Here in the States, we have Perception. A deluxe box set comprising some twelve discs, Perception constitutes the most ambitious, elaborate repackaging of the Doors' original catalog ever undertaken.
All six original albums, from 1967's The Doors to 1971's L.A. Woman have been completely remastered by the three surviving members along with original producers Paul Rothchild and Bruce Botnick in double disc editions. In addition to the original remastered recordings, there is an accompanying second DVD disc for each album. Each DVD features the original album remastered in Dolby 5.1 surround sound, along with rare, often unreleased video content including live performances, video films, rehearsal footage and more.
If all of this weren't enough, each original CD also includes several bonus tracks (including both alternate studio takes and previously unreleased material), completely new liner notes for each album, and it all comes in this big ol' box that opens itself like — what else? — a door. Whew!
But that's just what we get here in the States.
Over in Europe, the Doors 40th anniversary is apparently an even bigger deal. Take what they are releasing just in France — where Jim Morrison himself is "reportedly" dead and buried. Of course if you believe that, you probably think Elvis is really dead, too.
In addition to the Perception box (with two extra tracks not on the stateside version no less), the French are getting something like ten or so additional new collections of rare and unreleased material. They are even getting at least one additional boxed set. Oh yeah. You heard me right.
The reason I know this is because in my day job, I edit "content" for a digital music provider, or what we in that particular trade call "metadata." And earlier this week, I spent an entire day on a project entering data for the various Doors 40th anniversary releases for a number of European countries.
Here's just a sample of what France gets:
For starters, there will be a boxed set devoted entirely to what are being called "bootleg recordings." There are also a number of new collections of live recordings. These include two complete early performances recorded at the Aquarius Theatre that can be bought either separately or as (what else?) a multiple disc set. Another multiple disc set collects performances from Detroit and other cities. These can also be purchased separately but a bonus performance from what I believe was Philadelphia can only be obtained by getting the complete boxed version.