Various Artists: The New York Dolls Heard Them Here First (Ace/Border)

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Chuck Berry: Too Much Monkey Business
Various Artists: The New York Dolls Heard Them Here First (Ace/Border)

There are quite a number of these kinds of collections available now -- the music on the imagined jukeboxes of George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, the Cramps etc, and in this series the music which inspired Elvis Presley, the Ramones and Cliff Richard.

But this one is interesting because the New York Dolls were so reviled by the mainstream music press in Britain when they arrived their in the early Seventies (but inspired the young people soon to become the Sex Pistols). The straight press couldn't take the Dolls seriously because of their hair, trash ethic and singer David Johansen out-Jaggering Mick with his huge pouting lips.

So what music inspired this trash and thrash group?

Some of it is not unexpected, the black rhythm'n'blues of Bo Diddley (here with Pills), Otis Redding (Don't Mess With Cupid), the doo-wop on speed of the Coasters with Bad Detective and the gimmicky Stranded in the Jungle by the Jayhawks.

But also white rock'n'roll: the short-lived Eddie Cochran (Somethin' Else), garageband rock (Paul Revere and the Raiders' Not Your Stepping Stone which inspired the Pistols to cover it), Elvis Presley's great Crawfish, the Kinks (Alcohol) and Dave Bartholomew's Who Drank My Beer While I Was In The Rear? 

These 24 tracks were songs which the Dolls rehearsed, did demos of or recorded, or which Johansen and Johnny Thunders covered in their subsequent careers.

With a very decent liner essay about the Dolls career, this is a mish-mash of the familiar, the obscure and the oddball.

Which in a way was exactly what the Stones-like New York Dolls were. 

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