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The Doors - In Concert CD (album) cover

IN CONCERT

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.75 | 43 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Doors live ! Even if I was born in 1959, I was too young to have been able to attend one of their concert (a European tour was organized in 68). Their fame has been built up around their live appearences and the impetuous and inpredictable attitude from Jim. Jim has learned the book from the French psychologue Gustave Le Bon "Psychology Of The Crowds".and has proved to be a great manipulator : he can turn a normal concert into a riot (like in Chicago, 1968), or turn an explosive atmosphere into quiteness (LA, December 1968).

The most scandalous one, is of course the Miami concert from March 1st, 1969. Jim arrived an hour late at the concert hall, completely drunk. On top of this, the were overselling of concert tickets : too many people to fit in the hall ! Great debut.

He is so drunk that he can hardly sing a song in its entirety, insulting the audience, I quote "Bunch of idiots", "Bunch of slaves" (he was inspired in this attitude by Van Morisson, the leader from "Them"). He enters then in a monologue, I quote again (no editing here) : "How long are you gonna let it go on ? Lettin' people push you around ? How long d'ya think it's gonna last ? Maybe you like it, maybe you like being pushed around... Maybe you love it, maybe you love gettin' you face stuck in the s h i t...". A bit later in the concert, he will harangue the crowd asking if they want more than music, something special; and then says that he is going to get nude on stage !

Nobody can feasibly guarantee whether he did it or not (even Jim, who will say later on that he was way too drunk to remember) ! Four days later, he will be charged and in August he will be convicted of "indecent behaviour" amongst other things and sentenced to eight months'imprisonment (I guess suspended...).

This double CD set is a collection of songs already available on previous recordings : "Absolutely Live" in July 1970, "Alive She Cried" (collection of concerts between 1968 and 1970) and "Live At The Hollywood Bowl"(July 4th, 1968).

There are some pure blues classic never released on a studio album like "Close To You", "Who Do You Love" (a cover song from Bo Didley), "Build Me a Woman" (which will remain unrelased).

Why they decided to have the intro of "The Soft Parade", namely the "Poem" : "Petition the Lord with Prayers" is unknown to me. It is quite dispensable.

Some of the songs were recorded in 1969-1970, a period in which Jim was already bored of the rock music and environment. He had already decided to stop singing. So, he doesn't seem to be very concerned with live performances any longer.

Most of their hits or anthems are included here. Noticeable exception : "Hello, I Love You". The version of "Break It Through" is great (almost double its lenght). Then "The Celebration Of The Lizard" : this "song" consists of some Jim's "poetry" and only exists in its entirety (?) in live performances (I'll tell you why in my review for "Waiting For the Sun". This track (?) lasts for about sixteen minutes and is made of seven parts. it is basically a long recitation with some background music. The only true musical moment (IMO) is "Not to Touch the Earth". I could never entered the world of the lizard.

There is a good interpretation of "When The Music's Over" (over fifteen minutes). During one of the quiet moments of the song, Jim was P.O. by the talks in the audience and starts to shout : "Shut Up"! (around 8'45) ...Ssssssh. Is this a way to behave in a rock'n'roll concert ? You don't want to hear to this for the next half an hour, right? Ssssssssssssh. Allright : "We Want the World and we want it free". Some gun shot sounds can be distinguively heard later on (the protest for the Vietnam war is at his peak in the US).

On disc two, the best moments (IMO) are "Gloria" and a great rendition of "Light My Fire" (about ten minutes). Both are quite sexually oriented. "Gloria" is a song from "Them". The Doors will regularly be their supporting act of in a L.A. bar called ... The Whiskey A Go-Go (Floyd, Cream, The Who, The Kinks, Led Zep, Hendrix, etc. will play there). One phrase out of "Gloria" : "wrap your legs around my neck; wrap your arms around my feet"... rather obvious, no ?

Jim's intro to "Close To You" : ladies and gentleman, I don't if you realize that you're in tonight for a special treat; the audience thinking he would redo his Miami "performance" and starting to yell. Jim says immediately :"Oh, no. Not that ! That treat is only for full moon ...", then : "I know there are young people out there and I wouldn't want anybody to faint... The last time it happened policemen returned their badges (applause) ... I liked it... I know that everybody was intimidated by the security precautions tonight. Just remember : their moto is protect and serve..." Actually, the special treat was that Ray was going to take the lead vocal in the song (which is quite boring by the way).

The last song is "The End" (just over fifteen minutes). The genesis of this song took place during a concert at the Whisky A Go-Go in July 1966. Before the concert Jim got some LSD and starts to improvise on the Oedipian complex and says the two sentences we all know about his father & mother (you canread my review of "The Doors" for more details). The owner was so shocked that he kicked them out before the end of the song. Actually, this live version is quite inferior to the studio one.

Globally this live album is for die-hard fans. But it is a great document for them. I think it was better to see The Doors live rather to hear them. So, I would recommend you some of their DVD's (or VHS converted into DVD) instead, like their "30th Anniversary"or Live In Europe" (from the Roundhouse in London, 1968). Maybe these will soon be available for reviews and I could tell you more about them Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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