I’m an extreme fan of The Doors. I strongly believe Jim Morrison was the hottest human that ever walked the planet! In fact, The Doors is the band that got me interested in 60’s and 70’s rock. Over the years I have dragged a lot of my friends into “The Doors fandom” and each one of them have asked me to send them a customized “starter pack” of The Doors songs.

The Doors was blessed with immensely gifted band members, the keyboardist Ray Manzarek’s pioneering music flaunts an impeccable 60’s essence. The guitarist Robby Krieger’s riffs far surpass his era. John Densmore had an innovative drumming style. But it was Morrison’s enigmatic personality and his perfect baritone vocals that made his songs sound heavenly.

The Doors released their first studio album, Strange Days, in the 1967. “Strange Days” was a great success both commercially and critically. From this album I really like ‘People are strange’ for its provocative lyrics. The title track, ‘Strange days’, has an ethereal tune and is a good example of The Doors’ novelty.

Next came a self-titled album which featured few of their most popular songs including my personal favourite, ‘Light My Fire’ which undeniably is an incredibly timeless song. ‘The End’ reveals elegant sitar-like instrumentals with powerful lyrics revealing episodes from Morrison’s rebellious childhood. ‘Soul Kitchen’, ‘Back Door Man’ and ‘Alabama Song’ are 60’s classics. ‘The Crystal Ship’ boldly talks about the 60’s cocaine scene. ‘Touch Me’ is said to have contained sexual innuendoes. The saxophone solo outro by Curtis Amy is truly brilliant and Morrison’s antics in the television video are pretty entertaining.

The subsequent album, Waiting For the Sun, released in 1968 featured some love songs that became massive hits (specially ‘Hello, I Love You’. Morrison’s stage antics while performing ‘The Unknown Soldier’ gave a rise to new breed of rock “frontmen”. The lyrics of ‘Spanish Caravan’ are so dreamy that they seem to transcend to another age. “The Soft Parade” released in 1969 was their fourth album and by this time The Doors were a big deal across the world.

 

In 1970, The Doors released Morrison Hotel that featured the song ‘Roadhouse Blues’ which put them on the top of the 70’s rock scene. ‘Roadhouse Blues’ was also included in Rolling Stones magazine’s list of Top 100 rock songs. This album is a perfect blend of hard rock and soothing blues. It also features the tenderly romantic melody ‘Indian Summer’ and the contemporary ‘Peace Frog’.

Just three months prior to Morrison’s death, The Doors released LA Woman which went on to become their second bestselling album. ‘Riders on the Storm’ is one of the finest songs of the 70’s. Manzarek works his magic on the piano giving rise to an evergreen melody. ‘Been Down So Long’ is one wacky, crazy piece of music. The short video of ‘Crawling King Snake’ was the last filmed performance of The Doors with Jim Morrison. ‘LA Woman’, ‘Riders on the Storm’ and ‘Love Her Madly’ were included in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The band was active for a short period of five years but the amount of recognition it gained is astonishing. Other Voices (1971) and Full Circle (1972) were released after Morrison’s death but devoid of his charisma, both failed. The group officially disbanded in 1973 but has continued to perform at several reunions till Ray Manzarek’s death in 2013.

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Adwaita Bhagwat

Adwaita Bhagwat