Rock history is rife with bands whose legendary status is all out of proportion with the amount of tangible success they had in their heyday.
There is no better example of this trope than the New York Dolls. They are revered as proto-punks, early players on the lower Manhattan scene that produced The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads et al. Their look fell somewhere between androgynous and full-out drag, and for that they are credited as a major influence on glam-metal.
The Dolls released only two albums during their initial run: 1973s self-titled LP and the following years Too Much Too Soon. Both were critical darlings and commercial stiffs. The band broke up in 75.
The original Dolls were plagued by abject drug abuse the late guitarist Johnny Thunders was a classic junkie and dysfunction, but, according to frontman David Johansen, the main reason the Dolls packed it in was that they were broke and hungry.