gullbuy music review

New York Dolls


Lipstick Killers




New York Dolls CD coverThe New York Dolls had only been formed four and a half months before these studio tracks were recorded by Marty Thau at the Mercer Street Arts Center. Marty Thau ran Red Star records, the label that put out records by Suicide. The tracks from this Mercer St. session were originally released as a cassette on Reach Out International Records (ROIR).

David Johansen goes crazy at the end of Jet Boy like Wayne County in the Electric Chairs' version of the Stone's The Last Time.

If you love The Dolls, you need to own

  • the first self-titled full length
  • Too Much, Too Soon
  • Repertoire's Endless Party CD
  • Get Hip's Seven Day Weekend LP - avoid similiarly titled CDs on other labels
  • this CD - Lipstick Killers

Lipstick Killers is especially valuable for two reasons:

  1. You can hear the lyrics David Johansen sings much clearer that any other record
  2. It contains the only studio version they recorded of Don't Mess With Cupid, a song popularized by Otis Redding

The Dolls wrote great songs, as well as interpreted blues standards in fantastically new ways. The way they performed Sonny Boy Williamson's Don't Start Me Talking or Bo Diddley's Pills were awe inspiring.

On this CD, the songs I like best - I mean the versions I like best (all the songs are great) - are Lookin' For A Kiss, Don't Start Me Talking, Human Being and Jet Boy. Each offer a much different vision of the track than ended up on their studio albums, with the exception of Don't Start Me Talking, which never MADE it onto a studio album.

While this CD is the least crucial (in my opinion) of the four essential Dolls discs highlighted above, it is well worth buying, especially when you consider the dozens of inferior live bootleg records offered through the years.

Faves: 2,3,4,5,8

---Carl, November 22, 2005