WEIRD SCENES

Doors Doors LP Side 1

1/1

Hey, get that couple dancing. Her latin rhythms hot and slippery as a bourbon kiss, his rock energy thrusting towards her like an ICBM. They’re one explosive unit; the floor can scarcely hold ‘em. Something’s gonna give for sure. “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”.

1/2

“Soul Kitchen” is a lush with a couple too many brandies blurring the pain of one-night regret. Eyeliner smudged, lipstick smeared, she’s swirling, swaying slightly behind the beat of a Booker T & The MGs knock-off.

1/3

Peace, brother. “Crystal Ship” is a priestly acolyte, all white robes and beatific smile but that bright-eyed stare is somehow unsettling; there but not here. Take a trip on android acid.

1/4

Strolling down Sunset, late afternoon, check those legs! It’s “Twentieth Century Fox”, red leather boots and matching shoulder bag swinging. Decked out in groovy clothes and basking in the heat of possessive misogyny, still she’s not gonna take it lying down. Go girl.

1/5

Wanna channel Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weil? Get some carousel keyboard, clangy six-string, loose backing chorus. Part skipping celebration, part drunken lurch, “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)” is a patron to be avoided. Bowie done it better.

1/6

Here’s the fire-juggling circus shaman, spinning his keyboard arc-flames mesmerisingly yet still managing to leer at the ladies in the front row. C’mon baby, “Light My Fire”. He’s skilled and insistent; you’ll take him on his own sleight of hand terms or not at all. If you’re not exhausted at the end of the show, his caravan is just behind the reptile cage.

The Doors back cover 1967

2/1

Oh Yeah, we’re the real thing. White boys playin’ the blues just like it should be played. In the sticky nights of mid-sixties LA. Chopping organ, studied guitar riff, dramatic wails out front.  Oh honey, I’m your “Back Door Man”. Trust me.

2/2

“I Looked At You” and you looked at me and we wrote a pop song full of vacuous lyrics, forgotten quicker than our brief romance.

2/3

You’re not sure how much of what you’ve ingested. Things are mellow and woozy; there’s a sweet heady smell drifting in through the open patio doors. Might be Havana Gold, might be magnolia. Your head is kinda undulating. Someone’s playing soulful slide in the next room. Or is it a record? The sky is blushing; it’s the “End Of The Night”.

2/4

Are you spontaneous? Do you “Take It As It Comes”? Or maybe just another lonely person dancing to a nameless song at the disco, hoping you’ll find the courage to do something new but knowing you won’t. You won’t.

2/5

Transcended by an apocalyptic future, “The End” truly is the beginning. A psychotic fugue of portents and pretence; no-one knows who is the real magician and who the pretender. Eastern guitar and Asian images inseparable from this song, this terminal debut.

The Doors - The Doors

Label: Elektra

Released: January 4, 1967

Duration: 43:05
1967 Elektra Press Photo

1967 Elektra Press Photo

JIM MORRISON  vocals

RAY MANZAREK  organ, piano, bass

ROBBY KRIEDGER  guitar

JOHN DENSMORE  drums

FRANCIS F. COPPOLA  cultural heft

The Doors is a powerful debut. Confession: I don’t particularly like the band, yet I really enjoyed revisiting this album. A 1967 LP that still talks the talk and swaggeringly walks the walk.

The Doors - The Doors debut LP

49 comments

  1. I don’t really like the band either. Should I give it a try?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reckon it might be worth it, Mike. In a way, the whole Doors program is here in the first album, with more verve and freshness than later.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to admit I’ve heard a lot of their singles but none have made me want to go full-album.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Other than this debut, and LA Woman, I have a CD-R of a Best of. ‘Nuff said.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Noted. Perhaps I’ll give the debut a shot (I prefer albums to comps in general)

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Me too. Having little more than a comp is an indicator of little interest, eh?
          Oh, I do have a 3 LP live set that I keep purely due to my fascination with triple live albums, but that doesn’t count.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Is that an official one?

          Springsteen had the first triple live I’d ever seen.

          I have a Guns N’ Roses quad live!

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  2. This band is a curious creature.

    Used to hate them. Then liked the odd song. Then I liked the debut album. Then I liked LA Woman. Then I liked Morrison Hotel etc… now I’m starting to even LOVE some of it.

    Shit… I think I actually like The Doors now! How did that happen?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great. I’d actually been avoiding this early ’67 album due to a long-standing case of Doors-aversion. But I really did enjoy much of it. Are we mellowing, HMO?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I definitely am! Got my pipe and my slippers on as we speak!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Great review format! I liked them last time I heard them, but don’t visit too often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Danica! Wanted to try something a little different.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful post on one of the all-time best debuts. Like you I’m not a huge fan, but in the right mood their music really strikes a chord, and it doesn’t get much better than this collection of songs. You summed it up perfectly (not just “The End” but also their career) with “A psychotic fugue of portents and pretence.” I absolutely love that phrase.

    I’ve often suggested to my music friends (mostly to shrugs) that The Doors might be the only band who have never had another artist sound anything like them. Some singers have aped Morrison’s husky poet vocals, and some groups have incorporated Manzarek-esque organ work into their musical stew, but no one’s ever been accused of being a Doors ripoff. At least not that I can think of. That in itself is a major accomplishment.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Delighted you enjoyed it, Rich. I’ve been fascinated by the early responses to find – even amongst Nth American colleagues – that there is plenty of ambivalence around this so-called iconic band. Made this semi-believer (who once provocatively described them as ‘an above average bar band’) feel less alone. And I do think you have a point about their sound. What about ‘unique sounding bar band’? 😉

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      1. I think “unique sounding bar band” is a little too harsh. They were a lot more musically complex than that, and their three instrumentalists were better than a lot of people give them credit for. None of them were virtuosos but collectively they made a unique noise.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thought you might bridle at that descriptor, Rich! And thank you for presenting the more enthusiastic take. It’s a voice that needs to be heard!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. And yet I’m not that passionate about them. Have you ever heard the 2-CD live collection from the early 90s, which put together several previously-released live albums & tracks in one place? It’s about 2 hours long but it feels twice as long.

          I should point out that I own all of their albums (with Morrison) via the Complete Albums box set and there are plenty of great songs among them, but a well-compiled anthology (there are many to choose from) is probably all most people will ever need. As long as “Love Street” is included. I’ve always loved that track.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. That’s the live comp I mentioned to Mike, I think. Have it on 3 vinyl LPs.

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        4. Just saw that comment. Mike, avoid at all costs. Not that the performances are bad, but it’s just way too much Doors in one place.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I had this one on recently too (I’ll be getting around to reviewing it soon-ish) – but I think overall, I had the same takeaway impression: I’m not a big fan of the group, but I quite enjoyed the album.
    Almost as much I as enjoyed the opening visual here!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you got a smile from the photo, Geoff. There has to be some corny humour to accompany the serious Doors, don’t you think?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The two screws in the stylus attachment on your turntable arm resemble the Door’s stencil type o’s. I thought that was weird.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just noticed on the album art, the “screws” are expressed over Morisson’s mind. The mismatched diagonals bisecting the the o’s lead into the vocalist’s eye and band/eye.

          I like how they appear to the newcomer introducing themselves with a humble-like lowercase “d.” Strangers are more approachable that way, I sense.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Perhaps it’s all about the third eye…

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved the Doors when I was in my teens but then didn’t everyone in the seventies? Then of course there was a surge in interest when the Sugerman & Hopkins bio came out leading to The Rolling Stone headline, “Jim Morrison: He’s Hot, He’s Sexy and He’s Dead.” I still revisit them but my favourites are LA Woman, still a great album, and Morrison Hotel.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What a great headline that was. Particularly enjoyable was the (apparent) contradiction between temperature and cadaver status.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice review, captured the 1st album and it’s feel to a tee.

    I too struggle with the Doors as a band maybe because of the adoption of Morrison as some sort of modern romantic poet and the awful movie with Val Kilmer. I love the Strange Days album cover and Echo and the Bunnymen’s cover of People Are Strange and I have a Doors compilation I drag out once in awhile because at the end of the day their hits are pretty special when gathered together and you miss out on Morrisons poeticizing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Neil. Yes, a Doors comp seems to be a favoured option! And Yes Yes = No No to unsolicited poeticising.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Really liked this one, Bruce – really enjoyed the format. I know I’ve mentioned that I love this band, but this isn’t my favourite Doors album. No, sir. That’s either Strange Days or Morrison Hotel. Both very different, but both equally brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While freely admitting gaping holes in my Doors knowledge, I’ve never been drawn to remedy that. It is hard to expunge biases formed long ago, but one should try. Perhaps I should try the Morrison Hotel again. Strange Days indeed.

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      1. I’d thoroughly recommend a revisit. Morrison Hotel is a great album (and revisit Strange Days while you’re at it… go on… you know it makes sense!).

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the conceit, i.e. the format, of this post, Bruce. Fun! (Have you done this before? If so, I missed it). For the two songs with which I’m familiar, Light My Fire and The End, the concise descriptors are perfect. For the others, I can stir up a notion based on your offerings, and then go a take a listen. I confess to a fondness for the Doors, but that springs largely from sentiment: my teenager siblings were into the band when I was a small child. I would have to disagree with Neil; Oliver Stone’s film wasn’t great, but I thought Val Kilmer was quite good in it, and his resemblance to Morrison was often uncanny. Lastly, I got a kick out of seeing that the album in question was released on my 5th birthday! (What’s with Francis Ford Coppola and ‘cultural heft’?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A while back, writing on the Cocteau Twins ‘Treasure‘, I gave a one-line description of each song (a child’s name) as a child’s personality. But this one was more indulgent (and hopefully, evocative).

      The Coppola reference was implying that the use of ‘The End’ in Apocalypse Now (both opening and closing) really placed the song – perhaps even the band – in a different cultural context from the initial album release in ’67, despite the LP originally coming out on such a momentous occasion.

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      1. Ah!, I’d forgotten about the use of ‘The End’ in Apocalypse Now. I remember Wagner playing over scenes of helicopters in flight, but little else about the music.

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  10. I enjoyed this one a lot Bruce. I loved the Doors from about age 10 when playing my parents’ singles with my mum, I came across ‘Light My Fire’. Add in ‘The End’ being my favourite bit from my favourite film when I was 15/16 and they were always onto a winner with me.

    He can stick his silly poetry (he just wasn’t very good at it, whatever he may have thought!) but they have a high hit rate for me.

    I like the Doors on the door photo – I can’t wait until you get to the Butthole Surfers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very funny. Did they have an album in 1967?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly not, but I thought I’d just plant the idea.

        Like

  11. Superb post, Bruce! Love the format, and you nailed it. Great debut album.

    Have you tried L.A. Woman? I do love that record…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Aaron. LA Woman is the other Doors album in the shelves. As I recall, I bought a ‘replica’ CD with the cut-out window and ‘etched’ photo. It’s neat.

      Like

  12. So many people seem to be wary of liking The Doors. Waiting for the Sun always led me to put the foot down hard when in the car’s cassette player. Morrison Hotel given to a girl at Gaslight records after buying a CD player. The debut Doors album a corker.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear The Doors sped you past wariness into the storied realm of cars and girls. ‘There’s a killer on the road…’

      Like

  13. Love the title “WEIRD SCENES” Just yesterday I pulled out “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine” and played side 4 while working in the garage. That’s Weird? Being a big Doors fan (mostly the stuff you didn’t hear on the radio) I really enjoyed your tune by tune description.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some Doors serendipity? The Spirit of Jimbo? Let’s believe it so.
      Glad you enjoyed the piece.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. aah,the Doors. A teenage male rite of passage in the 70s. After your Kiss/Ted Nugent/Mahogany Rush phase. All before you get your driver’s license,and can seriously woo the ladies. HA! At least that’s how I seem to remember those events….
    Greetings from Cleveland,Ohio…I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog…ted

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome aboard, Ted, and thanks for your comment. Hope you find more bits and bobs to enjoy here.

      Like

  15. An open mind is a good thing (sometimes). Really like YOUR take Bruce. With so many of these albums I think people have their minds made up by so called top 10 lists etc. or get turned off by hype. It’s all in the listening and personal taste. Some bands rub us. CB likes the Doors. Good album. (I agree on LA Women also)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too true. The legacy/opinion/fame of a so-called ‘classic’ album can make finding fresh ears a challenge. But worth the effort, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Among the leads you’ve gave me on new music , reminders on familiar music, CB digs your honest and personal take. Too easy to ape others. Plus it’s boring. I just pass over music that never grabbed me. (I’m just about up to date on Vinyl Connection. It’s been enjoyable.)

        Liked by 1 person

  16. […] The Doors—The Doors […]

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