New York Dolls – Dancing Backward in High Heels

January 01, 1970

(429)

 

www.429records.com

 

The third
studio album since the New York Dolls’ resurrection, Dancing Backward in High Heels diverges most from the original – even
as it draws from similar inspiration. Bandleaders David Johansen and Sylvain
Sylvain’s love for the R&B balladry and girl group sounds of the late ‘50s/early
‘60s is well-documented, and it dominates this record.

 

Sax and organ-heavy
arrangements bolster upbeat melodies, from the doo-woppish “Talk to Me Baby”
and the Spectorized “Fool For You Baby” to the Motown-swinging “Round and Round
She Goes” and the Stax-suffused remake of “Funky But Chic” (from Johansen’s
first solo album). The reggae-inflected “Baby, Tell Me What I’m On” and the glammy
“I’m So Fabulous” break the mood, but neither song stands on its own merits. Raunchy
rock is absent (due to the replacement of guitarist Steve Conte with former
Blondie axeman Frank Infante?) and new bassist Jason Hill’s production
sparkles, making this the Doll’s poppiest LP.

 

Stalwarts
may look askance, but with overt paeans to the music Johansen and Sylvain love,
Dancing Backward in High Heels isn’t an
unexpected sidestep.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Talk to Me Baby,” “Funky But
Chic,” “Round and Round She Goes” MICHAEL TOLAND

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