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Suffice it to say that Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, and John Densmore set the night on fire with their debut album, the 1967 Elektra release of The Doors. That amalgamation of blues, rock, pop, jazz, and pure poetry has recently turned 50 years old, and so it’s received its first-ever box set expansion from Rhino as a limited, numbered 3-CD/1-LP hardcover book-style box set including both the original mono and stereo mixes of the original LP (with the mono version appearing on CD for the first time) and a live set on CD, as well as the mono album on heavyweight 180-gram vinyl.

Especially as heard in mono—the centerpiece of this deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition—The Doors is all tough snarl and raw energy from a club-honed garage band. When The Doors entered Sunset Sound in late August 1966, the band had enough material (all jointly credited to the group members) for two albums; the material would be winnowed down to eleven songs for the debut record produced by Paul Rothchild and engineered by Bruce Botnick. It took a bit more than a week and $10,000.00, and the group had an album. First released in January 1967, just months before the Summer of Love, The Doors was a proudly anti-hippie platter: more hellfire and brimstone than peace and love.

Marchese, J. (2017, April 19). Review: The Doors, “The Doors: 50th Anniversary Edition”. Retrieved from theseconddisc.com

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How integral was 1967 to the future of contemporary pop and rock music? To start with, consider the number of keystone bands and artists who issued debut albums that year: Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Van Morrison, Sly and the Family Stone, Procol Harum, Traffic, Cat Stevens, The Nice, Ten Years After, Tangerine Dream, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Captain Beefheart and Arlo Guthrie.

And The Doors. Four days into 1967, the self-titled debut by Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore surfaced, the product of a Los Angeles-based movement to counter the psychedelic invention that was emanating out of San Franscisco.

Tunis, W. (2017, March 30). The Doors Remains a Masterpiece Among the Many 1967 Debuts. Retrieved from www.kentucky.com

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In celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary, The Doors‘ self-titled debut is receiving a ton of well-deserved attention. The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is set for release March 31. The box set will include remastered stereo and mono mixes of the original album, bonus live recordings, and a newly pressed mono LP.

One of eight live tracks added to the box set, “Twentieth Century Fox” is from the Doors’ March ’67 performance at the Matrix in San Francisco. Previously unreleased, the recording is a window into the band’s early days.

Abou-Sabe R. (2017, February 23). Hear The Doors’ ‘Twentieth Century Fox’ Live In San Francisco. Retrieved from wzlx.cbslocal.com

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On March 31 Rhino Records will release a 50th anniversary reissue of The Doors’ 1967 self-titled debut album. The deluxe edition features a bonus live performance by the band from the Matrix in San Francisco on March 7, 1967. The live rendition of The Doors track “Twentieth Century Fox” has been shared in advance of the reissue’s official release.

Originally released by Elektra Records on January 4, 1967, The Doors introduced the lineup of Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger via the landmark LP’s 11 tracks. The bonus recording from the Matrix features eight of the album’s songs performed in mostly the same sequence as the record.

Kahn, A. (2017, February 24). The Doors Perform ‘Twentieth Century Fox’ Live In 1967. Retrieved from www.jambase.com

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Most bands, when they’re first starting out, are lost in the wilderness; that’s just the way it is. It takes any group of musicians time to find that sweet spot where their individual artistic personalities coalesce into a new collective entity. Apparently, from what we can hear on this rare ’66 gig, the four guys in this group came into it with well-defined ideas and serious skill sets and, equally important, a willingness to be flexible and figure out how to interact with the others until that original voice emerged.

The Doors had already been together for a year when they became regulars at the London Fog, a Sunset Strip nightclub where they had the freedom to experiment and work out their material in front of open-minded audiences.

Tamarkin, J. (2017, February 17). The Doors: London Fog 1966. Retrieved from www.relix.com

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Jim Morrison by Stephan Beauvais

Jim Morrison Project

The Jim Morrison Project is an audio & visual anthology detailing the life of Jim Morrison through his poetry, films, art, spoken word & music with The Doors.