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The Doors - Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine CD (album) cover


The Doors



3.81 | 18 ratings

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4 stars Believe it or not, this was the first piece of music that I bought personally, alone, without my parents' assistance. It must have been around 1980 or so, when I started developing interest in progressive, heavy, psychedelic and experimental rock music, which was about to grow into a die-hard collector direction. Since at that time I even did not have a turntable (that is, I had but it was an old, antique, 1960s model, shaped like briefcase, with a mono speaker built-in inside the cover, almost incapable of playing records), I started my collection with cassette tapes. Unfortunately, at that time in SFR Yugoslavia the music market offer was not sufficiently rich. Still, unlike other "Eastern bloc" countries, we had a relatively developed recording industry, including domestic production of vinyl records. Western, mostly Anglo-American music scene was generally well represented (a fact unimaginable for Soviet Union or even Hungarian citizens at the time) through obtaining licences of release catalogues from the major world recording companies. So there was plenty of internationally relevant music issued on records, albeit in modest quantity of pressed copies. In contrast, the same music was not always available on cassette format, to my sadness and despair!

If you were 15 or so at the time and place concerned, you were more than expected to listen to THE DOORS, for both being extremely popular rock band and as representative for the adolescent "counter-culture", anti-adult protest, "alternative" art and poetry. I had already heard about them and was familiar with several of their songs, but did not own any in my tiny collection.

On the given day I collected my miserable pocket money, went downtown Sarajevo with firm intention to buy THE DOORS, anything I could find. I knew almost nothing of their history, discography, names of albums or even the names of band members (except Morrison of course). A bookstore near the department store "Sarajka" (not existing anymore) had a DOORS cassette on display in their shop window. That's it, gotcha!

The title "Weird Scenes inside the Goldmine" (Elektra Records released through local Yugoslavian label Suzy) meant nothing to me. To my enlightenment and joy, it had "Riders on the Storm", a wonderful ballad that I already knew from radio. But it was not all - I immediately discovered a handful of odd, strange, disturbing and yet beautiful and captivating songs that were present on this tape. Namely, "Take It As It Comes", "L.A. Woman", "Five to One", "Maggie McGill" and a screaming psychedelic magnum opus of "When the Music's Over". Wow, that was a sort of what in certain religions they call "conversion", "insight" or "vision". That's it - the final truth about the universe!

Later on, I learnt that this tape was only a second part of a double album release (double cassettes were available to buy each individually and the shop obviously had not had the first tape of the set), that it was not a "real" album and that it contained two songs that were never released on any other "real" studio album ("Who Scared You" and "You Need Meat/Don't Go No Further").

Unlike the previous compilation "13", this collection focuses less on obvious hits but more on the band's musical diversity, avant-garde and "progressive" leaning. Only the song "The Soft Parade" is missing from the picture that was supposed to present more artistic and less commercial aspect of THE DOORS. In any way, this is an excellent compilation and together with "13" can offer a compact package of this band's musical importance in the context of XX century popular culture, for those who had no wish to collect individual albums.

With advent (and flooding) of CD packages, this old vinyl title may seem redundant, but for the sake of authenticity and historical merit (and for the personal "insight" as described above), I must give this release a high mark.

Seyo | 4/5 |


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