KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

Satur-debut – THE DOORS “THE DOORS”

This week’s Satur-debut album comes from one of the most unique bands that ever existed, The Doors. Although I’ve never been a mega-fan I do like their music a lot and, as you’ll see in my write-up below, I’ve always admired how they carved out a sound that was unmistakably The Doors. Those qualities were there from the first note of their 1967 debut.

For more information on this series, please read the opening paragraph of the first post, which featured the debut album from Led Zeppelin.

 

From GREAT OUT OF THE GATE Part 4:

The Doors’ music has been so ubiquitous over the years that’s it’s easy to take them for granted, but then you play one of their albums and remember what an incredibly unique band they were…in their era or any other. In fact, unlike just about any artist you can name, no one has ever sounded even remotely like The Doors. Sure, some singers have mimicked Jim Morrison’s deep vocal tone and “lizard king” persona, and others have prominently featured organ sounds popularized by Ray Manzarek, but those two sounds (with Manzarek handling bass notes on the keyboard in lieu of a bass player) combined with John Densmore’s underappreciated jazz- and Latin-influenced drumming and Robby Krieger’s fluid & melodic guitar work made them a truly original band in every sense of the word. Their debut album could be mistaken for a best-of collection, with hit singles “Light My Fire” and “Break On Through” joined by FM radio favorites “Soul Kitchen,” “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar),” “Twentieth Century Fox,” their cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Back Door Man” and the 11-minute Oedipally-inclined album closer, “The End.” I don’t frequently listen to The Doors, but whenever I’m in the mood to hear their music it sounds fresh & vital, and The Doors is as consistent as anything in their discography.

 

 

Since they might have more compilations on the market than any other band in history, I wonder how many people play the six studio albums they released prior to Jim Morrison’s death in 1971. Please let me know if you have a favorite Doors LP, even if it’s just a collection of their greatest hits.

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31 comments on “Satur-debut – THE DOORS “THE DOORS”

  1. 80smetalman
    February 2, 2019

    I was given the Greatest Hits album for my 30th, loved it. Then I went to see the movie after.

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    • When I worked at various record stores in the ’80s there was the original Best Of album which was followed by the Greatest Hits album (I think that may have been the first Doors compilation on CD in the mid-’80s) and then a 2-CD comprehensive compilation. Since then there have probably been dozens of anthologies, and they’re all excellent introductions to their music. Did you see the movie when it was in theaters? I saw it with two bandmates at a small theater. We sneaked some beer in with us and during one of the quieter scenes our inebriated guitarist knocked over an empty bottle and it slowly rolled toward the front of the theater. That was very noisy and, at the time, very funny. We all loved the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 80smetalman
        February 3, 2019

        I did see it in the cinema but it was with my first wife who was at the time 8 months pregnant with our second son. Therefore, she didn’t enjoy the film so much but I did. My main thought at the time had me thinking back to Platoon and concluding that Oliver Stone really knows how to capture the effect of someone high on drugs.

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      • Good point about Oliver Stone’s ability to capture the effects of drugs on film. I wonder if he did personal research. Haha.

        Did your wife ever revisit The Doors movie or did that experience ruin it for her?

        Liked by 1 person

      • 80smetalman
        February 5, 2019

        It ruined it for her. She still goes on about how she hated that film.

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      • That’s too bad, but it’s really more of a guy’s film anyway. Have either of your sons seen the movie? If so, are they fans?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Brett B.
    February 2, 2019

    Strange Days is my favorite Doors album. On the other end of the scale (even though these “don’t count”), the two albums recorded after Morrison died contain some of the worst music I’ve ever heard.

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    • Hey Brett. I like Strange Days a lot but my favorites are probably the debut, Waiting For The Sun and LA Woman (although the latter lacked some Doors-ness due to the appearance of an actual bass player, but at least they went with a brilliant bassist in Jerry Scheff). I’ve listened to the two post-Morrison albums twice, and I still can’t believe I played them more than once. I agree that they’re mostly pretty awful. Yet there are probably some fans who consider those their favorite Doors albums.

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  3. stephen1001
    February 3, 2019

    Nice point about it almost feeling like a greatest hits!

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  4. Murphy's Law
    February 3, 2019

    I don’t really have a favorite, but I listen to Waiting for the Sun more than any other. I was a big fan of Jim Morrison in high school and college but as I’ve gotten older, I’m less impressed with him and more with the musicianship of the other band members.

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    • I have an affinity for Waiting For The Sun too. I think it was the first individual album of theirs I ever heard after only knowing their radio hits and I was pleasantly surprised at how strong it was from top to bottom. I especially loved “Love Street.” Morrison does tend to get the bulk of the attention, which was a smart marketing decision, but the musicianship in that band is very underrated.

      Like

  5. Alyson
    February 3, 2019

    Great post and I was able to watch the clips which doesn’t always happen. Yes, quite a remarkable body of work and Jim Morrison “the lizard king”, had an amazing stage presence. Shallow to say it, but he was also a beautiful man, which never goes wrong in rock music.

    Don’t have the album but Light My Fire has always been a favourite of mine. That is quite a version you included above. We had a reality show here many years ago where the eventual winner of the whole contest used Light My Fire as his audition song. A very different version where he started in an understated manner and really ramped it up towards the end. Made me want to revisit the Doors discography at the time.

    I keep mentioning this over at my place, but the year 1967 just keeps cropping up when looking back at the “tracks of my years”. It is definitely the year I have revisited more often than any other and seems to have been the pivot point between what went before and all that has come afterwards. Everything changed in ’67 for all sorts of reasons, the sounds, the clothes, colour, drugs, protest etc etc. A landmark time in music and I am constantly bowled over by how contemporary some of the music from that year still can sound whereas music from just a few years earlier i.e. 1964, can sound dated and old-fashioned. Over 50 years ago now – How time flies, scarily so, as I reach the BIG numbers in terms of age!

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    • Thanks, Alyson. I thought you might be a fan of this album or at least the band. Jim Morrison certainly had a knack for bringing in the ladies. Not sure that would have been the case with another frontman. I thought the version of “Light My Fire” was just a remastered version of the original album track. Were you only familiar with the shorter single version? What reality competition featured the song? I’m not a fan of reality/competition shows, especially now that they permeate the airwaves, but that seems like a curious choice for a modern TV show.

      You’re probably right about ’67 being a particularly pivotal year for music. There’s plenty I love that was released before then, but it was probably a combination of improved recording techniques, FM/pirate radio playing more complex music, mind-altering drugs and then…in the middle of the year…The Beatles releasing Sgt. Pepper’s which seemed to influence every musician on the planet, that makes ’67 such a milestone year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alyson
        February 4, 2019

        Yes, only really familiar with the shorter single version.

        I will be laughed out of town for saying this, but as a family, we did watch the very early Pop Idol on UK television. I think we are talking about 20 years ago now as haven’t watched such fodder in many years. We had a chap called Will Young whose audition choice was Light My Fire. He really performed it well (although Mr Simon Cowell chose to disagree) and eventually went on to win the whole thing. He did well out of that first show but not many of the solo winners have achieved the same success since. Some of the groups who came second or third did really well though but not names whose albums I would expect you to have!

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      • You are forgiven by the hipsters & music snobs for watching Pop Idol due to having a family. Haha. The US has been inundated with musical competition shows for years. I’ve never had any interest in them. I don’t doubt they uncover some good vocal talent but in the end it’s about image and voice, and the latter is often about Broadway-style voices (with some exceptions). I think of some of the all-time great rock-era singers and they would get voted off those shows immediately. I think the biggest issue I have with those competitions is that they encourage the idea of being a star right off the bat rather than developing a career. Then again, I’m a childless man in his early-50s so I’m clearly not in their target demographic.

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  6. Alyson
    February 4, 2019

    You’ve summed up the problem with those shows very well. Glad I’m excused for watching an early incarnation because I have a family – I am very well versed in the pure pop of the early ”nougties” because of DD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also have a decent knowledge of modern pop of the ’90s and ’00s from various gyms I worked out in. From Backstreet Boys to Christina Aguilera to Katy Perry and beyond. I wouldn’t choose to listen to those artists but their earworms definitely work their way into your brain when they’re forced on you. I can’t always equate songs with artists (to me Taylor Swift has a very generic voice, so I can never tell which are her songs) and I have almost no knowledge of TV music contest winners other than their names. And I’m happy with all of this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alyson
        February 5, 2019

        You can’t avoid it can you. We still have a large number of Pop compilations in our house collected during my daughter’s childhood. Katy Perry is a smart cookie – she’s done well. DD went to see her on tour at the end of last year. Quite liked a lot of the R&B from the turn of the millennium and have a soft spot for Justin Timberlake. There – confessional over!

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      • No judgment here. I proudly admit to loving “I Want It That Way” by The Backstreet Boys, and in my No Guilt Just Pleasure post a few years ago I extolled the virtue of Hanson.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 80smetalman
        February 6, 2019

        I don’t think they have. I will suggest it next time I see them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Alyson
        February 6, 2019

        Ahemmm…bop! I was a Cry Me A River girl myself. No, no judgement at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. J.
    February 5, 2019

    Strange Days is my own favourite. Certainly the one I pull from the shelf most often. But then, depending on the day / week, my favourite could easily be Morrison Hotel.

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    • I always thought Strange Days was the dark horse in their discography (even though I like it) but it seems like a lot of fans gravitate to that album. Morrison Hotel is another winner. There are really no clunkers in their catalog until those post-Morrison albums.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        February 5, 2019

        Yeah, I’d agree with that. I used to think The Soft Parade was a bit of a clunker, but I’ve really grown to like it a fair bit.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. christiansmusicmusings
    February 11, 2019

    I have the movie soundtrack, which I think is a great compilation.

    If I had to pick a specific album, I think my first choice would be the debut. I’ve always dug “Light My Fire” and “The End”.

    I also like “L.A. Woman,” especially because of the title track and “Riders On The Storm”.

    Like

    • I never needed the soundtrack since I already had a Doors compilation at the time, but I remember it being pretty popular when the movie was in theaters. I assume it featured the original recordings and not Val Kilmer on vocals as they appeared in the movie, right? “The End” is such a classic. Love the dramatic arrangement & vocals.

      Liked by 1 person

      • christiansmusicmusings
        February 11, 2019

        Yep, the originals.

        Like

      • That was a good decision by the filmmaker &/or record label. Not sure anyone would need to own an album of Val Kilmer singing Doors songs. Even Val Kilmer wouldn’t want that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • christiansmusicmusings
        February 11, 2019

        Completely agree. While he had a striking similarity to Jim Morrison, I definitely prefer listening to the real deal!😀

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      • He did an amazing job in the film, that’s for sure. That was a risky move by Oliver Stone to have him singing but it made the performances seem more authentic.

        Liked by 1 person

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