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The Doors: The Complete Illustrated Lyrics Review

by Morley Seaver

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As the 1960's creeped to a close, the mood was decidedly changing. The happy go lucky, American Graffiti blueprint was slowly shifting to allow music of a different ilk to come to the forefront. Jefferson Airplane and other California bands were creating more counter-culture material with topics like recreational drugs and anti-establishment rebellion.

The time was ripe for a band that could tap into more introspective and challenging channels of thought. Enter The Doors. Interest in the band is still high as newer fans discover this highly entertaining and thought-provoking treasure. Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, John Densmore and Jim Morrison were among the first bands to send kids running for the library as they flaunted their literary influences as much as their musical ones. The band wielded a considerable arsenal of songs and mood ranging from the obvious radio-friendly aural hugs of "Light My Fire" and "Hello I Love You" to the more thought provoking, head-swirling "The End." Live the band was a dynamo with the musicians often forced to often grip the edge as they improvised around the mercurial Morrison.

The latest book by Danny Sugerman is "The Doors: The Complete Illustrated Lyrics" and it's a wonderful gift for fans the band. It is compiled by Sugerman who is also responsible for the best rock and roll book ever written, "No One Here Gets Out Alive". Sugerman, by virtue of his close contact with the band, is best qualified to write about the band and his introduction to the book is a pleasure to read.

The book itself breaks down The Doors recorded work, record by record, and shoves the lyrics up front which would no doubt have pleased Morrison since it was his wish to be regarded as a poet more so than musician. Interspersed throughout the book are reprints of many articles on the band including an interview with the band's producer and more. Possibly best of all are the great selection of photographs, both color and black & white.

The band got their name from the poet William Blake and author Aldous Huxley. Huxley wrote "When the doors of perception are cleansed, things will appear as they truly are, infinite." Seemingly that also defines the on-going interest in The Doors.


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The Doors - The Complete Illustrated Lyrics

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