The Story of How the New York Dolls Reunited for ‘One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This’
It took three decades for the world to catch up to the New York Dolls. In July 2006, they released One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, their first record of new material since 1974's Too Much Too Soon.
The reunion was the work of superfan Morrissey, who took it upon himself to get the surviving members -- guitarist Johnny Thunders died in 1991 and drummer Jerry Nolan passed away a year later -- for the 2004 Meltdown Festival, and it worked. Singer David Johansen, guitarist Sylvain Sylvain and bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane, performed for the first time in years, with help from guitarist Steve Conte, keyboardist Brian Koonin and drummer Gary Powell.
Tragedy, however, was right around the corner again, when, less than a month after the reunion, bassist Arthur Kane died from leukemia. But since the ball was already rolling, Sylvain and Johansen, now the only original members, decided to let it roll, bringing in bassist Sam Yaffa of the late, great Hanoi Rocks, to record a new album.
One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This is a solid rock and roll record by a band calling themselves the New York Dolls. But were they really the New York Dolls? Well, yes and no. The band at hand were able to capture some of the spirit of the past, particularly on tracks like "We're All In Love," which kicks it out right outta the gate, and especially "Dance Like A Monkey," the album's lead single.
Watch the Video for "Dance Like a Monkey"
"Runnin' Around' is pure Rolling Stones, while "Plenty of Music" draws on the vintage girl-group style the band so loved in their heyday. "Punishing World," "Fishnets & Cigarettes" and "Gotta Get Away from Tommy" are all first-rate rockers, and the production of Jack Douglas lends power to the punch, but something was missing. By someone else's standards, it might be heard as the dawning of a new era of rock and roll, but with that blessed and cursed moniker of the New York Dolls, one couldn't help but expect more. That's not slighting the guys, it's just that with albums like their 1973 debut and it's follow-up, Too Much Too Soon, there was a lot to live up to.
“I don’t know if it’s more spiritual,” Johansen told the New York Times upon its release. “But it’s more worldcentric, y’know what I mean? It’s not as colloquial as when we first came out. We were really just entertaining the neighborhood at that point. We were the band of the East Village that everybody danced to.”
Clocking in at 50 minutes, it's longer than either of the other albums, but more is less here as it starts to drag at some point. And as strong as half of it is, when you're missing three key players in the story, it's hard to digest this as a genuine "comeback." The decade since its release hasn't tarnished or polished it. It’s a good rock and roll album made under the name of a band that had only made great records in a previous life.
25 Bands You Won't Believe Aren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Yet