Album #93 – The Doors

Album #93

I was trying to find the words to describe how much I love and adore this album. Much of it has already been said. I watched the episode of the Classic Albums documentary series that focuses on the creation of this album. Much of what was said by the band and others I agree with. To me, this album is one of the best debut albums of all-time. There are not many debut albums that hold up. What makes this album so special, you ask? Well, for starters it was recorded almost completely live with hardly any overdubs. The energy that The Doors had live is capture better on this album than any of their other five studio albums. I always wanted this album. I own it but sadly I wished I had the remastered CD versions. On the version I have, The End and Break On Through (To the Other Side) are censored. So, I listened to the album via another source to hear it unedited and unmasked. It felt good. The irony about Jim Morrison is that he was influenced by Sinatra. How ironic. One of Sinatra’s albums preceded this one on the list. In the Classic Albums doc, Bruce Botnick compared Jim Morrison to the crooners and said he loved all of them. That comment took me back to the first time I heard Light My Fire. I was 13 years old and we were driving to Halifax for a trip. Light My Fire came on the radio and I was instantly in awe. The intro sounded very familiar to me (probably because it was slightly copied in the intro to Madonna’s 1999 hit Beautiful Stranger). Morrison’s voice reminded me instantly of Bing Crosby and Perry Como. It had that same vibe. The difference was that Morrison yelled at the end of the songs he sang. He was Rock’s new crooner. The Doors, unlike many American bands from that era, were not afraid to have chart success. Light My Fire shot up to #1 in July 1967. Break On Through was a big hit as well. But, the cornerstone of this album is the Epic Odepial track The End. Sadly, this track has become a cliche in rock music. To me, it is not. It is powerful. It is dark, scary and horrific. Listening to that song is like watching a good horror movie. You end up coming back for more. Despite the repeated use of a certain four letter expletive, the song is among the best on the album. The album as a whole is probably my pick for the best album of 1967. It is raw, powerful and fresh: all the things a great debut album should be. The Doors had arrived and the world was their oyster. If their was one song I could remove, it would be Alabama Song (Whisky Bar). I have always somewhat disliked the song. I hate Morrison’s two-part harmony with himself at the end. That makes the song an unpleasant experience. They did it better live. Other highlights include: End Of The Night, Back Door Man, Soul Kitchen, The Crystal Ship, Twentieth Century Fox and I Looked At You. Overall, this album gets a 5 out of 5.

Next: Younger Than Yesterday by The Byrds

  1. I’m surprised more people aren’t commenting on this.

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