The Doors as a band have been dead and gone since 1974 when Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger, who released two albums after the death of lead singer Jim Morrison, officially called it quits. But The Doors still seem relevant 42 years after the release of their first album, the eponymous The Doors. A lot of that has to do with The Doors themselves. The band released six studio albums that sound as if they were recorded last week. In both sound quality and theme the albums sound as if they were recorded by a contemporary band.
A lot of it has to do with Jim Morrison and his status as a rock legend; Morrison is a rock stars idea of a rock star. Every new generation of fans discovers The Doors and Morrison through Morrison’s legend. New fans run across the shirtless Morrison in the “young lion” photograph, his arms stretched in faux crucifixion, and identify with his rebellion against authority in the New Haven and Miami incidents. And of course Morrison will always look like them, he will never look like their grandfathers (even though their grandfathers may be fans).
So, how do The Doors continue to stay relevant and gain new fans? One way is to release previously unreleased shows such as “Live In New York”, the Felt Forum shows that were originally recorded to be part of the “Absolutely Live” album January 17th & 18th 1970. The 6 box set includes four shows on those two nights, since The Doors had to fill so much time they dug deep into their catalog playing “When The Music‘s Over”, “Light My Fire”, “The End”, as well songs off the forthcoming “Morrison Hotel”, like the now classic “Roadhouse Blues”. If you would like to hear a song from one of the shows Spinner.com has “Break On Through” on-line. The boxed set will be released November 10, 2009 and has a suggested retail price of $89.95 and can be pre-ordered at www.thedoors.com or www.rhino.com.
For you vinyl Doors fans on September 15th Rhino is releasing all the Morrison era Doors albums in 180 gram vinyl for $24.98 each.
Originally published August 28, 2009. This was the first official Doors Examiner article published.