Featured Album

November 10, 2009
Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Proto-Punk, Psychedelic, Album Rock, Rock & Roll, Hard Rock, AM Pop

Album Review

This six-disc compendium contains the complete run -- four sets over two nights -- by the Doors' at the Felt Forum in New York City January 17 and 18, 1970. Although previously unavailable in its entirety, music from these programs has shown up prominently throughout several live packages -- namely Absolutely Live (1970), and Alive She Cried (1983). Additionally, over an hour was excerpted to create the "Live in New York" CD within The Doors Box Set (1997). Most any unissued live material from the original quartet of John Densmore (drums), Robbie Krieger (guitar), Ray Manzarek (keyboards/vocals) and Jim Morrison (vocals/percussion) could be considered cause for celebration. However, the experience of hearing the band's ebb and flow as they organically develop the performance in real-time -- as opposed to hearing a package of material that has been cherry-picked after the fact -- is one of several advantages that the Live in New York (2009) anthology has over its predecessors. Another is the stunning fidelity throughout, thanks to the work of Doors' original producer/engineer Bruce Botnick and the exhaustive processes of restoring the eight-track, open-reel master tapes. With so much territory to cover -- over seven hours in all -- there are, inevitably, a few audio dropouts. In those rare instances, very good quality substitutions from other sources (of the exact same material) almost seamlessly fill in any moments that might be missing due to reel changes and the like. Always a question mark in terms of performance quality, Morrison is on pretty good behavior and in exceptional voice. Immediate evidence can be found on the soulful reading of "Blue Sunday" from the first show. However, by the final outing, his husky and raspy vocals make it clear that he is rapidly losing his range. Morrison has also cleaned up his stage prattle in the wake of the infamous occurrence where it was alleged that on March 1, 1969 in Miami, FL Morrison exposed himself during the show. A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest on one felony count of lewd and lascivious behavior and three misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure, open profanity, and drunkenness. Certainly far from scared straight, he seems to have gotten the message, and was actually awaiting trial at the time of these recordings. He even jokingly refers to it during the spoken "Only When the Moon Comes Out" interlude on the 18th. On paper, there is little variance between each of the four set lists. However, the energy and vibe vacillate significantly from version to version and show to show. The core inclusions of "Roadhouse Blues," "Ship of Fools," "Alabama Song," "Light My Fire," and a combo pairing "Back Door Man" with "Five to One" were played every time. While "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)," "Break on Through (To the Other Side)," and "Who Do You Love" were done a bit less frequently. On the other hand, there are rarities aplenty as "Blue Sunday," "Love Hides," "Little Red Rooster," "Crawling King Snake," a half-hearted "Wild Child," "The End," "Celebration of the Lizard," "Close to You" (sung by Manzarek) -- plus the four-song encore on the 18th that includes "Rock Me Baby," "Going to N.Y. Blues," "Maggie M'Gill," and "Gloria" were only unleashed once. During that same finale, former Lovin' Spoonful co-founder John Sebastian (harmonica) is invited on-stage. According to Bruce Botnick's "technical note" found in the accompanying liner notes booklet: "When John came onstage to join The Doors for the Sunday second show encore, he was handed a microphone that was only going through The Doors' sound system, and not plugged into the Fedco Audio Labs mobile truck. As a consequence, John's harmonica didn't get recorded. So, earlier in 2009, we arranged for John to join Ray Manzarek and myself at Skywalker Sound in San Rafael. John replayed his parts as closely as possible against the PA leakage from the audience tracks on the original recorded 8-track masters." Purists will be able to use a code on the Rhino Web site (www.rhino.com) to download the untampered versions., Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Start of Show 1
  2. Roadhouse Blues
  3. Ship of Fools
  4. Break on Through (To the Other Side)
  5. Tuning/Breather
  6. Peace Frog
  7. Blue Sunday
  8. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)
  9. Back Door Man [#]
  10. Love Hides [#]
  11. Five to One
  12. Tuning/Breather
  13. Who Do You Love
  14. Little Red Rooster
  15. Money
  16. Tuning/Breather
  17. Light My Fire [#]
  18. More, More, More
  19. Soul Kitchen [#]
  20. End of Show
  21. Start of Show 2
  22. Jim "How Ya Doing?"
  23. Roadhouse Blues
  24. Break on Through (To the Other Side) [#]
  25. Ship of Fools
  26. Crawling King Snake
  27. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)
  28. Back Door Man [#]
  29. Five to One
  30. Pretty Neat, Pretty Good
  31. Build Me a Woman
  32. Tuning/Breather
  33. Who Do You Love [#]
  34. Tuning/Breather
  35. Wild Child [#]
  36. Cheering/Tuning
  37. When the Music's Over
  38. Tuning/Breather
  39. Light My Fire [#]
  40. Hey, Mr. Light Man!
  41. Soul Kitchen [#]
  42. Jim's Fish Joke
  43. The End
  44. End of Show
  45. Start of Show 3
  46. Roadhouse Blues [#]
  47. Ship of Fools [#]
  48. Break on Through (To the Other Side) [#]
  49. Tuning/Breather
  50. Universal Mind [#]
  51. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) [False Start] [#][Version]
  52. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) [#]
  53. Back Door Man [#]
  54. Five to One
  55. Tuning/Breather
  56. Moonlight Drive
  57. Who Do You Love [#]
  58. Calling out for Songs
  59. Money [#]
  60. Tuning/Breather [Mono Version]
  61. Light My Fire
  62. More, More, More
  63. When the Music's Over [#]
  64. Good Night/End of Show
  65. Start of Show 4
  66. Roadhouse Blues [#]
  67. Peace Frog [#]
  68. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) [#]
  69. Back Door Man
  70. Five to One
  71. We Have a Special Treat
  72. Celebration of the Lizard
  73. Alright Let's Boogie
  74. Build Me a Woman
  75. When the Music's Over [#]
  76. More, More, More
  77. Soul Kitchen [#]
  78. For Fear of Getting Too Patriotic
  79. Petition the Lord with Prayer
  80. Light My Fire
  81. Only When the Moon Comes Out
  82. Close to You
  83. The Encore Begins
  84. Rock Me [#]
  85. What to Do Next?
  86. Going to N.Y. Blues [#]
  87. Tuning/Breather
  88. Maggie M'Gill [#]
  89. Tuning/Breather
  90. Gloria/End of Show [#]