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The Doors - The Best of The Doors CD (album) cover


The Doors



4.25 | 57 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars As far as I know, this was the first Doors greatest-hits CD, and it's a significant one, with ten million certified sales in the US as of 2007. Since that time, it has been superseded several times as the go-to Doors compilation.

A-B comparisons of some of the songs here reveal that they're not quite the equals of more recent remastered versions, but I'm not sure I would've noticed otherwise; apparently the original Doors albums were recorded pretty well. One thing that I did notice after becoming more familiar with the group is that this collection is sequenced quite strangely: the songs are in semi-chronological order. The first three are from the group's first album, and the next three are from their second. But then it's back to the first, then the third, the fifth, back to the third - - you get the idea. All three songs from the last album represented here (L.A. Woman, also their last with singer Jim Morrison) are on the second CD, but the collection closes with a song from their debut. Since the nineteen songs here were released over a period of less than four and a half years, with no change in band membership, I suppose the departure from chronological sequencing isn't as noticeable as it might've been otherwise. But the Doors' sound did change over their somewhat brief career; for instance, their debut album has more of a live-in-the-studio feel. And L.A. Woman had a different producer - - and a different-sounding Morrison.

Like many Best-Ofs, The Best of the Doors draws heavily from a limited number of LPs. Prog Archives lists nine studio albums by the Doors, including six that made the US Top 10. About 47 of this album's 89 minutes are taken from the first two of these, The Doors and Strange Days, both from 1967. However, this works pretty well. I try not to criticize the song selection of compilation albums, and while my choices would've been a bit different, I probably would've also chosen heavily from their earlier songs. At any rate, their most notable songs are here. That includes most of their finest singles, but also their two longest - - and, in my opinion, most self-indulgent - - album tracks, which account for close to 23 minutes of the running time of The Best of the Doors. The lengths of these two, in comparison to the other tracks, is probably what precipitated the odd sequencing; there was really nothing else to do other than to place one at the end of each of the disks.

The Best of the Doors has been supplanted by several compilations. Judging by the track list, the single-disk The Future Starts Here: The Essential Doors Hits (2008) is just as good, even if it's ten minutes shorter. Nonetheless, there must be thousands of used copies of The Best of the Doors floating around for cheap. My suggestion to any fan of 'proto-prog' or of rock music in general: unless you already have a comprehensive Doors collection, grab a copy of this one.

patrickq | 4/5 |


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