The Jim Morrison Project is an audio & visual anthology detailing the life of Jim Morrison through his poetry, film work, artwork, spoken word & music with The Doors.
It seemed appropriate that the one vinyl record I found worth buying this weekend at the local tag sales in my area was a Doors album. On the weekend that marked the anniversary of Jim Morrison's death, what could be better than purchasing something Doors to honor his life? And I found the album "13″ (Elektra, EKS-74079)—the first of many Doors 'greatest hits' packages—which came out only a year before we lost the great rock singer forever.
I normally don't have any interest in Greatest Hits albums but this one had, like I said, relevance. "13″ has been called The Doors' weakest Greatest Hits compilation, or Doors-lite. Basically, the album consists of the more radio-friendly Doors songs. You won't find "The End" here; not even the inclusion of their bold debut single "Break On Through." "13″ contains nothing too disturbing. But it's not completely safe. Even the mildest mainstream Doors songs have a brooding touch. There is the great "People Are Strange," the unruly take on Willie Dixon's "Back Door Man" and the protest-y "The Unknown Soldier." However, very popular songs from "L.A. Woman" that would fit perfectly in this compilation—the title track, "Love Her Madly" and "Riders on the Storm"—were not included because of the release date.
The vinyl of "13″ that I purchased was in VG+ shape, too. It's the 1970 pressing, with its original record sleeve (call me a nerd, but I LOVE that part). For the price I paid, the record sleeve would be worth it alone. The sleeve photos by Jeff Simon are true to the time of release—live photos all: Jim Morrison with scruff beard and extra alcohol pounds, sporting his skull and crossbones shaman hat, being ushered off stage by the police, performing faux worship to guitarist Robby Krieger (mid-lead no doubt), holding a baby lamb in front of the mic stand (on the reverse side is a close-up of Jim and his "pet"), etc, etc.. The only blemish on this used vinyl is a small industrial staple through the upper left of the album cover. Odd.
I swear, tag sales are the best places to buy vinyl records. I got this one for 50 cents. If I went to some of my local record stores, I might be able to get it for $15 (if they had it). I buy a lot of music from record stores—part of it out of support—but the real deals are found where the seller is more interested in getting rid of 'house clutter.' Their clutter is your gold.
This album will never touch the pad of my turntable—I have all The Doors studio albums I need—but it's a worthwhile piece for any vinyl collection.
Commissioned drawing by Stephan Beauvais. © 2014 Jim Morrison Project. All rights reserved.