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THE BEST OF THE DOORS

The Doors

Proto-Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars And now for something completely different ...... The Doors! For me they are one of the most interesting bands that emerged in the exciting second half of The Sixties. The music of The Doors is a captivating encounter of four creative and adventurous musicians with a totally different musical background. They challenged each other to the limit during the frequent rehearsals and many gigs. Soon their sound turned into a varied, dynamic and 'groovy' blend of raw Mississippi blues, straight-forward rock, catchy pop tunes and Sixties USA West Coast psychedelia along elements from folk, jazz and avant-garde. Jim his unique voice and poetic lyrics give The Doors an extra, often very emotional dimension but I would like to emphasize that all band members contributed each in their unique way to the captivating, often compelling sound of The Doors. This comprehensive 2-CD compilation contains all the legendary compositions and many good songs from their six studio albums. In fact I only miss the track Peace Frog with its excellent guitar riff.

About Jim Morrison are written dozens of books featuring many chapters pointing at his extreme lust for drugs, alcohol and sex and his agressive behaviour towards his friends. But he remains a very fascinating frontman with an unique voice: tender and warm in the romantic ballad The Crystal Ship, bluesy in Roadhouse Blues and Five To One, cheerful in Hello I Love You and Touch Me and expressive in the compelling When The Music's Over (catchy organ riff and distorted guitarwork) and the splendid build-up The End (a psychedelic atmosphere with sensitive guitar and dynamic drums). The colouring by Ray Manzarek his keyboards (often the Vox Continental organ sound) and Robbie Krieger his guitar is outstanding, so tasteful and subtle. They succeed to upgrade almost every track like the harpsichord solo in Love Me Two Times, the slide guitar in Waiting For The Sun, the flamenco guitar intro in Spanish Caravan, the Honky Tonk piano in the funny Alabama Song, the swinging guitar riff in Love Her Madly, the Fender Rhodes electric piano play in the 'classic' Riders On The Storm and the church organ sound in The End. And last but not least I would like to point at John Densmore his often intense drumming, from soft touches on the hi-hats to heavy beats on his drum kits, very well timed and so dynamic.

THE DOORS ARE OPEN, YOU ARE INVITED TO ENTER THEIR CAPTIVATING WORLD!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#105167)
Posted Monday, January 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars What a nice new year's present from Progarchives to have added The Doors to the list of bands we can review. I've read a lot of comments (some very rude ones) about their inclusion or not, but since they are there, let's review their GREAT work. As I have mentioned in my review of "The Doors" (their first opus), I entered their catalogue quite lately : in 1979 thanks to the Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" movie (as part of the soundtrack, the song "The End" is included).

The first CD I purchased from the Doors was this compilation. It is a WONDERFUL one. None of their hits are forgotten. This is extremely rare in compilations (if you compare with some ELO, Heep, Tull, Camel or Yes ones for instance). If you do not know "The Doors" this is an excellent entry and could (should) lead you to investigate more of their work (like I did). This one turned me into a die-hard fan. I own now their whole offical catalogue and some thirteen bootlegs or so. I am also thrilled to go and see "The Riders Of The Storms" in Antwerp pretty soon (I know this is only half The Doors, but still...). One can always argue of course of the tracklist of a compilation effort. OK, "Soul Kitchen " and "The Soft Parade" are missing (they could have include them since the double CD format would have allowed this with no problem). I also could have happilly lived without "Alabama Song - Wiskey Bar" (a song based on Bertolt Brecht's novel "Baal" which will be released by David Bowie later on as well). What is not there and should be ? Well, frankly "Back Door Man" (even if it is only a cover, it is a great rendition).

The absolute masterpiece of the band is included in its entire 11'44". About the two most contravertial sentences of the song, Jim will say, I quote "about kill the father: means destroying everything hierarchical, controlling and restrictive in one's pysche". I quote again : "about f... the mother" : means embracing everything that is expansive, flowing and alive in the psyche". The lyrics are incredible and very dark / bizarre. They are mostly spoken rather than sung. Maybe premonitory of Jim's death in 1971 ? The last lines of the song are quite explicit, I quote : "It hurts to set you free, But you'll never follow me, The end of laughter and soft lies, The end of nights we tried to die" This is the end". This song is quite hypnotic and is a great digest of their whole psychedelia.

If you are concerned by the money side, I would like to mention that there is a downsided version of this compilation fitting on one CD only (and cheaper). It lacks "When The Music Over" (and another three songs) but includes "Back door Man". So, it's up to you.

I also believe that "The Doors Boxset" (a four CD collection) should be available for review : it is a FABULOUS anthology of live and demo tracks (disc one and three), a selection of the band's favourite (disc four) and a whole CD from their concert at the Madison Square Garden in 1970. Another ESSENTIAL document is their DVD "30 Years Commemorative Edition" which is made of three sections : 1. Their last appearence on a TV show (in 1969 just after the scandal concert during which Jim will be arrested) ! 2. Some rare documents (like the clip for "The Unknown soldier" which will be censored in the US), and the mythical concert from The Hollywood Bowl (in its integrality - according to the liner notes). Hopefully it will be soon possible to review them. Five stars for this fantastic compilation of such an influent band.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#105303)
Posted Tuesday, January 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Probably the best THE DOORS compilation around. This one is a good ratio between artistic quality and commercial profit. "The Best of the" was my introduction in the world of the Doors, and after this one, I started to appreciate different, "thinking" music.

In my early teen, I used to think that all the tracks are brilliant here, but now I'm a bit more picky, and I will admit that "Roadhouse Blues", "People Are Strange", "Love Me Two Times", "L. A. Woman", "Touch Me" and "Love Her Madly" are not so appealing to me anymore, in fact the first and the last mentioned are plain awful.

I'm very glad that both the lengthiest band's studio tracks are included here, "The End" and "When The Music's Over", because they are both masterpieces in it's own realm. They are both included at the ends of the disc 1 and 2, and it's nice to see a little bit of common sense from the compilation editors.

What can I say? All other tracks are great, and I don't think I have to explain why are they great, because most of them are known to a wider rock audience.

It worked well for me, so I think this is a perfect starter for a newbie.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#106514)
Posted Monday, January 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wonderful compilation!

(Rating Edited august 2008: i lefft the review as i first wrote it, but i changed from 5 to 4 stars, since being a proto-prog album, it's not a masterpiece of progressive rock)

The ratings and previous reviews won`t let me lie, being The Doors a Giant in the history of rock, it`s obvious that they had to release an album where followers and general public could enjoy their best moments and songs, through the years Elektra decided to make a special compilation (1985) with all their classic moments. There are other compilations which are pretty good, but i particularly think this is the one, the best, you may say that it is full of hits and singles, and it could be but actually that`s not bad, i prefer some songs not listed here than some listed here but that doesn`t matter when an album or compilation can please someone like this works with me.

I consider myself a fan of this band, first of all because this is the only musical "influence" (besides Alan Parsons) that my father left to me, i remember when i was a kid i listened to The Doors so often, and i still do it nowadays, my love for them grew more and more, so if it were for me, i would give to this album 5 stars without a problem, because i love it, but remembering that this is a PROG site, i think i shoulnd`t give to it the five stars, however here we can find their proggiest moments with "Riders on the Storm", "Light my Fire", "When the music`s Over", "L.A. Woman" and "The End" (don`t think of The Celebration of the Lizard, it is not here) only with that 5 epics they could have released a 45 minute album which would be totally prog and mind blowing and which would fit in the realm of prog and 5 stars for sure.

But besides those wonderful songs, here we will find all their hits, songs that you might like or not, but songs that you know for sure, "Break on Through", "People are Strange", "Love me Two Times", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Touch Me" , sounds familiar, no?. This is a 2CD compilation, which can please any fan (and non-fan) since the very first song, their excellent music, magnific Manzarek`s keyboards (Light my Fire), the always constant Densmore drums playing (When the Music`s Over), the brilliant acoustic and electric guitars played by Krieger (Spanish Caravan and Break on Through) and the leadership by the Lizard King, Jim`s unique vocals and particular style will make you having a great moment with this album.

Excellent compillation, worth checking out and recommendable to anyone!

Hope you enjoy it!!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#108256)
Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This has to be The Doors compilation at their utmost best. A double album of all their best hits, releases and generally good sounds. There are no other ' Best Of' albums in The Doors reportoire to come close to this and it does justify a solid four star rating just by selction tracks alone. Highly recommended to all those Doors enthusiasts who still enjoy the Doors sound for what it is worth, who still enjoy lighting the fire and last but not least enjoy being plain decadent. That is what this 85 compilation is- pure decadence of great music ' rolled ' into one.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#108777)
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 5 stars=Wonderful...A wonderful collection certaintly the best The Doors compilation...We can to listen the real sound of this giant band of rock..the keyboards of Manzarek and the voice and the presence of Jim Morrison are the importants columns of The Doors...the sound is a mix between Rock Blues; sound of west coast and little recollection to prog rock. An other particularity are the lirycs that seems a bringing forward at those of punk.

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Send comments to Lophophora (BETA) | Report this review (#124088)
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
T.Rox
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A great 'Best Of' that is largely surpassed by it's 2003 counterpart.

When I first started buying CD's, "The Best Of The Doors" was in my first half dozen CD purchases. This compilation remains a fabulous walk through The Doors music although it is now dated due to the 2003 release of "Legacy: The Absolute Best", which sees the same tracks re-mastered and includes a handful of additional tracks.

The "The Best Of The Doors" compilation is still chock full of essential Doors music, it is just no longer the boss compilation of The Doors work. I will give this 2CD set 3/5 because of its reduced standing the The Doors compilation arena, not because of any suggestion that there is any lack of quality in the music.

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Send comments to T.Rox (BETA) | Report this review (#126120)
Posted Sunday, June 17, 2007 | Review Permalink

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