by Dave Segal
on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Megan’s recent post about how KISS, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Doors polarize listeners inspired a lot of chatter about the merits of the latter. (I don’t give a damn about KISS or RHCP, really. Y’all can debate about ’em till Gene Simmons’ tongue turns burnt sienna, for all I care.)
I maintain that most Doors haters haven’t delved deeply into the LA band’s catalog, and therefore have a superficial and/or distorted perception of them. Scattered among the Doors’ six albums proper, cut with the original four members, are many excellent songs. You can loathe Jim Morrison’s “poetry” or his alleged self-importance and self-mythologizing or body odor, but you have to have tin ears not to appreciate some of the Doors’ music’s serpentine beauty and psychedelic grandeur.
Haters gonna hate™ (Line Out commenter Chris Jury thinks the Doors “had no business making music”; harsh and so very wrong), but in the spirit of trying to convert or initiate at least a few readers, I’ve compiled what I think represents the group’s best material that hasn’t been overplayed on radio, jukeboxes, film soundtracks, TV programs, or your uncle’s home stereo system (not to imply that many of those songs aren't worth your precious time; most of them are). Which means I’m going to exclude “The End” and “When the Music’s Over,” which are mighty and sublime epics in which you should luxuriate at least once a year. Would the climax of Apocalypse Now be so momentous without the former scoring it? No. Recognize its majesty.
So, finally, here are the tracks with which I will make my case for the Doors’ greatness and relevance, even in 2012, even with the knowledge that “Horse Latitudes” exists. “Ride the snake,” motherfuckers.