Jim Morrison’s death is a mystery. There are a few different stories behind it. Some believe his girlfriend, Pam Corson, gave him some heroin telling him it was cocaine because Jim hated heroin and would have went into a mad rage if she asked him to try it but when he did it was too much and he OD’d. Others think the Lizard King faked his death to escape fame and all its annoyances, Ray said that if anyone could pull that off Jim could. Others believe he died from a heart attack as a result of so much drug and alcohol abuse. Either way he left behind a great thing called the Doors.
My only gripe with the album is the more pop songs that seem like they’re there for an easy hit. While there is only one it’s still annoying because it starts off the cd. Yes I’m talking about Hello I Love You. Jim wrote the lyrics quite a while before this record, if I’m not mistaken before the Doors were together. Hello I Love You is one of those songs that is either great the first time you hear it or not great. For me it was not so great and more annoying. The rough sounding distortion with such pop melodies is extremely grating and makes the track easily skip able. The horrid distortion is really the only thing wrong with this song but since it’s such a prominent factor and is shoved in your face it really brings down the song. The Doors had a tendency to over do it when they made songs like this and this is no exception. Even though I have made it sound like I hate the song I probably wouldn’t rate it too low as I find it hard to hate
a Doors song.
On with the great stuff on here:
The abundance of soft and tenderness on this cd is really one of its best aspects. The best Doors songs, to me, have always been the ones that were softer because the lyrics were so nice and beautiful then the instruments compliment Jim’s voice and it really is nice. The song that really sticks out is Wintertime Love. During the chorus it brings up a lot of happiness and a lot of sadness so it’s the perfect combination for me as I enjoy music that makes you feel something and this makes me feel two things so it’s amazing. The drums are really nice on here, very jazzy, a nice abundance of rolls that take you into the beats very nicely. The keyboards are very nice on here, there the usual carnival like sounds of Ray but they suit the song perfectly and add an extra bit of happiness. Then the solo comes and it really adds to that kind of soft mournful feeling that is present throughout the song. The guitar is quite difficult to make out on this track but if you listen closely you’ll hear Robby improvising on some chords and it sounds very nice and provides a nice background that compliments the keyboards nicely. Jim’s lyrics, while not overly mysterious, are very nice. The lyrics during the chorus are quite beautiful with Jim singing:
Come with me dance, my dear
Winter's so cold this year
You are so warm
My wintertime love to be
And the way they’re sung makes them all the better. Basically the song is about how Jim would like to fall in love (Fallen in love I’m hopin’ to be). I like the fact that he talks about how he talks about how he might just want love to keep him warm from the cold winter winds;
Wind is so cold, is that the reason?
Keeping you warm, your hands touching me
Another nice softer song is Love Street. When Jim wrote about his main girlfriend, Pam Corson, there was always a slight hesitation somewhere in his lyrics. Like when he says: I guess I like it fine… so far. There is that hesitation that Jim doesn’t know if it could last. The instrumentation, as usual, provides a nice backing to Jim’s voice with the bass very prominent. Although it’s nothing amazing it’s a very important aspect as it is so driving in the way the notes are cut of, especially during the chorus. The keyboards are just a simple sounding piano nothing funky or weird just something very soft and nice with a slight variation on the vocal melody during the last verse and go to solo over Jim singing La, la, la, la. The guitar is very nice on here. Robby picks some chords and makes it sound wonderful. He doesn’t do anything other than that throughout the whole song but it doesn’t take away from it at all as the keyboards are the main instrument on this song. The drums on here are very simple, just a simple 4/4 beat with some nice little jazzy fills here and there. John does his typical snare beat on the chorus which really adds to the driving feel the bass gives off.
Then definitely the most stand out track on the whole album, the amazing Yes, The River Knows. It has a very jazzy feel with a very soft emotional piano line, the perfect and quiet drum beat, and the soft backing of the bass, but, you may ask where the guitar is. I’ll tell you it has a beautiful solo that makes up for its absence. The way that all the instruments gel shows how solid they were; each individual instrument had an extremely important part in this song. In the lyrics Jim could be referring to a hallucination from acid. Maybe that’s why a river was talking, but that’s probably taking his words to seriously, the river could be a noun he chose instead of a person’s name. Maybe someone with a name that had to do with water or something like that. He talks about how he’s going somewhere but he’s got to wait because he promised to drown himself in mysticated wine, which could be a reference to the act that death was going to come if he didn’t get his self abuse under control. Maybe when he says he’s going he means dying.
There isn’t just upbeat love songs, though and one ***ty pop song, oh no, that wouldn’t be good. There’s a nice mixture of different types of songs on here and the fact that they don’t over do it with them is really nice. I’ll start off with the stand out guitar track; Spanish Caravan. The mains guitar was copped from a song by Paco de Lucia called Guittara Classica Espanola which is the reason why flamenco elements dominate the song. When the vocals first come in the guitar does a wonderful variation of the vocals with finger picking. Then when it feels over everything rushes back in as the guitar is distortioned and the keyboard does a magnificent up lifting solo. The rest of the song is highly dominated by the distortion and its transition from soft to loud is great. The drums are very nice with great rolls that crescendo that really help with the back beat that the bass fails to provide.
The transitions on this cd from one type of music to another is very nice on here, like when it goes from the soft Wintertime Love to the marching poetic Unknown Soldier. The change of pace is fast and works well with the fading of Wintertime Love into the mysterious ringing of keyboards into the strange Unknown Soldier. The rhythm of the song is great. Both bass and drums sound great. During a break the drums do a great marching sound and slowly heighten in sound. Then a drum roll, then BOOM, gun shot is fired at the Unknown Soldier. The break has a very marching feel and after the gun shot the song grows in volume and is very energetic and upbeat. The end of the song finishes off with mad chaos and Jim sounds like he’s going insane and bells are ringing almost like the bell tolls for thee or something like that. There’s a lot of laughter and then the chaos fades like a bad dream and it’s all over. The song really leaves you thinking; Wow, what the ***?
Another nicely executed transition is from the nice love song Love Street to the haunting Not To Touch The Earth. It starts out with the strange bass line then the very bizarre guitar sliding. Then the drums lead us into a chorus of chaos, with a descending guitar and a strange keyboard that adds to the bizarre eeriness. Then everything is a little higher and a little louder. Then the guitar does a very strong bend of a note and it sounds like: dun, dun, dun, dun; and then the chorus of mad chaos. Then, what? Higher and even more mad. Then the random soloing of the keyboards and guitar just to the chaos and you see yourself spinning around and Jim’s mad face singing the lyrics and laughing like he’s insane, then the song ends with very out of tune hard hitting chords that trick you each time and finish with a violent keyboard smash. The lyrics are not noticeable during the utter chaos but they are very great lyrics, they remind me of the Beatles’ lyrics in the fact that they’re very simple yet still genius. They also keep that air of mystery that the song has. The last two verses are very strange and I would love to tell you what I think they mean but I can’t make head or tails of them. They talk about Czar, a Dead President, a woman falling in love with a snake and a lot of nonsense, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find a meaning behind it all. Maybe there isn’t a meaning though, maybe Jim wrote a story and made lyrics out of it. Really, this whole song sounds like each member in the band was trying to make each other laugh, you know? It sounded like they were trying to think of the weirdest stuff they could do that would work with the song and it turned out amazing.
What’s this album missing you ask? That’s right a rough, loud, hard rock Doors song. Well, it’s got that. Five To One fills this role and fills it great. It’s a very bass driven song with the simple riff carrying through. There’s nothing remarkable about the instrumentation on here. It’s not extremely creative or technical but it’s amazing, especially the guitar solo. With the rising instrumentation to build it up Robby does a ripping solo that is an awesome variation of his main riff and some scales thrown in and some wild bends. The rhythm of the song is very important as it drives it and keeps it together. The drums have great fills and basically copy the basses beat with some excellent fills. Sadly there isn’t as much room in such a song for circus elements so the keyboard is very much in the background playing an extremely simple little beat that becomes a little more prominent as the song nears the end. The lack of keyboards doesn’t take away though as I said they would be terribly out of place in a song like this. Basically the lyrical content is discussing the fact that love can overcome, it’s cheesy if you say it like that but it’s not in the song. Like when Jim says:
Gonna make it, baby
If we try
His vocals on this are very rough and suit the song nicely, but as usual you can’t really talk a whole lot about the vocals as there really is nothing different from them, he really does a great in being consistent and delivers everything quite nicely and adds the extra touch of emotion and insanity.
this is definitely a classic. The musicianship is excellent and really does the perfect job of providing everything the song needs; emotion, a driving beat, solos, and chaos. They manage to sound insane and loving and it sounds great.
Jim Morrison: Vocals
Robby Krieger: Guitar
Ray Manzarek: Keyboards
John Densmore: Drums