Fronted by the effervescent Marion Valentine, the Doll are best remembered for the 1978 U.K. Top 30 hit "Desire Me," the brilliant highlight of a career that both promised and deserved a lot more than it ultimately received. Valentine formed the band in 1977 with bassist Christopher Yianni, his keyboard-playing brother Adonis Yianni, and drummer Mario Watts, coming to almost instant attention when they landed a track on Beggars Banquet's Streets compilation.
"Trash," produced by Steve Lillywhite and Ed Hollis, was a dynamic rocker and was swiftly granted a fresh audience when it reappeared as the B-side to the Doll's debut single, "Don't Tango on My Heart." That flopped, despite the band's success on the Beggars Banquet Streets tour, a nationwide outing featuring many of the bands introduced by the LP of the same name.
The band gigged through 1978, reaping the reward for their work at the end of the year, when "Desire Me" climbed to number 28 and established Valentine, however fleetingly, as punk's latest sex symbol. But the band itself was stumbling; another year would elapse before the Doll released their follow-up single, "Cinderella with a Husky Voice," by which time Watts and Adonis Yianni had been replaced by Dennis Haines and Jamie West-Oram. An album, Listen to the Silence, was released at the same time, but sales were poor and two further singles, "You Used to Be My Hero" and "Burning Up Like a Fire," both passed by equally unnoticed. The Doll finally folded in spring 1980. ~ Dave Thompson