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Discography of The Doors

Short catalog, long reach

By

After spending two years of nearly constant club performances honing their repertoire, Jim Morrison, Robbie Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek "broke on through" with their first album, in 1967. They went on to record eight more studio albums (including three released after Morrison's death in 1971) and four live albums.

The Doors catalog represents a body of music that, with only a few exceptions, was critically acclaimed, and commercially successfully, a rare combination both then and now.

'The Doors'

The Doors
Rhino / Elektra

Release date: January 1967

The Doors were one of the relatively few bands whose debut album was an immediate breakthrough. It quickly went to #2 in the U.S. and eventually saw sales of more than 12-million copies worldwide.

Much of the album's success came from extensive radio airplay of "Light My Fire" and from the controversial closing track, "The End" (which was heavily edited due to Morrison's repeated dropping of the F-bomb during the spoken word portion of the song.)

"Break On Through (To The Other Side)" was also released as a single, and it, too, was edited. The word "high" was removed from the line "she gets high" because record execs feared that radio stations would ban it because of the drug reference. As it turned out, they needn't have bothered. The song only made it to #126 on the singles chart.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"Break On Through (To the Other Side)"
"Soul Kitchen"
"The Crystal Ship"
"Twentieth Century Fox"
"Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)"
"Light My Fire"

Side 2
"Back Door Man"
"I Looked at You"
"End of the Night"
"Take It as It Comes"
"The End"

'Strange Days'

The Doors - Strange Days
Rhino

Release date: September 1967

After the success of The Doors, expectations were high for their second release, Strange Days. Most would say those expectations were met, with the album peaking at #3 and two singles, "People Are Strange" and "Love Me Two Times" charting at #12 and #25, respectively. Even so, Paul Rothchild, who produced the band's first five albums, was disappointed, and considered it a commercial failure because it didn't meet his expectation of being "bigger than anything The Beatles had done."

The album was the first on which band members had written all of the songs, all of which were written before the first album was released, including one of the first songs Morrison wrote, "Moonlight Drive" (the B-side of "Love Me Two Times") which was originally to have been included on the first album.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"Strange Days"
"You're Lost Little Girl"
"Love Me Two Times"
"Unhappy Girl"
"Horse Latitudes"
"Moonlight Drive"

Side 2
"People Are Strange"
"My Eyes Have Seen You"
"I Can't See Your Face in My Mind"
"When the Music's Over"

'Waiting For The Sun'

The Doors - Waiting For The Sun
Rhino

Release date: July 1968

Waiting For The Sun was The Doors' first (and only) #1 album. It included their second #1 single, "Hello, I Love You" and what became one of the theme songs of the anti-war movement, "The Unknown Soldier." Ironically, the song "Waiting For The Sun" didn't appear on the album, instead showing up on Morrison Hotel two years later.

Although it was a commercial success, the album took some heat from critics who felt that the edgy sound of the first two albums had been replaced by a mellow sound some considered too "soft."

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"Hello, I Love You"
"Love Street"
"Not to Touch the Earth"
"Summer's Almost Gone"
"Wintertime Love"
"The Unknown Soldier"

Side 2
"Spanish Caravan"
"My Wild Love"
"We Could Be So Good Together"
"Yes, the River Knows"
"Five to One"

'The Soft Parade'

The Doors - The Soft Parade
Rhino

Release date: July 1969

It was the inclusion of strings and horns in The Soft Parade that didn't sit well with some critics and fans. Only Morrison and Kreiger got songwriting credits. In fact, Kreiger wrote more than half of the songs on the album, and shared lead vocals with Morrison on "Runnin' Blue."

In spite of it all, the album peaked at #6 on the album chart, and "Touch Me" was a #3 single.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"Tell All the People"
"Touch Me"
"Shaman's Blues"
"Do It"
"Easy Ride"

Side 2
"Wild Child"
"Runnin' Blue"
"Wishful Sinful"
"The Soft Parade"

'Morrison Hotel'

The Doors - Morrison Hotel
Rhino

Release date: February 1970

This album actually had two titles. Side 1 was titled Hard Rock Café (later inspiring the founders of the well known restaurant chain of the same name) and Side 2 was Morrison Hotel, the name by which the album is most commonly known.

Critics were once again happy because the band returned to the edgier sound of their first three albums. Several critics hailed it as The Doors' best. In addition to reverting to more rock and less poetry, songs like "Roadhouse Blues" and "Blue Sunday" also found them dabbling with blues rock.

Trivia: one of the additional musicians credited on the album was one G. Puglese, who in reality was John Sebastian (The Lovin' Spoonful) playing harmonica on "Roadhouse Blues."

Original LP Track List
Side 1 - Hard Rock Café
"Roadhouse Blues"
"Waiting for the Sun"
"You Make Me Real"
"Peace Frog"
"Blue Sunday"
"Ship of Fools"

Side 2 - Morrison Hotel
"Land Ho!"
"The Spy"
"Queen of the Highway"
"Indian Summer"
"Maggie M'Gill"

'Absolutely Live'

The Doors - Absolutely Live
Elektra/WEA

Release date: July 1970

The Doors' first live release, Absolutely Live was a double album of songs recorded in 1969 and 1970 during performances in Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and Copenhagen, Denmark. In fact, tracks were put together from performances of the same song in different cities, in an effort to create what producer Paul Rothchild envisioned as "the perfect Doors show." Said Rothchild some years afterward, "There must be 2,000 edits on that album." The album peaked at #8 on the U.S. album chart.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"Who Do You Love?"
"Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)"
"Back Door Man"
"Love Hides"
"Five to One"

Side 2
"Build Me a Woman"
"When the Music's Over"

Side 3
"Close to You"
"Universal Mind"
"Petition the Lord with Prayer"
"Dead Cats, Dead Rats"
"Break On Through (to the Other Side) No. 2"

Side 4
"Celebration of the Lizard"
"Lions in the Street"
"Wake Up"
"A Little Game"
"The Hill Dwellers"
"Not To Touch The Earth"
"Names of the Kingdom"
"The Palace of Exile"
"Soul Kitchen"

'L.A. Woman'

The Doors - L.A. Woman
Elektra

Release date: April 1971

The experiment on Morrison Hotel blossomed into the heavily blues-oriented L.A. Woman, The Doors' sixth studio album, and the last for Morrison, who died three months after it was released. It was also the first of the band's albums not produced by Paul Rothchild and not recorded at Sunset Sound studios in Los Angeles. Engineer Bruce Botnik and the band produced the album, which they recorded in their own rehearsal studio, with Morrison recording his vocals in the bathroom, to give them a more powerful sound.

The album charted at #9, with two singles, "Love Her Madly" and "Riders on the Storm" reaching #11 and #14. A tour that began before the album was finished never got past the second show. In the middle of the second one, Morrison had a meltdown on stage, and refused to continue performing. It was in fact, The Doors' last concert performance before Morrison's death.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"The Changeling"
"Love Her Madly"
"Been Down So Long"
"Cars Hiss by My Window"
"L.A. Woman"

Side 2
"L'America"
"Hyacinth House"
"Crawling King Snake"
"The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)"
"Riders on the Storm"

'Other Voices'

The Doors - Other Voices
Rhino/Elektra

Release date: October 1971

Three months after Morrison's death, the surviving members of the band released an album that they had begun recording after Morrison's meltdown and subsequent move to Paris, where he died. All of the songs were written by Manzarek, Kreiger and Densmore, with Kreiger and Manzarek handling vocals.

The album managed to reach #31 on the chart, with one single, "Tightrope Ride" struggling to peak at #71. Band members disregarded the album to the extent that it wasn't until 2006 that it was released on CD.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"Get Up and Dance"
"4 Billion Souls"
"Verdilac"
"Hardwood Floor"
"Good Rockin"

Side 2
"The Mosquito"
"The Piano Bird"
"It Slipped My Mind"
"The Peking King and the New York Queen"

'Full Circle'

The Doors - Full Circle
Rhino/Elektra

Release date: August 1972

In spite of the lackluster reception for the first Doors-without-Morrison album, the three survivors tried one last time with Full Circle. The album fared far worse comercially than the previous effort, only reaching #68 on the album chart. "The Mosquito" -- The Door's final single, with or without Morrison, sputtered to a peak of #85.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"Get Up and Dance"
"4 Billion Souls"
"Verdilac"
"Hardwood Floor"
"Good Rockin"

Side 2
"The Mosquito"
"The Piano Bird"
"It Slipped My Mind"
"The Peking King and the New York Queen"

'An American Prayer'

The Doors - An American Prayer
Elektra/WEA

Release date: November 1978

Stung by the less than warm reception of the two albums without Morrison, the rest of The Doors, who had officially disbanded five years earlier, gave it one more shot by taking recordings of Morrison reading his original poetry, and adding instrumentation after the fact. Critics either loved it or hated it. Fans supported it sufficiently to push it to #58, and it was later certified Platinum when it achieved 1-million sales.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
"Awake"
"Ghost Song"
"Dawn's Highway / Newborn Awakening"
"To Come of Age"
"Black Polished Chrome / Latino Chrome"
"Angels and Sailors / Stoned Immaculate"
"The Movie"
"Curses, Invocations"

Side 2
"American Night"
"Roadhouse Blues" (Live)
"Lament"
"The Hitchhiker"
"An American Prayer"
   - "The End"
   - "Albinoni: Adagio"

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