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The Doors – The Doors (1967), Morrison Hotel (1970), and L.A. Woman (1971)

July 19, 2017

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Sensational logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Albums 546, 547, 548 / 1001]

“Too heavy, too light, Too black or too white, Too wrong or too right…”
– Seven Mary Three, Cumbersome*

I’m not sure if anyone would argue that The Doors & their music were exemplars in moderation.

I imagine Doors nonenthusiasts would say a given track/album was too psychadelic, too bluesy, too rambling, too poetic, too ____ for their tastes, thus making for a rather, um, cumbersome listening experience.

Others would love band in spite of, or more likely because of, those very reasons.

Naturally, in an annoyingly Canadian way, I fall somewhere in between in my level of Doors enthusiasm.

But inspired by the lack of moderation exhibited by The Doors, I’ll risk making an excessively cumbersome post by making this a triple review!

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The Doors (1)

The Doors (2)

The Doors (5)

The Doors (4)

The Doors

…..

Verbalize the Positive

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*When I typed ‘cumbersome’ as a google search, this ‘use over time’ graph appeared with the definition.

It looks the use of the term ‘cumbersome’ peaks around 1995, right around the time Seven Mary Three released their big hit!

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From → 1960s, 1970s

35 Comments
  1. The fact that they had no Bass player psyched me out. I had one tape of their’s Greatest Hits/shelled out money for the Val Kilmer Doors movie and read No One Gets Out Of Here Alive!
    Jimbo though was quite the character though…
    Sue went and seen his grave when she was in Paris. Said people were drinking/smoking pouring beer over his grave/makeshift shrine said it was quite the experience
    Thats pretty much it…

    • I had the Doors movie soundtrack at one point!
      Still haven’t seen the film though, I gather Kilmer does a pretty good job.
      Some place roses at a gravestone, some pour beer I guess!

      • The Doors movie I recall from 1991 had a ton of hype esp with Kilmer as Jimbo. The movie was ok. Too be honest I don’t know how it would hold up today but i think Oliver Stone directed it …
        Either you have a party grave or a traditional grave..hahaha
        Lizard King is still partying…mind you Sue was there back in 1988!

      • The movie isn’t actually great. Probably more to tell than Stone did (well, there is), but I guess if you’re fairly new to them it would be worthwhile checking out. The book Deke mentions is brilliant, though. So too is Ray’s Light My Fire (I believe he mentions that he’s not fond of the movie in there).

        Best thing about the movie is Val. Apparently he insisted that he was Jim throughout filming and had to get therapy to revert back to Val!

      • Oh dear, Val!
        So read the books, can skip the film (but maybe see some Youtube clips to get a sense of Kilmer’s portrayal) – can do!

    • That book is pretty brilliant. One of my favourite rock bookaroos!

  2. Nice cumber-batch of reviews!
    As a non-Canadian, my passions are middling as well.

  3. Love bluesy Doors, kinda meh about the psychedelic side. Currently listening to the driving bass in LA Woman from the band that had no bass player…

    • They actually had Jerry Scheff (Elvis’ bassist) play on that album (there’s bass on most of their albums, but Jerry was actually performing with the band rather than overdubbing).

    • Some solid driving bass lines indeed!
      Interesting how the most instantly identifiable bassline of the 21st century thus far is arguably The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army – courtesy of another group without a bassist!

  4. Nice post, Geoff. I love The Doors. I can see why the debut is on the list, but it’s not one I listen to often, Morrison Hotel and L.A. Woman, though… they are my go-to albums from these chaps. Alongside Strange Days, of course. That’s a trippy psychedelic masterpiece and, currently, my favourite of theirs.

    Although Jim was the focal point, the others were equally important. An exceptional band and one that we’ll never hear the likes of again.

    • Thanks J!
      I’ve yet to hear Strange Days but that sounds promising.
      I was pleased to see the album art on LA Woman reflect that it was in fact, a band.
      At the moment, it would likely be the one I see myself revisiting the most, been down so long has such a great opening!

      • It’s a great opening line, for sure. If I compiled my favourite tracks of theirs, it’d be easily at the top of a top 5.

        You should snag Strange Days if you see it. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

      • If the price is right, consider it snagged!
        And if next week’s artist is another J all-timer, that’ll be 3 in a row!

      • Oh! That would be something!

  5. Manzarek’s domination of the sound turns me off of many of their songs. It was revolutionary for the time, but it is too overpowering for me.
    I prefer songs like The End or my favourite Peace Frog.

    • The End was my favourite on the first album – and Peace Frog’s got that really nice guitar intro!

  6. jprobichaud permalink

    Love the post. The Doors? Yeah. I’ve always thought I was fine having their best of in my collection. Wicked organ player that Ray Manzarek.

    • Cheers JP!
      I remember Rich had a ‘compilation or catalog’ series at one point, I think I’d be happy with a greatest hits.
      But ideally a double CD as there’s some good ones that might not make it onto the first disc!

  7. I do love a good Venn diagram. That that’s a beauty. Nice work Geoff.

    (Although I have a couple of copies of LA Woman and have reviewed the debut as part of the 1967 series, I don’t actually know Morrison Hotel at all well. Perhaps worth remedying. Or not. It may be too ________________ for me).

    • My thanks Bruce!
      It feels like Morrison hotel might be the least likely to cause offense of the 3 – it didn’t feel as excessive in any particular area.
      However, as is often the case, because of its low probability of offending, it was likely the least memorable of the 3 as well!

    • I know I’ve said it before, but I’d encourage revisiting Morrison Hotel. A really great record with little meandering. A really strong bunch of songs and, as Geoff says, with few of the things that put folks off The Doors.

  8. Yep, This is the End is the best!

  9. I agree with J, “Morrison Hotel” and in particular “L.A Woman” are the one’s I consider their best. And I’m a huge fan of Manzarek.
    https://hackskeptic.com/2014/04/04/my-tribute-to-ray-manzarek-1939-2013/

    • I think LA Woman will end up being my favourite of the three (though I’m intrigued by Strange Days) – they had a productive run there, I think I read 6 albums in 4 years!

  10. I love bits of their discography fiercely! Sorry, that’s not very Canadian.

  11. Strange Days is by far their best. The debut gets all the hype but it has a couple of weak cuts like Take It as It Comes and I Looked at You. Waiting for the Sun is my second favorite I think.

    • Interesting that your top 2 weren’t included on the 1001 list – I guess though the list is typically most ‘important’ rather than ‘best.’
      And 2 weeks later, I can’t remember many of the album tracks from The Doors so I think you’re right, the debut is hyped for its massive hits!

  12. There is not annoying about being Canadian! Though we will still apologize for saying that. 😉

    The Doors were always a Hits set band for me. I have a couple of their albums here, but I don’t play them as often. But Morrison Hotel has Peace Frog and I love that song.

    Interesting that the best tunes are the longer, side-closing tracks. Must’ve been intentional!

    I laughed aloud at the whole Cumbersone thing. We saw SM3 in concert in 96, and they definitely played that song.

    • Haha, Mike Myers had a bit I remember about 2 Canadians going through a door at the same time, they never get through because they both keep apologizing and insisting the other go first!
      Lately I’ve been drawn to those sprawling side/album closers, perhaps they had a similar target audience for them in the late 60s/early 70s!

      • “No, I insist, please after me!” 🙂

        It shows album-craft, doing things that way. Not just jamming on songs and hoping something sticks, too. I like that.

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