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Grading the Doors

Grading the Doors — We review the band’s discography from their self-titled debut to ”The Best of the Doors”

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Grading the Doors

The original Doors catalog included six studio albums, two greatest-hits compilations, and one double concert recording, Absolutely Live, which is unavailable as yet on CD but notorious for a ghastly, 22-minute version of Jim Morrison’s poetic set piece, ”Celebration of the Lizard.” After Morrison’s death, the remaining trio lasted through two more studio efforts, Other Voices and Full Circle, both faceless and lumbering. Other live and greatest-hits albums have come along since. The Doors never put out an A record, but these are their strongest:

The Doors (1967)
Moody, goofy, and erratic, this debut boasts ”Light My Fire” and ”Soul Kitchen,” and remains a document of a charged and uncertain time. B

Strange Days (1968)
The Doors’ second album, and a precipitous drop; aside from the disturbing ”People Are Strange,” things fall apart. C

Morrison Hotel (1970)
A critical comeback but barely listenable today. Exception: ”Peace Frog,” a dopey but gritty (”There’s blood on the streets, it’s up to my ankles”) song about war protesters. C+

The Best Of The Doors (1985)
A skimpy — only 19 songs on two CDs — but still impressive collection that makes a case for the group as an able, eccentric, singles band. All the Doors you need. B+