50 Years Later The Doors Remain Unique
Updated: Oct 4, 2020
By Glenn J. Wiener, CU Contributor
(CU News) - During the Summer of 1967 I was a child on the verge of my parents planning an amazing birthday party. Also during this time, The Doors were across the country cooking up music, imagery and rock ‘n roll stories to stand the test of time. The Doors were a phenomenal four piece band focused heavily on the keyboard/organ tones of Ray Manzarek yet giving guitarist Robbie Krieger and drummer John Densmore plenty of room to add their talents. But, it would all come down to Mr Mojo Rising and his crawling king snake persona. Part Sinatra, part Shaman, and part Crazed Poet - Jim Morrison changed rock ‘n roll forever.
Their first self-titled album captured the music world by storm mainly due to the International #1 song “Light My Fire”. The religiously haunting organ sounds and outstanding vocal delivery of Jim Morrison caught the world by surprise. However, the album contained at least six additional songs that would also become a part of their legacy. “Crystal Ship” is such a beautiful haunting ballad and “Take It as It Comes” with the eclectic soloing. Covers of the old blues standard “Back Door Man” and the eclectic “Alabama Song” just please the ears. Heck just about every song significantly changed something in the counterculture events of the 1960's. Even the controversial “The End” introduced psychology to the younger generations.
The subsequent five studio recordings showed the world that the four-piece unit of The Doors were not a one trick pony. The Doors dabbled in many styles and even invented a few along the way. Example: In the late 1960's they would experiment with a waltz based song “Wintertime Love” and the flamenco styled “Spanish Caravan”. How about the hat tip to Sinatra on “Touch Me”? The title track from “The Soft Parade” combines a variety of styles in lengthy and epic song that’s never been duplicated.
The Jim Morrison led Doors concluded their recording career on a high with the fabulous LA Woman loaded with roots rock and blues. The last track, “Riders on The Storm”, is a mesmerizing slow blues tune was captivating. The double tracked whispering vocals of Morrison showed his gradual phasing out of this world like the shamans he often spoke about in interviews.
Although the Doors were only in existence for a short period of time, their music has remained relevant to several generations of youth. That bell rings in my head regularly when a song plays on the radio. While thinking about the music, I recently drove past a late night bar while traveling home and couldn't help to hear the sounds. A rowdy room full of twenty-somethings and the roar of “Roadhouse Blues” made me wonder. Is that Doors scene going to be timeless?