New York Dolls

Live in NYC - 1975: Red Patent Leather

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This concert LP features one of the last live shows to include the New York Dolls' lineup with Jerry Nolan (drums) and Johnny Thunders (guitar). Less than a month later both would call it quits and the band would ultimately fold after their departure. The Dolls were fixtures in the Big Apple's burgeoning punk scene and this May 2, 1975, show at the Little Hippodrome is the perfect setting for this raw and passionate set. The band's brash and boozy attack perfectly animates a repertoire containing precious little from their own back catalog. The opening "Red Patent Leather" and "On Fire" never made it onto a Dolls studio platter, yet the combo charges through them with a notable swagger of familiarity. The lengthy list of cover material ranges from Eddie Cochran's angst and hormone-driven anthem "Something Else" -- which is given a nonconformist assault similar to that delivered by the Sex Pistols on their Great Rock & Roll Swindle reading from 1976. Otis Blackwell's "Daddy Rolling Stone" is a definite cop from the Who's early reworking and the unusual coupling of Clarence "Frogman" Henry's "I Ain't Got No Home" and Larry Williams' "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" reveals that the band obviously loved to grind through early rock and R&B. They also provide a definite relationship between rebellious '50s rock and soul and their '70s long-distance punk rock cousins. David Johansen's (vocals/mouth harp) "Girls" is a great inclusion that would be given a full-throttle reading on his first solo effort. Also included are Bo Diddley's "Pills" -- which is one of the few tracks taken from a Dolls album -- as well as Thunders' "Pirate Love," Sylvain Sylvain's (guitar) "Teenage News," and the compulsory medley of "Personality Crisis" and "Looking for a Kiss."

blue highlight denotes track pick