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    New York Dolls

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Dizzy Miss Lizzy lyrics
    Seventeen lyrics
    3Talk To Me Baby lyrics
    4Born to Loose lyrics
    5Hoochie Coochie Man lyrics
    6Somethin' Else lyrics
    7I Ain't Got Nothing lyrics
    8Great Big Kiss lyrics
    9Lonely Planet Boy lyrics
    10Temptation To Exist lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Actress: Birth Of The New York Dolls [2000]
    2Hard Night's Day [1973]
    3Rock N Roll [1994]
    4Red Patent Leather [1984]
    5Archive [2001]
    6I'm A Human Being (Live) [1998]
    7Seven Day Weekend [1992]
    8New York Dolls [1973]
    9Too Much Too Soon [1974]
    10Lipstick Killers (The Mercer St. Sessions) [1981]


    Formed: December, 1971 in New York, NY
    Disbanded: 1975
    Reformed: 2004

    Original members: David Johansen (vocals), Sylvain Sylvain (guitar, backing vocals), Johnny Thunders (guitar, deceased), Arthur "Killer" Kane (bass, deceased), Billy Murcia (drums, deceased), Jerry Nolan (drums, deceased)
    Current members: David Johansen (vocals), Sylvain Sylvain (guitar, backing vocals), Steve Conte (guitar, backing vocals), Sami Yaffa (bass), Brian Delaney (drums), Brian Koonin (keyboards)

    The New York Dolls created punk rock before there was a term for it. Building on the Rolling Stones' dirty rock & roll, Mick Jagger's androgyny, girl group pop, the glam rock of David Bowie and T. Rex, and the Stooges' anarchic noise, the New York Dolls created a new form of hard rock that presaged both punk rock and heavy metal. Their drug-fueled, shambolic performances influenced a generation of musicians in New York and London, who all went on to form punk bands. And although they self-destructed quickly, the band's two albums remained two of the most popular cult records in rock & roll history.

    All of the members of the New York Dolls played in New York bands before they formed in late 1971. Guitarists Johnny Thunders and Rick Rivets, bassist Arthur Kane, and drummer Billy Murcia were joined by vocalist David Johansen. Early in 1972, Rivets was replaced by Syl Sylvian and the group began playing regularly in lower Manhattan, particularly at the Mercer Arts Center. Within a few months, they had earned a dedicated cult following, but record companies were afraid of signing the band because of their cross-dressing and blatant vulgarity

    Late in 1972, the New York Dolls embarked on their first tour of England. During the tour, drummer Murcia died after mixing drugs and alcohol. He was replaced by Jerry Nolan. After Nolan joined the band, the Dolls finally secured a record contract with Mercury Records. Todd Rundgren -- whose sophisticated pop seemed at odds with the band's crash-and-burn rock & roll -- produced the band's eponymous debut, which appeared in the summer of 1973. The record received overwhelmingly positive reviews, but it didn't stir the interest of the general public; the album peaked at number 116 on the U.S. charts. The band's follow-up, Too Much Too Soon, was produced by the legendary girl group producer George "Shadow" Morton. Although the sound of the record was relatively streamlined, the album was another commercial failure, only reaching number 167 upon its early summer 1974 release.

    Following the disappointing sales of their two albums, Mercury Records dropped the New York Dolls. No other record labels were interested in the band, so they decided to hire a new manager, the British Malcolm McLaren, who would soon become famous for managing the Sex Pistols. With the Dolls, McLaren began developing his skill for turning shock into invaluable publicity. Although he made it work for the Pistols just a year later, all of his strategies backfired for the Dolls. McLaren made the band dress completely in red leather and perform in front of the USSR's flag; all of which meant to symbolize the Dolls' alleged communist allegiance. The new approach only made record labels more reluctant to sign the band and members soon began leaving the group.

    By the middle of 1975, Thunders and Nolan left the Dolls. The remaining members, Johansen and Sylvain, fired McLaren and assembled a new lineup of the band. For the next two years, the duo led a variety of different incarnations of the band, to no success. In 1977, Johansen and Sylvain decided to break up the band permanently. Over the next two decades, various outtakes collections, live albums, and compilations were released by a variety of labels and the New York Dolls' two original studio albums never went out of print.

    Upon the Dolls' break up, David Johansen began a solo career that would eventually metamorphose into his lounge-singing alter-ego Buster Poindexter in the mid-'80s. Syl Sylvain played with Johansen for two years before he left to pursue his own solo career. Johnny Thunders formed the Heartbreakers with Jerry Nolan after they left the group in 1975. Over the next decade, the Heartbreakers would perform sporadically and Thunders would record the occasional solo album. On April 23, 1991, Thunders -- who was one of the more notorious drug abusers in rock & roll history -- died of a heroin overdose. Nolan performed at a tribute concert for Thunders later in 1991; a few months later, he died of a stroke at the age of 40.

    In 2004, Morrissey arranged a reunion of the three surviving band members (Johansen, Sylvain, and Kane) for the Meltdown Festival. This was extremely well received, producing a live LP and DVD on Morrissey's label, as well as spawning the documentary New York Doll, Kane's point of view on the reunion contrasted against his conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Sadly, Kane passed away on July 13, 2004 from complications of leukemia.

    In July 2005, a new tour and studio album were announced. With guitarist Steve Conte, bassist [artist=Hanoi Rocks]Sami Yaffa[/artist], drummer Brian Delaney, and keyboardist Brian Koonin, the Dolls produced One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This, only their third studio album in nearly 3 decades of existence.

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