It was released on July 27, 1973, by Mercury Records. The band proved difficult to market outside their native New York and developed a reputation for rock-star excesses while touring the United States in support of the album. New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain has died at 69, per a post on his Facebook page.He had been battling cancer for the last few years. [23] On "Subway Train", he used lyrics from the American folk standard "Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah". We acted like we were already rock stars. [64] In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Joe Gross called it an "absolutely essential" record and "epic sleaze, the sound of five young men shaping the big city in their own scuzzy image". They were also ahead of their time. [80] In 2013, it placed at number 355 on NME's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. [4], Known for having refined pop tastes and technologically savvy productions, Rundgren had become increasingly interested in progressive rock sounds by the time he was enlisted to produce the New York Dolls' debut album. A fifth studio album, Dancing Backward in High Heels, featuring both Johansen and Sylvain and produced and mixed by Jason Hill, appeared from 429 Records early in 2011. New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain has died at the age of 69. [53] Ellen Willis, writing for The New Yorker, said it is by far 1973's most compelling hard rock album and that at least half of its songs are immediate classics, particularly "Personality Crisis" and "Trash", which she called "transcendent". "[21] Thunders famously complained to a journalist that Rundgren "fucked up the mix" on New York Dolls, adding to stories that the two had clashed during the album's recording. [65] Sylvain attributed its influence on punk rock to how Rundgren recorded his guitar through the left speaker and Thunders' guitar on the right side, an orientation which he said younger bands such as the Ramones and the Sex Pistols adopted. Read Full Biography. [46], After the album's release, the Dolls toured the US as a supporting act for English rock band Mott the Hoople. In New York, Sylvain had been a member of the group Actress – alongside Arthur Kane, Johnny Thunders and Billy Murcia – before co-founding New York Dolls in 1971. Their drug-fueled, shambolic performances influenced a generation of … "[31] Sylvain jokingly said "Frankenstein" was titled with the parenthetical qualifier because rock musician Edgar Winter had released his song of the same name before the band could record their own: "Our song 'Frankenstein' was a big hit in our live show ... Now, his thing didn't sound at all like ours, but I'm sure he stole our title. In a Creem magazine reader's poll in 1973, the New York Dolls were voted "Best New Group" and "Worst Group". Sylvain Sylvain in the foreground, playing with New York Dolls in 2008. [52] In a rave review for NME, published in August 1973, Nick Kent said the band's raunchy style of rock and roll had been vividly recorded by Rundgren on an album that, besides Iggy and the Stooges' Raw Power (1973), serves as the only one "so far to fully define just exactly where 1970s rock should be coming from". The new approach only made record labels more reluctant to sign them and members soon began leaving the group. He later said that expectations for the band and the festive atmosphere of the recording sessions proved to be more of a problem: "The Dolls were critics' darlings and the press had kind of adopted them. [21] For the final mix, he minimized the sound of Nolan's drumming. It wasn't like these people who conceptualize things. [19], Some songs were embellished with additional instruments, including Buddy Bowser's brassy saxophone on "Lonely Planet Boy". ", "The Top 500 Albums of All Time, According to NME", "Reissue of Dolls' debut is stiletto-sharp", "Morrissey Reveals His Favourite LPs Of All Time", MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, "The New York punk albums you need in your record collection", "July 27, 1973: The 40th Anniversary of the Release of the Debut Album by The New York Dolls... Their Fan Club President Remembers", One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, Lipstick Killers – The Mercer Street Sessions 1972, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=New_York_Dolls_(album)&oldid=1001514208, Short description is different from Wikidata, Album articles lacking alt text for covers, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz release group identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 20 January 2021, at 01:18. [60] Chuck Eddy named it one of the records crucial to the evolution of rock music. "[12] He also said Rundgren directed the band from the control room with engineer Jack Douglas and hardly spoke to them while they recorded the album. However, he was slightly critical of production flourishes and overdubs, feeling they make some lyrics sound incomprehensible and some choruses too sonorous. To the surprise of many, David Johansen, Syl Sylvain, and Arthur Kane agreed to the gig, with Steve Conte (from Johansen's solo band) standing in for Thunders and Gary Powell from the Libertines sitting in on drums. He probably played with other well-seasoned players who may have graduated from, Lipstick Killers – The Mercer Street Sessions 1972, "BMI Songwriters Dominate Mojo's '100 Records That Changed The World, Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies, "Why Aren't the New York Dolls in the Rock Hall of Fame? During the tour, drummer Murcia died after mixing drugs and alcohol. [15] With a short amount of studio time and no concept in mind for the album, the band chose which songs to record based on how well they had been received at their live shows. In a period of three years they shot over 40 hours of New York Dolls footage. ", and ultimately found the exchange funny and indicative of Rundgren's opinion of the band: "Todd was such a 'musician' while they were just getting by on attitude and energy. [48] They also developed a reputation for rock-star excesses, including drugs, groupies, trashed hotel rooms, and public disturbances, and according to Ben Edmonds of Creem, became "the most walked-out-on band in the history of show business". [22] The photo was used for shock value, and on the back of the album, the band is photographed in their usual stage wear. and its hit singles "I Saw the Light" and "Hello It's Me". [54] In Newsday, Christgau hailed the New York Dolls as "the best hard rock band in the country and maybe the world right now", writing that their "special genius" is combining the shrewd songwriting savvy of early-1960s popular music with the anarchic sound of late-1960s heavy metal. They were afraid of us, I don't know why, but Todd wasn't. Despite stories of conflicts during the recording sessions, lead singer David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain later said Rundgren successfully captured how the band sounded live. It was just a document of what was going on at the time. [38] To announce the album's release, Mercury published an advertisement slogan that read "Introducing The New York Dolls: A Band You're Gonna Like, Whether You Like It Or Not", while other ads called them "The Band You Love to Hate". On April 23, 1991, Thunders was found dead in his room at the St. Peter House in New Orleans, Louisiana. That seemed like a good enough reason." Johnny Thunders formed the Heartbreakers with Jerry Nolan after they left the group in 1975. [6] At the band's first board meeting in Chicago, Johansen fell asleep in Mercury's conference room while record executives discussed potential producers. 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