Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Doors / Strange Days
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Two first doors albums in one
A.J.H. Woodcount | 11/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I eat more chickens any man ever seen
The Doors is regarded as one of the best debut-albums ever made. Probably correct. There haven't been a lot of bands with a song as charismatic as The End on their first album. The album shows the Doors for what they were musically and lyrically.
A little bit of criticism is at it's place bacause the album has it's weaker moments. The Doors got better over the years and this album has a fierce sound (that is typical for that period of the history of recording studio's) and not every song does as much to you as The End does. I believe that not even the still living Doors would disagree about that. But let's focus on the best parts of the album, because it's an album everybody with an interest in music and poetry should own.
The best songs on the album are Break On Through (To The Other Side), The Crystal Ship, Light My Fire and The End. These songs are of such unbelievable high level for a debut-album that it's not strange that there are so little new bands reaching the level of the Doors-debut. If you compare this album to the first one of the Beatles or the Stones (hail to both!) you must agree: this one says a lot more.
The album has the high flying guitar, the mystic running groovy organ, the great free jazzy drumming and the poetic strength the Doors are famous for.
Something about two of the songs:
Break On Through (To The Other Side): In poetry there are some programatic first poems to be found (at least in Dutch poetry) in the poetry of new poets. In rock-music that's an exeption. What would have been more programatic for the music and the lyrics of the Doors than this song? It says almost everything about what the Doors were all about.
The End: When I was at puberty I found the part of The End that says: `father, I want to kill you, mother I want to...' to be a little shocking (especialy for others..). When I got to know to stories of the ancient Greek I found out that there really wasn't anything shocking about this song, exept the fact that Morrison put the story about Oidipus and the Freudian version of it into clear words. I still believe The End has a more honost and direct way to put the Oidipous-complex into words. Nothing more (or less) than poetic freedom.
To give stars for an album is difficult. For it's importance in pop- and doors-history this album must have 5 stars. The End is more worth than five stars and some other songs are real good too. But the album put into perspective of the whole Doors-oeuvre would be a 4-star-album, with the four songs I mentioned earlier definitly bringing to five stars.
(For more comments on The Doors: look up my other Doors-reviews)
Strange days have found us
Together with the first one, the second album of the Doors shows the band in it's most wellknown period and sound. You can call it the basic Doors. When Morrison sings in Strange Days: `we shall go on playing or find a new town', I always think of Paris were I've seen his grave on Père La Chaise. The playing had stopped; he found a new town were his playing stopped definitively... (When you're on the graveyard his grave isn't hard to find. You just follow the marks other Doors-fans left to show you the way.)
Strange days is one of my favourite Doors-songs because of the way the strangeness of life in a great combination of music and lyrics is brought to us. Especialy when the song is played we have to agree: this certainly is the strangest life we've ever known. The album has more moments with that nice touch of melancholic filosophy.
There are some down to earth songs on the record too: You're Lost Little Girl and Unhappy Girl are typical Doors-songs about love/women with a little twist. Love Me Two Times is a nice little blues with the small touch of male-ignorance a good blues should always have: `one for tomorrow and one just for today'. Moonlight Drive is maybe not as striking as some other Doors-material, but it has a very consequent metafore in it. (Lesser Gods on the poetic stage tend to forget what metafore they using halfway their lyrics.) As a not native speaker I liked to sing along with the `going down'-part at the end of the song with a low voice, without thinking about what it meant. Well, let's put it like this: when they've managed to swim to the moon and climb to the sky, they have to come down again. Morrison was a decent man.
Horse Latitudes is more poetry and free-`jazz' than rock. The contrast of down-to-earth (blues) material and the `stranger' music that is typical for all Doors-albums is very much present on this album. Horse Latitudes is placed between the two earlier mentioned blues songs.
The almost simplesounding song People Are Strange has the same contrast. The music is very happy but when you take the lyrics seriously there's nothing happy about this song. It's wellknown:
`people are strange, when you're a stranger
faces look ugly when you're alone
women seem wicked when you're unwanted
streets are uneven when you're down'
You should compare the lyrics to L'America of the album L.A. Woman (see my review).
`friendly strangers came to town
all the people put them down
but the women love their ways
come again some other day'
At least the women started to like the unwanted.
The two lovesongs that follow have the same theme but they contradict eachother in a way. I'm talking about My Eyes Have Seen You and I Can't See Your Face In My Mind. The lyrics are still allright considering the fact that they're just two lovesongs.
But then something happens. Manzarek digs deep inside his organ and there it is: When The Music's Over. Another song of great theatrical suspence and terribly good lyrics. Songs like this had never been done before, exept by the Doors themselves in The End. The tension in this song reaches it's highest point when the music dies out and we `hear a very geantle sound'...'we want the world and we want it...'
Since I know songs like this exist, I've been looking for them. There's not much around. I found one band that can play the same trick on me as The Doors did when I was about 15 years old. There an instrumtal band tough. A jazzband from Scandinavia, called the Esbjorn Svensson Trio. See them live and find out what I mean. They're coming to America soon. Great pianojazz with large themes and mystical enchanting rythms and compositions with heavy parts and still parts, freaky things and clean things, sweeping you off your feet.