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ABSOLUTELY LIVE

The Doors

Proto-Prog


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Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This live album, recorded after "the Miami concert incident", shows the band in good form, but less "wild", like "behaving themselves good". It has a very good recording being recorded between 1969 and 1970. Still, some Morrison`s antics appear, like some "wild screaming" in excess which I don`t like very much.

The album starts with the announcer suggesting to the audience to "behave well" because if they don`t do it "The Doors couldn`t arrive to the stage". It is known that in those days, after the Miami incident, promoters were not very confident in The Doors because they expected riots like the Miami incident, and the band was also nervous because many promoters banned them. Still, the record label wanted a live album, which the band recorded during several months.

The band had the idea to include in this album some new songs not released before on any album.

"Who Do You Love" is a cover, and it is a good song, with Krieger`s slide guitar.

The Medley of "Alabama Song / Backdoor Man/ Love Hides/ Five to One" is good, but Morrison`s screaming marres it a bit, IMO.

"Build Me a Woman" is a new song, not very interesting.

"When the Music`s Over" is a good version, with Morrison saying "silence" to the audience to let him sing. It is a funny moment. It is a song full of drama and with a good climax.

"Close to You" is another new song, a cover again. Morrison says "we have a special thing for you...not that...not that" referring with a joke to the Miami incident. The special thing is Manzarek singing lead vocals in this song, doing a good job.

"Universal Mind", another new song, is the best of this album, with Morrison singing very good lyrics with feeling and the band playing very good arrangements.

"Break on Thru No. 2" starts with Morrison shouting the first lines of "The Soft Parade" song before the band starts a brief improvisation on which Morrison sings new lyrics for the song. That`s why it was called "Break on Thru No. 2". It is a good version of this song.

"The Celebration of the Lizard" is a theatrical piece, somewhat noisy in parts, but good and interesting. Here Morrison`vocals work very well. I could consider this long song as an influence for other bands, some of them of the Prog Rock style, to write long pieces of music with several parts. Maybe Procol Harum, YES and Genesis were somewhat influenced by this song in their music.

The album is closed with "Soul Kitchen" as an encore,and the band plays a good version of this song.

This album sounds very polished, like the band had in mind to record good versions of each song. It also shows how good the band was as a team following each other during improvisations, like "reading each others`minds".

This album was re-issued in the mid 90s with a new cover design, which is shown in this website. Morrison didn`t like the original cover design.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#105860)
Posted Friday, January 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Absolutely Live", THE DOORS' only official live release during the band's life, is generally acknowledged largely because of the presence of "Celebration of the Lizards" poem in its integrity. It is, no doubt, a strong performance all the way, but what this live set makes interesting is more than that. Obviously, it is not a typical live "greatest hits" sort of issue because there are none of the most popular hits from the band, with possible exception of "Break On Thru". More than that, it contains several songs that were never released before, the best of them being slightly psychedelic "Universal Mind" and successful cover of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love". Slightly longer versions of "When the Music's Over" and "Soul Kitchen" are excellent. So the whole picture shows that the band during 1969/70 was still very strong when playing live in constrast with relatively weak studio albums of the period ("The Soft Parade", "Morrison Hotel"). This is not a wild, energetic piece of live show. It sounds more intimate, dark, slightly withdrawn. But it mostly relies on the selection of material. To some it may present a second-rate songs lacking real rock drive, but given the centre-piece of the album is Morrison's "Lizards" poetry performance, it all makes sense. I would like to recommend this live material as quite representative of the Wes Coast psychedelic era. This album is subsequently incorporated into "In Concert" double live CD set.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#107236)
Posted Friday, January 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Magnific live album!

So, i continue reviewing the Doors albums, after having finished all their studio, itīs time to review their Live and Compilation albums, since they are one of my favorite bands, i am able to review them all without a problem.

After their weaker record "Morrison Hotel", Elektra made a decision, they were not as succesful as earlier, since The Soft Parade, Elektra as a label had to looking for a new gate in order to recover some of the lost earnings, so they decided to release for the very first time, a Live album. Five albums had passed, and one more to come before Jimīs death when Absolutely Live was released in 1970.

We can remember that hilarious incident in a previous concert in Miami (hilarious because Jimīs behaviour was hilarious for me in some ways), so here first of all we can notice a state of calm and a kind of good behaviour, in order not to repeat the previous incident. This live album has 21 songs, which actually are 15 if we cut all the fragments of "Celebration of the Lizard", here we have almost 80 minutes of excellent Doorsīmusic, a rockier album with a bluesy feel, besides the psychedelic orientation of some of the songs, and the progressiveness of other of them.

This is NOT a hits live album, actually if we count here we will find only "Break on Through" as one of their singles, but actually this is an alternative version, so donīt expect much of ballads or songs to sing, this is a different and exciting trip through their music.

Songs like "Who do you Love", "Bakc Door Man - Love Hides - Five to One", "Close to You" or "Universal Mind" are a very nice example of what the album is offering to us, so pyschedelic and bluesy in several ways, but if you want something proggier, then you can fin "When the Musicīs Over" as usual in a concert, the song is longer than the studio one, and itīs an excellent performance.

But, what really takes the album, is the whole performance of "The Celebration of the Lizard" fans know that only "Not to Touch the Earth" was released as a single song in any studio album, it is part of course of the poem, and it is performed here this whole"poem/song" is worthy of listening, i would say a must listening indeed. Through this song, your mind and boy may be in other galaxy, itīs marvelous trhe power of this song, i would not say is a beautiful song, but almost!

So i think this album should be listened by any Doors fan, and i will recommend it to any prog fan, is excellent!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#108584)
Posted Tuesday, January 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Third time lucky hopefully. This is the third time I have submitted this review only for it to disappear into the ether!Rough around the edges a bit like this very incredible live album. There is no shortage of quality material here and what is most appealing is the fact that the production is pretty awful hence the ' Absolutely Live' moniker. That is what captures the listener on this merry-go round of great live songs, surrealistic interplay between Morrison and the audience ( at times borderline insulting, justly deserved too) and poetic wonderment, all this mixed together with some healthy rough tasting whiskey and you'll be singing when music's over' until the cows come home. Highlights are ' Love Hides', ' Build Me A Woman' , ' When The Music's over', 16 minutes of laid back bliss and 'The Lizard', surrealistic abstract Doors at their best.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#108765)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great live album. Maybe not the best there is in the world of prog, but must it be? Only songs I don't like on Absolutely Live are Love Hides and Bulid Me A Woman. Nothing special really. But, we have here the whole Celebration Of The Lizard (a great epic poetic piece of music) and wonderful tracks such as Universal Mind, Soul Kitchen, Break On Trough (with a funny introduction-Dead Cats, Dead Rats) and When The Music's Over. Oh, and there is sung by Ray Close To You. That record is from 1970, few months after The Miami Incident. And I must say, it has a lack of madness. But after what happend in Florida I can understand why. Anyway, this recording ia a great live and epic piece you should listen to.

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Send comments to Deepslumber (BETA) | Report this review (#108998)
Posted Friday, January 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Doors Absolutely live !

Originally this double live album would have been a great record to listen to. Especially for European fans who have not been able to see the band very often although a short European tour was organized in 1968. Always a great event. At least when you could see them which is not my case (even if I was born in 1959, I was too young to have been able to attend one of their concert. Their fame has been built up around their live appearences and the impetuous and unpredictable attitude from their leader. 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).

This album will be completed with the release later on of the double CD "The Doors - In Concert" which I have also reviewed and contains part of these comments (but not all). The cut and paste technique used by Page in the soundtrack "The Song Remains The Same" has also be extensively used here. Rotschild, the Doors producer, will even say that :"There must be 2,000 edits on this album"!

There are some cover songs like The Doors were used to play in concert. "Who Do You Love" is the opening number of this concert. It sounds pretty as a Doors song actually. Probably that they "Doors-ized" it quite a bit. It is credited to McDaniel who is nobody else than ... Bo Didley.

Then, we'll get get a good medley with two shorten versions of "Wiskey Bar" (which is fine in this short format) and for "Back Door Man" which is rather a pity to have it cut by half since it is a very good cover song from Willie Dixon (the one who will have so many problems with Led Zep). "Love Hides" was unknown to me and the very good "Five To One" is rendered very nicely in its full lenght.

"Build Me a Woman" will be one of their classic live song but it had never been featured on a studio album (it is a simple but rhythmy blues song). "Universal Mind" is not bad but the "Poem" : "Petition the Lord with Prayers" is really 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 but he will still be very provocative (I speak about his later on when I describe the performance of "When The Music's Over").

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).

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 the way to be behave in a rock'n'roll concert ? You don't want to hear that for the next half hour or so, right? Ssssssssssssh. Alright : "We want the world and we want it free". Some gun shot sounds can be distinguively heard both prior to these scenes and later on. Exactly like during "Love March" from "The butterfield Blues Band" in thier Woodstock appearance. The protest for the Vietnam war is at his peak in the US and The Doors ware deeply involved in this movement (remember "The Unknown Soldier"). It is for me the best number of this album. Far much superior to the studio album. It is a brilliant digest of their extravanganza.

It must have been quite a messy concert towards the end of "Universal Mind" since one can easily hear someone (a cop ?), "Everyone off the stage". to follow, we'll get the introduction of "The Soft Parade", namely the part called "Petition the Lord with Prayers" followed with "Dead Cats, Dead Rats" which is an unknown track to me but apparently written by The doors since there are no mention of anybody else in the liner notes. This short number has a catchy rhythm and a nice organ sound. Not bad.

It flows nicely into a brilliant version of "Break on Through" : almost double its studio version and it really blows it up. Manzarek is absolutely fantastic here. The full power of this band on stage is reached here. So much different that in the studio (with some noticeable exceptions though).

Then "The Celebration Of The Lizard" : this "song" consists of some Jim's "poetry" and only exists in its entirety in live performances (I mention 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 (definitely a source of inspiration for Patti Smith during her wonderful concerts).

The only true musical and great part (IMO) is "Not to Touch the Earth". It is this section that sits on the studio album (no wonder why). I could never entered the world of the lizard, sorry Jim.

The albums closes on a very good and extended version of "Soul Kitchen". Some additional instrumental moments and some "poetry" are added. It is far more dynamic than in studio and it is therefore a good way to end this work.

This album is far from being a "Best Of Live". Some numbers will never be released as such and the lenghty "Lizard" stuff is really difficult to get into. Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#119139)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars First off, I am not quite familiar with the band. But for sure, I like their music especially when I heard their song "When The Music is Over". I purchased the cassette version of this album because I knew that this would be a great live performance. This live record is considered being a classis as it was recorded during the early period when rock music finds its glory days during the 70s. The figure of Jim Morison with his excellent singing style. What I also like about the record is the live ambient especially how the music blends nicely with the crowd emotion. When the band plays "When The Music's Over" I can sense the feeling of joy because the ambient created by the song is really good and the music flows beautifully from start to end. You's better turn your lights off whenever listening to this song.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#121057)
Posted Monday, May 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars 'When I was ack there in Seminary School, there was a person there who put on the proposition that you can petition the Lord with prayer...Petition the Lord with prayer...Petition the Lord with prayer...YOU CANNOT PE-TITION THE LOOOOOOORD...WITH PRAAAAAAYYYYYEEEEEEER !!!'

This is a great live album, which contains the entirety of the theatrical suite 'The Celebration Of The Lizard' (originally, it was intended to be on the Waiting For The Sun 1968 album, but only Not To Touch The Earth was save at that time). There is also some real good moments, like Soul Kitchen, Break On Through (To The Other Side), the medley Alabama Song/BackDoor Man/Love Hides/Five To One and the 16 minutes of When The Music's Over. There are also some beat poetry pieces, like Dead Cats, Dead Rats, or Petition The Lord With Prayer (the one I quote here), originally taken from the first part of the song The Soft Parade.

A Nice double live album, the first of the Doors's career, the first to be released when Morrison was still alive and well. His voice is perfect here, and the 'Petition The Lord With Prayer' moment is almost frightening, and still shivering.

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Send comments to Zardoz (BETA) | Report this review (#164694)
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars A robin laying an egg in spring. The Doors laying an egg in New York. The U.S. bombing in Afganistan. The Doors bombing in the "Big Apple." A scientist is searching for a cure for Aids. I'm searching for a reason to like the Doors "Absolutely Live" album.

I bought this album because I was a devoted fan and the set included "Celebration of the Lizard." I do not remember listening to the whole thing more than three times, or even listening to the songs I liked on it more than ten to twelve times. It is the worst I ever heard by the Doors.The complete record has that garage band vibe. It sounds so amateurish and disjointed that it seems like an unknown band is trying to cover the Doors stuff and not doing very well.

After listening to "Celebration of the Lizard," I realized why the band never made a studio version of the song. They were fortunate to get "Not to Touch the Earth" out of it. It is sooooo bad!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, the set didn't even include "Light My Fire," which should be a real disappointment for any Doors fan. If I had to give this one a title, it would be, "Absolutely Live, Absolutely Crap!"

It gets one star from me, simply because I'm not allowed to give it zero stars.

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Send comments to Keetian (BETA) | Report this review (#269303)
Posted Tuesday, March 02, 2010 | Review Permalink
The Truth
COLLABORATOR
Post and Math Rock Team
4 stars When talking about The Doors, it's hard to deny their ability as a live band. Jim Morrison's stage presence as well as the other band members' great instrumental contributions are incredible and the overall concert experience is very real, the performances of every song top notch.

That experience is just intensified during moments such as the one in "When the Music's Over" when Morrison tries to settle down some fans so they can continue the song. The interlude is very funny and practically seems intentional.

But yeah, how can one go wrong with this record? Not much to say about it other than there are some great performances of well known songs and some very interesting new pieces or pieces that are only played live such as "Build Me a Woman" and the absolutely (live?) epic "Celebration of the Lizard" piece.

Highly recommended to newcomers and fans of the band.

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Send comments to The Truth (BETA) | Report this review (#746459)
Posted Sunday, April 29, 2012 | Review Permalink

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