The DOORS – ” Live at the Bowl ‘68 ” Double Reissue

Posted: June 18, 2020 in MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

On 5th July 1968, The Doors celebrated their own independent streak with a performance at the Hollywood Bowl which, like most things they did, has since passed into rock lore (and not just because Mick Jagger was in the crowd).

While parts of it have been released before, this is the first ever vinyl release of the entire show, from intro to, inevitably, The End. Modern technology has found a way to clean up tracks previously considered poorly recorded,

Most of this concert was released back in 1987 but it returns further restored and with a tasty “Hello, I Love You”, the poetry jam “The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)” and a fruity “Spanish Caravan” added. Never mind all that, though, and never mind that the greatest rock singer ever Jim Morrison could be a bit of a pillock, listening to this all I can think is, “Bloody hell, I wish, I’d seen The Doors live in their prime”. And this is them on essential form – more so than on any of the recentish live albums that’ve come out – the nuanced loud-quiet dynamic, the blues-rock grind, the punk attitude crashing into Ray Manzarek’s stoned organ, “When The Music’s Over” and “The End” indulgently long but utterly seductive, all topped with Morrison’s sleaze-bellowed charisma overload.

Even when he’s rambling about pharaohs like a wannabe beatnik, all it does is make me wish there were more bands now on massive doses of psychedelic drugs attempting to push the envelope. Vital stuff. What shows less is that the band took LSD before going onstage: Morrison sounds relatively cheerful, as if he’d had a big bag of barley sugars. If the musicians were all off their trolleys, one can only assume that rehearsals led to impeccable muscle memory. Ray Manzarek recalled they were “locked in”. Drummer John Densmore had even insisted on a planned set list, to be adhered to (again, something usually anathema to The Doors). There is a crisp, tight zip here, not always evident in the group’s cooed-over canon.

This is a very atmospheric album,you feel like you are at the concert,whilst listening to it. Well i do anyway! Jim Morrison’s vocals are on point throughout,from his crooning to his screaming!He performs his poetry pieces with real passion and verve,these pieces also blend in perfectly with all the songs and music. Manzarek,Krieger and Densmore’s musicianship throughout is very good,as you would expect.

During Light My Fire you can hear firecrackers exploding: it sounds, as they say, like you are actually there, among the 18,000-strong congregation. So from the swing of When the Music’s Over and the sleazy lilt of Brecht/Weill’s Alabama Song, this is a band delivering, knowing they’ve arrived, swaggering without slobbering.

Moonlight Drive and Horse Latitudes are allowed to gleam and the night gathers momentum until that mother of all comedowns, The End, puts a wail in the tail. Love or loathe The Doors, this will polish the windows of your perception.

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