During their four active years in the early seventies, they shifted two poorselling, hella-influential albums which projectile-vomited punk and glam rockonto the scene. Revered by their peers (The Ramones, Blondie) andresponsible for a reel of others (Marc Bolan, Aerosmith, Morrissey, Guns ‘N’Roses, Manics, Motley Crue, Bobbie Gillespie, The Libertines) the Dollsrode a runaway train, with excess a byword for indulgement.
Two Dolls departed as substance casualties – drummer Bill Murcia (drink anddrugs OD, 1972), legendary smack stringer Johnny Thunders (heroin, 1991). A fewmonths after Thunder’s tribute concert, Murcia’s replacement, Jerry Nolan, diedof a stroke at just 40.
Dolls had dropped like dominoes. Something had to be done. Morrissey coppedonto this two years ago when he curated the Meltdown festival. The remainingmembers: singer David Johanson, guitarist Syl Sylvain and bassist Arthur Kaneagreed to the request of the onetime president of the Dolls’ official Britishfan club that they bury the hatchet and play. It was good timing. Kanesuccumbed to his leukaemia troubles a mere month later.
Meltdown and Mozza were crucial to the Dolls being where they are today.Roping in Hanoi Rocks’ Sami Yaffa and Johanson’s solo collaborators, OneDay… is a mixed bag of polished swaggery blues, trashy punk and matureclassic rock balladry.
Any Dolls fan who slips this on will be instantly transported back to 1973with the cocksure stomp of We’re All in Love and the unashamedly decadent OTTromp of Runnin Around.
There are no less than four ballads on here which is no surprise givenJohansan’s 55 years. Dancing on the Lip of a Volcano is the most notable ofthese with Michael Stipe guesting. I know, what the hell is MichaelStipe doing on a New York Dolls record? It is an odd pairing, especiallywhen the vocals mix – Stipe’s euphoric tones to Johanson’s haggard, hoarsedrawl make for the most unconventional Dolls recording.
Iggy Pop’s appearance on the hooky blues of Gimme Luv & Turn on theLight is much more like it. Anyone who looked kindly on Primal Scream’s RiotCity Blues need look no further for the blueprint that it was based on,than this record, or of course back to their eponymous debut and its follow upToo Much Too Soon.
Morrissey once said that,” Mick Jagger stole everything from DavidJohanson,” which bears some truth because old jumpin’ jack flash did not startdonning the makeup, boas and prancing round the stage like he was carrying agoldfish bowl in his pants until well after the Dolls rocked with their cocksout.
Compared to A Bigger Bang, the underlying similarity between of thesetwo groups of grandfathers is that their new material treads a very fine linebetween sounding their own and chancing it as an imitation.
There are great moments of lap slapping rock ‘n’ roll on this record thatmake you wonder how far the Dolls could have gone had they not imploded from theirown excess. At the same time, listening to a 50-year-old singing about lipstickand cigarettes is about as genuine as the Israeli army claiming it has neverintentionally targeted a civilian in Lebanon.
The Dolls get away with it though. I mean hey, the New York Dolls are back! A fair few people will definately be remembering this one.