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Sylvain Sylvain

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Album Review

It is often forgotten that Syl Sylvain co-wrote many of the New York Dolls' best songs, but he did. While this album will forever be compared to the classic first solo albums by Syl's fellow ex-Dolls, David Johansen and Johnny Thunders, this record is good enough to be judged on its own terms. The material here is strong, and it is more of a lighthearted '50s rock & roll affair than might have been expected. Two of the songs, "Teenage News" and "14th Street Beat," date back to the final days of the NY Dolls. These versions are fantastic and inevitably lead to singalongs. However, the real standout is "What's That Got to Do With Rock 'n' Roll?." It's an undeniable song, so much so that mainstream radio picked up on it at the time. The playing is really loose in a good way. Not sloppy by any means, but played, sung, and produced with an appreciation for what made rock & roll fun in the first place.


Born: 1953 in Cairo, Egypt

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Following the breakup of the New York Dolls, guitarist Sylvain Sylvain continued to work with David Johansen for a time, but also began directing his efforts to a solo career. Prior to joining the Dolls, Sylvain had been in a band called Actress with future Dolls Johnny Thunders and Billy Murcia; when a replacement was needed for guitarist Rick Rivets, Sylvain stepped in. After the Dolls' breakup in 1977, Sylvain remained with Johansen for the next two years while forming a band called the Criminals,...
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Sylvain Sylvain, Sylvain Sylvain
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