New York Dolls – Personality Crisis

Glam Rock straight from the seventies. The Dolls were full of  attitude, raw music, drugs, and mascara. They would offend as many as possible and often sabotage their own career…but they made their mark in rock history.

This song was written by Dolls lead singer David Johansen and guitarist Johnny Thunders. It was on their self titled debut album. The song was released as a single in 1973 with the B side called Trash. The song sounds loose and rocking. They had a punk hard rock sound and they influence many bands such as KISS, Guns n’ Roses, The Replacements, Sex Pistols, and  The Smiths. Morrissey from the Smiths helped organize a reunion concert in 2004.

Todd Rundgren (Todd was everywhere in the 70s) produced this album and Jack Douglas engineered it…he would later produce and work with artists Cheap Trick and John and Yoko on Double Fantasy.

The album peaked at #116 in the Billboard album charts but never hit the top 100.

Jack Douglas on guitarist Johnny Thunders: “Johnny never played the same thing twice. Sometimes, playing with the rhythm section, he just got the feel and he nailed it. At other times, he would stop playing because he knew he wasn’t going to get into it and he’d want to redo it later. Suddenly, he’d be in the control room with me. Then, when he overdubbed his leads, I would do four or five tracks and just comp them like a vocal. He was totally, totally unpredictable, and that’s how he was in life.”

Personality Crisis

Well we can’t take it this week
And her friends don’t want another speech
Hoping for a better day to hear what she’s got to say

All about that
Personality Crisis you got it while it was hot
But now frustration and heartache is what you got
(That’s why they talk about Personality)

But now your trying to be some no you got to do some
Wanna be someone who cow wow wows
But you think about the times you did they took every ounce
When it sure got to be a shame when you start to scream and shout
You got to contradict all those times you were butterflying about

(You were butterflying)
All about that Personality Crisis you got it while it was hot
But now frustration and heartache is what you got
break

And your a prima ballerina on a spring afternoon
Change on into the wolfman howling at the moon hooowww

All about that Personality Crisis you got it while it was hot
But now frustration and heartache is what you got

Now with all the crossing fingers that mother nature says
Your mirrors get jammed up with all your friends

That personality everything starts to blend
Personality when your mind starts to blend
Personality impression of a friend,
Of a friend, of a friend, of a friend, of a friend
Personality wondering how celebrities ever met
(Look and find out on television)

Personality Crisis you got it while it was hot
Frustration and heartache is all you got, don’t you worry
Personality Crisis please don’t cry
It’s just a Personality Crisis, please don’t stop

Because you walk a Personality
Talk a Personality

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

36 thoughts on “New York Dolls – Personality Crisis”

  1. I always had an aversion against the glitter image and prefer demin blue dresses. But the music of the New York Dolls is the best hard rock. Nice song, nice album – you can dance to it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I never knew much about him (but his name) until recently when I read the Replacements book Trouble Boys. I’ve been listening to some of his music with the Heartbreakers…
        I will check that out.

        Like

  2. To me, they’re like the Velvet Underground “plus”…which is to say, I’ve heard their name for decades and come across references to them frequently but I am hard pressed to think of a song by them that I know…probably they were more influential for their trend-setting style than the music but this one seems to foreshadow some of the punk that rolled around two or three years later. An obscure one – thanks fro sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea I’m trying to reach out…outside of what I’ve usually done. I do like the rawness of them. I didn’t know the Smiths were such fans. A lot of those 80’s alternative bands really liked Johnny Thunders.

      Like

  3. I still can’t get over seeing DJ as the lead singer of the band. I know him as the goofball in the SNL band and as the cab driver in Bill Murray’s Christmas Carol. He’s one of those people I wonder where is he now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Carole King should have been in years ago too – she has this weird situation where she is in as a songwriter, but as a solo artist she made one of the biggest albums of the 1970s.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is great. I’m fairly familiar with it, but for some reason or another I’ve just never spent time sitting down to listen to the New York Dolls beyond a couple of tracks. Maybe I should remedy that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Loud and raw…sometimes that is just called for…they influenced a lot of bands…much more than albums sold but they were a lot of fun.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they fit under “bands who influenced more than they sold” but there is nothing wrong with that…they have some good company…with the Replacements, Big Star, and others.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Speaking of those kind of bands… CB where did you first hear Green on Red? Of all those 80s alt college bands… they had some devoted fans but man I thought the Replacements were not well known…these guys had some great great stuff also…but they are truly in the shadows.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I cant remember Max. I was listening to so much of that stuff back then. It was Blaster time with Green On Red, Beat Farmers, X, Jason and the Scorchers. They all had that rock/country vibe I love. Joe Ely was in there to. There were a few more. I lived in Vancouver so maybe it was a West Coast thing. I got into Chuck Prophet a while ago and didnt even remember him being in G on R. I think the Replacements were probably more popular. Thats not saying much

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I cant remember Max. I was listening to so much of that stuff back then. It was Blaster time with Green On Red, Beat Farmers, X,
        Jason and the Scorchers. They all had that rock/country vibe I love. Joe Ely was in there to. There were a few more. I lived in Vancouver so maybe it was a West Coast thing. I got into Chuck Prophet a while ago and didnt even remember him being in G on R. I think the Replacements were probably more popular. Thats not saying much

        Liked by 2 people

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