The argument can be made-indeed,New York rockers made it-that the Dolls not only sired New York's heady '70s underground (the Ramones,for instance,who also invaded from the outer boroughs), they also taught English punks (the Damned, the Sex Pistols) how to spit,swagger,and roar.As David Johansen put it in "Frankenstein," on the Dolls' debut, "Something musta happened over Manhattan," a cloud that blew around the world,altering the music genes in descendants as farflung as Axl Rose and Morrissey.Efficiently produced by Todd Rundgren,the first album holds up as an essential compendium of urban rock,drenched in whatcha-lookin'-at street-corner defiance, full of alley-cat sex howls.For all the draggy, grimy undertones,however,the Dolls were romantics at heart, unabashed lovers looking for a kiss, citing the threat of nuclear apocalypse (in the hysterical "Bad Girl") as the excuse to get it on right now.They knew the city was doomed and loved it nonetheless,making songs out of daily life ("Trash","Subway Train","Personality Crisis").Always swinging,teetering on its platform shoes,the band, particularly guitarist Johnny Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan, threatened to implode at any moment, and sometimes did.


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