The New York Dolls didn't look punk. And when they were busy inventing the American version of what would eventually get called punk, it really didn't have a name. Despite being championed by critics from coast to coast, the Dolls had more of a critical than commercial impact. Too Much Too Soon is the band's second album, produced by Shadow Morton, who had the distinction of having worked with both the Shangri-Las and Vanilla Fudge. In some ways, it could be said that this album splits the difference between those two bands, plenty heavy, but with a melodic undercurrent. The Dolls were not only talented writers, they were skilled musical interpreters, covering not only the Cadets' 1956 hit "Stranded In The Jungle," but Gamble & Huff's more contemporary "(There's Gonna Be A) Showdown," which had been a hit for Archie Bell& The Drells in 1968. At thirty years' remove, the album sounds a lot less radical than it did in 1974, but with the thigh-high boots and platform heels, the lipstick, the poodle-on-steroids hair, the snarling vocals, and the slashing guitars, they didn't just push the envelope; the Dolls threw the envelope in a wood chipper and peed on the shreds. This album has just plain been out of print too long. Happy to fax that up for you. Incidentally, a reformed version of the band (only 40% of the lineup on Too Much Too Soon is alive today, and neither of them are original Dolls) is out on tour and is planning a new album, so you may get to hear David Johansen (a/k/a Buster Pointdexter) perform some of these songs live in the not-too-distant future.