Love or loathe The Doors, this will polish the windows of your perception.
Chris Roberts 2012-10-23
On 5 July 1968, The Doors celebrated their own independent streak with a performance at the Hollywood Bowl which, like most things they did, has since passed into rock lore (and not just because Mick Jaggerwas in the crowd).
While parts of it have been released before, this is the first ever CD/vinyl (and DVD) release of the entire show, from intro to, inevitably, The End. Modern technology has found a way to clean up tracks previously considered poorly recorded, including Hello, I Love You and Spanish Caravan. It’s a reverent restoration job.
At the time The Doors, in their third year, were on an almighty high. Hello, I Love You was a Kinks-influenced radio staple racing towards No.1. The band grasped the show’s importance and, unusually, rehearsed (something they rarely did). It shows in the pacing, as crowd-pleasing, beefy 12-bars rein in Jim Morrison’s poetic, sometimes indulgent ramblings just before they tilt into self-parody.
What shows less is that the band took LSD before going onstage: Morrison sounds relatively cheerful, as if he’d had a big bag of barley sugars. If the musicians were all off their trolleys, one can only assume that rehearsals led to impeccable muscle memory. Ray Manzarek recalled they were “locked in”. Drummer John Densmore had even insisted on a planned set list, to be adhered to (again, something usually anathema to The Doors). There is a crisp, tight zip here, not always evident in the group’s cooed-over canon.
Possibly some of that is down to the new mix and edit. During Light My Fire you can hear firecrackers exploding: it sounds, as they say, like you are actually there, among the 18,000-strong congregation. So from the swing of When the Music’s Over and the sleazy lilt of Brecht/Weill’s Alabama Song, this is a band delivering, knowing they’ve arrived, swaggering without slobbering.
Moonlight Drive and Horse Latitudes are allowed to gleam and the night gathers momentum until that mother of all comedowns, The End, puts a wail in the tail. Love or loathe The Doors, this will polish the windows of your perception.
The Doors – Live at The Bowl ’68
- Original Release Date: 19 Oct 2012
- Release Date: 19 Oct 2012
- Label: Rhino/Elektra
- Copyright: 2012 Elektra Records
- Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
- Total Length: 1:10:57
01. Show Start / Intro
02. When The Music’s Over
03. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)
04. Back Door Man
05. Five To One
06. Back Door Man (Reprise)
07. The Wasp (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)
08. Hello, I Love You
09. Moonlight Drive
10. Horse Latitudes
11. A Little Game
12. The Hill Dwellers
13. Spanish Caravan
14. Hey, What Would You Guys Like To Hear?
15. Wake Up!
16. Light My Fire
17. Light My Fire (Segue)
18. The Unknown Soldier
19. The End (Segue)
20. The End
The Doors – Live at The Bowl ’68
- Format: Colour
- Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: Exempt
- Studio: Eagle Rock
- DVD Release Date: 22 Oct 2012
- Run Time: 135 minutes
|The Doors supplied plenty of post-Independence Day fireworks on July 5, 1968 when the legendary quartet played the Hollywood Bowl, a concert that is considered to be the band’s finest on film. For the first time, the film from the historic performance has been painstakingly restored using the original camera negatives and the audio has been remixed and mastered from original multi-tracks by the group’s engineer Bruce Botnick. This new restoration offers a stunning visual upgrade from earlier versions and will give fans the closest experience to being there live along side Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, who opined, “You can hear it as if you were at the Hollywood Bowl, on stage with us.”|