The New York Dolls self titled debut took a few years. They were on their way to signing a big contract but the tragic death of their original drummer Billy Murcia but a kibosh on that. After a couple of years Mercury Records signed them for a three record deal and had 60's rocker Todd Rundgren produced the album. It was a big task because Rundgren not only had to try and capture their raw live sound but he also wanted to refine and hone it. Everybody in the band wanted to be heard on the record and he did the best he could to satisfy their wishes. What he captured on the tapes was pure gold.
Six of the eleven tracks were composed by Thunders and Johansen (Bad Girl, Subway Train, Personality Crisis, Jet Boy, Lonely Planet Boy and Looking For A Kiss) . Sylvain and Johansen co wrote two (Trash and Frankenstein), Johansen wrote a solo (Vietnamese Baby) and co wrote one with "Killer" Kane" (Private World). The lone cover song was a Bo Diddley tune called "Pills". One of their biggest influences was The Shangri-Las and you can hear it specifically on "Looking For A Kiss". The two guitar attack of Sylvain and Thunders playing loud blues influenced riffs along with the steady bass lines of Kane and the steady percussion work of Jerry Nolan make all of the songs move along like a speeding train powered by the raspy vocals of front man David Johansen.
The album didn't sell very well and the follow up disc sold even less. But the Dolls were an inspiration to many bands such as KISS, Aerosmith and the young punk rock music in the UK. You want to hear some hard edge rock then you'll want to check out this album.
Vocals: David Johansen Guitar: Johnny Thunders Guitar: Sylvain Sylvain Bass: Arthur "KIller" Kane Drums: Jerry Nolan