Posts Tagged ‘John Densmore’

The Doors returned to their roots and were reborn a rock and roll band on “Morrison Hotel”, the group’s fifth studio album. 1970 was more than the dawn of a new decade. It was also the end of an era.

The year began with the breakup of the Beatles, wrapped up with the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and was also hallmarked by any number of other musical convolutions. The Rolling Stones did not release a new studio LP, The Who were still struggling to follow up “Tommy,” and rock ’n’ roll itself was on such shaky ground that, when the critics looked around and tried to prophesy what the “Next Big Thing” was going to be, most of them settled upon the crop of singer-songwriters who — let’s be honest here — would barely have gotten a look in a year or two before. And then The Doors released “Morrison Hotel,” and, for 40 marvelous minutes or so, it was worth waking up in the morning again.

For this new collection, the original album has been expanded with more than an hour of unreleased recordings taken from the sessions for Morrison Hotel. These 19 outtakes transport listeners into the studio with Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, and Ray Manzarek for an unprecedented perspective on the making of the album. Botnick says: There are many takes, different arrangements, false starts, and insightful studio conversations between the band who were in the studio and producer Paul Rothchild  who was in the control room. It’s like being a fly on the wall.

Several of these unheard recordings spotlight how Queen Of The Highway and Roadhouse Blues evolved across multiple sessions. It’s especially interesting to hear how the band played with different bass players on Roadhouse Blues. Early versions include Harvey Brooks, who played on the band’s previous album, “The Soft Parade”. Later takes feature guitar legend Lonnie Mack on bass along with The Lovin Spoonful’s John Sebastian on harmonica who, due to contractual restrictions at the time, had to be credited as G. Puglese.

Among the treasure trove of unreleased outtakes are also rough versions of Morrison Hotel tracks Peace Frog and Blue Sunday, as well as The Doors rarity I Will Never Be Untrue. The collection also captures some incredible session outtakes of the band jamming on cover versions of the Motown classic Money (That’s What I Want) and B.B. King’s Rock Me.

Completed in only a few weeks and released in February 1970, the hard-charging album took its name from the skid row hotel in downtown Los Angeles that’s featured in the iconic cover photo taken by Henry Diltz. Morrison Hotel: 50th Anniversary Deluxe edition includes the original album newly remastered by the Doors’ longtime engineer and mixer Bruce Botnick, plus a bonus disc of unreleased studio outtakes, and the original album on 180-gram virgin vinyl. the music will also be available from digital and streaming services the same day. for this new collection, the original album has been expanded with more than an hour of unreleased recordings taken from the sessions for Morrison Hotel. “There are many takes, different arrangements, false starts, and insightful studio conversations between the band – who were in the studio.

“Morrison Hotel” is not the sole glimpse into this new-found funkiness around these days. Earlier this year, a staggering six CDs of live material culled from The Doors’ four-show residency at the Felt Forum in New York provided us with the most complete examination yet of The Doors as a working band. The shows catch The Doors firing on every cylinder, a blazing rock ’n’ roll band at the height of its creative and improvisational powers.

Plus, says Manzarek, New York was the Doors’ favourite place to play. “The New York audience was always interesting. London was great, and Los Angeles was good. But New York was the best, and you can feel that in the live show.”

“Morrison Hotel” was still several weeks away from release at the time of the Felt Forum shows, but much of the album was already firmly nestled in the live set, including the song that remains the new record’s definitive track, the opening “Roadhouse Blues. “What a signature lick. That’s all you have to hear, and you know what that song’s meant to be. And that great last stanza by Morrison… ‘I got up this morning and got myself a beer.’ Is that rock ’n’ roll or what?”

On that evidence alone, Manzarek says, “‘Morrison Hotel’ was definitely back to roots, back to basics. Great songs. In fact, the only thing it lacked was, as we called them, an epic. There was no song over five minutes. We didn’t have a ‘Light My Fire,’ ‘When The Music’s Over’ or ‘The End.’ But so what?”.

“Indian Summer” was an outtake that dated back to “the very first day of recording for the first album. We found it in our bin of stuff. There was us, our producer Paul Rothchild and our engineer Bruce Botnik, and we wanted a simple little song so we could get the sound down. So we did ‘Indian Summer’ and then went into ‘Moonlight Mile.’

Revamped and with much of it rerecorded, “Indian Summer” emerged as one of the most unexpected treats on the new album. But pressed to name his favourite, Manzarek has little hesitation in pointing to another song whose genesis dated back a few years, “Waiting For The Sun.”

The song was originally intended as the title track to The Doors’ third album, back in 1968. “We loved the title so much that we called the album ‘Waiting For The Sun,’ the artwork was done, but the song wasn’t ready. It hadn’t come out of the oven yet. Never mind, nobody will know there’s the song called ‘Waiting For The Sun’ as well. So when it did finally come out on ‘Morrison Hotel,’ people went — wait a sec! But I’m glad we waited, because it came out a stunning piece of music.”

So is the rest of the set, an album that drives from the opening punch of “Roadhouse Blues” to the closing grind of “Maggie M’Gill,” and, in between times, launches such future Doors favourites as “The Spy,” “Ship Of Fools” and “Land Ho!”.

Dave Marsh at Creem called The Doors’ fifth album “the most horrifying rock and roll I have ever heard,” and that was a compliment. “When they’re good, they’re simply unbeatable.” It was the best record he’d heard all year. Rock Magazine and Circus unanimously agreed that it was The Doors’ best record yet, and while it was maybe a little early to be making such pronouncements (‘Morrison Hotel’ was released in February 1970), Circus described it as “one of the best albums

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.

“the soft parade/stripped”.  The LP is comprised of stripped down “Doors Only” versions of five tracks where the horns and strings have been removed.  The set also features three of those stripped-back versions with new guitar parts added by Robby Krieger.  All tracks are making their vinyl debut and were mixed & remastered by The Doors’ longtime engineer and mixer Bruce Botnick.

This numbered, limited edition LP is pressed on 180-gram clear vinyl and is housed in a clear plastic sleeve with a colored insert.  Only 12,000 copies of this release will be pressed worldwide.  the soft parade/stripped will be available at participating independent retailers for Record Store Day, June 20th, 2020.

Available for Record Store Day Black Friday, this historic concert is presented for the first time on vinyl, with meticulously restored audio and pressed on 180-gram black vinyl. This 2-LP set contains the entire show, and was mixed from the original multi-track tapes by longtime Doors engineer / mixer / co-producer Bruce Botnick.  This set is a numbered/limited edition release of 11,000 copies worldwide.

The band appeared on stage on August 30, 1970 at 2 a.m. in front of 600,000 people. Jim Morrison’s ongoing obscenity trial was still weighing heavily on the band. Nevertheless, they delivered such staples as “Roadhouse Blues”, “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”, and “Light My Fire”. “Our set was subdued but very intense”, Manzarek later stated. “We played with a controlled fury and Jim was in fine vocal form. He sang for all he was worth, but moved nary a muscle. Dionysus had been shackled.”

The Doors Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970

The Doors will include a trove of previously unreleased recordings on the upcoming 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of their 1969 album, The Soft Parade, out October 18th.

The Doors’ fourth studio album, The Soft Parade, became the band’s fourth straight Top Ten album when it was released 50 years ago on July 18, 1969. Despite featuring one of the group’s biggest hits – “Touch Me” – it remains the most-polarizing record of The Doors’ career thanks to the brass and string arrangements that embellish several tracks.

To commemorate the album’s 50th year anniversary, Rhino reimagines The Soft Parade on a newly expanded 3CD/1LP set. The set includes the original studio album – and the B-side “Who Scared You” – newly remastered by Bruce Botnick, The Doors’ longtime engineer and mixer. The collection is a limited edition of 15,000 individually numbered copies and also includes the original album on 180-gram vinyl along with liner notes by noted rock journalist David Fricke.

The core of the new collection is comprised of more than a dozen unreleased songs. Among the highlights are newly remixed “Doors Only” versions of five tracks where the horns and strings have been removed (“Tell All The People,” “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” “Runnin’ Blue,” and “Who Scared You.”) The set also features three of those stripped-back versions with new guitar parts added by Robby Krieger (“Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” and “Runnin’ Blue).

The collection also uncovers three songs from studio rehearsals – with Ray Manzarek (a.k.a. Screamin’ Ray Daniels) on vocals – that include an early version of “Roadhouse Blues,” a song that would be released the following year on Morrison Hotel. These three songs include newly recorded bass parts by Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots, who joined Krieger and John Densmore at a tribute concert for Manzarek in 2016, three years after the organist died of cancer.

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A trio of studio outtakes collected on the set’s final disc feature the much-bootlegged, hour-long jam, “Rock Is Dead,” which appears here in its entire, surviving form for the first time ever. The track finds The Doors riffing through the entire history of rock ’n’ roll, from early delta blues through surf music, ending with the death of rock.

The band teased the project with one such rarity: An raucous early version of their 1970 track “Roadhouse Blues” — which would appear on the band’s next album, Morrison Hotel — sung by organist Ray Manzarek, who’s cheekily billed as “Screamin’ Ray Daniels.”

The Soft Parade is one of the most controversial albums in the Doors’ catalogue, due to the string and horn arrangements on several tracks (one such song, “Touch Me,” did become one of the band’s biggest hits). The 50th anniversary edition of The Soft Parade will notably include “Doors only” versions of five tracks — “Tell All the People,” “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” “Runnin’ Blue” and “Who Scared You” — where the strings and horns have been removed. There will also be additional stripped-down versions of  “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful” and “Runnin’ Blue” featuring new guitar parts from Robby Krieger.

The 50th anniversary edition of The Soft Parade is available and will be released as a three-CD, single LP set that will be limited to 15,000 copies.

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The Doors’ fifth album, Morrison Hotel, released in February 1970, was seen as a return to form after the critically mauled (but commercially successful) Soft Parade from the previous year. A few weeks before the record’s release, the band set off on their “Roadhouse Blues Tour”, playing across the US, and certain shows in Canada – planned Japanese dates were cancelled during this period – before, on 5th June, performing at the Seattle Coliseum in Washington State’s largest city. Putting on a dynamic but amicable show with Jim Morrison in good spirits, conversing rather than taunting the crowd (albeit somewhat cryptically at times), this rarely heard concert, recorded for FM radio broadcast at the time, proves that The Doors remained a force to be reckoned with, a year from their demise following the death of The Lizard King in July ’71.

This is the first concert taped by Doors road manager Vince Treanor. Vince used a Sony TC-630 stereo tape recorder (a gift from The Doors) running at 3 3/4 ips with a pair of AKG-D1000E cardioid microphones placed on either side of the stage to capture the audio from the vocal and instrument amps. Jim is drunk for the show and interacts quite a bit with the audience. Interesting! What always struck me about this show is how TENSE it sounds. Hecklers get worse and worse throughout the show, Date: June 5th – 1970

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During September 1968 the Doors made their first trip to Europe for a tour that saw them paired with the Jefferson Airplane, far from the eyes of the world they played intimate concerts for audiences who where not there for the event but to listen and watch the performers, the tour was a major success in terms of attendance and in terms of artistic satisfaction from the band that equated to some of the best performances the band would ever perform.

These performances are an eye-opener if you’ve never heard them before. What you get is a wowser recording of an in-shape, ready to kill you Jim Morrison. The man is out for blood and it shows. The only thing wrong here, and it’s the Only thing is that Jim is off mike for the first “When The Music’s Over”. The recording is clear enough that you can just about hear him, but alas there is nothing that can be done about that now. The material itself is stellar and the band is in top form. Enjoy this show, it’s a mind-ripper.

On September 20th, 1968 The Doors played two concerts the Konserthuset in Stockholm, Sweden and gave permission for both to be broadcast on radio station Radiohuset. The resulting recordings give a prime example of the band at the height of their collective powers and are the source for many bootlegs. On vinyl the shows have been released as The Beautiful Die Young… (MIW Records 19) featuring parts of both early and late shows, The Complete Stockholm ’68 Tapes(DOORS 68) and deluxe 3 lp set containing both the early and late shows, Little Games (Shotgun Records 13010) that is a mix of both early and late shows,The Stockholm Tapes(unknown label) another 3 lp set packaged in a box with a deluxe cover. On CD there have been releases as Live In Stockholm(The Swinging Pig TSP CD-004-2) that featured both early and late shows on a 2CD set,Live In Stockholm ’68 Vol. 1 and Vol. 2(Black Panther CD 30/31) that were copies of the Swinging Pig title, The Lizard King (Vulture Records 002) a mix of both early and late shows on a single disc,Red Walls Blue Doors (WPOCM CD 1288D012-2) featuring only the late show,The Stockholm Tapes (DR 010) featuring only the late show,Sneaking Out The Backdoor(The Last Bootleg Records LBR SP 001/7) features both early and late shows, and Apocalypse Now (Kiss The Stone KTS 267), an excellent title featuring the late show.

The Doors, live at Konserthuset, Stockholm on 20th September 1968 The Doors finally visited Europe in September 1968, playing to rapturous audiences in the UK, Germany, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. Many fans agree that they were at their peak on this tour, despite Jim Morrison’s condition being unpredictable from gig to gig. This release contains the final date of the tour, originally broadcast by Sveriges Radio. It includes rare performances of Mack The Knife, Love Street and You’re Lost Little Girl as well as familiar staples of their set, and is presented here together with background notes and images.

The recording begins with the call to arms of “Five To One”, one can take many interpretations to Jim’s lyrics, the best I had read was five to one is the ratio to people under the age of 30 outnumber the old five to one. Of course the radio station does not censor the “I Got in this car with these people and get …f*cked up”, Jim slurring his words in true bluesman tradition. To show their respect from the European audiences the band treat them to an impromptu version of “The Ballad Of Mack The Knife” by Weill and Bretcht that was made famous by Frank Sinatra in America that flows right into the same song writing duo’s “Alabama Song” aka “Whiskey Bar”, a song the band adapted for their first self title LP. The song flows right into the abrupt riff of Willie Dixon’s “Backdoor Man”, played in true blues fashion. Morrison lets yell with a manic laugh before the band slows it down for the pork and beans section, the song is a prime example of their blues origins and garners a huge round of applause before Morrison tells them “Stop That”.

A real highlight of this recording is the bands rendition of “Your Lost Little Girl”, rarely played on stage the melancholy playing of Robby Krieger is wonderful and Morrison turns in a beautiful vocal for the song, no screaming and yelling on this song. “Love Me Two Times” from the Strange Days record was a true Krieger song, the lyrics much more about simple love and curiously would prove to be The Doors most radio friendly songs. A true centerpiece of most all Doors shows is “When The Music’s Over”, dense with mysterious lyrics and some of the most powerful music the band would ever explore it features Morrison at his most dramatic. All three musicians solo at one time or another, they blend the instruments as an accent to the lyrics. John Densmore goes from keeping simple time to answering Morrison in a point blank response accentuating message. The lyrics are expansive, moving from psychedelia to powder struggles to a commentary of the abuse of resources, all leading to a demand of “We Want The World and We Want It NOW “, Morrison keeping the audience on edge before finally letting out a huge yell in true dramatic fashion. The song again garners a huge ovation with the audience clapping and shouting their approval, one can only agree.

Curiously the band play an early version of “Wild Child”, a song that would not find its way onto a Doors record for close to a year until the release of 1969’s The Soft Parade. It started appearing in the bands set early the prior month of August 2nd at the band’s chaotic performance at the Singer Bowl in Flushing Meadows, New York. This version is much subdued to that version largely due to the circumstances, but we are treated to a superb rendition of the song and is nice to be able fully enjoy. They continue with their take on the Gordy / Robinson classic “Money”, a song that they had been playing since their early incarnation of the band in their pub days. They play a laid back version of the song that features song great Manzerek keys as he hammers out a great solo, the song simply swings as the band hit their stride.

“Light My Fire” is the culmination of Doors Concerts, its there most popular song and therefore is the one that people clamor to hear. Live versions are always extended, to give a showcase to move through music themes such as jazz, Manzerek, Krieger, and Densmore were all aficionados of the form and this song is their vehicle to express it. This version clocks in at over 11 minutes and features a long center section where they free form the music with teases of Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things”, Morrison does enter the fray at about 8 minutes in when he asks “why you jump up my ass…what did you come hear for anyway?” in some obvious dialog with an audience member and forces the band to abruptly go back into the main theme of the song and push Morrison’s focus back to the music.

The set concludes appropriately as Morrison asks for the lights to be lowered and only use the blue lights, there is a small language barrier with the operators and the band chants “turn out the lights” before Jim lets out a quieting “sshh” and Krieger hits the opening chords of “The End”. The song has much evolved from its early incarnations of a song of loves departed; now it is an apocalyptic masterpiece of theatre set to music. The song clocks in at close to 15 minutes in length and features a variety of lyric poems by Jim that culminates with the Oedipal section, perhaps it most moving yet frightening piece that polarized listeners as far back as the groups pre record deal days at the Whisky A Go Go. Live versions of this song are always an event, this is certainly one, if not my most favorite version (the Singer Bowl is awesome too). The end of the set and of a most successful European tour as the band leaves the stage amid respectful applause.

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Here’s one more accolade you can posthumously give Jim Morrison: he was the first rock star to be arrested onstage. He was probably also the first rock star to be maced backstage at his own show, but no one keeps records for that.

While the opening acts played, Morrison and a young woman had slipped into a bathroom shower stall for some privacy. A policeman working backstage security came across them, and thinking the lead singer of the headlining act for an interloper, told them to “Beat it.” Morrison grabbed his crotch and told the cop to “Eat it.” The policeman pulled out a can of mace and said, “Last chance to beat it.” The Lizard King’s response: “Last chance to eat it.” The cop maced him.

The show was delayed for an hour while Morrison’s eyes were washed out. As the band took the stage there was a line of police at the front of the stage. The show proceeded normally until they launched into “Back Door Man.” According to Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek, instead of Morrison bellowing the opening “Oh yeah! All right!” Morrison started to tell the story of what had happened to him backstage in what’s been described as an “an obscenity-laced tirade.”

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The house lights came on. Police came onto the stage, took the microphone from Morrison – one of them saying into the mike: “You’ve gone too far, young man” – and arrested him, and announced that the show was over.

Morrison was charged with obscenity and inciting a riot, but the charges were later dropped. The incident inspired the later Doors song “Peace Frog.”

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A few months prior to the release of 1969’s brilliant The Soft Parade, Jim Morrison and gang performed a now legendary set in the New York City studios of PBS. Playing live 3 tracks from that album, this was the majority of the American public’s introduction to what would be the band’s most pop oriented band to date. However, in these live band versions, The Doors are as stripped down and raw as ever. Essential listening for any Jim Morrison fan out there, this great radio broadcast is back in print thanks to Wax Love Radio.

This 1969 live radio broadcast feat tracks from their debut & forthcoming Soft Parade, plus a rare track Build Me A Woman

1. “Tell All The People” (3:36) 00:00 2. “Alabama Song/Back Door Man” (6:06) 03:37 3. “Wishful Sinful” (3:13) 09:46 4. “Build Me A Woman” (4:27) 12:54 5. “In Conversation With Richard Goldstein” (11:49) 17:34 6. “The Soft Parade” (10:08) 29:25

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The premiere of “Break On Thru: A Celebration of Ray Manzarek and The Doors,” at Asbury Park Music And Film Festival is now sold out!.

Break On Thru: A Celebration of Ray Manzarek and The Doors is a concert documentary from a 2016 all-star performance in Los Angeles that John Densmore and Robby Krieger, the two surviving members of The Doors, developed to celebrate what would have been Manzarek’s 70th birthday. As well as the all star concert there’s never before seen footage from The Doors archives and new Interviews from Densmore and Krieger. It’s a one of a kind documentary about a very special person and a legendary rock band.

VIDEO: The Doors at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in New Jersey in ’68. See more footage in the film, “Break On Thru: A Celebration of Ray Manzarek and The Doors”!

Find out more about the festival here: http://www.apmff.org