New York Dolls
The Dolls set the stage for punk to turn rock 'n' roll on its head in the late '70s. Their wild, burly, cross-dressed image together with their rough-and-tumble sound created an unforgettable rock 'n' roll Style-with-a-capital-S. Always teetering and stumbling, the Dolls' music, like the band itself, was in constant danger of falling on its face. David Johansen's howling vocals perfectly matched the ragged, dueling guitars of Johnny Thunders and Sylvain Sylvain. They twisted the '60s girl-group aesthetic to their own seedy purposes, steamrolling the lost sound into over-the-top performances. Their sneering attitude and rule-breaking sound spawned legions of admirers and detractors, gave birth to the New York punk scene, added flash to glam and fuel to early heavy metal.