Tuesday , April 16 2024
What can you say, it's The Doors, only better!

Music Review: The Doors by The Doors

In July of 1965 on Venice Beach California, two students of the UCLA film school decided to form a band after one of the studentS found out that the other was writing lyrics to songs. When Vox-Organ player Ray Manzarek asked Jim Morrison to sing one of the songs, a song called "Moonlight Drive," an ember of what would form into a group was alight. By September of that year, they formed up with guitarist Robby Kriger and drummer John Densmore and, taking the name from an Aldous Huxley book, "The Doors of Perception", where born The Doors.

The Doors were unusual in the annals of rock music in that while performing on the road they did not use a bass player. The bass lines where played by Manzarek on the newly invented Fender Rhodes Bass Keyboard. While in the studio, they often brought in studio players to perform the lines.

In January 1967, The Doors released their self-titled debut LP. This caused major commotion within the music circles of the time. Not only did it contain most of the major songs from their set, it included an 11-minute version of "The End", the band's keynote song. They recorded the album in only a few days during August and September of 1966.

This was an in-studio "live" album, in that almost all of the songs were captured in a single take. Morrison and Manzarek also directed a promotional film for their first single "Break on Through" in what turns out to be an early music video. Their second single, "Light my Fire", put them in league with The Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead as one of the top counter-culture bands of their time.

While these should be songs you know by heart and the mere fact that The Doors is one of those albums that deserves ranking on everyone's top 100 albums of all time, I understand that not everyone will have heard this CD.

For those who are not familiar with the brash, soulful, bluesy rock style that was totally The Doors, the songs; "Soul Kitchen", "The Crystal Ship", "Twentieth Century Fox", "Alabama Song", "Back Door Man", "The End", "Break On Through", and "Light My Fire" are all simply brilliant, with the last three being classics worth the price of admission. "The End", the controversial eleven minute masterpiece, will wow you with how fresh it sounds even today. The remaining songs deserve at least three or four stars as well.

This release of The Doors debut album, is a complete reengineering and re-mastering of the original version. The sound quality is superb. According to the liner notes, the speed of the album has always been slower that it was intended. This has been fixed and the mix is also clearer and more dynamic.

The Doors Song Listing

Break On Through (To the Other Side)
Soul Kitchen
The Crystal Ship
Twentieth Century Fox
Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)
Light My Fire
Back Door Man
I Looked At You
End of the Night
Take It As It Comes
The End

Bonus Tracks
Moonlight Drive
Moonlight Drive
Indian Summer

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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