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Light My Fire
One of the most revolutionary bands of the 1960s was The Doors. Like other bands that skyrocketed to stardom and popularity they had a vocalist that was dynamite – Jim Morrison. Like other such vocalists unfortunately in time Morrison discovered what it was like to climb to the top of the pedestal only to come tumbling down the hard way. He pushed himself to the limit mixing drugs with alcohol and hard living. Six years passed from the time of the formation of the band in 1966 to the death of Morrison in 1971. During that time they released six studio albums.
The Doors consisted of vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore.
Their debut album simply titled The Doors was released in 1967 and included one of their most popular hits “Light My Fire” and the single “Break On Through (To the Other side)”. The Doors quickly captured everyone’s attention. This album also included a song titled “The End” which ran for over 11 minutes and became one of rock’s first long-form compositions.
Their second album was Strange Days released the same year. This album included songs like “When the Music’s Over” and “People Are Strange”.
Next up was Waiting for the Sun in 1968. It became their only number one album. Among the songs were “Hello, I Love You” and “Five to One”. The album included “The Unknown Soldier” which became a most powerful antiwar song of the Vietnam era. This song was later redone as a dramatic rock video (one of the first) by Morrison and Manzarek.
By 1969 with Morrison heading for a burnout The Doors had problems with their fourth album titled The Soft Parade. This album did include four singles penned by Krieger – “Touch Me”, “Wishful Sinful”, “Tell All the People” and “Runnin Blue”.
The Doors bounced back with their album Morrison Hotel which included some truly bluesy numbers. Among them “Roadhouse Blues”, “Waiting for the Sun” (which wasn’t included on the album of the same name), “Queen of the Highway” and “Peace Frog”.
Finally in 1971 The Doors came out with their sixth and final studio album titled L.A. Women. Here they sounded like the band did at the beginning of their spectacular career. The hits on this album were “Love Her Madly”, “Riders on the Storm” and the title track “L.A. Woman”.
Before the release of their final album Morrison had moved to Paris, France and was thinking of joining the group for a tour. However this is where the music ended for Morrison, who met with death at the age of 27. An album of some of Morrison’s poetry readings which was recorded on this 27th and final birthday was released posthumously in 1978 with music overdubbed by the surviving Doors, as “An American Prayer”.
After Morrison’s death the rest of The Doors released two albums as a trio – Other Voices in 1971 and Full Circle in 1972. Songs here included “In the Eye of the Sun” on Other Voices and “Get Up and Dance” and “Good Rockin’” on Full Circle.
Afterwards they disbanded.
The Doors were discovered by a new generation in 1980 when their song “The End” was used by director Francis Ford Coppola in a scene for his Vietnam War film, “Apocalypse Now”. This was followed by the publication of an in-depth biography of The Doors “No One Gets Out Alive” and the release of their Greatest Hits by Electra Records, selling over three million copies in the U.S. Finally in 1981 Rolling Stone magazine printed a feature on The Doors that included a cover picture of Morrison with the memorable line, “He’s hot, he’s sexy and he’s dead”.
Anything else anyone wanted to know about The Doors was answered in 1990 when Oliver Stone came out with an over two-hour film biography of the band. In 2000 a 17-track CD was released Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors. The Door songs were performed by many different artists who were joined by one or more of the original band members. Their music has made them immortal and the legend of Morrison lives on.