By Staff Writer: Holden Forero
The Doors were a Los Angeles based rock group releasing 6 studio albums in 1967-1971 before lead singer Jim Morrison’s death. The band is known to be one of the most influential and controversial rock groups in history, mainly due to Jim’s unpredictable and drunken behavior. If you don’t listen to the Doors, this is a good reference for you to start, and if you do, your list likely looks completely different from mine. Different albums appeal to different people. After Jim’s death in 1971, the remaining 3 members of the Doors released two more albums. However, I do not include these in the list because they were widely not counted by Doors fans without the late Morrison, who was the face of the band. I will also be including my favorite track from each of the 6 albums.
6. The Soft Parade (1960)
The Soft Parade in every debate ranks separate from the other albums. It took a more poetic take on the band’s usual energetic rock and relied on guitarist Robby Krieger to do most songwriting due to Jim’s personal problems with alcohol and drugs. Jim often described himself more as a poet than a rockstar, and this album was where he was able to get his writings out.
Best Track: Touch Me (3:12)
5. L.A Woman (1971)
L.A. Woman would be the final album released before Jim’s unexpected death and did not fare so well in my book. Jim was following an arrest and let himself go pretty badly, growing a beard and gaining a lot of weight. This album is very blues heavy, potentially due to a more personal approach to what the band wanted to play without former producer Paul Rothchild.
Best Track: L’Merica (4:37)
4. Morrison Hotel (1970)
Morrison Hotel followed The Soft Parade, and is seen as the band’s return to their normal selves. It was more fast-paced and differed from the poetic vibes of the previous and held a bluesy rock sound to it. It contained the song Waiting For the Sun, which was confusing to fans due to one of their albums containing the same title.
best Track: Maggie McGill (4:35)
3. Waiting For The Sun (1968)
Waiting For the Sun was the band’s third studio album and was the first to use songs that have been written years prior. Their first two had all been recorded from Jim’s personal songbook, which he had worked on before the band became famous. It was the only of their albums to reach #1 on the charts.
Best Track: Summer’s Almost Gone (3:22)
2. The Doors (1967)
The Doors’ Self Titled album was their first, and to most, their best. It contains tracks like Light my Fire, Break on through, and a whopping 11:50 minute long, The End. The debut album kicked off their fame instantly, reaching #2 on the top charts.
Best Track: A tie between The Crystal Ship, Soul Kitchen, End of the Night, and Take it as it comes. Really, take a listen.
1. Strange Days (1967)
The Doors’ second studio album again featured songs from Jim’s original songbook and reached #3 on the top charts. This one is the darkest of all their albums and can be described as its Title, Strange. It features very psychedelic heavy songs like I can’t see your face in my mind, Strange Days, and Unhappy girl. The eerie feel from the album can be chalked up to Morrison’s battle with depression at the time. It contains my all-time favorite song from the group, When the Musics over, pretty much a movie standing at 10:56. It takes you on a trip through emotions you never knew existed, and due to its length, you get a feel of every speed the Doors are capable of.
Best Track: When the Music’s Over (10:56)