Posts Tagged ‘Robby Krieger’

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

“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.

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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We’ve got an exclusive premiere of a live version of “Twentieth Century Fox” from the upcoming 50th-anniversary edition of the Doors‘ celebrated self-titled debut album. This sparkling update, taken from recently rediscovered original master tapes, was recorded on March 7th, 1967, at the Matrix in San Francisco. Only third-generation versions of this show were previously available.

“Twentieth Century Fox” is one of eight live tracks that appear on the forthcoming three-disc The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. Due on March 31st, the set includes remastered stereo and mono mixes of the original album, along with a third disc of songs from the Doors’ performance at the Matrix. Also included is an LP version of the original album with a newly remastered mono mix.

This new box follows the limited-edition archival London Fog 1966 set, which was released late last year. Surviving Doors members John Densmore and Robby Krieger have promised that more anniversary-related items are on the way.

“London Fog is the first limited-edition release, but it’s jump-starting the whole thing,” Densmore . “There will be more stuff, including a couple of films – including one you haven’t seen before. I’m very excited about that.”

The Doors rose to No. 2 after its January. 4th, 1967, release, and produced the No. 1 smash “Light My Fire” on the way to four-times platinum sales. “Break on Through (To the Other Side),” this album’s lead single, somehow failed to break into the Top 100, but later became a signature song for the group.

Released in 1983 on Elektra/Asylum Records Produced by Paul Rothchild
Recorded 1968-1969-1970, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Boston and Copenhagen.

Now one of the first things that impressed me about this record was how clean and modern it sounded, because music recorded in 1960’s/early ‘70s had never sounded so good. Initially I put this down to mastering. It wasn’t until many years later I learnt that the band had re-recorded their instruments on several songs, in order to give them a clearer and crisper edge. Mind you, the LP was released in 1983, a time when sanitised production was the norm, and where every instrument was practically dripping with disinfectant. Not so this album, despite the overdubs.

Opening with a cover of Van Morrison’s “Gloria”, a song the band had been performing since their days at the Whiskey A Go Go, before they were famous. This recording was captured at a rehearsal made in July 1969 at the Aquarius Theatre in Los Angeles, Its an absolute revelation. Here we have Jim Morrison at some of his sensual best, hamming it up mid-stream with a sleazy intensity. “Light My Fire” is a composite of different performances preserved over several nights, not that anyone would notice, thanks to the masterful editing of Paul A. Rothchild, who was obviously wanting to create an ‘ultimate’ experience for the listener, even inserting Morrison’s “Graveyard Poem”, a performance which had nothing to do with the tune at all.

Side one ends with an exciting as well as vigorous “You Make Me Real”, again from the Aquarius Theatre, only with new guitar overdubs by Robby Krieger.

Turn the record over and we have a rare rendition of “Texas Radio and the Big Beat”, along with “Love Me Two Times”, both of which originate from a T.V. show the band performed for in Copenhagen Denmark in late 1968. Apparently it was the discovery of these tapes in a Los Angeles warehouse that prompted the group to initiate a search to see if there might be other live tapes in existence which had gone missing during the Seventies, hence the release of this LP, on which can also be heard a particularly convincing rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster”, replete with John Sebastian (who had to re-record his harmonica due to a faulty microphone) and some great slide guitar by Krieger. “Moonlight Drive” is another notable highlight (even if the band did record a new instrumental track), where Morrison’s recitation of “Horse Latitudes” is especially haunting.

Alive She Cried was no doubt a quality release, even if the title was in itself a tad misleading and not quite genuine. Krieger himself admitted at the time that they had made a few “improvements”, as he put them, to the original, tapes and corrected the odd minor mistake as required. Yet if the listener is prepared to overlook such musical misdemeanours, Alive was in its day an important and vital reminder of The Doors potency as a living entity in a world that was becoming increasingly synthetic. The Doors who were kicking into the establishment, challenging the status quo, and who would prove to make a far more profound and everlasting impact. Not to mention the romantic allure of the band’s mysterious front man, Jim Morrison, who seems just as much alive in death as he was when he walked the earth.

“Alive She Cried” was the first official live release since 1970’s “Absolutely Live”. With the 1980 release of the Morrison bio “No One Here Get’s Out Alive” along with a new “Greatest Hits”, the fans were hungry for new material. This was it. Although this is all live material, each song was heavily edited by Paul Rothchild, with new overdubs added to some of the songs. The source material comes from the Aquarius Theater, Felt Forum, Detroit and Boston shows. Fans would later get to hear the original source material when Bright Midnight Records (and later Bright Midnight Archives) released all of the original concerts unedited. They would also discover that although the version of “Little Red Rooster” on ‘Alive She Cried’ was credited to being from the Detroit show, it was actually from one of the New York Felt Forum shows.

Rhino

Earlier this year, the self-titled 1967 debut album by The Doors arrived in a 50th anniversary box set presenting the original album on CD in both mono and stereo plus the mono version on vinyl.  Much as The Doors followed that debut months later with Strange Days, Rhino is following up the reissue of The Doors with a 50th anniversary presentation of that sophomore album, due on November 17th.  Strange Days: 50th Anniversary Edition will be released in two configurations: a 2-CD set with the mono and stereo versions of the album, each on its own CD; and a 1-LP vinyl reissue of the original mono album only.  Digital streaming and download versions will also be released.

Strange Days, originally issued on Elektra in September 1967, reached No. 3 on the American  chart, and yielded two hit singles with “People Are Strange”  and “Love Me Two Times” . Strange Days arrived in stores a little more than eight months after the Doors’ self-titled debut in January 1967, and was a more experimental record – due in part to a bigger budget allotted to the band for its second record.
Recorded like The Doors debut album at Hollywood’s Sunset Sound, the LP was the band’s first to be recorded on eight tracks, allowing for a more expansive and experimental sound than its predecessor.  Its songs were a mix of both current tunes and older ones tested onstage; the band performed “Strange Days” during its 1966 residency at the London Fog in L.A., and “My Eyes Have Seen You” dates back to 1965.  “Moonlight Drive” was a similarly early composition, and one of the first songs Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore ever rehearsed together.

The Strange Days: 50th Anniversary Edition has been produced by the album’s original engineer Bruce Botnick and restores the original stereo mix to CD for the first time in over a decade, fully remastering it for the first time in 30 years.   The second disc features the album’s original mono mix, which has been remastered for this set and is making its CD debut. No additional audio material has been included.  Liner notes have been provided by David Fricke, and his notes are accompanied in the booklet by rare and previously unseen photographs.

Strange Days: 50th Anniversary Edition will be available from Rhino Records on November 17th

Light My Fire

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Doors releasing their iconic single, “Light My Fire,” which put them on the map in a big, big way. Like, we’re talking seriously big. We’re talking about a level of awareness that ultimately involved the song being covered by people like Johnny Mathis and Boots Randolph. That’s right: the guy who played “Yakety Sax,” a.k.a. the theme to The Benny Hill Show, covered “Light My Fire.” While that would be plenty enough proof for most people as to how big a deal the song and, in turn, the band had become,It was recorded in August 1966 and then released in January 1967 on their self titled debut album . Released as an edited single on April 24th, 1967. A live version was released in 1983 on their album Alive She Cried, the first of several live albums released in subsequent decades to include the song. “Light My Fire” . Ray Manzarek played the song’s bass line with his left hand on a Fender Rhodes Piano Bass, while performing the other keyboard parts on a Vox Continental using his right hand. For the recording session, producer Paul A. Rothchild brought in session musician Larry Knechtel to play a Fender Bass guitar to double the keyboard bass line.

“The jam in the middle was too much for the radio edit, but each solo’s a note-for-note classic Ray Manzarek’s fierce and melodic organ improvisation, followed by Robby Krieger’s smoking, macho-in-his-own-mind fretwork, build the song to a back-clawing climax before Morrison waltzes in for the close.”on “Light My Fire”,

This became The Doors‘ signature song. Released on their first album, it was a huge hit and launched them to stardom. Before this was released, The Doors were an underground band popular in the Los Angeles area, but this got the attention of a mass audience. Most of the lyrics were written by Doors guitarist Robby Krieger. He wanted to write about one of the elements: fire, air, earth, and water. Jim Morrison wrote some of the second verse, and Ray Manzarek came up with the organ intro.

 “Light My Fire” was performed live by the Doors on The Ed Sullivan Show broadcast on September 17th, 1967. The Doors were asked by producer Bob Precht, Sullivan’s son-in-law, to change the line “girl, we couldn’t get much higher”, as the sponsors were uncomfortable with the possible reference to drugs. The band agreed to do so, and did a rehearsal using the amended lyrics, “girl, we couldn’t get much better”; however, during the live performance, the band’s lead singer Jim Morrison sang the original, unaltered lyrics. Ed Sullivan did not shake Jim Morrison’s hand as he left the stage. The band had been negotiating a multi-episode deal with the producers; however, after violating the agreement not to perform the offending line, they were informed they would never do the Sullivan show again. Morrison’s response was “We just ‘did’ Sullivan.”