the doors

The critic Greil Marcus has a new book out about The Doors – ‘A Lifetime Of Listening To Five Mean Years’ (Faber & Faber).

Richard Williams of the Guardian wrote a great review of the book recently, challenging it to reignite his fire for the band, which went out a long time ago.

Having revisited their albums, he picks out a few songs as praiseworthy and concedes that ‘The End’ is pretty special.

But he places them way behind the Beatles, the Stones and the Velvet Underground of the bands from that era.

I have to admit, I was a bit young to sample The Doors the first time round.

But my enjoyment of their music has been largely restricted to the hits.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to make a programme with their keyboard player Ray Manzarek.

He chose a stack of tunes that had influenced the band and its sound, but there was one in particular that stayed with me – Howlin’  Wolf’s ‘Smokestack Lightning.’

Put it side by side with ‘The End’ and there’s a brooding, hypnotic quality to the music in both performances that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightning

The Doors – The End

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