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Between 1966 and 1971, The Doors were arguably America’s most important and successful rock group. With their ultra-charismatic and wildly unpredictable singer – those traits often go hand in hand – Jim Morrison functioning as sex symbol, shaman and talisman for rebellion, The Doors’ music soundtracked the West Coast as it veered from psychedelic bliss to riotous rebellion. As Morrison became vilified for his antics and his frequent descents into alcohol abuse, The Doors were faced with internal tensions that only made their albums stronger. The self-titled debut and its follow-up, Strange Days (both 1967), were object lessons in great songwriting with a surprisingly diverse musical backdrop provided by keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore. Latin rhythms, jazzy vamps and upgraded garage punk were in the mix, with Morrison a catalyst for what became a kind of siege mentality that culminated in his arrest in Miami, in 1969, for alleged exposure (incitement to riot was closer to the mark). That event at the Dinner Key Auditorium threatened to kill the group yet they returned with Morrison Hotel and hit the road again for a tour documented on Absolutely Live. Morrison’s death in Paris in highly suspicious circumstances – most likely from a heroin overdose – coincided with the classic final album of his 27-year-tenure on this planet, the blues-drenched LA Woman, whose ‘Riders On The Storm’ became his epitaph. The Doors’ legend and reputation has fluctuated wildly ever since, with many claiming that Jimbo was more sham than shaman, but the real fans have never bought into that. If one overlooks the hype – much of it of the singer’s wilful tongue-in-cheek making – the recorded evidence (well over 100 million sales) is clear. The music scene would have been a lot less colourful without The Doors – and Morrison in particular.
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uDiscover Music transparent Essential Albums
The Doors

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Strange Days

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Waiting for the Sun

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The Soft Parade

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Morrison Hotel

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L.A. Woman

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