I could sit here and list all six records and still not know which to choose because each is perfect in its own way
Ahhhhh, The Doors. I love The Doors and it’s about time Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore had their day in the Desert Island sun, don’t you think? Which album though? There’s the rub. Between 1967 through 1971, The Doors came out with six classic albums (their discography boasts 9 official releases, but if we’re talking about albums featuring the four original members who were alive while the recording process was taking place, then it was only six records.) So which album? Which album kicks so much ass that anyone would be crazy not to take it with them to a deserted island. Strange Days? L.A. Woman? Morrison Hotel? I could sit here and list all six records and still not know which to choose because each is perfect in its own way. Each album features some of my favorite tracks; but then again, these are favorite tracks that are scattered throughout six records. Quite the quandary, indeed.
“Light My Fire” is the Coca-Cola of The Doors catalog
While I sit with Stella on my lap (my nickname for my laptop) with my headphones plugged in, I am listening to The Doors self-titled masterpiece. Track 6 (“Light My Fire“) is blaring away, so why not just go with this one? The Doors was released on January 4th, 1967 to critical acclaim strictly on the back of the hit single “Light My Fire“. In my opinion, this is not the best song that The Doors had to offer on this audiophonic masterpiece. “The End“, “Soul Kitchen“, “Break On Through (To The Other Side)“, and “Twentieth Century Fox” are far stronger original tracks (or am I nitpicking because “Light My Fire” is the Coca-Cola of The Doors catalog? That might be it.)
… Jim Morrison made the song his by opening the track with his own signature howl.
Aside from the fantastic original compositions on this album, the two cover songs that flesh out The Doors are among my favorite of their discography. The Doors took Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill‘s little ditty titled “Moon Over Alabama“, changed it to “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)” and churned out a real classic. The second cover on this album came courtesy of one my favorites: the Blues. You know of what I speak. Those down in the Delta blues. “Back Door Man” was originally written by bluesman Willie Dixon and recorded by that blues hound, Howlin’ Wolf back in 1961. Now anyone who’s anyone will pick the original as The Version, and although I happen to be one of those people, Jim did Howlin’ Wolf justice. Using his whiskey soaked vocals, Jim Morrison made the song his by opening the track with his own signature howl.
… that’s what he brought to The Doors, an endless wealth of lasting poetry.
For any avid Doors fan or even if you’ve never bothered to listen to any of The Doors music aside from “the hits”, this album is a great starting of point to begin your journey to the other side. There’s a reason why it’s 2014 and The Doors come up time and again: their music is timeless. The musicianship of the group was on the forefront of the psychedelic movement that invaded the late 1960’s and regardless of what you might read about Jim Morrison and what type of person he was when not behind the mic, one thing remains true; Jim Morrison was a poet first and foremost and that’s what he brought to The Doors, an endless wealth of lasting American poetry. The Doors will always have a place in the pantheon of music because they earned their way in, they, if you will, broke on in and what a lovely noise they made while they were here.
Want more from The Doors? Why am I asking? Of course you do! Please feel free to check them out here: