Rating:
7.5
The Doors - The Doors
4 January 1967


01. Break On Through (To The Other Side)
02. Soul Kitchen
03. The Crystal Ship
04. Twentieth Century Fox
05. Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)
06. Light My Fire
07. Back Door Man
08. I Looked At You
09. End Of The Night
10. Take It As It Comes
11. The End
12. Moonlight Drive [First version] [40th Anniversary Edition CD bonus]
13. Moonlight Drive [Second version] [40th Anniversary Edition CD bonus]
14. Indian Summer [40th Anniversary Edition CD bonus]


Paul A. Rothchild - producer
Bruce Botnick - engineer, mastering, remastering
Jac Holzman - production supervisor
William S. Harvey - art direction & design
Guy Webster - photography
Joel Brodsky - photography


I'll be damned... it's 1967. I mean, this is the year of Sgt. Pepper..., Jimi's two masterpieces and of course, the debut from The Doors, among many other great records released in that year. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to art rock!

Singles ''Break On Through'' but especially the stellar ''Light My Fire'' charted the band to stardom, but it was charismatic Jim Morrison and his utterly theatrical live performances that truly created a cult around them. Morrison was The Doors' symbol right from the start. This record merges the trademark music that would prevail over all forthcoming The Doors albums. The band had a lot of influences, like blues, soul, and rock, conceiving such shares so perfectly in this record. Brecht and Weill's ''Alabama Song'' shows the band's bohemian side, whereas Dixon's ''Back Door Man'' shows a perfectly adapted Morrison to blues while paced by Manzarek's keyboards and Mr. Krieger's riffs and middle solo. ''End Of The Night'' on the other hand, it's the perfect example of an overall mysterious feeling well kept through The Doors. Most of the songs are short lengthy and there's always one of the performers throwing a solo or a danceable riff in, distinguishing each song from the ten others. The Doors shows a multifaceted band capable of playing a rock song like ''Break On Through'', a mellow ballad like ''The Crystal Ship'', a progressive psychedelic opus like ''The End'' or the aforementioned blues oriented ''Alabama Song''. Thereby, it's diverse, entertaining and accessible.

The whole idea behind the band was to create music ''beyond boundaries'', a concept highly defended by Morrison who together with Krieger composed much of the record. Morrison's LSD-influenced songwriting turned the lyrics into rather simplistic messages. However, final track ''The End'' is where one gets especially baffled: Morrison merges twisted illusions with an Oedipal complex, roaming lost in himself for more than eleven minutes, while Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore keep the pace slow, psychedelic and somehow sinister until its climax. Paired with ''Light My Fire'' as the best song in the album, one can almost experience the head trip.

The LSD trips would later take a toll... live appearances became more uncontrolled and record sales dropped. The band would fall in a progressive downward spiral, and wasn't until Hard Rock Café in 1970 (four records later) The Doors would rise themselves up back from the hole. Nevertheless, The Doors is a pinnacle of art/acid rock, proving to be a work from four performers teamed up instead of a Jim Morrison & three guys record. Most importantly, Ray Manzarek's double bass/keyboard work is still today one of the most recognizable sounds in rock history worldwide, a trademark paired in relevance with Morrison's voice.

Craving some The Velvet Underground & Nico now...

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 


written by Tiago Rocha | 04.11.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Ace Frawley - 06.11.2012 at 12:30  
Cool review. I enjoyed this album many years ago. Might give it a spin again one of these days.

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