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By Zack Taylor
May 13, 2007
For the record, Jim Morrison did not show his cock on stage. He definitely led a shocked audience on that hot steamy Miami night to believe that he might whip it out, but more than 150 photos from the March, 1969 concert were introduced into evidence at his subsequent trial for felony lewd and lascivious behavior, and not one of them captured his willy in the spotlight. Morrison was nonetheless convicted of lewd and lascivious behavior and sentenced to six months of hard time; the case was on appeal when he died. Miami not only threatened Morrisons liberty it nearly ruined the Doors career. Tours were cancelled, and venues willing to book them insisted on a fuck clause of $5,000 to be forfeited if any obscene act took place on stage. When all seemed lost, the Doors restored their artistic credibility with Morrison Hotel, their strongest album in three years, but their charismatic leader was a shattered man. Habitual heavy drinking began to take its toll: Morrison's nerves were shot, relationships in tatters. With long, lank hair, huge beard, and ragged army jacket, he looked homeless and if you dont count a seedy motel actually was. The young Dionysus of 1967 was gone forever.
Not surprisingly, the rest of the Doors were in a panic as they watched their franchise going down the drain. In desperation, they stoked the creative fire by suggesting they do a bluesy album something Morrison often talked about doing in a laid back setting at their rehearsal room, rather than a studio. Long time producer Paul Rothchild, however, was having none of it. Having sweat bullets to maintain musical standards amid Morrison's antics on five previous studio albums, he dismissed the new material as weak and walked away, leaving production to engineer Bruce Botnick and the band. Thus was born a new, short-lived, era for the Doors. The sound of Morrisons voice on the new album, L.A. Woman, was little short of shocking: those golden pipes had transformed into a near-unrecognizable husky growl, yet possessed a new maturity and appeal. Behind it, the band played their hearts out in their funkiest style ever, and sustained musical excellence throughout the disc. Love Her Madly was a slice of irresistible radio pop from Robbie Krieger; original blues Cars Hiss By My Window featured Morrison's vocal imitation of a guitar solo following some of the old lyric menace. The tripartite, eight-minute title cut, among the Doors finest work, was a self-portrait that introduced Morrisons mythologizing anagram Mr. Mojo Risin, which ironically portended a mysterious end for its author. In Hyacinth House, Morrison exposes his own interpersonal conundrum: I need someone who doesnt need me. The rapped verses of the delightful Texas Radio and the Big Beat include two of Morrisons greatest-ever one liners: Ill tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn and Out here on the perimeter there are no stars/Out here we is stoned, immaculate.
The albums finale, appropriately, is a second, and for the group, final epic. The song Rothchild hated most of all, Riders on the Storm nonetheless managed to package a sordid tale of murder on the highway into a hit single, thanks to catchy keyboard work from Ray Manzarek and an irresistible after-midnight ambience atmosphere. The Doors' last song ended with Morrison's vulnerable plea to his long-suffering girlfriend, Pamela: Girl you got to love your man./Take him by the hand, make him understand. Sadly, that never happened. Jim and Pam left for an extended holiday in Paris while the others were still mixing the album, arguably the Doors' best; just days after getting a call from drummer John Densmore informing him that L.A. Woman was a big hit, rising fast in the charts, the Lizard King lay dead in his hotel bathtub, more than likely of a heroin overdose. Perhaps Jim Morrison, 27, just couldnt live with any more success.
To listen to some soundclips from L.A. Woman or to purchase it, click on: L.A. Woman [Bonus Tracks]
Waiting for the Sun
By Zack Taylor
November 5, 2004
After a brilliant debut album and the worthy follow-up Strange Days, the Doors found themselves one of the biggest acts in pop music. At concerts, fans screamed for singer Jim Morrison with beatlesque fervor. An educated, thinking man, Morrison understood with withering clarity the superficiality of his stardom that had nothing to do with music. He rebelled hard against the adulation, manifesting contempt and feelings of unworthiness by constant, absurdly heavy drinking. That cheers for his new inebriated buffoonery on stage got even louder didnt help--Morrison devolved into a cartoonist stock character egged on to further outrageousness at every gig.
When the time came for the third Doors album Waiting for the Sun, Morrison couldnt pull it together, arriving at the studio hours late, once famously passing out and pissing himself at the microphone. Jim was useless 99-and-a-half percent of the time, producer Paul Rothchild said later. What you hear on that record is half of one percent. Still, Rothchild pulled a pretty decent LP out of the mess. He tapped into Jims anger to make Five to One an effective anti-hippie anthem, as a clearly drunk Morrison growls You walk across the floor with a flower in your hand/trying to tell me no one understands provocatively contradicts the earlier Unknown Soldier. In this, one of the most explicit anti-war songs of the sixties, Morrison is literally shot by firing squad, which implies the same end result as sending the boys off to Saigon.
Hello, I Love You is a commercial sugar-coated treatment of a demo from 1965, directly copping the Kinks All Day and All of the Night. It predictably went to #1, but sorely disappointed fans that saw the group as artists as newly defined by the Beatles. Love Street is kitschy jazz about Jims girl Pam; Summers Almost Gone is the final gem from Morrisons initial burst of creativity in 1965. Robbie Kriegers contributions are strong, though Wintertime Love, the again season-themed follow-up to the previous number seems a bit contrived. Spanish Caravan features some dandy guitar work; and Yes, the River Knows is a beautiful guitar-piano duet with Ray Manzarek, as Morrison does his best Sinatra.
Every previous Doors album closed with an epic, and this one was to be the most ambitious of all. The Celebration of the Lizard is a grisly 110-line surrealistic odyssey through the grim landscape of Morrisons mind. But in his condition, Jim couldnt pull it off. Only one section made the grade, assaulting teeny bop listeners with the ministers daughters in love with a snake and dead presidents corpse in the drivers car as Manzarek beat the Hammond with his fists-a far cry from Hello, I Love You
The Doors havent aged well, but every note and line from this album like the others is no doubt indelibly etched in the mind of millions of former adolescent males like your humble reviewer. As far as this LP goes, its a metaphor for Morrisons contrasts, soft-spoken intellectual one moment, raving asshole the next. It also marks the beginning of the end for one of rocks greatest stars. He was 25 years old at the time.
To listen to some soundclips from Waiting for the Sun or to purchase it, click on: Waiting for the Sun [Bonus Tracks]
by Darius Henry
December 15, 2007
When it comes to The Doors self-titled album, you will get one of the greatest psychedelic albums of all time. Never have I heard a Psychedelic album like this. This album is just that damn good. I mean, who else had a organ as their lead instrument? All you need is a very deep Singer/Songwriter (Jim Morrison), and you have yourself a great band. Let me explain.
This album starts off with Break on Through, which is one of my favorite song on this album. Its one of those songs that you like to play while skateboarding. On this song, you get to hear, She gets high, which was edited for the reason we already know. The next song, Soul Kitchen, is a pretty cool tribute to a Soul Food Restaurant and he used to stay late at that restaurant with his lady. Pretty cool vocal by Jim. The Crystal Ship is one of those songs that I truly love to listen. Cool goodbye song to his love ones. Or is it about drugs? I dont care what its about. It rules. And listen to the Organ part. It will give you chills. 20th Century Fox is a song that a lot of people love. I like it a little bit. But still a cool song about a woman who dresses good but she doesnt have any feeling. Great music to listen to as well. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) is a good cover of a German Opera song in the 1920s. Another great song about materialism. The next song, Light My Fire, proves to be their best song of all time. Great vocal, great lyrics, great organ, great guitar solo. What more can you ask for in this song? Its like a perfect psychedelic song.
Back Door Man is a great Blues cover of Willie Dixon by the Doors. Its a great song about a man who ran out of the back door so his lovers husband wont catch him. Listen to the organ and Jims vocals as well. Its great. I Looked at You is one of those love song, I guess. Great organ and great drumming. Its very underrated in my book. And so is End of the Night. This is a very dark, spooking poetry. The organ and the guitar just add some spooking ness in it. And that is why I love this song. Great song that is basically Jim Morrisons confession of life. Take It as It Comes is another underrated song by the Doors. Its a great song about meditating. You gotta listen to his lyrics. The last song on this album is the haunted The End. With almost 12 minutes, its a perfect way to end this great album. Its basically about death. Listen to the guitar and the organ and the lyrics. Although the lyrics was controversial at the time, and still is, its still great.
This is a near perfect album from start to finish. I cant believe that this album is over 40-years-old. Its a great Psychedelic album. So please check out this album.
October 8, 2004
One of the greatest debut albums in rock and roll history. The Door's first album is probably their best. The album starts with "Break on Through", with a nice Latin beat that plays throughout the song. The next song is "Soul Kitchen", with great lyrics and great music. The next song is "The Crystal Ship" that sets a mellow mood, and has a really good piano solo. The next song is "Twentieth Century Fox", a pretty good song, but not the best on the album. The one after that is probably the weirdest one on the album, "Alabama Song" with weird lyrics and weird music. The next song is one of their masterpieces, "Light My Fire", with killer vocals, and the organ solo is outstanding. The next song is "Back Door Man", a blues song with a cool organ and great vocals by Morrison. "I Looked at You", "End of the Night", and "Take its as it comes" are really just filler songs, they're not too good. The last song "The End" is a haunting song that runs over 11 minutes long.
The album remains one of the best in rock history. It's just sad that Morrison died in Paris in 1971. The band probably would have put out another string of albums in the 70's.
by Brad Larkin
December 2, 2003
An essential album for anyone who dares to call themselves a worshiper in the temple of rock and roll. No wasted line, no unnecessary track exists on this record of eternal value. This is not a record to listen to for mundane enjoyment or the like, it is written to shake you up, make you uncomfortable. Pop fanatics need not apply. Many casual listeners will purchase this record simply for two songs that are currently the victim of overplay by the radio station (Heil Clear Channel!), Light My Fire and Break on Through (To the Other Side). And while these are fantastic songs worthy of the praise they receive, there are numerous other songs worth noting. The Crystal Ship is a work of poetic beauty. End of the Night takes the unsettled listener to the edges of the known sphere and back. But the greatest track on this album, arguably the greatest in the Doors repertoire is The End. Easily one of the most unsettling songs to ever be promenaded before an audience this song travels from this world to the unconsciousness and back. In between the sounds of the sitar and the crashing drums, one can hear the punk revolution ignite as Morrison screams and whispers his way to the pantheon of heroes. Often analyzed, everyone has their own theories regarding this song, but that is what makes it great, so I will not waste your time explaining my own humble opinion. I could continue on and on about this album, but what would it accomplish? This is an album that is an experience, there is no substitute. In short, go out, buy it, and allow yourself to wonder what would have happened if rock and roll had continued down this path, instead of a one of corporate triteness.
To listen to some soundclips from The Doors or to purchase it, click on: The Doors [Bonus Tracks - CC Music] or Doors (Extra Tracks) Buy.com
By Alex Short
January 15, 2001
This album, released in 1970 was like a breath of fresh air for all Doors fans everywhere. After two average albums, the worst of the two being The Soft Parade released in 1969. With its tinny sound and over production, it was far from a classic. The band somewhat reformed themselves for this effort. The album gets off to a bluesy feel with "Road House Blues", bringing back memories of "Back Door Man" of their debut album. Though this is better. There is certainly some fine efforts on this album. The best been "Ship Of Fools" and "Queen Of The Highway". "Maggie Mgill" isn't too bad either. Another truly fine standout, and my personal favorite is "Peace Frog" It has truly funky guitar, and Morrisons vocals are at his best. There is a few other average songs such as "You Make Me Real". Morrisons vocals doing the damage there. You see that's just it. More then often, he had the most perfect voice, but then he would put on this kind of rough wisky voice. Sometimes it works. "Back Door Man" for instance". But on "You Make Me Real" it doesn't. Saying that though. This is the Doors second best effort. All I can say is, go and buy it.
To listen to some soundclips from MORRISON HOTELor to purchase it, click on: Morrison Hotel [Bonus Tracks]
To listen to some soundclips from STRANGE DAYS or to purchase it click on: Strange Days (Bonus Songs - Buy.com)
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