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David Johansen

It is often forgotten or overlooked that after the inevitable implosion of the original New York Dolls
and the "rise" (so to speak) of that Buster Poindexter nonsense, that David Johansen put out some great music, including one fairly unknown five-star classic album.....blending Dolls-like garage-punk blare with a more mature, white-blues sound, if you missed out on this stuff the first time, don't hesitate here......

The history of the Dolls, of course, is well-documented, no need to rehash it here, I think I have put up a  bunch of Dolls rarities and stuff before, I don't THINK I have ever put these up, at least all of them, and even if I have they are worth another shot.

After the Dolls were dead and gone, in 1978, Johansen released one of the great unknown rock albums of all time, not kidding here......his self titled solo debut is a rock-soul masterpiece, nine songs all of the absolute highest quality......opening with the strange "Funky But Chic" ("Momma thinks I look pretty fruity but in jeans I feel rotten"), the manic "Girls" ("I like to watch em go down"), the soulful "Pain in My Heart", hard rocking "Not That Much" and super heartfelt "Donna", this is one incredible album, one that has not dated a bit, and by the way, that is just side ONE, the LESSER of the two sides......

Side two opens with the positively explosive "Cool Metro", which basically (coming from a Dolls fan) blasts every Dolls track out of the park, the amazingly catchy "I'm a Lover" with it's goofy spoken intro, the powerful "Lonely Tenament", and the finest song Johansen has ever created "Frenchette", which is so great, so complicated,  and works on so many levels that trying to explain it here  be pointless, just listen to it over and over and be amazed.

This is, in my opinion, obviously, a fantastic record, and mine is just that, a RECORD (vinyl rip) so it
does NOT include the CD-only B-Side "The Rope (The Let Go Song)", before I post I will see if I can find a copy of it on the Bay or something. (Edit:Couldn't find one.....that'd be a great share if anyone has a CD copy of this, I have never heard it and would obviously like to). Trust me, though, this is a classic, 5-star, unknown masterwork that sank without a trace at time of release. PLEASE grab this and I assure you, you will love it.

OK, his other commercial solo works are not up to this caliber, or even close......the follow up "In Style" is a so-so record, with occasional highlights ("She", "Swaheto Woman") but it pales next to the self titled epic (anything would)......"Here Comes the Night" is even less spectacular, in my opinion, and right this second I can't find it, I'm sure I have one here somewhere, and likely I'll find it before I post......(Edit: found it!)

So, is that it? One masterpiece and a pair of so-so follow-ups? Well, no, because Johansen was such a dynamic live performer and we have a tasty variety of live discs here for your pleasure. "Live It Up" with it's minor-hit Animals medley, was something of a commercial success, as it should have been, a tour de force with some perfect cover material (the aforementioned Animals stuff, "Reach Out I'll Be There", "Build Me Up Buttercup") some welcome Dolls material ("Personality Crisis", "Stranded in the Jungle") and even "Frenchette" and a couple others from the solo debut......really, really great live release, glad someone had the balls to pit out commercially, couldn't really have blamed them if they'd have left it in the vaults in view of his previous lack of commercial success.

Got a bunch of other live sets here, including FOUR from 1978 when he was at his smoking, solo-album masterpiece-making best, "Philadelphia 7/17/78" features "Cool Metro" (which would have made "Live It Up" nearly a perfect set), versions of "It's a Heartache" and "Love Child" that you will find great, and the other essentials: "Frenchette", Dolls classics.....what are you waiting for, I think this is fairly rare.

"Madison Wisconsin 7/4/78" features a similar setlist (it was, after all, a few days before the Philly
show), but does include a rare "Give Me a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer". "Live at the Bottom Line 1978" is a fairly common promotional album, it's a good one also albeit with again a similar set list, this  can also be said for "Cleveland Agora 5/29/78".......maybe you don't want all of these, but they are all pretty good and if you are a Dolls fan or even a David Jo fan, this might be a treasure trove you've stumbled upon today.

Finally, from 1981, we have another set from the Bottom Line, a WNEW simulcast, which includes some latter-day material such as "Melody"and "She Loves Strangers", mixed in with the prerequisite Dolls numbers and classics from the self-titled masterwork.

Some great music here, maybe something you've not heard...if you've never heard the solo debut, you'll be amazed.....if you HAVE heard it, you will flip for the live recordings......and you are STILL craving more, "In Style" and "Here Comes the Night" at least have their moments......sorry (well, really, NOT sorry), but no Buster Poindexter foolishness here.....I mean, I always advise not to take music TOO seriously, but I suppose that would be an example of taking things just a tad too far in the other direction

DAVID JOHNASEN-01 Funky But Chic/02 Girls/03 Pain In My Heart/04 Not That Much/05 Donna/06 Cool Metro/07 I'm a Lover/08 Lonely Tenament/09 Frenchette

IN STYLE-01 Melody/02 She/03 Big City/04 She Knew She Was Falling In Love/05 Swaheto Woman/06 Justine/07 In Style/08 You Touched Me Too/09 Wreckless Crazy/10 Flamingo Road

HERE COMES THE NIGHT-01 She Loves Strangers/02 Bohemian Love Pad/03 You Fool You/04 My Obsession/05 Marquesa De Sade/06 Here Comes the Night/07 Suspicion/08 Party Tonight/09 Havin' So Much Fun/10 Rollin' Job/11 Heart of Gold/12 Here Comes the Night

LIVE IT UP-01 Medley-We Gotta Get Outta This Place/Don't Bring Me Down/02 Frenchette/03 Reach Out, I'll Be There/04 Is That What I Get For Loving You/05 Donna/06 Build Me Up Buttercup/07 Melody/08 Funky But Chic/09 Bohemian Love Pad/10 Stranded In the Jungle/11 Personality Crisis

LIVE AT THE BOTTOM LINE 1978-01 Funky But Chic/02 Not That Much/03 Build Me Up
Buttercup/04 I'm a Lover/05 Donna/06 Frenchette/07 Lonely Tenement/08 Girls/09 Personality Crisis

PHILADELPHIA 7/17/78-Station ID, DJ Intro/02 Cool Metro/03 Looking For a Kiss/04 Not That Much/05 Funky But Chic/06 Donna/07 Build Me Up Buttercup/08 I Found Love/09 I'm a Lover/10 Love Child/11 Reach Out I'll Be There/12 Girls/13 Lonely Tenement/14 Frenchette/15 Personality Crisis/16 It's a Heartache/Personality Crisis (reprise)/17 Outro

MADISON WISCONSIN 7/4/8-01 Cool Metro/02 Looking For a Kiss/03 Not That Much/04 Funky But Chic/05 Donna/06 I'm a Lover/07 Build Me Up Buttercup/08 I Found a Love/09 Give Me a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer/10 Love Child/11 Reach Out and I'll Be There/12 Frenchette/13 Lonely Tenement (cut)

CLEVELAND 5/29/78-01 Intro/Cool Metro/02 Looking For a Kiss/03 Not That Much/04 Funky But Chic/05 Build Me Up Buttercup/06 Donna/07 I'm a Lover/08 Frenchette/09 Band Intros/10 Reach Out I'll Be There/11 Lonely Tenement/12 Girls/13 Personality Crisis

BOTTOM LINE 7/15/81-01 Intro/Cool Metro/02 Here Comes the Night/03 Funky But Chic/04 Melody/05 She Loves Strangers/06 She Loves Strangers (conclusion)/07 Build Me Up Buttercup/08 Marquesa De Sade/09 Stranded In the Jungle/10 Bohemian Love Pad/11 Frenchette/12 Reach Out I'll Be There/13 Girls/14 WNEW DJ's/15 Personality Crisis/16 WNEW DJ's/17 Wreckless Crazy/18 WNEW DJ's

Hope that keeps ya busy for a little while at least. Links in a little while.....want to hear about my retirement? OK, I will stop....for now at least. All joking aside this is a post of which I am proud and I think there is some great AND hard to find music here, so by all means check this out, in particular fans of the Dolls, of soul/rock, and of just plain great rock n roll.

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