' before Manhattan is gone, preferably from a woman who would prefer him over a fix. If the lyrics sometimes recall Hubert Selby, Jr. if he'd had a playful side, the music is big, raucous hard rock, basic but with a strongly distinct personality -- the noisy snarl of Johnny Thunders' lead guitar quickly became a touchstone, and if he didn't have a lot of tricks in his arsenal, he sure knew when and how to apply them, and the way he locked in with Syl Sylvain's rhythm work was genius -- and the Dolls made their downtown decadence sound both ominous and funny at the same time. The Dolls were smart enough to know that a band needs a great drummer, and if there's something likably clumsy about Arthur Kane's bass work, Jerry Nolan's superb, elemental drumming holds the pieces in place with no-nonsense precision at all times. "Lonely Planet Boy" proved the Dolls could dial down their amps and sound very much like themselves, "Pills" was a superbly chosen cover that seemed like an original once they were done with it, and "Personality Crisis," "Trash," and "Jet Boy" were downtown rock & roll masterpieces no other band could have created. And while New York Dolls clearly came from a very specific time and place, this album still sounds fresh and hasn't dated in the least -- this is one of rock's greatest debut albums, and a raucous statement of purpose that's still bold and thoroughly engaging. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1973 | Island Mercury

Distinctions Discothèque Idéale Qobuz
When the New York Dolls released their debut album in 1973, they managed to be named both "Best New Band" and "Worst Band" in Creem Magazine's annual reader's poll, and it usually takes something special to polarize an audience like that. And the Dolls were inarguably special -- decades after its release, New York Dolls still sounds thoroughly unique, a gritty, big-city amalgam of Stones-style R&B, hard rock guitars, lyrics that merge pulp storytelling with girl group attitude, and a sloppy but brilliant attack that would inspire punk rock (without the punks ever getting its joyous slop quite right). Much was made of the Dolls' sexual ambiguity in the day, but with the passage of time, it's a misfit swagger that communicates most strongly in these songs, and David Johansen's vocals suggest the product of an emotional melting pot who just wants to find some lovin' before Manhattan is gone, preferably from a woman who would prefer him over a fix. If the lyrics sometimes recall Hubert Selby, Jr. if he'd had a playful side, the music is big, raucous hard rock, basic but with a strongly distinct personality -- the noisy snarl of Johnny Thunders' lead guitar quickly became a touchstone, and if he didn't have a lot of tricks in his arsenal, he sure knew when and how to apply them, and the way he locked in with Syl Sylvain's rhythm work was genius -- and the Dolls made their downtown decadence sound both ominous and funny at the same time. The Dolls were smart enough to know that a band needs a great drummer, and if there's something likably clumsy about Arthur Kane's bass work, Jerry Nolan's superb, elemental drumming holds the pieces in place with no-nonsense precision at all times. "Lonely Planet Boy" proved the Dolls could dial down their amps and sound very much like themselves, "Pills" was a superbly chosen cover that seemed like an original once they were done with it, and "Personality Crisis," "Trash," and "Jet Boy" were downtown rock & roll masterpieces no other band could have created. And while New York Dolls clearly came from a very specific time and place, this album still sounds fresh and hasn't dated in the least -- this is one of rock's greatest debut albums, and a raucous statement of purpose that's still bold and thoroughly engaging. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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HI-RES21,49 €
CD14,99 €

Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1974 | Mercury Records

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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1974 | Hip-O Select

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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1994 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Rock - Paru le 31 octobre 2006 | Norton Records

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Rock - Paru le 17 juillet 2006 | Roadrunner Records

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Punk - New Wave - Paru le 5 novembre 2013 | Cleopatra Records

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Rock - Paru le 7 juin 2011 | 429 Records

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Rock - Paru le 30 avril 2009 | Rhino

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Punk - New Wave - Paru le 5 novembre 2013 | Cleopatra

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Rock - Paru le 28 septembre 2004 | Castle Communications

Reunion shows by bands with a major creative legacy are always a problematic matter, and when Morrissey persuaded the surviving members of the New York Dolls to play a set at the 2004 Meltdown Festival in London (which he curated), lots of fans wondered aloud if David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain and Arthur Kane had any real business calling this band the Dolls without the presence of deceased guitar hero Johnny Thunders (and to a lesser extent, without similarly absent drummer Jerry Nolan). Of course, audience sentiment is a fickle thing, and since the Meltdown gig turned out to be one of the last public appearances for Arthur Kane -- who, with typical bad luck, died due to undiagnosed leukemia a few weeks after the show preserved on this album -- this recording now stands as a tribute to the fallen bassist, who desperately wanted a gig like this to happen many years before it finally became a reality. So it's appropriate that while this doesn't quite sound like the New York Dolls, it does sound like the best Dolls tribute band you could ever ask for. While Sylvain and Kane doubtless added a lot in terms of vibe and esprit de corps, what really makes the difference sonically is Johansen; since he became a solo artist, he's displayed a certain ennui towards the Dolls' legacy, occasionally visiting their songs out of seeming obligation rather than enthusiasm, but here he sings his old songbook with real passion, commitment and force, and if his voice is deeper and less supple than it was in 1972, it's his juice that really brings this gig to life -- if this doesn't sound like the band that tottered on outsized platforms at the Mercer Arts Center, Johansen's performance suggest those days are still clear in his mind, and he's determined to reclaim their spirit in this show. Guitarist Steve Conte lacks Thunders' otherworldly snazz, but then again he doesn't make as many mistakes as Johnny did in his latter days, and drummer Gary Powell and keyboardist Brian Koonin fill their spots with aplomb; they're pros who obviously love this music and attack it with the affection it deserves. So, no, this isn't really the New York Dolls, but you'd have to be a great curmudgeon to fault the participants for use of the name, and this band of veterans and pretenders certainly did right by their mighty legacy on the evening these tapes rolled. Bye bye, Arthur. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Paru le 7 février 2011 | 429 Records

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Punk - New Wave - Paru le 1 octobre 2009 | Jungle Records

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 23 avril 2012 | Floating World

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Punk - New Wave - Paru le 14 mars 2011 | Blast records

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 2 octobre 2014 | GoldenCore Records

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Punk - New Wave - Paru le 1 janvier 1974 | Skydog

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 22 mai 2007 | ROIR

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Punk - New Wave - Paru le 7 mars 2010 | Skydog

L'interprète

New York Dolls dans le magazine