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The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

The usual disclaimers about my year-end music lists still apply. I’m only one man and only have so much time to listen to new albums. So even if I hear an album and it’s really good, if nothing about it grabs me right away I may end up forgetting it. Also, naturally I’m going to […]

The Doors

So Fresh — 10 Doors Songs That Will Never Get Old

The Doors

Maybe it’s the part of me that remains eternally 13 years old, but I can say without apology that I love the Doors and probably always will. It’s not even a matter of separating the band’s mystique and Jim Morrison’s penchant for pomposity from their music — to me it’s all part of the same entertaining package.

But I understand that as popular as the Doors are, they’re an incredibly polarizing band. Like another of my favorites (Steely Dan), there doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground for them. People seem to either embrace the group wholeheartedly or reject them as posturing clowns with bad poetry.

So for those people — well really for anyone — I’ve put together ten Doors ditties that are musically satisfying and belie the group’s tarnished critical reputation. Put on your leather pants and listen!

1 — “Wintertime Love” (from Waiting for the Sun, 1968)

This was an easy pick as it’s one of my favorite Doors songs anyway. I don’t even think I knew what a waltz was when I first heard this, but there it is on that chorus that’s so breezy it’s impossible to deny. Fantastic chord progressions abound on this track, easily one of the most easygoing in the band’s catalog.

2 — “Been Down So Long” (from L.A. Woman, 1971)

The Doors may have dabbled in psychedelia but at heart they were a blues rock band. Of course everyone’s heard “Roadhouse Blues” at least once, and it is fantastic, but “Been Down So Long” is an even greasier slab. Morrison’s tattered vocals only add to the impact, and Robby Krieger’s guitar sounds like it just crawled out of the swamps of Louisiana. Oh, and that’s Jerry Scheff of Elvis Presley’s TCB Band on bass. Thankyouverymuch!

3 — Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor (from An American Prayer, 1978)

Well if your major objection to the Doors has always been Morrison, you’re in luck. This is an instrumental adaptation of a piece by Italian Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni. It was recorded by the remaining members of the band for the controversial An American Prayer record, which is pretty much like kryptonite to Morrison haters (being that it is centered around his poetry).

4 — “You’re Lost Little Girl” (from Strange Days, 1967)

The second song from the followup to The Doors is both beautiful and slightly menacing at the same time. Krieger’s guitar rolls in like a fog over Douglas Lubahn’s bass before a tragically brief solo in the bridge, and Morrison’s restrained vocals are outstanding.

5 — “Land Ho!” (from Morrison Hotel, 1970)

Forget the Decemberists man, the Doors knew how to craft a fun, electric sea shanty. Ahoy mateys!

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