My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: The Doors was recorded over a week long period at the end of August 1966 and released in January of 1967.
What I think: The Doors and particularly Jim Morrison get really bad rap from my generation and I believe most of it is deserved. This initial album from them is an exception for me and is really great in places. When Morrison keeps the topics to the lighter sex, drugs and rock n’ roll he does quite well. It’s when he gets into the drug induced psychology and philosophy that he earns his reputation as a bad poet. And that is how this album remains entertaining, is that for the most part Morrison keeps the relatively topics light here… with a couple of exceptions.
We’ve all heard “Break on Through” and “Light My Fire” a million times, and they are great pieces of late sixties pop. “Break on Through” has to be the fastest and “heaviest” song to be released at that point, it certainly beats “I Can See For Miles” and the 7 plus minutes of the album version of “Light My Fire” is great for the great organ parts of Manzarek.
Getting away from the classic rock radio staples are the great “Twentieth Century Fox”(there is a lot of power in Morrison’s voice), “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)” (I tend to hum it for days after I hear it) and “I Looked At You”(A song I could see the Beatles doing on Ed Sullivan in 1964, shaking heads, goofy grins and all!).
The real drag on this album is the 12 minute long “The End”, with Morrison’s intro to psychology level bantering. This song has some of the worst lyrics I’ve ever heard, with Morrison rhyming at a 2nd grade level my favorite verse being:
Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake…he’s old, and his skin is cold
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? For the most part this is a great album with a ton of energy and clarity The Doors would never match again. I don’t know about any of their subsequent albums, but there is no doubt in my mind that this should be here.
Rating (Out of 5): 4
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (22/98)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%