The Doors The Doors- 1967
RMR Album Rating- 10
The Doors’ debut album (“The Doors”) is my favorite release of 1967, which was really a seminal year for rock. If modern rock was born in the early 60’s with the British Invasion and Dylan, than it really came of age in 1967 with the psychedelic movement in full swing. Here’s just a few of the amazing albums released that year (in chronological order)…
The Doors- “The Doors” (1st album released in 1967, on January 4th)
The Rolling Stones- “Between the Buttons”
Jefferson Airplane- “Surrealistic Pillow”
The Grateful Dead- “The Grateful Dead”
The Jimi Hendrix Experience- “Are You Experienced”
The Beatles- “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
Pink Floyd- “Piper at the Gates of Dawn”
The Kinks- “Something Else by the Kinks”
The Doors- “Strange Days”
Cream- “Disraeli Gears”
The Moody Blues- “Days of Future Past”
The Beatles- “Magical Mystery Tour”
Jefferson Airplane- “After Bathing at Baxter’s”
The Jimi Hendrix Experience- “Axis: Bold as Love”
The Rolling Stones- “Their Satanic Majesties Request”
Bob Dylan- “John Wesley Harding”
Whenever people talk about the Doors, they talk about Jim Morrison, and rightfully so, as he was one of the primary song writers, the vocalist, the resident poet, and maybe most importantly, he was the band’s personality and master of controversy, so I don’t want to underestimate his contribution to this album, but I think the real hero of the album is Ray Manzarek, who’s piano and organ playing really define the sound of the album. Unlike most players who just add key fills where needed, Manzarek’s unique playing really dominates many of the songs. His playing has kind of a carnival music sound to it (“Light My Fire” might be the best example of this), and this awesome sound just completely draws me in. I will also mention that he wraps this sound very tightly around Robby Krieger’s guitar, who’s playing is is also underrated.
Most of the songs on “The Doors” are psychedelic pop numbers like “Soul Kitchen,” “Back Door Man,” and “Break on Through.” Then you have some darker psychedelic numbers like “The Crystal Ship,” “End of the Night,” and “The End.” These songs are much more serious in tone than the songs in the pop psychedelic group, and they foreshadow the sound of The Doors subsequent record “Strange Days.” Lastly, you have “Take it as it Comes,” and “Light my Fire,” which are my favorite two tracks from the album, for they completely epitomize The Doors mastery of combining accessible pop melodies in an unconventional format. “Take it as it Comes” is a short 2-minute track that is fast paced, but it still manages to fit two organ solos into the song. Lastly, “Light My Fire’s” 7-minute run-time flies by, and it features an amazing 5-minute organ/ guitar jam that runs straight through the middle of the song.
Click here to listen to Take It As It Comes
Click here to listen to Light My Fire
Click here to listen to Break On Through
Click here to listen to The End
All in all, every song is fantastic, and the juxtaposition of upbeat and serious tones that are woven throughout the fabric of album is fantastic.
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