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THE DOORS || THE
Released in the UK on November 8, 2010..... Released in the US on January 25, 2011
Directors: Jo Durden-Smith and
Leslie Woodhead (Stones); John Sheppard (Doors)
This DVD is a two in one deal..... well, kinda. Yes, we have two different British TV documentaries from the late 1960s shown here on one DVD - however - if you are a hard nosed Doors or Stones fan beware, only about half of each show is shown in this DVD. Still, it is cool stuff, even if parts are missing.
Directed by John Sheppard; Produced by
This would be a five star film if the entire documentary was shown here. I recall seeing the uncut version of this at my ex-wife's house about ten years ago. On this version we do have some of the better parts of the original. This video starts out with each of the band members introducing themselves and then moves on to a very edited news conference they held. They get asked the usual stupid questions that all bands of the late 1960s had to endure, and they give good answers, that is, what isn't edited out sounds cool. Still, if there was one part of this film that had to be edited out entirely for this version, I wish it had been this part.
Next up is a cool rehearsal of "Hello I Love You", minus Jim Morrison and with keyboardist Ray Manzarek on the lead vocals, not sounding too bad at all. After that we have clips from a concert held at the Roadhouse in London, UK, in September of '68. As usual the Doors brought some high intensity to the stage on this night. They played their usual combo of rock, blues, jazz and just a little bit of early rock theatre courtesy of Morrison.
The best song performed at this show was "Light My Fire", the band really played it well on this one night. The Doors, as far as musicians went, at times really did make it sound like more than just 3 dudes were up on stage jamming away, and with this song you can really feel their energy. Morrison, during the song's music break, gets off the stage by the front, and acts like he is detached from what is going on up on the stage. I'm not sure how he could be, as the music playing is so strong, and in reality he isn't detached at all, as when it appears like he might not even come back up to the stage, he does, and gets fully into the music once again.
No question when you view this you will feel like you're watching TV back in 1968, in part because of the way this was filmed in black and white, the way it sounds, and also with the film flashing about with scenes from the war in Vietnam, or to it showing riots taking place in America, all while the Doors' live music plays away in the background; yet I'm sure Doors fans will just wish that part was left out and they had just kept showing the band playing instead. No question, this was a film of its time, so if you view this with that understanding in mind, you will dig what you see.
Directed by Jo Durden-Smith
and Leslie Woodhead;
Produced by Jo Durden-Smith
Track Listings: • Midnight Rambler • (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction • I’m Yours, She’s Mine • Jumpin’ Jack Flash • Love In Vain • Sympathy For The Devil
This is a six song version of the 15 songs played at the memorial concert held on July 5, 1969 at Hyde Park, London, UK, for the Stones founding member, Brian Jones, who died 2 days earlier. It does tell you this on the DVD's sleeve, but you would have no clue otherwise if you only watched this edited version of the concert. Even what is written in the sleeve isn't all correct, as police estimated close to half a million fans attend this free show, while only 250,000 is claimed in the notes. Jones at the time was the first big rock star to die since Buddy Holly in 1959, and the concert, which had been already planned as the introduction of new Stone Mick Taylor into the band, was expected to draw 100,000 at first. But after Jones died and the Stones announced they would play a memorial concert for him, the crowd ended up ballooning into at least 350,000 attending, as news stories spread about Jones' tragic death. It turned out to be the largest attended rock memorial concert ever, yet again, not one single world is noted about any of that in this edited version. Even the opening part where Mick Jagger reads a part from Shelley's "Adonais" as an eulogy for Jones, is totally cut out.
The songs are also shown all out of order, as the DVD starts off with an excellent version of "Midnight Rambler". The truth of the matter is the band played fine on this afternoon, don't believe the stories that they didn't sound good. Sure they were not at their best, with their minds on their lost comrade. According to Bill Wyman, Jagger broke down and cried about a half hour before the concert started, as it all was hitting him at once. But sadly, it was Jagger himself who was off on this day. His voice didn't sound all that great and is what brought the songs down somewhat. But Mick Taylor in his debut with the Stones sounds good, that is, when he was allowed to play lead. His best playing was on the cover tune "I’m Yours, She’s Mine", even if we can't make out the lyrics that Jagger is singing the wrong words to.
The low point of this concert was when they closed the show playing "Sympathy For The Devil". The song never sounded worst, but don't blame the band, they sounded fine. It was Jagger's singing again that was off, this had to be his worst show vocally ever, and on this song he doesn't even bother to sing half of the song's lyrics, other than the opening and closing lines. The total lack of the usual driving backing vocals "whoo whoo!, woo woo!" are dearly missed here, too, and even Mick doesn't sing this part of the song.
So, is it worth your money to buy this condensed version of these two films? I would answer that simply by saying "yes", as long as you are not a big time fan of either band. This is more suited for the average rock fan who wants just the important pieces of the past and rather just sample what things were like back in '68 and '69 for these two bands. So it is a nice combo as long as you don't think of the parts of these two docs that you are missing out on.
- Keno, December, 2010
To order a copy in the UK click on: Wienerworld Ltd.
To order a copy in the US, click on: The Doors Are Open/Rolling Stones in the Park [DVD]
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