New York Dolls – Liveblog
I love Fopp Shops. This love was tested recently; when I found out they had been bought out by HMV. But as long as they don’t jack up the prices and get rid of all the all the weird stuff that I like, I can forgive them. It was in my local Fopp, that I stumbled across the debut album from the New York Dolls, for the princely sum of £3. Except for a snippet here and there, I’ve never heard any of these guys’ work before. It’s a huge area of ignorance, I know.
I’ve decided to ‘Live blog’ my initial reactions to listening to the album. For the uninitiated, that just means I’ll jot down a few thoughts as I listen. I thought little nuggets of unedited, dashed-off reactions would be fitting for generation Twit.
N.B. I’m going into this without reading up on the band. I don’t want anything to influence my listening.
Track 1 – Personality Crisis
0:00 – These are some scary looking guys on the album cover. Dressing up like a woman to upset your girlfriend’s parents seems to be a time-honoured tradition.
0:30 – It’s quite punky so far. And this is from 1973, before punk officially began. Just goes to show that all this breaking down of music into different genres is rubbish.
2:00 – They don’t sound particularly camp; really butch in fact. The cover art made me think they’d sound like a goth version of the Scissor Sisters.
Track 2 – Looking For A Kiss
1:00 – It’s a real mix of stuff so far: Glam, Stones, Metal. That riff is right out of T-Rex.
2:30 – The lyrics have the appropriate level of sleaze.
Track 3 – Vietnamese Baby
0:10 – A song called Vietnamese Baby that starts with a gong. This could get offensive!
3:00 – The vocals sound like a precursor to Death Metal.
Track 4 – Lonely Planet Boy
0:30 – This sounds like a change of pace. The lyrics seem full of the usual innuendo though.
1:30 – This is more like I was expecting them to sound. There’s a dark cabaret vibe to this one.
Track 5 – Frankenstein (Orig)
2:00 – They’re questioning whether it’s wrong to fall in love with Frankenstein. Frankenstein – No. His monster – Yes.
3:00 – This was many, many years before ‘Feed My Frankenstein’
4:00 – It all sounds very ‘modern’. All the tracks so far could be recorded today and not sound retro. maybe that means we just haven’t moved on very far.
5:15 – The longest track on the album, but it doesn’t outstay its welcome.
Track 6 – Trash
1:00 – There’s some quite cool vocal effects on this one. The melodies (and harmonies) are as catchy as ever.
2:30 – It occurs to me that these guys can really play, and it’s certainly been really energetic so far. And that’s one thing that modern bands lack: energy.
Track 7 – Bad Girl
1:00 – This album is loud; whatever volume you play it at.
1:30. – It seems to me that all the songs are love songs, albeit unconventional ones. Or more precisely, songs about unconventional love.
Track 8 – Subway Train
0:30 – These guys obviously influenced the Ramones. Also Television. The list could go on, really.
1:45 – Very Stones-y again. But in a good way.
Track 9 – Pills
1:00 They’re talking about pills. Don’t worry, it’s all for medicinal purposes of course.
2:15 They’re now singing about doctors and nurses, but oddly enough, not in a sexual way. Probably not anyway.
Track 10 – Private World
1:00 – All the songs are in a similar vein, without being samey.
1:30 – There’s a playful feel to this whole album, which is sadly missing with today’s self-involved artists.
2:45 – The refrain in this song is ‘Shut That Door’. I wonder if they were fans of Larry Grayson! Or maybe he was a fan of them.
Track 11 – Jet Boy
1:00 – This track is much the same as the others. Seems like they’re not going for something different for the finale.
3:00 – They’re keeping the energy right to the end. It certainly doesn’t limp out.
4:00 – I would’ve enjoyed this more if I wasn’t blogging my way through it! Will listen again soon, when I’m not in front of the PC. Then I’ll be able to pay more attention to the sleazy lyrics.
4:39 – Fin. In summary then: Excellent.