Artist Of The Week:

There are bands, then there are legends. There are singers, then there are gods, and The Doors are among both of these categories. They formed in 1965 by a group of UCLA film students. With Jim Morrison’s dark and brooding voice, Ray Manzarek’s frantic and beautiful organ work, along with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger, the band was set up to be a powerhouse of eclectic psychedelic rock.

The music scene was already out there in 1965 and in the LA underground they were getting a little stranger. The Doors were growing in popularity in the underground music scene of LA. In 1966 the group signed to Elektra and started working on their debut self titled album. Their first hit and one of their most notable songs appeared on “Light my Fire.” Both the song and the album were highly popular and became giant hits.

The Doors mixed blues, soul and eastern music with a healthy dose of rock to achieve their original and eclectic sound. What made and makes The Doors stand out back then and today, are their cutting edge sounds and lyrics. The heavy use of vocals and organs also stand out. Many of the more famous solos are done on the organs. Ray Manzarek gave most of the driving power to the band with his organ work, but the guitar work is also phenomenal. Between the organ and guitar work the band never really had a need for a bass player, which is amazing because they still have that rich deep bluesy sound.

The group sent out a message coming from the darker side of the psychedelic era. The lyrics reflected Jim Morrison’s state of mind. The songs were rarely light hearted and most of the time had a deep foreboding sound to them. The Doors’ songs were about death, drug abuse, sex, love and religious topics that were taboo to speak of in the mainstream, but they had no trouble discussing in their music.

The brand of music put out by The Doors is one that you can just lose yourself in. The organ, guitar and drums meld with Morrison’s voice in such a way you can almost see the music in a sea of color flying before your eyes. In one of my favorite songs, “Riders on the Storm,” the organ work makes it so you can almost feel, see, and smell the rain falling, and with Morrison’s voice you feel the fear and the darkness of being on the open road, alone. All the creepy thoughts you have when you are diving down a highway alone at night, flow back into your mind.

“Riders on the storm, into this house we’re born, into this world we’re thrown, like a dog with out a bone, an actor out alone, riders on the storm.”

You can feel the solitude here as if no matter what we do we will be alone from the day we are born till the day we die and we don’t really have any choice in the matter because we are just Riders on the Storm and we will be lucky to find some one to ride with.

In my other favorite Doors song, Morrison sings about how in the end we are all just strangers in this world and how we are all strange. The song is “People are Strange.” But the odd thing is this song was not made famous by The Doors but by the band by the name of Echo and the Bunnymen who covered the song that appeared in the 80’s classic The Lost Boys. I personally prefer The Doors version of the song but both get across the same point.

“People are strange when you’re a stranger, faces look ugly when you’re alone, women seem wicked when you’re unwanted, streets are uneven when you’re down, when you’re strange faces come out of the rain, when you’re strange no one remembers you’re name.”

We all have moments when we feel like this, I don’t know what else to say other then you can truly connect with Morrison’s poetic lyrics in more then just these two songs so try to make your own conclusion.