For fans of the legendary Los Angeles rock band The Doors, 2017 marks a fairly significant anniversary for the band. It was 50 years ago this year that the group released their self-titled debut album (January 4th, 1967 to be precise). The band celebrated a few months ago with both a SiriusXM special on Classic Vinyl, along with a recent box set that compiled various iterations of that seminal album.
The Doors catalogue has been reissued in many different formats over the years, including an outstanding remix set back in 2006 in the Perception box set that featured 5.1 Surround Sound versions of all of the band’s studio albums and various, previously unreleased studio and live tracks.
The new 50th Anniversary version of The Doors’ debut album doesn’t repeat the contents of Perception. Instead, it contains three CDS – the album in its original stereo version, available for the first time in a decade and remastered for the first time in thirty years. It also contains the mono mix of the album on vinyl and, for the first time ever, CD. The final CD features selections from the band’s performance from The Matrix in San Francisco, just a few weeks after their first album hit store shelves. It’s all packaged in a hardcover book that features liner notes from Rolling Stone magazine writer and SiriusXM host David Fricke.
There’ are so many reasons that the debut album from The Doors has remained a staple of classic rock for fifty years. Jim Morrison’s voice could scream as well as seduce. Robbie Krieger’s guitar melded rock, jazz and flamenco to create a unique sound (Krieger, as Light My Fire demonstrates, was also a hell of a lyricist). John Densmore’s drums swung, and Ray Manzarek’s keyboard playing gave The Door’s sound a unique colouring that nobody would ever be able to duplicate.
Light My Fire would be the hit single, Break On Through (To The Other Side) the rocker, and The End the psychedelic, frightening and controversial epic (that song would be used to great effect more than a decade later in the film Apocalypse Now). While they’re all still played today, listening to The Doors deliver them live relatively early in their career on the new box set is a revelation – this was take no prisoners rock and roll.
50 years later, the music of The Doors lives on, on vinyl, on cd and digital, and on SiriusXM.