Today marks the 50th anniversary of The Doors’ debut album, The Doors.
The 1960’s were the beginning of modern rock and roll as we know it, derived from the earlier forms of blues and bluesy rock. There were the Beatles, the Stones, the Beach Boys…and then there were the Doors.
The Doors emerged in the mid-1960’s and completely changed the vibe of music, introducing much darker, deeper, and more mysterious sounds and lyrics. Adapting the name from Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, this new group intended on experimenting with drugs and pushing the boundaries of normalcy in order to “break on through to the other side.” Frontman Jim Morrison adored philosophy and incorporated it into much of the poetry he had written. Additionally, Ray Manzarek’s organ skills turned many of their songs around in a way that no musician had done to this point.
The Doors spoke out against obedience and pushed for a rebellious counterculture. Their song “Break on Through (To The Other Side)” begged for just that. Their first mainstream hit, “Light My Fire,” written by guitarist Robby Krieger, gave them instant success. And perhaps their most controversial song of all time, “The End,” also has a spot on this record. “The End” begins as a song about the demise of a relationship, and later delves into a topic of, say…the eccentric. Because of Morrison’s interest in philosophy, he incorporated the story of Oedipus, a Greek king who killed his father and married his mother, into the mid-section of this song by telling a story of a killer who wanted to murder his father and have sex with his mother. This song alone gave The Doors a reputation for being strange and unusual, but oddly genius. Nothing else at the time was anything like it.
50 years later, some of these songs are still widely known by old and young rock and roll fans alike. 2016 was a great year for music, so this year it would be very interesting to see another band like The Doors to come along. A band that pushes for exhilaration and isn’t afraid to say what’s on their mind, and have a unique sound at the same time. Rock and roll needs an awakening, and an artist with the attitude of The Doors and intellect of Jim Morrison would do the perfect job.