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The Doors
Live in Detroit

Review by Steve Guttenberg
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The Doors Live in Detroit

CD Stock Number: Bright Midnight Records RHM2 7902

 

  Did you ever see the Doors? I loved them two times in ’69, and I wore out all of my LPs (except Soft Parade) a bunch of times. But hey, Jim Morrison left the planet 32 freakin’ years ago, and I still want more, don’t you? I have no idea why Elektra sat on its treasure trove of all-analog, non Dolby-ized concert recordings for all these years. The sound is vibrant and dynamic in ways that contemporary recordings rarely are.

This two-disc set (available only via the internet from Rhino) documents the entire May 8, 1970 performance at the Cobo Arena in Detroit. The band was in the midst of recording their last album, L.A. Woman, during the week, and would blast off on weekends to perform. Working a seven-day schedule certainly didn’t blunt their spirit, the band was rarin’ to go. Jimbo was in fine, fine voice -- not drunk or pissed off -- everything was just right. 

The Doors were touring to support their then current LP, Morrison Hotel, and kicked off the night with a rollicking instrumental version of “Roadhouse Blues.” We’re next treated to a brilliant “Break on Through,” then a playful but effective “Alabama Song,” and a deeply primal “When the Music’s Over” that creams the original studio version. They explore some uncharted territory like “People Get Ready” and segue into a chunky jam on “Mystery Train.” 

But wait till you see how Morrison transforms Chuck Berry’s “Carol” into a Doors’ tune, and then unleashes a fourteen minute version of “Light My Fire.” Ray Manzarek’s lukewarm organ solo fizzles, but Robby Kreiger’s guitar squeezes out major sparks. Ray rebounds with “Mean Mustard Blues,” and shares vocals with Morrison on “I’m a King Bee” and “Rock Me Baby.” They end the show with “The End,” which was rarely performed live. Morrison improvises before he dons his Lizard King persona to good effect. All in all, a great show, and a must-have release for Doors fans.

 

 

Enjoyment: 95

Sound Quality: 85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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