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The Doors - The Doors CD (album) cover


The Doors



4.31 | 672 ratings

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4 stars Some people are put on this earth to serve a single artistic purpose. To me, Jim Morrison's entire life and musical career seem to exist only so that Francis Ford Coppola could use "the End" to open "Apocalypse Now," probably the greatest use of music in cinema. Unfortunately, this means that the music is forever co-opted by the film, but the Doors' first album stands the test of time.

The songwriting on this album is a mixture of good, bad, and amazing. Obviously "Break on Through" and "Light My Fire" are great pop-rock songs, while "The End" is a psychedelic anthem. "Twentieth Century Fox" and "Backdoor Man" are average songs that were probably much better live, while the German polka of "Alabama Song" gets real annoying real fast. As Oliver Stone says in the documentary accompanying his film, the Doors were either the best band in the world or the worst band in the world, and this applies to their songwriting too.

Enough has been written about Morrison's voice: needless to say, he's influenced rock music to the point where almost every baritone is compared to him at least once. Even musicians with only a passing resemblance are tarred as "Morrison imitators." He sings with such abandon on "Light my Fire" that it raises the song and lyrics emotionally. He sings with absolute control of dynamics on "Break on Through," mastering the soft-loud dichotomy grunge would perfect twenty eyars later.

As musicians, the Doors have a different feel from almost every rock band. Equally at home playing slick pop tunes and psycedelic freak outs, the trio of Manzaarek, Krieger and Densmore form an underrated and original rhythm section. The keyboarding skills of Manzarek and the drumming of Densmore overshadow the guitar playing; what is strange is the amount of dynamics the band exhibits.

Whether you buy into the Morrison myth or not, you have to credit the Doors with being original and following a different muse. Without them, music, progressive or otherwise, wouldn't be the same.

SamW | 4/5 |


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