New York Dolls

Looking for a Kiss

Composed by David Johansen / Johnny Thunders

Song Review by

Along with "Personality Crisis" and "Trash," "Looking for a Kiss" completes the trilogy of essential New York Dolls songs, the three songs on which their reputation was built. From the spoken word opening brazenly plagiarized from the Shangri-Las' "Give Him a Great Big Kiss" to Johnny Thunders' equally shameless copping of Keith Richards' signature riffs, "Looking for a Kiss" is built on stolen parts. It's what the Dolls do with their influences that matters, and what they do is infuse the song with the insouciant brattiness of David Johansen's sneering vocals. Furthermore, the oft-quoted line "Everyone's going to your house to shoot up in your room/Most of them are beautiful but so obsessed with gloom" is an acidic putdown -- over half a decade beforehand -- of what punk and its attendant sub-scenes would become. It's like Johansen and Thunders knew that Siouxsie and the Banshees were coming.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
New York Dolls 1973 Mercury
Lipstick Killers (Mercer St. Sessions) 1981 Combat Records / ROIR 3:42
After the Storm 1985 Receiver Records / Receiver 3:26
No Image 1986 Mercury
Paris Is Burning 1993 Skydog 3:48
Rock 'n Roll 1994 Mercury 3:17
Nice Enough to Eat [Receiver] 1994
Various Artists
Receiver 3:30
Postcards From America [Original Soundtrack] 1995
Original Soundtrack
Polygram
Live in Concert - Paris 1974 1998 Red Star Records 3:38
Glam Rock Hits 1999 Cleopatra 3:26
Street Trash 1999 Recall (UK) 3:28
The Filth and the Fury [Virgin] 2000
Original Soundtrack
Virgin 3:19
New York Tapes: 1972-1973 2000 Import 3:35
Hard Night's Day 2000 Norton 3:35
Archive 2001 Import 3:26
History of Punk Rock 2001
Various Artists
Retro Music
From Paris with Love (L.U.V.) 2002 Sympathy for the Record Industry 3:47
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the New York Dolls 2003 Mercury / Island 3:18
The Return of the New York Dolls: Live from Royal Festival Hall, 2004 2004 BMG / Sanctuary 3:38
All Dolled Up [Video] 2005 Music Video Distribution
From Here to Eternity: The Live Box Set 2006 Castle Music Ltd. 3:18
Private World 2006 Castle Music Ltd. 3:27
Manhattan Mayhem: A History of the New York Dolls 2006 Freud/Jungle 3:48
Punk: F**k Art Let's Danse 2007
Various Artists
Music Club Deluxe 3:41
Babylon's Burning: Rough and Ready Rise of Punk 1973 to 1978 2007
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 3:34
Live at the Fillmore East December 28 & 29, 2007 2008 Sony Music Distribution 3:52
Adventureland 2009
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood Europe 3:19
Live from the Bowery 2011 2011 Floating World
If It's Saturday This Must Be Paris 2011 Music Avenue / Rokarola Records 3:54
French Kiss '74/Actress: Birth of the New York Dolls 2013 Cleopatra 3:47
Live At Radio Luxembourg, Paris 1973 Lilith
blue highlight denotes editor's pick