The Doors Biography, Songs, & Albums |
The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California. They are often cited as the first major “psychedelic” band and helped shape modern popular music. The group was known for its psychedelic lyrics and Kinks-influenced guitar work .
The “the doors biography book” is a book by John Densmore. It contains the biography of The Doors, as well as songs and albums from their career.
The Doors were the catalyst for the mainstreaming of the American rock underground in the 1960s. The band’s enormous impact on the development of rock music may have been eclipsed by decades of adoration for late lead vocalist Jim Morrison, whose early death became a crucial element of their legacy. His posthumous fame peaked in the 1980s, when the Doors’ magnum opus “The End” soundtracked key scenes in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, and he appeared to loom bigger in his afterlife than he did while he walked the earth. “The End” was never released as a single, but its Oedipal melodrama captured the Doors’ allure in 1967: the band looked otherworldly and deadly, relying on influences not often heard in rock music. Morrison’s fiery lyricism and hedonism, as well as Robby Krieger’s droning guitars and Ray Manzarek’s cascading organ lines (he also played keyboard bass in concert), were really groundbreaking when the Doors issued their self-titled debut in 1967. (on record, session musicians often laid down a bass part). The Doors were veterans of the Los Angeles garage scene, and their love of blues and hard rock gave them a flinty earthiness that served them well throughout their career; it’s evident on their biggest hit singles, including “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times,” “Hello, I Love You,” “Touch Me,” and “Love Her Madly.” The Doors’ mix of power and mysticism helped define the boundaries of punk and art-rock — it’s impossible to conceive Iggy Pop without the Doors — and ended up being their most enduring impact, surpassing the Morrison mythology and years of classic rock radio play.
Rick & the Ravens, a raucous rock & roll band comprised of Rick and Jim Manzarek and including their brother Ray on keyboards, were the Doors’ forerunners. Ray had been a member of the band since 1961, and he continued to do so while attending UCLA’s graduate film school. While they were both on Venice Beach, he met a fellow student named Jim Morrison by chance. Manzarek persuaded Morrison to sing with Rick & the Ravens after the two became friends. Morrison eventually became a member of the band during 1965, with John Densmore, a drummer for the Psychedelic Rangers and a friend of Manzarek’s, joining the band that summer. In September 1965, they went to World Pacific Studios in Los Angeles to record a demo, which included the earliest versions of “Moonlight Drive,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Summer’s Almost Gone.” Following Morrison’s suggestion, the band renamed themselves the Doors, and they quickly lost Rick and Jim Manzarek, as well as Pat Hansen (aka Patty Sullivan), the bassist who performed on the World Pacific session. Between the two exits, Robby Krieger, a guitarist who used to play with Densmore in the Psychedelic Rangers, arrived. Hansen was never replaced by the band. Manzarek chose the Fender Rhodes Piano Bass, which had recently been released, to play bass.
The Doors were given a residency at the London Fog, a Sunset Strip club. The trio ironed out the kinks in their chemistry and material at that venue in the early months of 1966, so when they began performing the Whisky A Go Go that summer, they had discovered their sound. On August 10, 1966, Jac Holzman, president of Elektra Records, and producer Paul A. Rothchild saw two performances by the Doors after being recommended by Love’s Arthur Lee. The band signed to Elektra, which also housed Love, little over a week later. The Doors were dismissed from the Whisky within the following seven days due to Morrison’s on-stage obscenity during “The End,” and they went to Sunset Sound to record their debut.
During the first week of 1967, The Doors hit the shops. The band promoted the record right away with local television appearances and the release of “Break on Through,” which failed to gain any traction on a national level. “Light My Fire,” a cascading epic reduced to a short pop song in April 1967, was what broke the Doors in America. Over the course of the summer of 1967, “Light My Fire” climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, a climb capped by an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, where Morrison sang “girl, we couldn’t get much higher” — defying the show’s producers’ request for a tamer lyric — launching the Doors into stardom. The Doors had their second album, Strange Days, ready to go by the time “Light My Fire” finished its chart run.
Strange Days came together fast, with the majority of the songs being ones the Doors had been bouncing about for a while. The album charted at number three, owing in part to its debut single, “People Are Strange,” which barely missed the Top 10 at number 12, reaching at number 12. Morrison had his first run-in with the police as the album’s second song, “Love Me Two Times,” climbed the charts to number 25. Morrison angered the police with a series of verbal barbs at a performance at New Haven Arena in Connecticut on December 9, 1967, and the cops reacted by hauling him off to prison on charges of public obscenity, indecency, and inciting a riot. Charges were ultimately dismissed due to a lack of evidence, but the episode played a key role in transforming Morrison into a rock & roll outlaw, as well as serving as a foreshadowing of his reckless conduct.
The arrest had little immediate impact on the Doors’ popularity, which increased throughout 1968 as the band performed larger performances that were sometimes marred by clashes between fans and authorities. Their third album, Waiting for the Sun, cemented their success, debuting at number one on the strength of the number one song “Hello, I Love You,” but the sessions with producer Rothchild were tough. By that time, the band’s repertoire had run dry, and the producer had turned down the side-long suite “Celebration of the Lizard,” forcing the band to write several of the songs live in the studio. By the end of the year, the group had resurrected with “Touch Me,” a brazen song bolstered by booming horns that earned them a third-place finish in early 1969. The Doors’ momentum was interrupted by a March 1, 1969 performance in Miami that concluded with a warrant being issued for Morrison’s arrest, while they worked on the hit’s supporting album, The Soft Parade. The main accusation was that Morrison exposed himself on stage during a drunken outburst, which the singer and the rest of the Doors rejected. The musician turned down a plea deal and was sentenced to six months in prison, but he was allowed to stay free while he appealed.
Morrison’s arrests, coupled with his growing alcoholism, hampered the band, and The Soft Parade, with its heavy-handed orchestral arrangements, exposed the Doors to charges of selling out. The Soft Parade nevertheless made it into the Top 10 when it was released in summer 1969, but none of the album’s following three singles made it into Billboard’s Top 40, signaling a significant slowdown in the band’s commercial fortunes. Morrison Hotel, the band’s harder, more streamlined LP from early 1970, didn’t produce a hit (though “Roadhouse Blues,” the flip of its single “You Make Me Real,” would later become an album rock staple), but it found the band finding its artistic footing; audiences responded by sending the album to Billboard’s number four spot. The Doors traveled throughout 1970, bolstered by the summer publication of the live record, frequently staging performances that drew the ire of local governments, disputes exacerbated by Morrison’s irresponsible conduct. Morrison walked out of a Doors gig in New Orleans on December 12th, which turned out to be his last performance with the band.
The Doors finished recording L.A. Woman in the early months of 1971, an album that saw them part ways with longtime producer Rothchild and replace him with Bruce Botnick. L.A. Woman debuted in the spring of 1971, backed by the song “Love Her Madly,” and continued the harsher sound of Morrison Hotel. The single reached number 11 on Billboard’s Top 40, with the gloomy “Riders on the Storm” reaching number 14, and the album reaching number nine on the album chart. Jim Morrison was discovered dead on July 3, 1971, only weeks after the release of L.A. Woman, ending the group’s return.
Morrison’s untimely death sealed his position in rock’s pantheon, yet the Doors did not dissolve as a result of his death. Krieger, Manzarek, and Densmore were in the middle of producing a new album at the time of his death, with the vocalist expected to contribute vocals during the summer of 1971. When he died, the band completed the album that would become Other Voices, releasing it in October of that year and promoting it with live performances; it did well on the charts, reaching number 31 on Billboard. Full Circle followed less than a year later, reaching number 68 — a disappointing place given that the collection Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine had reached number 55 earlier that year — but the band was on its last legs at that time, and they broke up in 1973.
The surviving Doors reunited a few years later to put some spoken word recordings by Jim Morrison to music. An American Prayer, the result, was released in 1978, marking the start of a Jim Morrison resurgence that lasted far into the 1980s. An American Prayer didn’t do well at the box office, but Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam war epic Apocalypse Now included “The End” in two scenes, revealing the band’s darker side to new audiences. No One Here Gets Out Alive, a biography of Morrison written by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman, was released a year later and became a success, resulting in the return of Doors’ songs to FM radio and the production of a Greatest Hits CD. In September 1981, Rolling Stone used the slogan “Jim Morrison: He’s Hot, He’s Sexy, and He’s Dead” to place the singer on the cover with the tagline “Jim Morrison: He’s Hot, He’s Sexy, and He’s Dead.” “We’ve sold more Doors albums this year than any year since they were originally released,” Bryn Bridenthal, the public relations vice-president of Elektra/Asylum Records, stated in the piece. Thanks to a succession of archive albums, including 1983’s Alive, She Cried, a collection of concert performances that reached at number 23 on Billboard, interest in the Doors didn’t diminish throughout the 1980s. The CD Live at the Hollywood Bowl was published four years later.
The Doors’ revival peaked in March 1991, when Oliver Stone’s biography, starring Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison and Kyle MacLachlan as Ray Manzarek, Kevin Dillon as John Densmore, and Frank Whaley as Robby Krieger, was released in cinemas. In the aftermath, the live CD In Concert was released. The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 1997, they produced The Doors Box Set, a career-spanning collection that included the surviving members rejoining to complete the outtake “Orange County Suite.” In 2000, the trio filmed a segment for VH1’s Storytellers, which included guest appearances by several younger rockers, including Scott Weiland, Scott Stapp, and Pat Monahan of Train. The tribute CD Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors was released in 2000, as was the start of the Bright Midnight series of archive performances. Bright Midnight released noteworthy live performances on a regular basis over the following two decades. Manzarek and Krieger joined together in 2002 for the Doors of the 21st Century, a new band including Ian Astbury of the Cult on vocals. Within a year, Densmore sought an injunction against the guitarist and keyboardist for using the Doors’ name, forcing them to perform under other aliases.
Ray Manzarek died of bile duct cancer in May 2013 at the age of 74. Krieger and Densmore reunited in homage to him after his passing at the Stand Up to Cancer charity event. In 2020, the two reunited for the Homeward Bound Concert in Los Angeles, where they performed with Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Micah Nelson, and Haley Reinhart.
The “the doors’ best songs” is a list of the best songs by The Doors. The list includes their most famous songs as well as some lesser known ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
What song made The Doors famous?
A: The song is Light My Fire.
Why are they called The Doors?
A: The Doors is a name that was chosen by Jim Morrison in reference to the Aldobrandini family who, according to legend, were the only survivors when Alexander III of Macedon burned their city.
Are any members of The Doors still alive?
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