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New York Tapes 72-73

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Album Review

Before the New York Dolls ever set foot inside a recording studio with Todd Rundgren to work on their classic 1973 self-titled debut, the group had recorded a healthy number of demo tapes. Unsurprisingly, many of these tapes have circulated among fans on the bootleg market for years — reappearing from year to year under a variety of different titles. 2000's New York Tapes: 1972-1973 was the latest Dolls comp to dip into this demo backlog, but unlike most if its similar predecessors (Seven Day Weekend, etc.), New York Tapes is only a meager seven tracks in length. On a few selections, we get a glimpse at the original Dolls lineup (which included late drummer Billy Murcia), before the best-known Dolls lineup (with Jerry Nolan replacing Murcia) takes shape. Included are such glam classics as "Looking for a Kiss" and "Personality Crisis," as well as a fine cover of "Don't Mess With Cupid" (which really should have been included on one of their full-lengths — it could have possibly served as a breakthrough single), plus such punk prototypes as "Pills" and "Human Being." While it's interesting to hear these raw versions, they have been better packaged elsewhere (and more importantly, with a much more generous track listing).


Formed: 1971 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '00s, '10s

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 Stooges' anarchic noise, and the glam rock of David Bowie and T. Rex, 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...
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