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The Doors

By

The Doors

Warner / Elektra

Began:

1965 in Los Angeles

Ended:

1972, a year after the death of lead vocalist, Jim Morrison

Original Members:

Jim Morrison - vocals
Robbie Krieger - guitar
Ray Manzarek - keyboards
John Densmore - drums

Significant Facts:

  • Released nine studio albums and 18 singles prior to breaking up in 1972, with another six live and compilation albums since
  • Listed as 20th on VH1's list of the greatest rock artists
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993

Early History:

Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek met when they were students at UCLA's film school. Robbie Krieger and John Densmore were in a band called The Psychedelic Rangers, and knew Manzarek through their meditation classes. Together, they formed The Doors in 1965, borrowing the name from The Doors Of Perception, a novel by Aldous Huxley. The group released its first album, The Doors in 1967.

Rise and Fall:

Although rooted in blues and R&B, the band developed a distinctive sound that included elements of classical and flamenco music. Morrison, with his good looks, emotional vocals and often cryptic lyrics, was the object of most the attention focused on the band. Drugs and alcohol took a toll on Morrison's onstage performances and offstage behavior. His death in 1971, at age 27, remains a mystery. The official cause of death was listed as a heart attack, but no autopsy was performed.

Aftermath:

The band continued to perform, with little success, and finally broke up in 1972. In 2002, Kreiger and Manzarek reunited to form The Doors of the 21st Century. Densmore, who says he wasn't invited to join the new group, went to court and eventually got a ruling preventing the group from using The Doors in its name. The group now performs as Riders On The Storm.

Essential CD:

The Doors
The group's debut album, released in 1967, contains the song for which the group is best known, Light My Fire. It is consistently listed among the greatest rock albums of all time.
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