The Doors

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1967-71)

- John Densmore -- drums, percussion 
- Robbie Krieger -- guitar 
- Ray Manzerek (RIP 1971) -- vocals, keyboards, bass 
- Jim Morrison (RIP 1971) -- vocals 


  line up 2 (1971-72)

- John Densmore -- drums, percussion 
- Robbie Krieger -- guitar
- Ray Manzerek -- vocals, keyboards, bass 



- The Butts Band (John Densmore and Robbie Krieger)
- Robbie Krieger (solo efforts)
- Ray Manzarek (solo efforts)
- Nite City (Ray Manzarek)
- Rick and the Ravens (Ray Manzarek)




Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Morrison Hotel

Company: Elektra

Catalog: EKS-75007

Country/State: L.A., California

Year: 1970

Grade (cover/record): VG+.VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; pop on "Land Ho'"

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD $5.00  


At the urging of producer Paul Rothchild, 1970's "Morrison Hotel" found the band returning to a stripped-down R&B attack. As such, the set marked a return to peak form. Although Morrison sounded like he was working with a bad head cold (particularly on the "Hard Rock Cafe" side), his edgy rasp lent additional grit to the proceedings. In spite of isolated lapses ("Maggie McGill"), the overall result was one of their most consistent releases, material such as "Roadhouse Blues", "Waiting for the Sun" and "Ship of Fools" equal to anything in their extensive catalog. A minor criticism, but side two ("Morrison Hotel") found Morrison occasionally falling back on his penchant for over-the-top poetry ("Queen of the Highway" and "Indian Summer"). Elsewhere the set was notable for the emergence of Kreiger. Long consigned to the background, Krieger unexpectedly stepped into the spotlight, contributing his effortless guitar throughout ("Peace Frog" and "Land Ho!"), as well as co-writing several tracks with Morrison. Elsewhere guitar legend Lonnie Mack guested, providing bass (???) on several tracks. Reaching #4, the album added another gold seller to their list. (The collection was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"Morrison Hotel" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Roadhouse Blues   ()- 4:04
2.) Waiting for the Sun   () - 3:58
3.) You Make Me Real   () - 2:50
4.) Peace Frog   () - 2:52
5.) Blue Sunday   () - 2:08

(side 1)

1.) Ship of Fools   () - 3:06
2.) Land Ho!   () - 4:08
3.) The Spy   () - 4:15
4.) Queen of the Highway   () - 2:47
5.) Indian Summer   () - 2:33
6.) Maggie M'Gill   () - 4:24





Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine

Company: Elektra

Catalog: 8E 6001

Country/State: L.A., California

Year: 1972

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; double LP set

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3551

Price: $20.00  


Jim Morrison died in  July 1971.    Demonstrating commerce conquers all, six months after Morrison's death Elektra released "Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine".  Featuring one of the ugliest covers I've ever seen (credit to Bill Hoffman), the album was a 22 track, double LP compilation.  Hardcore fans could certainly argue over the song selection.    I was surprised by the absence of many of their biggest radio hits - no 'Light My Fire'?  no 'Hello I Love You?'  no 'Touch Me'?) and the fact there were no live selections.  At the other end of the spectrum, was something as pompous and laughable as 'Horse Latitudes' really necesary?  Still, for most casual fans, this was a pretty balanced mixture of the hits and deeper album cuts, making for an introduction that was probably all you really needed from the band's extensive repertoire.   


Based on the liner notes, what you got were:


- four tracks off of 1967's "The Doors"

- two tracks of of 1967's "Strange Days"

- three tracks off of 1968's "Waiting for the Sun"

- two tracks off of 1969's Strange Days"

- five tracks of of 1970's Morrison Hotel"

- three tracks of off 1971's "L.A. Woman"

- two non-LP "B" sides


Elsewhere, the collection was almost worth owning for Bruce Harris' over-the-top liner notes.  Interestingly, after its initial release, the album was unavailable for 42 years.  To commemorate Ray Manzarek's death and as part of Record Store Day, in April 2014  a colored vinyl version of of the album was released.  Later in the year the collection was released on CD.


"Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Break On Through (To the Other Side)   (Jim Morrison) - 2:25

2.) Strange Days   (Jim Morrison) - 3:05

3.) Shaman's Blues   (Jim Morrison) - 4:45

4.)) Love Street   (Jim Morrison) - 3:06

5.) Peace Frog / Blue Sunday   (Jim Morrison - Robby Kreiger) - 5:00

6.) The WASP (Texas Radio and the Bug Beat)   (Jim Morrison) - 4:12

7.) End of the Night   (Jim Morrison) - 2:49

(side 2)

1.) Love Her Madly   (Robby Kreider) - 3:18

2.) Spanish Caravan   (Jim Morrison - Robby Kreiger - Ray Manzarek - John Densmore) - 2:58

3.) Ship of Fools   (Jim Morrison - Robby Kreiger) - 3:06

4.) The Spy   (Jim Morrison) - 4:16

5.) The End   (Jim Morrison - Robby Kreiger - Ray Manzarek - John Densmore) - 11:35


(side 3)

1.) Take It as It Comes   (Jim Morrison) - 2:13

2.) Runnin' Blue   (Robby Kreiger) - 2:27

3.) L.A. Woman   (Jim Morrison) - 7:49

4.) Five To One   (Jim Morrison - Robby Kreiger - Ray Manzarek - John Densmore) - 3:51

Five To One' was one of two non-LP trcks - in this case it had appeared as the "B" side to the 1969 single 'Wishful Sinful'

5.) (You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further)   (Willie Dixon) - 3:37

The second non-LP tune and the only non-original on the set ...   With Manzerek handling lead vocals, their cover of Willie Dixon's '(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further)' served as the "B" side to the 1971 'Love Her Madly' single.


(side 4)

1.) Riders On the Storm   (Jim Morrison - Robby Kreiger - Ray Manzarek - John Densmore) - 7:14

2.) Maggie McGill   (Jim Morrison) -4:25

3.) Horse Latitudes   (Jim Morrison) -1:30

4.) When the Music's Over   (Jim Morrison - Robby Kreiger - Ray Manzarek - John Densmore) - 11:00




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Absolutely Live

Company: Elektra

Catalog: EKS 9002

Country/State: L.A., California

Year: 1970

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; double LP set

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2012

Price: $35.00


Unable to tour in the wake of Jim Morrison's ongoing legal problems (including an arrest for public drunkenness after he passed out on an L.A. homeowners front steps), the band made do with a double album concert set. Recorded during various shows between August 1969 and June 1970, "Absolutely Live" wasn't exactly your average greatest hits - live package.  All but ignoring their radio successes, the set focused on some of their lesser known repertoire; Morrison frequently taking liberties with song lyrics. Among the odder offerings were snippets of Morrison poetry ("The Celebration of the Lizard") and an extended take on 'Celebration of the Lizard'. Along with Krieger's frequently under appreciated guitar pyrotechnics, the collection's highlights were four new songs.  There were two surprisingly good covers: the Bo Diddley opening 'Who Do You Love' (with some killer Krieger buzz saw guitar) and Van Morrison's 'Gloria'.   The two new originals were okay. 'Build Me a Woman' was likely the first time many folks had ever heard the phrase "poontang blues".  'Universal Mind' was okay, but unlikely to change your life in any fashion.   Producer Paul A. Rothchild  claimed to have spliced over 2,000 sections from various performances to get the final product, but listening to the individual live master tapes, Doors historians have indicated there was relatively little post-production work.  Admittedly my ears aren't great, but I simply could not detect his edits.  


Given that it was a double set, the collection's top-10 sales performance (it reached # 8) was impressive. 

"Absolutely Live" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Who Do You Love   (MacDaniel) - 

Pre-show chants from an increasingly irritated Philly audience, a mildly with-it DJ who managed to get through the fire marshal warnings with some grace, some pre-show tuning ...  it only took two and a half minutes to get through the preliminaries.   Once they trotted out The Doors started the show with one of four new tunes.  Bo Diddley's 'Who Do You Love' was given a patented Doors treatment with Morrison sounding quite good and Robbie Krieger showing off some dazzling wah wah buzz saw lead guitar moves.    rating: **** stars (for the song itself)
2.) Medley:
     Alabama Song   (Kurt Weill - Bertoit Brecht) -

Never liked the studio version (off of their 1967 self-titled debut) and can't say the concert version does anything for me.   rating: * star
     Backdoor Man   (Willie Dixon) - 

Another tune originally found on their debut album.   No idea how much post-production work went into this version, but it sounded pretty good.   rating; **** stars
     Love Hides   (Jim Morrison) - 

To my ears 'Love Hides' did sound all that different from 'Backdoor Man', tough it was a bit sluggish.  Luckily Krieger's guitar solo saved it from oblivion.    rating: **** stars
     Five To One   (Jim Morrison) - 

Original released on 1968's "Waiting for the Sun", Morrison and company turn in a suitably energetic reading here.   Yeah, his vocals are a bit dramatic; especially towards the end, but the band show they can rock when necessary.   rating: **** stars


(side 2)
1.) Build Me a Woman   (Jim Morrison) - 

One of two new Doors originals, 'Build Me a Woman' was another bluesy-rocker, again featuring some nice Krieger lead guitar.  I guess it was important for the audience to know Morrison had the "poontang blues" since the rest of the song was pretty boring  ...   rating: *** stars
2.) When the Music's Over  (Jim Morrison) - 

'When the Music's Over ' was one of their earliest original tunes, finally making an appearance on "Strange Days".  The song was also a longstanding staple in their live show, though it was normally played as an encore, making you wonder about it's placement on this album.   Though it dragged on and on, this version demonstrated Morrison could still belt out a tune when he had to, though screaming at the New York audience telling them to "shut up" and lecturing them might not have been the world's smartest move.    rating: **** stars

(side 3)

1.) Close To You   (Willie Dixon) - 

The album's second Willie Dixon cover, 'Close To You' was a plodding blues number, most notable for being one of the few tunes where Morrison didn't handle the lead vocals.  The problem is Ray Manzarek was featured on vocals.   Yeah, it quickly became clear why Manzarek didn't get to sing often.   rating: ** stars 
2.) Universal Mind   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Krieger) - 

The second new Doors original, 'Universal Mind' was a pretty forgettable mid-tempo rocker.  I can only guess that Morrison lyrics like "I was doing time in the universal mind. I was feeling fine. I was turning keys, I was setting people free. I was doing all right." had a deeper meaning back in the day.   Today they just seem kind of silly.   rating: ** stars
3.) Break On Thru, #2   (Jim Morrison) - 

Maybe because I grew up with 'Break On Thru' as an FM staple, this performance struck me as being pretty good.  Musically it stuck pretty close to the original, though it was interesting to see the band take advantage of the in-concert freedom to underscore the "she gets high" lyric.  I guessing they were trying to make a point given Elektra had censored the original 45 to delete that particular lyric for fear it would get banned from airplay.   Morrison's shrieks and Manzarek's backing vocals weren't necessary, nut all-in-all it wasn't bad.   rating: **** stars


(side 4)
4.) The Celebration of the Lizard   (Jim Morrison) - 

They debut of the complete 'Celebration of the Lizard' ...  Morrison originally wanted to record this as a side long piece and the band apparently made a couple of attempts to capture the extended composition, but eventually gave up on the idea.   'Not To Touch the Earth' actually appeared on 1968's "Waiting for the Sun".   Wow, what can you say about this one?  Morrison and company at their most over-the-top pretentious ...  unless you were a hardcore Doors fan, this was probably something you could live without.  Once a decade exposure is about enough for my ears.  An irritating mixture of Morrison spoken word pieces and musical interludes, the piece was actually a suite featuring seven sections: 1.) Lions in the Street, 2.) Wake Up, 3.) A Little Game, 4.) The Hill Dwellers, 4.) Not To Touch the Earth, 5.) Names of the Kingdom, 6.) The Palace of Exile.  Tuneless, bland, and vapid, you almost had to laugh at the thought Morrison thought anyone would take this seriously.   rating: * stars

5.) Soul Kitchen   (Jim Morrison) - 

Inspired by a restaurant the band hung out during their early years (Olivia's in Venice Beach), 'Soul Kitchen' was another tune of the debut and in the wake of the hideous 'Celebration of the Lizard' it sounded wonderful.  The tune served as a nice platform for Manzarek's patented organ and the modified lyrics "the cops say it's time to close now, I know I have to go now, I really want to stay here all night, all night, all night" made for the perfect concert closer.    rating: **** stars







Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Other Voices

Company: Elektra

Catalog: EKS-75017

Country/State: L.A., California

Year: 1972

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve; minor ring, edge and corner wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 

Price: $8.00


Having elected to continue as a trio (with support from bassists Jack Conrad, Wolfgang Meltz, Ray Neapolitan, Willie Ruff and Jerry Scheff ), 1971 saw Densmore, Kreiger and Manzarek release "Other Voices". Co-produced by Bruce Botnick and the band, the LP wasn't half bad. With the survivors jointly sharing songwriting chores, the results proved far better than one would have expected. Unfortunately, in the role of lead singer neither Krieger nor Manzarek were quite as impressive. Give 'em credit for trying, but Morrison's chops were sorely missed. Highlights included the rocker "Tightrope Ride", the jazzy "Ships w/ Sails" and the hysterical "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned". Among the few major missteps was the MORish "Down On the Farm". Given Morrison's absence, the set sold respectably, reaching #31. (The album was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"Other Voices" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) In the Eye of the Sun   (Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 4:48
2.) Variety Is the Spice of Life   (Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 2:50
3.) Ships w/ Sails   (Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 7:38
4.) Tightrope Ride   (Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 4:15

(side 2)

1.) Down On the Farm   (Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 4:15
2.) I'm Horny, I'm Stoned   (Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 3:55
3.) Wandering Musician   (Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 6:25
4.) Hang On To Your Life   (Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 5:36




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Best of the Doors

Company: Elektra

Catalog: EQ-5035

Country/State: L.A., California

Year: 1973

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: red label version

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5647

Price: SOLD $35.00



The main draw for this quicky posthumous compilation was the fact it was originally released in quadraphonic format (later releases were in stereo, Elektra catalog 6E-5036 - same cover, but with a little tab slapped on top of the top left hand corner quad symbol).  Musically, other than the radio hits there was nothing spectacular to be found on this eleven tracks compilation.  No new efforts, no hidden gems, no alternate takes.  With 1973's "The Best of the Doors" Elektra opted for the commercial side of the band's legacy going for the best known hits.  In fact seven of their eight hits were here - the lone exception being 'The Unknown Soldier'.  Call it a convenient compilation and leave it at that.  As collectors will know, there are several quad variants including the original black 'Quad' label, a red butterfly label, and the plain red label.

"Best of the Doors" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Who Do You Love   (McDaniel) - 6:48

2.) Soul Kitchen   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 3:30

3.) Hello, I Love You   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 2:23

4.) People Are Strange   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 2:10

5.) Riders On The Storm   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 7:05


(side 2)

1.) Touch Me   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 3:15

2.) Love Her Madly   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 3:20

3.) Love Me Two Times   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 3:16

4.) Take it as it Comes   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 2:14

5.) Moonlight Drive   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 3:01

6.) Light My Fire   (Jim Morrison - Robbie Kreiger - John Desnmore - Ray Manzarek) - 6:50