Creating the definitive collection of anything is an impossible task; creating an album that's supposed to be the definitive representation of the New York punk scene is almost setting yourself up for the firing squad. There have been plenty of previous attempts, to be sure (hell, even Marty Thau's 2x5 was supposed to be a 'definitive' compilation of the New York scene at the time, and, in hindsight, actually was). The worst offender in the series has to be the dreadful "Live From CBGB's" album, the first release on Hilly Krystal's CBGB Records - which contained none of the bands that anyone was actually going to see, or created a buzz.
So it is with great amazement that I inform you that New York Rocks: Original Punk Classics of the 70's (released on Koch Records, even if the title sounds like a K-Tel release) is, actually, pretty damn representative. If you sat me down and said, "Quick, who should be on the definitive NYC punk compilation?" I would likely rattle off as follows: "Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, Dictators, Heartbreakers, Blondie, Richard Hell," and - I'll be damned! All of the above appear on the record.
The inclusion of the Velvet Underground is only fitting; even if they predated the scene by a good 8-10 years, without Lou Reed, many of the people in the aforementioned bands would never have gotten any further than lip syncing in front of the mirrors in their bedrooms. (However, if they were going to include the Velvets, it makes the absence of the New York Dolls that much more glaring. Probably due to legal issues, but it does seem like a large gaping chasm, especially given that Johnny Thunders is represented twice, both with the Heartbreakers and solo.) There was no attempt to classify the compilation as being CBGB-oriented vs. Max's-oriented (the Velvets never played CB's, after all), so they don't have that excuse.