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  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    The Doors



    The Doors 9 ( 1967 )
    Break on Through / Soul Kitchen / The Crystal Ship / Twentieth Century Fox / Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) / Light My Fire / Back Door Man / I Looked at You / End of the Night / Take It As It Comes / The End

    They called themselves The Doors, as in ‘the doors of perception’ – Jim especially liked their name. It suited the kind of lyrics he had prepared. The group were formed by College buddies Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek. Ray played Piano, Keyboards, Organ. He had a love for the blues and a heavy liking for Jazz music. After Robby Krieger and John Densmore were added to the line up on guitar and drums respectively – they still lacked a bass player. The solution arrived partly due to a technique ray learned from boogie woogie piano ( the left hand plays all the bass parts ) and also with the aid of a Fender Rhodes keyboard bass sat atop rays vox continental. Ray Manzareks left hand became the groups bass player! It would continue that way through live concerts - though as the Fender Rhodes wasn’t so great in recording studios in terms of fidelity - they would switch to using assorted session guys for later albums. On this, their debut, Rays Fender runs through every song. I guess they stopped using it due to the way it would threaten to break up and distort. For me though it’s a key element to the sound and appeal of this record and sets it apart from other Doors albums. This isn’t really a slick sounding record but maybe because of that, it does have a certain edge.

    John and Robbie were both adept at blues, rock and possessed knowledge of jazz. The long extended soloing in the middle section of ‘Light My Fire’ takes its inspiration directly from Jazz, certainly. Its also a thing of sheer hypnotic splendour! Its hallucinogenic – I can listen to that part over and over, and when it swings back in to Jim’s vocal – is a thing to behold. This entire middle section was cut out from the single version. Consequently, although it became a massive hit for them, lost much of its power. The full extended album version however, well. This rocks! A similar although much shorter break was featured on opening song ‘Break On Through’. Two and a half minutes of perfection. Everything The Doors ever were or would be is right here, in this one song. Plenty more to come though! Themes to be developed and expanded upon. ‘The End’ is also an important song, being the first extended epic The Doors produced. Well, the LP version of ‘Light My Fire’ clocks in at six minutes fifty ( although actually runs just past seven minutes ) but isn’t an epic in the terms of ‘The End’ or their latter ‘When The Music’s Over’. ‘The End’ is all atmosphere. An excuse for Jim Morrison to provide us with poetry but it remains captivating given his vocal performance. A vocal full of doom and preacher like intensity.

    With all of this heaviness the likes of ‘Soul Kitchen’ and the slightly silly ‘Twentieth Century Fox’ provide welcome diversions. Lighter material but still in keeping with the sound of the overall record. We have highlights with a suitably intense version of Willie Dixon’s ‘Back Door Man’ as well as another cover, a dramatic, superb take on Brecht and Weills ‘Alabama Song’. Here, the keyboard takes on a weird European circus flavour that combined with Jims deep but playful vocal certainly raises a smile. And! Still more highlights! The wonderful ‘Crystal Ship’ almost defies musical explanation. A number of shorter, simpler songs appearing towards the end of the album perhaps lack the genius of other cuts here but each plays a part in adding to the album as a whole. An album that bears up well to repeated listening. A classic debut that even manages to have classic artwork on its front sleeve. The way Jims face is shown coming out at you is striking and it all combines to provide a wonderfully complete and superb album.

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    Simon B slb23@shaw.ca
    This is a pretty good debut album, if you ask me. "Break on Through", "Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)", "Light My Fire", "Back Door Man", and "The End" are all classics. 8/10

    bassplayeredd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    After hearing so much about the doors from friends i was delighted when i saw the album for sale at £5 at a record fair. As soon as i got home i played the record and was not disappointed. The album gets off to an excellent start with "Break on through" which although relies on energy also shows quite a complex structure for such a short song. The album stays consistant and the style varies a lot throughout the album, only a couple of the songs just before the great epic "The End" let it down. Although Morrison's voice and lyrics are regarded as the best thing about the album, the personel highlight for me is the stylish keyboard work.

    dan danielofcadman@hotmail.com
    finally bassfckur eddy actually likes an album. Wow, and because of the complex keyboard structures, superb. Have you ever considered the shere limitedness of led zepplin. The vocals, the monotony of each 'Rock' song. I vote eddie listens to more rock, and maybe just maybe tries something new

    musicman musicman52@gmail.com
    simply my favourite debut album of all time. Oh and by the way the guy who posted before, Led Zeppelin are one of the most varied rock bands there is (or was).


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    Strange Days ( 1967 )
    Strange Days / You're Lost Little Girl / Love Me Two Times / Unhappy Girl / Horse Latitudes / Moonlight Drive / People Are Strange / My Eyes Have Seen You / I Can't See Your Face in My Mind / When the Music's Over

    The vast majority of these songs had already been written and arranged prior to the recording of the debut. Many of the songs hail from the same song writing sessions that produced their first long player. Since they largely already had a bunch of material ready this album appeared only six months after its predecessor. They sound more assured this time round, perhaps due to greater experience in the studio. The keyboard bass was replaced by a sessioneer on regular bass guitar for part of this record. It sounds slicker than previous recordings. We open with the title song. The keyboards swirl in madness, Morrison’s voice booms out loud and clear and it’s a fine song. A good start to the record all round as ‘You’re Lost Little Girl’ and ‘Love Me Two Times’ follow. The lyrics to ‘You’re Lost Little Girl’ and the tone of Jims voice gets to me every time. ‘Love Me Two Times’ is just stupendous! Especially arriving on the heels of the previous track. ‘Love Me Two Times’ works as a great rock song with a groovy rhythm! The Doors once again prove themselves adept at middle section breaks when great piano comes in guaranteed to raise a smile! A superb song all round.

    ‘Unhappy Girl’ despite the lyrical tone is lighter musically but extremely melodic with it. The music contrasts the lyrical content and helps you focus on the words, actually. Fine words they are too. ‘Horse Latitudes’ is very hard to take seriously. Musical effects bordering on the humorous despite their admittedly unsettling nature accompany Jim in preacher voice, reading out his spoken word poetry. Thankfully its short. It does serve a purpose breaking up the record sonically. In a sense its there to provide variety. One of the Doors earliest songs gets a recorded appearance next. ‘Moonlight Drive’ is another fine song on an album full of them. Very little faulting this record, actually. ‘People Are Strange’ has been covered a number of times and with good reason. Another fabulous set of intriguing lyrics and music full of hooks but without neglecting depth. ‘My Eyes Have Seen You’ is a great phrase to build a lyric around and the music is up-tempo and features plenty of Ray attacking his instrument with vigour! ‘I Can’t See Your Face In My Mind’ slows things down, sounds unusual but perfectly natural at the same time. Some exotic sounding guitar playing in particular a highlight of this track. Another great piece of cover art, incidentally, cementing The Doors position as a band that were indeed different from the norm.

    The epic eleven minutes plus ‘When The Music’s Over’ closes the record. Strange Days indeed? It features Rays keyboard bass, is wonderful throughout and drags the album up a notch all by itself. Very intense and full of passion. Great playing from Ray, Robbie and John. We do have ‘Horse Latitudes’ however. We also have admittedly ‘Love Me Two Times’, ‘People Are Strange’ and ‘When The Music’s Over’. But, these apart, the record lacks obvious standouts of such a quantity as their debut. All the songs are still pretty great though and overall this is another fine and frequently exhilarating ride, no doubt about it!

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    GAZZA Edinburgh
    i regard "strange days" as being the doors strongest album , the point where they were at their tightest as a band before morrisons antics started to seriously damage this bands impact . The next 2 albums were very studio based with morrison becoming less integral to the overall sound. The 1st 3 cuts here all pack a punch , the title tracks phased vocals and layered organ/harpsichord from manzarek create quite a spell . "youre lost little girl" focuses on morrisons acid ballad croon and its a chilling moment. What band wouldnt kill for a frontman like him ? "love me 2 times" is a great song funked up by kriegers stuttering guitar . Elsewhere krieger proves his progress with his beautiful slide which works perfectly against manzareks latin piano on "moonlight drive " His solo on "people are strange" (a great pop song) is also fantastic . It all builds to the climax of "when the musics over" one of the groups finest moments as musicians, where everyone stretches out an! d enjoys the jam and its all held together by densmores jazzy drumming but kriegers "airplane taking off" guitar is impressive too . Their are a couple of slighter moments for sure , but they are enjoyable and surprisingly poppy - Which brings us to morrisons poem "horse latitudes" , yes its indulgent but this was the 60s , everyone was doing crazy stuff at some point . In my opinion it doesnt ruin the album, its brief enough anyway . Strange days is recommended for fans of west coast psychedelic rock specifically but anyone who likes tunes and good playing generally .


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    Waiting For The Sun ( 1968 )
    Hello, I Love You / Love Street / Not To Touch The Earth / Summers Almost Gone / Wintertime Love / The Unknown Soldier / Spanish Caravan / My Wild Love / We Could Be So Good Together / Yes, The River Knows / Five To One

    A change of pace for this, the third studio album by The Doors. Gone is the dark brooding of old, gone is the rock blues jazz mix. Well, everything gone for the most part, but all of these aspects do reappear in places. They'd used up their backlog of songs of course and a couple of tracks here do sound like definite filler. Open your eyes and ears however, go through with repeated listening and 'Summers Almost Gone' almost becomes your whole universe. The difference between this and previous Doors recordings is emphasized simply by the feel of this song. Imagine a sunset, sitting alone looking out of a window as the world flows by. Summers almost gone, and where will you be? What have you done? Jim sounds in fine voice and the music is dreamily relaxed. The musical mix is enhanced by piano, especially during the middle of the song. Didn't I tell you The Doors always do great breaks in songs? Ha! This is no exception. This is still The Doors we know and love! This isn't exactly Rock n Roll and not too many people out there appear to love this song in preferance to say 'You're Lost Little Girl' but really, this is just beautiful and haunting. The opening 'pop' 'Hello I Love You' borrows its melody from The Kinks 'All Day And All Of The Night' and really isn't too great. It sounds tired, sounds under pressure to provide a commercial moment on demand. They were under strain and pressure to produce this set of songs as they largely had nothing prepared. 'Love Street' is funny! Again, like 'Summers Almost Gone' this is an evocative song musically and Jim once again sounds in fine voice. Another relaxed and mellow song full of hooks. The hooks are there!

    Jim wanted a 12 minute plus song called 'Celebration Of The Lizard' to be included on the record. None of the other Doors did so instead they took out a section from that song and turned it into 'Not To Touch The Earth'. Now, the old Doors sound fully returns - the pounding organ swirls, Jim sounding demonic and mystical as the track winds itself up and up further and further as it progressives. It ends up sounding dark as hell and very enjoyable! As the piece finishes Jim claims the title of 'Lizard King' and off we go into 'Summers Almost Gone'. Fabulous stuff! Not everything is fabulous of course. I'd already hinted at that earlier hadn't I? Yes! And? Well 'Wintertime Love' is lightweight for sure but again, its just so very entertaining. You can't exactly take this short silly thing seriously but it does raise a smile when you realise this is The Doors doing this! This happy, jaunty little thing! 'The Unknown Soldier' I certainly don't care for. I don't like the tone of the lyrics and the music seems uninspired and repeating previous themes. 'My Wild Love' is hard to describe or explain. Some sort of chanting appears to be going on. Really, I just don't understand what's going on! It is actually unsettling though which may have been the point but all that's really acheived is a desire in the listener to skip to the next track.

    The album carries on through an unusual path. 'We Could Be So Good Together' again appears to be a lightweight composition by past Doors standards but it does sport decent melodies throughout. 'Yes, The River Knows' is the closest we come to Doors as easy listening here, something previously unimaginable. Yes, whilst the likes of 'Summers Almost Gone' created an atmosphere with a marriage of lyrics and appropriate music here the lyrics don't entirely appear suited to the music at all. Nice piano though. And! After all of that we have some old style Doors music done very well with 'Five To One'. The keyboard and bass pounds, the guitar is dramatic and Jim sounds on the edge. A good way to close something that remains an inconsistant listen, certainly when compared to the first two Doors records - but does have enough moments sprinkled throughout to ensure an enjoyable listen. The very fact that some songs here are so different sounding to previous Doors material is actually a good thing. The lack of a 'Light My Fire' or a 'When The Musics Over' is of course noticeable but if taken on its own terms, then yeah, this is certainly a good album.

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    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    WAITING FOR THE SUN is not a superlative work of art-- and all that twaddle-- but some of the lyrics are verryyy innnnteresting. This from Not To Touch The Earth: "Dead President's corpse in the driver's car, the engine runs on glue and tar".

    John Yates Ahortiman@aol.com
    I don't know how you can say 'The Unknown Soldier' is crap. Like evry other Doors song, it is incredible.

    piggyinthemiddle poorroyschieder@hotmail.com
    For the most part agrre with review. Unknown soldier is weak but must have made for great theatrics on stage. I think Yes, the river knows is just as strong as Summer's almost gone. But, whatever becvame of Spanish caravn? There's a nice little twisted, unsettling number you seem to have completely overlooked. What happened?


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    The Soft Parade ( 1969 )
    Tell All The People / Touch Me / Shaman's Blues / Do It / Easy Ride / Wild Child / Runnin Blue / Wishful Sinful / The Soft Parade

    Producer Paul A Rothchild encouraged The Doors to employ lavish production and really try to make use of the studio. I'm not sure if all The Doors were keen on this idea but Ray Manzarek politely said 'we had a lot of fun in the studio' concerning the sessions! It sounds that way in places, actually. And, a couple of tracks are just dandy! Lets take opener 'Tell All The People'. Brass instruments and a full sounding production are mixed in with an admittedly decent melody. It sounds even less like The Doors than parts of 'Waiting For The Sun'. Still, it is a good song. Its a pop song really. And! 'Touch Me' is just stupendous! One of my favourite Doors songs. Its a simple song again, a pop song but here we do have Doors sounds and styles amongst the string section and poppy melodies. The rhythm of the keyboards inbetween the verses is a thing to behold! 'Shamans Blues' is slightly more Doors of old, though judged by those past standards - hardly classic Doors. I'd actually rather the first two 'un-doors' sounding tracks than a weak song in their old style. 'Do It' and 'Easy Ride' wrap up the first half - neither are essential if judged by previous Doors standards.

    The second half continues the mix of the first but adds another element as well. The melodies take on a quirky mode. 'Wild Child' is delightful in its rising and playful keyboard lines, 'Runnin Blue' sounds like a country hoe-down. It sounds something of a mess but even considering it sounds NOTHING like The Doors famous sound, does possess a certain dumb charm I suppose. 'Wishful Sinful' overdoes the string section just a little for me. A perfectly fine string section that soars in places - but not integrated into the actual song too well. It obliterates it. Jim can hardly be heard. One fine moment on the album does remain however. And, it will make you smile. And, thats a promise! It's eight and a half minutes long and borrows a samba rhythm from Jazz master Stan Getz. The opening Jim in preacher mode 'PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER!' makes you smile for a start. When the jazz samba kicks in, well. The whole thing becomes an impossible triumph and its only a quarter of the way through! The song proceeds through a bluesy section and gets rockier as it goes along. Jim is going all out by the end. Its a great song. 'Touch Me' is actually the only other moment of a similar quality. <

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    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    THE SOFT PARADE may not be the finest by the Door's, but it's my favorite Door's album; it is polished and upbeat for a blues-rock band. True, THE SOFT PARADE is slick and more commercial sounding than other Door's releases; however, one can say the same concerning the Beatles ABBEY ROAD-- which is a 10.

    David severedpeoplearestrange@hotmail.com
    You should give the album more credit....Runnin' blue doesn't sound like a country hoe-down but rather a folk-influenced tune. The brass etc also makes good listening, especially in Tell All The People.

    John Yates Ahortiman@aol.com
    Um, you seem to suggest that 'Wishful Sinful' and 'Runnin' Blue' are something other than complete musical masterpieces. I have to say that Wishful Sinful is one of the all time best Doors songs. Many would agree. You like 'Touch me' better. How pathetic. You don't have a scooby. I await the review of L.A woman with some trepidation.

    piggyinthemiddle poorroyschieder@hotmail.com
    This album in many ways is the bands weakest, specifically Morrison's vocals ( title track excluded ). The first side is the weakest music wise. Tell all the people does not deliver and has actually elicited giggles from myself due to clumsy lyrics and Morrison's drunken, unconvinced delivery. Touch me functions fine as a pop single and the rest simply forgettable. Side two, however, is a masterpiece. Wishful, sinful and Runnin' blue are quite possibly the most underrated Doors songs ever. Wild child makes a fantastic opener to the side and The soft parade an absolutely stunning finale. Should have been an E.p. this one.

    john keddy jkeddy1980@hotmail.com
    The guitar playing on shaman's blues alone should raise the points total on this album. It's amazingly lyrical and poignant. I also disagree with your views on 'touch me' which is banal and in my opinion the weakest track on the album. Thanks for most of the observations in your doors review though

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    This is my favourite of thiers. I find songs liek 'Easy Ride' and 'Do it' to be heaps of fun. My least favourite song on the album is 'Shaman's blues' but it's still a great song. Many of the songs have fantastic melodies. My favourite tracks are Wild Child, Running Blue and Touch Me

    glasgow boy fgthfhtf@aol.com
    lads the soft parade is the most underrated album of all time.it was the last album i bought and i couldnt believe it when i heard it after reading its reviews. every song is a classic bar none infact every song morrison SINGS on is on any album bootleg whatever.theyre all classics waiting for the sun is probably the weakest album but i dont like saying that because it also gets 10/10.shamans blues right through to runnin blue sheer quality the doors have a cure for every mood with each song and are the best band ever along with the beatles who also didnt write an average song.followed closely by syd barrett in his pink floyd days n beyond and the classy libertines. nuff said!!! oh yes dylan in their aswell.

    mike b djmixmastermike@yahoo.ca
    ithink this album is underrated. it may have some filler but two-thirds of the album is some of there most enjoyable work. runnin blue is terribly underrated and touch me may be my favourite doors song. i think part of the problem is critics seem to have a hate on for any music with horns and orchestra.


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    Morrison Hotel 8 ( 1969 )
    Roadhouse Blues / Waiting For The Sun / You Make Me Real / Peace Frog / Blue Sunday / Ship Of Fools / Land Ho! / The Spy / Queen Of The Highway / Indian Summer / Maggie M'Gill

    After the production effort of 'The Soft Parade' this record saw a return to basics. A bluesy, rocking sound. An effective sound. The material doesn't always support it, but its a return to something, though i'm not quite sure what that is. In any case, 'Roadhouse Blues' is simply stupendous! A fantastic sound, no question. You can drink to it, dance to it, sing along with it. It thumps and pounds along its groove. Its good, I like it! Jim gives a fantastic performance, as does everybody actually. 'Waiting For The Sun' follows, left over from the album of the same name. Its absolute classic Doors and by this stage you are getting quite excited! A classic album beckons, surely? Well. 'You Make Me Real' is little more than a thrash. 'Big Sunday' is doomy and miserable and lacking in atmosphere. 'Ship Of Fools' is good, supported by a happy melody and interesting lyrics. 'Peace Frog' has such a funky guitar line, its hard to believe its The Doors! The keyboard comes in and you smile. A wonderful song, no question.

    The second half of the record contines with a basic rock sound but the playful nature of the melodies also continues. 'Land Ho!' is a fine, fine song! Its entertainment! Its groovy and funky! This is a fine album. 'The Spy' is a failed 'Crystal Ship' but more bluesy in tone. The piano here is pretty good though and provides the main hook in the song. 'Queen Of The Highway' isn't a highlight but 'Indian Summer' is classic Doors. A Morrison vocal that sends a chill up your spine and a lovely guitar figure. The closing 'Maggie M'Gill' is more blues influenced rock and perfectly fine. As you may have gathered, I consider this a fairly inconsistent album. The thing is, the good songs are so hugely enjoyable, on a basic level. And, that's all they need to be. This is a return to basics, past and before even the ideas and ambitions for their debut. The playing is great throughout the album and holds even the weaker songs together. Their best for a while. Yes! Even though half the actual songs are no good!

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    Jude Bolton Bolton_154@hotmail.com
    My favourite Doors album. Nothing over 4 1/2 minutes long! Apart from a couple of slow (but short) ballads, there isn't a weak track here. Great pub rock!

    Will Petersfield
    A master piece of tones with a great fun time feel throughout. From the bump and grind Roadhouse Blues, the ultra funky Peace Frog, the shimmering Queen Of The Highway through to beer crawl blues of Maggie M'Gill it's wonderful. 10/10, a close second to LA Woman.


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    L.A. Woman 9 ( 1971 )
    The Changeling / Love Her Madly / Been Down So Long / Cars Hiss By My Window / L.A. Woman / L'America / Hyacinth House / Crawling King Snake / The WASP / Riders On The Storm

    Following 'an incident' where it was alledged Jim indecently exposed himself on stage, The Doors found themselves banned from almost every major concert venue in the states. The result of this was actually they had a lot more time to focus on the recording of a new album. Its a record that continues from 'Morrison Hotel' in the sense of The Doors being aware of the blues. They had help on bass guitar from Jerry Scheff. He did such a fine job, they wanted him to go out on tour with them to promote 'L.A. Woman'. Around the same time, Jim announced he was leaving, and he didn't know when he was coming back. At the same time 'L.A.Woman' was being released to critical acclaim Jim was in Paris trying to rediscover himself. He would never return. All this is by the by when it comes to actually listening to the record! Does it matter? Not really - here is the album. Do you like it? Well, it is relevant, the time they had to prepare new songs, the great bass player. Jims voice may well have been the worse for wear but he certainly gave it a go. His new gruffer voice suited the material, actually.

    The way this record begins.....THE WAY THIS RECORD BEGINS!!!!!!! Well, we have 'The Changeling' and 'Love Her Madly'. 'The Changeling' is prime Doors, no question. The guitar, the great keyboards all over the place. Great bass and vocals. What can you say, its groovy! Its rocking! It makes you want to scream with joy. Well. You know, it's pretty good. 'Love Her Madly' is a great Doors pop song. Perfectly done, great little break in the middle. You can really hear Jerry Scheff here especially - he did a fantastic job and fitted into The Doors perfectly from a musical point of view. Both these opening songs are classics. 'Been Down So Long' isn't a classic, just a blues number. Its well done though, and here Jims voice especially suits the material. Its a voice thats lived, shall we say :) 'Cars Hiss By My Window' is pure blues which benefits from wonderful guitar work from Robbie.

    The title song, placed in the middle of the album, is almost an album by itself. Almost eight minutes long, never dull or repetitive or boring for a single second. It cooks! I don't drive, don't like cars - but this song is a great driving song! That's the image it presents in the mind of a guy like me almost opposed to cars! Almost. That's how good it is! 'City of night, whoa!'. Fantastic stuff. Wonderful playing from everyone, again. Musically The Doors were probably at the top of their game at this stage. 'L'America' is slightly quirky in its melodies but does open atmospherically with strange sounding guitar. It sounds pretty intense, builds up as it goes along - ray does a great job on keyboards. 'Hyacinth House' is simple and fun, 'Crawling King Snake' a classic blues tune converted to The Doors style. Done very well, actually. We are nearly at the end. 'The Wasp' is the only thing here which probably should have been thought about a bit more. Its one of the more silly things i've heard in my entire life. Why is it so much fun? The melodies are simple, quirky. Jims poetry borders on the ridiculous. The whole thing is done with such concentration.....that its funny! The guitar solo that appears in the middle is great though.

    We have 'Riders On The Storm' to end. Like 'LA Woman' - this is almost an album in itself. Jim sounds in fine voice, the music is stupendous, everything came together. All Doors together. It matches anything they ever did. Anything. We have an utterly hypnotic keyboard solo - its just beautiful. We have doses of brilliant guitar work. The keyboards continue, the bass continues. Jim soars above it all, in the clouds, in the heavens. 'Riders On The Storm'. I dreamt the melody. It appeared to me in my sleep. I probably shouldn't be saying that should I? I dream of music. This 'Riders On The Storm' though is one of the most dreamlike pieces ever created. Its a sheer work of genuis. I can't help myself, I can't explain. The Doors reborn. This was called their 'comeback' album by some. I can understand why. Although the high points of the record do overshadow the rest, it works as a whole nonetheless. Jim would never return. This is some way for the original Doors to go out. Going out on a high. 'Riders On The Storm'.

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    Readers Comments

    Frank marlonf@charter.net
    Richard Meltzer (legendary 70s rock critic) wrote that every song on LA Woman has a substantial yuk (ha-ha) in it. That's a useful perspective. I haven't heard the album in years, but remember the over-the-top guitar solo in "Down So Long", the bathroom reference in "Cars Hiss", the line about "his brain is squirming like a toad", the whole silliness of "love her madly...meet her daddy"... and so on.

    Ilya Grigoriev negative_creep@gmx.de
    At last: at least three great songs on a Doors album plus relaxed blues all the way through. "Love Her Madly" is the best pop tune they ever did (right next to "People Are Strange" and "Light My Fire") "L.A. Woman" is a rocking, complex blues tone (a la "Roadhouse Blues") and "Riders on the Storm" is as good as piano can get: marvelous solos, superb backing. Man, these guys were great!

    Milo Bojangles Bittlecocker1@Hotmail.com
    Im sorry i just can't grasp why the Door's are so revered. I usually don't hate on the classic supergroups of the late sixties and early seventies(i.e. Led Zeppelin, the Who, ect..) but i just cant understand the mass apoeal of the Doors. To take a line from the movie "Almost Famous": "Jim Morrison was a drunken bafoon who tried to disguise himself as a poet. Give me the Guess Who, they had the courage to be drunken bafoons, which made them poetic."

    lvc lvc424@hotmail.com
    Simply my favorite of all-time. Powerful, this album is not just great...it's perfection. Play the title track for any new fan...and tell them its from 1971 and they won't believe you. This album should embarass today's musicians for putting out the same recycled material over and over. The Doors are above all.

    bassplayeredd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    what a great album. I bought it 2 weeks ago and it hasn't been off my player since. I agree with what you say about Jim's voice it really suits the album. The album consists of only gems(except L'America which is the only week yet it is still interesting). "Love her madly", "Been down so long", "LA Woman" and "Riders on the storm" are my favourites. Anyway excellent album and excellent review although i disagree with your comments on "The Wasp", i think it is a very raw song with interesting lyrics to go with it. I must also disagree with your rating, your review suggests the album should get 10 or at least 9.5.

    ben leach misszg@wideopenwest.com
    10. 10 1/2 if there was such. You cant get much better then this album. One of the most underrated albums of all time in my eyes. I personally like 'Hyacinth house' the most. That one drew me into the album. And 'L.A woman' is perfect, with georges yells and crys, and that keybored solo in the middle. Nothing better. perfect 10.

    Will Petersfield
    Morrison's ole blues man is all over this record. The mood is fabulously dark (Riders On The Storm) and contains some irresistible numbers. LA Woman itself is surely one of the finest 7 minutes of rock ever recorded, while the grooy Changeling, Been Down So Long, the languid Cars...as well as the doom laden WASP and Crawling King Snake more than make up the numbers. 10/10


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    Other Voices 7 ( 1971 )
    In the Eye of the Sun / Variety is the Spice of Life / Ships Without Sails / Tightrope Ride / Down on the Farm / I'm Horny, I'm Stoned / Wandering Musician / Hang On To Your Life

    It isn't widely known that The Doors carried on without Jim. Which in itself may seem to suggest something about the quality of their post-morrison output. There is at least one gem on this album, though. Well, a couple actually. Let your ears not your mind do the talking on this one, is my advice. Well, The Doors without Jim? Crap, right? Wrong. At least, wrong as far as this album is concerned. Musically, they carry on from where they left off with 'LA Woman'. Well, more or less. They certainly don't sound as confident and the mixing seems lacklustre. Ray sings the majority of the songs here, by the way. He does the best Jim impersonation he can, although it's readily apparent he's nowhere near in the same class. I can bear to listen to him, though. The lyrics are decent enough too, which may come as a shock to many of you, I know. One thing that's obviously missing then, the vocals of Jim. What's less obvious is his role as a decision maker in the creative process. I guess Ray took it upon himself to lead proceedings a little more than he did before. This is all by the by. This is a Doors album without Jim. Is it any good? Short answer is yes. It's pretty good and actually, woefully underated. Elektra would do well to get this and the album that followed out on CD, methinks. Anyway, what are these gems I was speaking of then, case you want a sampler before tracking down a copy of the album in full, which currently might be expensive for you? Well, 'Ships Without Sails' is the one. Seven and a half minutes of musical glory of the type everybody knows The Doors can do. A glorious rhythm, good lyrics, passable vocals. A great Doors track actually that had Jim sang on it would today be hailed as a minor Doors classic, of that i've absolutely no doubt. 'Tightrope Ride' is a rocking track of the type that fans of 'LA Woman' and 'Morrison Hotel' will quickly recognise. Along with the superb 'Ships With Sails', this is the other true highpoint of the record.

    On the down side, 'I'm Horny, I'm Stoned' begs to have been sung by Jim. Certain matters begin to conspire against the remaining doors. This is a song that really needed a better sound than the thin sound heard here. The vocals, if they'd been Jim vocals would have lent this song a comedy value in a good way, instead of the bad way the song has comedy value as presented here. It's not all that bad, but it's a track I can certainly live without. Jim was meant to be the dark-lord, yeah? Well, funnily enough, I do miss his humour on this album. Anybody listening to the likes of 'I'm Horny, I'm Stoned' will know exactly what I mean. 'In The Eye Of The Sun' is decent Doors, 'Variety Is The Spice Of Life' pretty much the worst Doors song i've heard to date. Of the remaining songs, 'Hang On To Your Life' almost sounds like Jim Morrison in places, 'Wandering Musician' has some lovely musical passages. Controversially then, I enjoy this album slightly more than I do 'The Soft Parade'. The vocals are an obvious point to concentrate on but the album, with the one or two obvious mis-steps, is as good a collection of actual songs as we could realistically have expected from them at this stage. Most importantly, ignoring any leniency I may be giving the other three guys, it's a pretty enjoyable listen.

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    Dan j4triv@lycos.com
    Definitely underrated. It would be great to have this on CD. ("Full Circle"…not so much.) And I adore "I'm Hungry, I'm Stoned" as is; I think Jim's voice might have made the song more bombastic, whereas IMO the spare sound makes the humor more successful here. Don't get me wrong, it's a step down, but it's still worth owning.


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    this page last updated 11/03/09