If the Doors had only recorded their debut album they would still have been assured a place in rock and roll history. Released during 1967 the album still sounds as fresh and exciting today. A mix of blues, rock and jazz, together with the voice and lyrics of Jim Morrison made the album probably one of the greatest debut albums of all time.
By use of interviews, musical demonstration, rare archive footage and live performances the programme tells the story behind the conception and recording of this groundbreaking album. The surviving members of the Doors share with us their memories of the bands early days, the making of this album and throw essential light onto living with the lyrical genius Jim Morrison.
With musical demonstrations from Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore we will hear some of the elements that went into creating the unique sound of the Doors. Several of the songs will be showcased as we discover the genesis of the songs both musically and lyrically.
In exclusive interviews we talk to the leading players in this story who add insight to the Doors as musicians, composers and leaders of a generation. These include manager Bill Siddons, friend and Beat Poet Michael McClure, Jac Holzman who signed them to Elektra Records, musicians and fans Henry Rollins and Perry Farrell, legendary Los Angeles DJ Jim Ladd, fellow film student Paul Ferrara, and music writer Ben Fong Torres. We feature the trademark Classic Albums multi-track sequences and by revisiting the original multi-track tapes we will be able to hear how the band were able to create a rich musical tapestry. Bruce Botnick the engineer on the album and every subsequent Doors album, will guide us through the process as to how the album was recorded.
The programme we will tell how two students at UCLA in Los Angeles, poet and aspiring vocalist Jim Morrison and keyboard player Ray Manzarek joined up with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Kreiger, became the Doors and launched their trademark distinctive sound at the numerous clubs on Sunset Boulevard.
Through endless gigs including a residency at the Whiskey a Go Go they established themselves as one of the hottest live bands in Los Angeles and eventually landed a record deal with Jac Holzman at Elektra Records. Soon after, the band entered Sunset Sound recording studios in Los Angeles and were able to record their debut album in just over a week.
At the time of recording the album, Jim Morrison, as a live performer, was making a transition from shy vocalist to one of the most electrifying and sexually charged performers of all time. Jim Morrison’s lyrics on the album would take in influences as wide ranging as Rimbaud, Bertolt Brecht, William Blake and Sophocles 'Oedipus Rex'. When other groups were telling us to come to San Francisco with flowers in our hair Morrison was inviting us to a much darker place. Morrison’s strengths as a vocalist are often overlooked and this programme will give us the opportunity to showcase all that is great about Jim’s vocal style.
By the end of 1967 the Doors had gone from Los Angeles favourites to becoming one of the biggest bands in America with a number one single and number 2 album on the Billboard charts.
There has been many a myth built up around the Doors, and Jim Morrison in particular but in this programme featuring cuts from 'Break On Through (To The Other Side)', 'Light My Fire', 'End Of The Night', 'Alabama Song', The Crystal Ship, 'Back Door Man', 'Soul Kitchen' and 'The End' the music takes centre stage and we focus on the undeniable fact that the Doors eponymous debut record was and remains a Classic Album.