Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Doors - Other Voices CD (album) cover

OTHER VOICES

The Doors

Proto-Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Their history says that after recording the "L.A. Woman" album and during the final mixing sessions for that album, Jim Morrison went to Paris with his girlfriend to live there for some months. Morrison was tired of several problems of being a "Rock Star" and of his legal problems too, so he needed a rest. "L.A. Woman" was the last album that The Doors had in contract for Elektra, so Morrison felt free to live in Paris for some months. Interviews with Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore said that after Morrison left the U.S. they occasionally rehearsed together as a trio. They kept doing it waiting for Morrison to come back.They also had offers by other lables to sign with them. But then in July 1971, after Morrison`s death was confirmed, Elektra approached the Trio to sign a new recording contract, and they signed again with the label.

They started writing new songs, also using some songs which they composed during their rehearsals, and they also used some songs which were not used for the "L.A. Woman" album because Morrison didn`t like them. So, this album was finally released in late October 1971.

Song by song:

"In the Eye of the Sun": a slow song, not very good for my taste, with Manzarek on lead vocals. He shows he is a good singer, the best in the band after Morrison.

"Variety is the Spice of Life": a better song sung by Krieger, with funny lyrics and good piano by Manzarek.

"Ships w/ Sails": a good long piece of music mainly sung by Manzarek, with a lot of influences from Jazz-Rock and Santana`s Latin Music. It has an acoustic bass solo played by Willie Ruff and Latin percussion played by Francisco Aguabella. The final instrumental part of the song is very good. Densmore shows his Jazz music skills on the drums.It was released as a single in the UK in 1972.

"Tightrope Ride": one of the best songs of this album and it was released as a single in the U.S. It has two drums tracks recorded by Densmore (one playing the basic rhythm and the other playing "lead drums"). It is one of the most "rockers" in this album. Lead vocals by Manzarek. This was the only song selected from this era to be included in their 1997 Anthology CD.

"Down on the Farm": it seems that this was one of the songs they originally planned to include in the "L.A. Woman" but it was rejected by Morrison, because he didn`t like it. It is also one of the best songs in this album, with lead vocals by Manzarek and Krieger. It includes some percussion instruments and also a marimba, played by Emil Richards .

"I`m Horny, I`m Stoned": another funny song with funny lyrics, sung by Krieger.

"Wandering Musician": the best song of this album, in music and lyrics, which it seems that it was composed as a tribute to Morrison. Manzarek shines in his keyboard arrangements, and Krieger also plays some acoustic guitar solos, while Densmore plays good drums.

"Hang on to Your Life": lead vocals by Manzarek. it starts with an electric piano. Very influenced by Jazz-Rock arrangements. The final part of this song is also very good.

I think that it is unfair to say that a good band without one of their main members is not a good band anymore. Every member of The Doors was a very good musician and as a team they worked very well. Without Morrison, the band was still very good, but they lost Morrison`s good lyrics and voice. Manzarek is a good singer, but Krieger is not as good. But the album as a whole is very good, in not the same style as it was in their previous albums, but still it i good. They even had doubts to call themselves "The Doors", but at least they tried to survive without Morrison.

Like "Full Circle", this album has been out of print in the U.S. since the mid seventies. It is also not included in their official discography in their official website. Only Krieger`s website mentions it. There were some plans to release it (with "Full Circle" too) on CD, but it has not been officially released yet. The CDs of these albums which are in circulation in Europe (one from Russia,and another from Germany) are not official releases.

"Full Circle" and this album were available as German imports in the early eighties. That was the reason I bought them in 1982, for the second time. The first time was when they were released in 1971 and in 1972 (one made in Mexico and the other was the first U.S. release of "Full Circle"). The German copies are very good in sound and cover quality.

In www.youtube.com there are some videos of The Doors playing live for the "Beat Club" T.V. programme in Germany, in 3- May-1972. They played "In the Eye of the Sun", "Ships w/ Sails", "Tightrope Ride" and "I`m Horny , I`m Stoned" from this album, plus "Verdilac" (titled "Vertilac" in that website) from the "Full Circle" album, and "Love Me Two Times", with Jack Conrad (bass) and Bobby Ray (guitar, percussion, vocals). These videos show that the band was very good playing the music, but the vocals are not very good, IMO. Manzarek sings well most of the time, but Krieger`s vocals are not very well. Maybe the problems with the vocals were the main problems after Morrison died, so they decided to split the band.

Report this review (#105657)
Posted Friday, January 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars After Jim's death in Paris, the remaining trio tried as bravely as they could to record further albums, and against all odds (set by bookies), this first album is a rather pleasant album, where the group holds his own and Manzarek fills the huge pap in the band's sound in the best manner he could've.

A lot of the songs on this album were already written by the time of Morrison's death, but I am unsure whether Jim had ever heard them. In either case, a few of them were worthy of their previous masterpiece LA Woman. Among the highlights are Ship With Sail and Wandering Musiucians.

But on the whole of the album, it is clear that the remaining trio will not manage to keep the group afloat without at least another full-time singer. And to find someone to fill Jim's shoes would've proved impossible or suicidal. So the group will record yet another record, the aptly titled Full Circle that will prove atrocious. At least, they remained brave and true to themselves. I'd say that this album Other Voices is for fans only, but really it is not any worse than WFTS, TSP and MH.

Report this review (#106738)
Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore knew already that after their sixth album, it would have been very difficult to convince Jim to pursue his musical career. As soon as 1968, he had wished to stop singing to concentrate on his poetry activity.

None of them would have thought that he was going to die so soon of course. What could they do ?

To stop immediately (like Led Zep did when Bonham died) ? To find a substitute in the lead vocals ? To go on only the three of them ?

Actually, the first comparison is not fair. Although I am found of John (he is my preferred drummer), he did not have the same influence on Led Zep songwriting than Jim did on The Doors' one. The second option was briefly considered : it is even said that Iggy Pop (another beast on stage) was approached to do so. They will finally opt for the last one, which makes sense. After all, it was their band as well (even if Jim had the leading role : on as well as off stage). Manzarek was the one who started The Doors with Jim.

They did not wait for long to release this effort. Only a few months after Jim's dead (early July of that same year), "Other Voices" will see the light.

What's for sure, is that the person responsible for the track listing didn't do a great job. " In The Eye Of The Sun" and "Variety Is The Spice Of Life" are very poor numbers. Really sub-par Doors material. Bluesy atmosphere; but this one will prevail (together with the jazzy one) almost throughout the whole of this album like "L.A. Woman" released earlier on in 1971.

The longest number "Ships With Sails" is one of the best number here. A great Doors song, really. Great and hypnotic riff (I know, I often make this comment but it so true that I cannot find other words to explain my feeling). It has the same flavour as "Riders On The Storm" which is a reference. Krieger guitar play sounds at times as Carlos Santana. The jazzy mood here is very pleasant. Very good vocals as well (I guess it is Manzarek). Good instrumental break (as during the mother example).

The next song is a great rock number and my fave of the album "Tightrope Ride" is really a pleasant surprise. It sounds 100% as a Rolling Stones tribute. The lyrics are rather symbolic : "You're on a tightrope ride, we're all by your side. But you're all alone, and we're going home. And we're by your side, but you're all alone.Like a Rolling Stone, like Brian Jones. On a tightrope ride". These two songs makes me believe they have done the good choice.

On the contray, the cowboy style of "Down On The Farm" (you do not invent these titles by mistake) sounds pretty awful but after all, The Doors were an American band so I guess that they were somewhat influenced by this genre. Not my cup of tea. The jazzy "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned" also belong to the poor ones.

Another bluesy number will follow : "Wandering Musician" is just a bit better thanks to a good piano solo from Manzarek. But it could have been shortened by two minutes to avoid to get bored while listening to these 6'17".

The closing number "Hang On To Your Life" with its jazzy mood also works OK. Good percussion work for this more complex song. It is a varied and peaceful musical moment during the first part but the rhythm catches up after two minutes or so. Actually this song reminds me very much of the Stones number "Sympathy For The Devil" (written in 1968), except for the last portion which sounds more like an improvisation (a la King Crimson or Van Der Graaf). A nice way to close this average album. Two stars.

Report this review (#119173)
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars No, Jim Morrison is not here. ...But did he actually play an instrument? No, I don't think so. Here the vocal duties are taken care of by Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger (I'm guessing the album title is a reference to this). And they pull it off real well. On this non- Morrison album we see the band going into a more blues-oriented direction, somewhat moving away from the general psychedelia. It's still the Doors, people.

Other Voices has a dominant 'country western' atmosphere. The album starts off with one of it's strongest cuts, the bluesy "In The Eye Of The Sun". After the short rock'n'roll ditty "Variety Is The Spice Of Life" we are offered another one of the album's top songs, "Ships With Sails". Beautiful, melodic, moody.. 7+ minutes. Quite trippy with great lyrics. "Tightrope Ride" is another happy rock'n'roll song, quite harmless and fun. "Down On The Farm" starts off slow and trippy but then turns into an almost country blues tune. "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned" and "Wandering Musician" continue along the same lines but in a different environment (from the farm to the bar) with the first being a good rock tune while the latter is slower and moodier. The album ender "Hang On To Your Life" has a jazz feel to it with great percussion. Good vocal performance here. Some parts are just hypnotic and trippy. The song picks up speed towards the end.

On the other hand, this is not an essential Doors release but it definitely wouldn't hurt anyone to check it out. Although the high points of the album can't match the heights of the Morrison-era, the material here is constantly good. The band could have easily continued making music but I guess the pressure was high, not to mention people's expectations.

It would be criminal not to acknowledge this release and it's follow-up, Full Circle. Nowadays you can conveniently get them both on one disc, thus not having to give too much room in your record collection to these 'inferior Doors releases'.

Report this review (#134886)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Looks like I'm in a minority with this album, the first post-Morrison release by The Doors. This album has bought me much joy for the last 2 decades, and continues to do so. I dearly love Jim and his band, and I can't help but feel some of the songs here were conceived with Jim in mind. Songs such as 'In The Eye of The Sun', 'Tightrope Ride' or 'Down on the Farm' would've suited Jim perfectly, but alas it wasn't to be. Ray, Robbie and John really had a go with this one and I'm so glad they decided to continue. With help from session Bassists and an additional Percussionist, the music here heads toward jazz-rock, something that had been hinted at previously, especially with the classic song 'Riders on the Storm'. Suffice to say, the weaker tracks here are the quirky (now that's NOT Jim) 'Variety is the Spice of Life' and 'I'm Horny, I'm Stoned' - the piano-led 'Wandering Musician' is a slow-paced rock-ballad. The remaining 5 tunes are superb : 'Ships w/ Sails' (7.38) is almost a rehash of 'Riders...' with a similar structure, grand keyboard and guitar solos and a laid-back rhythm of jazzy Drums and Congas, but boy does it cook - it's full of well thought-out melodies and a wonderful e-piano/organ build-up. Album opener 'In The Eye of The Sun' is a cool, easy going tune with shimmering guitars and Electric Piano, a fantastic song within their catalogue. 'Tightrope Ride' is bursting with energy, attitude and searing organ playing from Ray, a very catchy riff, too. 'Down on The Farm' features tranquil verses and louder, bluesy choruses. 'Hang on to Your Life' is a very diverse composition - it goes through many changes and moods, has Latino inspired parts to it, acidic organ playing through-out and is just a great piece of music. 4*
Report this review (#161978)
Posted Saturday, February 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Whistler
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Enough words have been shed over the unfortunate death of Jim Morrison and the untimely demise of the Doors (or the other way around, if that’s your inclination), so I won’t waste time telling you my thoughts on that. Instead, I’ll find some other way to waste time. Like, what if I told you that this wasn’t actually that bad of an album? What if, in fact, I told you it was pretty decent, well written, professional album after all. Not particularly intelligent or necessarily original or even memorable, but decent.

Right from the get go, “Eye of the Sun” promises that things are going to be okay for this album. A solid, albeit straightforward, blues rocker, with pleasantly psychedelic lyrics, lives up to “The Changeling” with its stomping beat. Unfortunately, this is as good as it gets folks.

Well, kinda. Lyrically, the country-ish “Variety is the Spice of Life” is downright stupid, and begging for a good thrashing from Jim, and while the tune itself is also pretty stupid, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. There’s also nothing inherently wrong with the jazzy epic “Ships with Sails.” Well, except that it sort of rips “Rider on the Storm” off here and there, with some Latin rhythms tossed in for good measure. But as an atmosphere piece, it’s very acceptable, and should please fans of that sort of thing.

“Tightrope Ride” is another meander through country music filtered through the Doors’ naturally eccentric style. Passable, but easily passed. “Down on the Farm” is probably worse, since it switches back and forth between a gentle music box melody and a dirty country ditty. A very unnatural combination, I should think.

“I’m Horny, I’m Stoned” is actually not bad. I can’t really recall the melody per se, but the presentation is hilarious, right down to the lyrics. For the most part it’s another boogie, but much stranger than anything else on the record, and collapses into studio laughter. Huh? Good show. “Wandering Musician” tries the ballad approach, but the result is pretty-without- atmosphere, and ultimately throwaway.

“Hang on to your Life” is an attempt at an epic. Oh yeah. Somewhere along the way, the lads recalled that Jim usually had one of those prepared for the closing of each album, so why kill a good thing? Well, because this is fairly lightweight jazz pop. It’s okay, of course, and nicely played...but the guys have no idea how to link anything together, which leaves it feeling kinda schizo. Not to mention a little pointless.

And there’s the rub, sad to say. Pointless. There is nothing WRONG with this album, but there’s also nothing RIGHT with it. Quality wise overall, it’s about par with Waiting For the Sun. But that album had, you know, a reason to exist. Without the atmosphere that Jim used to bring to the game, the band has lost more than a vocalist; it’s lost its voice. Not to mention a decent lyricist. Yuck.

But, pointless or not, the band is still an excellent trio of musicians. Capable of writing nice lil’ tunes and playing them to perfection. Whenever Ray steps in with some piano or Robbie gets a chance to flash his six string, well, it’s the Doors, playing their instruments again (“Ships with Sails”). So they’ve dropped gothic blues for eccentric roots rock, no one ever said the band was afraid to experiment. If something like art-country seems to fill your gullet with passion, give it a go. And honestly, any Doors fan who has liked Family’s rootsier side will probably be entertained by this. For the merely curious, you might be satisfied with “Ships with Sails” and “Eye of the Storm.” But then again, what do I know?

Report this review (#239062)
Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars As I remember, Morrison hadn't been dead too long before the release of this one. Actually, I was pleasantly surprized at how good the overall sound was. It was still painfully apparent that Morrison was absent though. Manzarek can sing, but his sound is harsh by comparision. It was hard to get used to. I think if Ray didn't try so hard he would have gotten better results.

My favorite song is Ships w/Sails. It is a real standout, even with Ray's piercing vocals. It puts me to mind of "Riders on the Storm." You get a sort of south seas vibe here and it is a nice change of direction for the new Doors.

The next fave is "Tightrope Ride." It is a disturbing rocker. The lyrics seem to crack on Jimbo quite a bit. It is not so much that anyone is trying to get back at him per sey, but I sense a great deal of frustration on attempts to get through to him, by at least Manzarek. I read his account of his life with the Doors and the song seems to purfectly reflect what Ray was experiencing with the volatile icon.

"Wandering Musician" is also a good tune that doesn't stay too far from the main idea, although it has a touch of prog to it.

The last song is another catchy song and does a little more, as far as prog goes. It changes direction and speed and also has that tropical sound that I like. All the other songs can be deleted, as far as I'm concerned.

Overall, this release is not too bad, but it is lacking in the lyric department. I give it 2.4 stars. Some people may enjoy the album, but if you are a real prog fan, you will stay well away from "Other Voices." Don't waste your money. For Prog archives it gets 2 stars.

Report this review (#273146)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Progfan97402
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This has been the era of the Doors I've been hesitant to buy. I constantly see these two LPs used, so I picked up Other Voices. There are many reasons I've been hesitant, like how few bought these albums when they came out because they felt the Doors were through without Jim Morrison. I met quite a few people who didn't even realize the Doors didn't quite throw in the towel after Jim Morrison's passing! To be fair, they're younger listeners (my age or younger, that is Gen X and Millennials, I belong to the former) so they didn't have the benefit of being there when it happened. Other Voices is the first of two post-Morrison efforts. This album was actually recorded with the hope Jim would return from Paris back to LA to have him lay down the vocal tracks, but as of July of that year (1971) that was very much out of the question. So that left Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger to do the vocal duties. Hence the Other Voices title. It's not the first time they sang. Manzarek was apparently forced to sing occasionally live when Jim was just too far gone to perform or didn't even show. Krieger shared a lead vocal on "Runnin' Blue" off the Soft Parade (that funny little Dylan vocal during the country/bluegrass break), to be fair, that was Robbie's song to begin with.

Is Other Voices really that bad? Well I'd be lying if I state this stuff stacks up very well to anything they did with Jim Morrison. Of course that's not true. No rock critic thought so, and none of the few buyers who actually bought it thought so. But there really is nothing on here I found offensive or truly cringeworthy. The music doesn't have that gloomy atmosphere of Morrison-era albums, sometimes it's pretty upbeat. This is what you get when Krieger and Manzarek do the songwriting. The first two songs, "In the Eye of the Sun" and "Variety is the Space of Life" are as I describe, not exactly bad, not great. "Ships w/Sails" can show that the remaining Doors can record a great song if they wanted to. Manzarek does his best Morrison, but you can tell he's no Jim. Imagine what would happen had Jim sung this! I really love this song, it's a big standout. "Tightrope Ride" was released as a single, wasn't exactly a chart stormer, and you can see why. Like most of the album, not bad, not great, but perfectly listenable. "Down on the Farm" has a more folk feel, sounding like Peter, Paul & Mary gone electric with all male vocals. "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned" is Krieger's song, and I really have a blast listening to this! Sounds so not like the Doors, here it's just a plain silly song, they weren't taking themselves seriously. Perhaps because they realized that the Doors with Jim Morrison took themselves way too seriously, and they knew it. Although I have to admit "Runnin' Blue" from The Soft Parade is the only Morrison-era song that didn't take itself seriously (with that Dylan-like vocal part from Robbie Krieger), but then that song is credited to the same person as "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned". "Wandering Musician" is another one that isn't bad or great, but I really love the last piece, "Hang on to Your Life". It's a nice jazzy Latin-influenced song with some great passages that are almost proggy, especially with all those electric pianos. This song even gets help from Afro-Cuban percussionist Francesco Aguabella.

Listening to this album it's very hard to believe this was released only six months after L.A. Woman. Nothing on Other Voices reaches such mindblowing heights as "Riders on the Storm", but on the other hand that's not what I expect when it's all the work of Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore (and some extra help when needed). To me there's three songs that stand out, one of them for being funny (I'm referring to "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned", which I'm sure won't be to everyone's liking). While this album isn't likely to visit their turntable (or CD player) as frequently as the Jim-era albums, I am happy to state that I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't have high expectations and come out finding it not bad, but hardly a classic. I can give this a three star rating because nothing here is cringeworthy to my ears (although I'm sure "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned" may be to some).

Report this review (#1638899)
Posted Friday, November 4, 2016 | Review Permalink
patrickq
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Other Voices pretty much sounds like the Doors without Jim Morrison, which is of course exactly what it is. The "voices" referred in the album's title are those of keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger. The trio is rounded out by drummer John Densmore; a variety of session players cover the bass parts.

The songs were originally planned for a follow-up to L.A. Woman, on which Morrison would again have been the lead singer - - but he died before he could rejoin the group. Manzarek had already sung leads in concert, including, as I understand it, cover songs as well as songs originally sung by Morrison. So he's able to sound like Morrison on Other Voices. Krieger's vocals are less suited to the material.

And it's the material that's the shortcoming here. Most of the songs are pedestrian: nothing especially good or bad. Based on my assumption that the Doors' final albums were created somewhat similarly to Other Voices, I have a newfound appreciation for Morrison, whose creative input - - and not just singing - - would probably have transformed at least a song or two into a Doors standard.

The closest Other Voices comes to that ideal is when Manzarek conjures up those Morrison vocals on "In the Eye of the Sun" and "Tightrope Ride" - - which means that Other Voices is at its best when the Doors are clutching at a ghost. I'd only recommend this album to those who've already experienced all of the great music the Doors had already created. For everyone else, it's safe to get one of the two-CD compilations like Legacy: The Absolute Best (2003) or The Very Best Of (2007).

Report this review (#2245615)
Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2019 | Review Permalink

THE DOORS Other Voices ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of THE DOORS Other Voices


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives