February 03, 2011

New York Dolls: Dancing Backward in High Heels

New York Dolls
photo: Paul Bachman

From the big league to Newcastle. The New York Dolls recorded their new album in the tiny but well equipped Blast Studios in Newcastle. Produced by the engineer of The Killers, Jason Hill (who also plays bass), the Dolls had three weeks to come up with a new album. As per usual singer David Johansen supplied the lyrics and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain came up with the music and some words.

Their previous record, the 2009 album 'Cause I Sez So reunited the band with legendary producer Todd Rundgren, who brought back the Seventies glam and gloss. None of that is present on Dancing Backward in High Heels, which is raw and heartfelt. Obviously inspired by playing a three night stand at the tiny club The Cluny (September 4-6, 2010) they revisited the Sixties doo-wop (I Sold My Heart to The Junkman). Johansen stills projects the raunchy front man (I'm So Fabulous, Talk To Me Baby), but he also realizes that he is older and wiser now, singing as slow song about Kids Like You, on top of an Animals-esque organ played by Sylvain.

With original Blondie guitarist Frank Infante and Brian Delaney on drums, you'd expect to transported back to CBGB's. But Dancing Backward in High Heels has more musical depth. By bringing in a string quartet for You Don’t Have to Cry and a sax player who can add to the choruses like a Fifties cat, the Dolls pay tribute to their musical roots. As Sylvain explains in the accompanying Making of ... DVD, there's no real need for them to write new stuff. They would make enough money as a retro-act, but they want to keep on creating. And if three weeks in Newcastle can do the trick, they can carry on for many more years. They are still Funky But Chic.

New York Dolls: Dancing Backward in High Heels

Dancing Backward in High Heels is released on Blast Records. Release date: March 14 in the UK (March 18 in the rest of Europe). Comes with a bonus DVD filmed during the recording of the album, incorporating previous unseen footage and “live” audio tracks from the bands three sold-out performances at The Cluny, Newcastle, on September 4th, 5th and 6th 2010.

  1. Fool For You Baby
  2. Streetcake
  3. I’m So Fabulous
  4. Talk to Me Baby
  5. Kids Like You
  6. Round and Round She Goes
  7. You Don’t Have to Cry
  8. I Sold My Heart to The Junkman
  9. Baby Tell Me What I’m On
  10. Funky But Chic
  11. End of the Summer
Live date:

» nydolls.org

HCTF review of 'Cause I Sez So.

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