Review: New York Dolls – Live at the Fillmore East

Label: Sony BMG

Released: May 27, 2008

Live at the Fillmore East was recorded only a little over a month before I saw the Dolls play in Baltimore, so I had a good idea of the potential this release had. Despite my feelings about One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, I found the show to be warm, exciting and just plain fun. The question wasn’t whether the Dolls were good live, but whether they could be captured on the album.

If Live at the Fillmore East has a fault, it’s brevity. The album has only 10 tracks culled from two shows. They rely heavily on their first (and best) record while only taking two a piece from its follow-up and their reunion album. For those who found One Day It Will Please Us… refreshing, it may be a bit disappointing to miss “Fishnets & Cigarettes” or “Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano” and even I was a bit disappointed that the focus here was on the past. Nonetheless, the Dolls don’t sound like old men here. They’re excited and energetic and the album captures a good bit of the warmth they exude in their live show. Sure, much of the funny banter is missing (Sylvain is pretty funny), but human beauty (yeah, they’re beautiful in their own way) is still there. The dedication of “Lonely Planet Boy” to Johnny Thunders is touching even (or as touching as a bunch of old punks can be).

Like any live album, this is no substitute for seeing the real thing, so get out there and catch these guys while you can. In the meantime though, Live at the Fillmore East should hold you over. And if you’ve already seen them, it serves as a great memory.

Satriani: 6/10
Zappa: 6/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 8/10
Overall: 7/10



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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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