Friday, January 4, 2013

The Doors released their debut album: January 4, 1967

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Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Break on Through to the Other Side (4/27/91, #64 UK) / Soul Kitchen / The Crystal Ship / Twentieth Century Fox / Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) / Light My Fire (6/3/67, #1 US, #7 UK, sales: 1.0 million) / Back Door Man / I Looked at You / End of the Night / Take It As It Comes / The End

Sales (in millions): 3.4 US, 0.6 UK, 12.5 world

Peak: 2 US, 43 UK


Review: The Doors is “a tremendous debut album, and indeed one of the best first-time outings in rock history.” AMG The group “more than fulfilled the promise of their infamously challenging gigs around Los Angeles throughout the previous year.” AZ The album is an “amalgam…that sounds fully psychedelic” BL as it introduces “the band’s fusion of rock, blues, classical, jazz, and poetry with a knockout punch.” AMG

Light My Fire was the cut that topped the charts and established the group as stars, but most of the rest of the album is just as impressive, including some of their best songs: the propulsive Break On Through (their first single), the beguiling Oriental mystery of The Crystal Ship, the mysterious End of the Night, Take It as It Comes (one of several tunes besides ‘Light My Fire’ that also had hit potential), and the stomping rock of Soul Kitchen and Twentieth Century Fox.” AMG

“Whether belting out a standard like Back Door Man or talk-singing such originals as ‘The Crystal Ship’ and I Looked at You, leather-clad vocalist Jim Morrison exuded both sensuality and menace.” AZ “Though he fancied himself a poet, Morrison ultimately had greater impact on the nation’s leather pants industry.” BL

“The 11-minute Oedipal drama The End was the group at its most daring and, some would contend, overambitious.” AMG It “helped rewrite the rules on rock song composition” AZ and provided a “haunting cap to an album whose nonstop melodicism and dynamic tension would never be equaled by the group again, let alone bettered.” AMG

Robbie Krieger’s “lean, spidery guitar” AMG and “Ray Manzarek’s swirling organ provided the melodic backbone for the apocalyptic hoodoo of Jim Morrison” BL and his “captivating vocals and probing prose.” AMGThe group’s collective instrumental talents “virtually defined the rock-blues-jazz-classical amalgam that was acid-rock.” AZ

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