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4 stars Live album containing recordings from many Doors performances. The band shows a powerful energy and a clever sense of dynamics. Balanced between blues ("Backdoor Man"), hard rockin´ standarts ("Who Do You Love ", "You Make Me Real"), classic hits with a lot of jamming ("Light My Fire ") and real psychadelic giant epics ("When The Music's Over", "The End") each reaching 15 minutes, this collection will grow on you every listen.

The album also contains the amazing suite "The Celebration of the Lizard" (track 13-19, disc 01), a serie of poems written by Jim Morrison with musical sections composed by the rest of the band, that I think it has a high proggy feeling with its nice rhythm changes. This piece is available on the 1970 live album, "Absolutely Live".

Definitely a great addition!

Report this review (#105530)
Posted Thursday, January 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#105625)
Posted Thursday, January 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars There are very fine performances here starting with the opener "Who do you love", where the band shows their powerful approach to rock and roll and blues; the same goes for "Roadhouse Blues", one of my favourites. On both songs Jim shows the special quality of his voice which, though lacking formal voice training, delivers warmth and an undeniable force to the audience. The band sounds tight with the "classic" Doors' keyboard dominating the scene. Some Doors classics like "When the music's over" and "Light my fire" receive good treatment, especially the latter, presented here in extended version and a middle section showing Jim's poetry not sounding out of place at all. On the other hand the two medleys with "Five to one" and "Break on through" respectively, are not the best versions of two of the band's favourites.

For Doors fans this would be a fine addition to their collection just for two reasons: First, this album gets together 3 live recordings previously issued by Electra Records, one being the famous "Absolutely Live" from The Doors heyday, second overall sound quality is very good compare to other live recordings from the same period (60's) and I dare to say that this is the best Doors live recording available on this respect including recent editions like "Live in Detroit". For that I give it 4.5 stars, but as this is a progressive music site, I say three stars because there are few progressive moments out of "The Celebration o the Lizard".

Report this review (#105628)
Posted Thursday, January 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In Concert is the definitive live album of The Doors. 140 minutes of superb live perfomances kept from previous live records such as Absolutely Live, Alive She Cried and Live at the Hollywood Bowl.

Hard, strong, amazing, passionate, intriguing. The great classics apart (the acid The End, the mindblowing When the Music's Over, the immortal Roadhouse Blues) this double live record is very important for many covers played by the band as for alternate versions of famous tunes and for the musical transposition of the poem "The Celebration of the Lizard King" which only saw the light in part, in their third album Waiting for the Sun as "Not to Touch the Earth". The whole mystic and visionary poem is now put in music even if it features recitative parts for the most.

"Who Do You Love", "Build Me A Woman", "Universal Mind", "Gloria" (a Van Morrison's one, if I well remember), "Little Red Rooster" and "Close to You" are wonderful. The last one in particular is the most favourite of mine and is one of the most powerful tracks from them, describing very well their great impact on the audiences!

An alternate version of "Break on Through" (# 2) with the intro of "Dead Cats, Dead Rats" is available here.

What could I say more? This live double cd is essential: the definitive live collection!

4.5 stars.

Report this review (#106447)
Posted Sunday, January 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars This double Cd compilation of different live recordings that were previously available brings absolutely nothing new to the debate. If you are a long time fan of the group, you are likely to have these records in one way or another.

Absolutely Live is the only album I regard as official (due to its release date) and shows a real difference between the band live and its studio version. Obviously this is a manifest that the Doors concerts were never an acquired thing, since the band was always depending on the erratic behaviour of Morrison. And on that night, obviously Jimbo was well on the way to his artificial paradise, but obviously had not got to his final destination. This recording is rather interesting for its rare performance of the Celebration Of The King Lizard in its entirety. And then we can see that the Waiting For The Sun album's best track (Not To Touch The Earth) was also the highpoint of the never finalized side-long track that they were planning on. For the rest we have a rough sound throughout the first disc, making the album (with a different cover artwork than on our PA) a must for Doorshandles.

The first part of the second disc is a rather yawning Alive She Cried collection of live cuts that were released a decade later. Outside the cover of Them's Gloria and a bluesy Red Rooster, there is not that much interesting (maybe the elongated Light My Fire), but this disc had the merit (aside from generally excellent live recording sound) to keep the Doors' lights on for the next generation.

The last three tracks as I understand it were Hollywood Bowl tracks, but since I never owned those recordings, I suspect that there are only parts of it included here, but cannot confirm it.

But however, if you are a new to the Doors, this live anthology is rather interesting collection. And somehow, I bet that many will be surprised by the band's raw live sound. And there are many hints that the group had excellent improvising talents (mostly due to the erratic nature of their frontman, but they also often did medleys of their own tracks. And one of the most bizarre moment in the Absolutely Live album is that when Jimbo starts with the spoken intro of the track The Soft Parade, the crowd goes nuts (this is obviously a fan favourite), but unfortunately the rest of the track is absent. And newer recordings did not manage to rebuild the track as it should have. Still a must, but this is not always easy.

Report this review (#110223)
Posted Thursday, February 1, 2007 | Review Permalink

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