Original recording producer: Paul Rothschild
Reissue producer: Bruce Botnick
Remastering: Bruce Botnick
Singles: “Break on Through,” “Light My Fire”
Original release date: 4 January 1967
Reissue release: 2017
CD catalog#: RR2 74007
Father? Yes, son? I want the 2017 Rhino remaster of the Doors first record. Mother? I want to… Well, you know where this is going. Originally released in 1967, this is their first release and arguably the best debut album in the history of rock.
If you have to ask…
The Doors were the first band that I claimed as my own, even though I caught onto them in their second wave of popularity in 1980, around the publication of No One Here Gets Out Alive, the Doors biography by Jerry Hopkins & Danny Sugarman. When I eventually soured on them, this was the record that brought me back into the fold. Walking along a canal in Amsterdam, stoned off my ass, I heard “Light My Fire” wafting from an upper flat window. I sat down on a bench and listened to the rest of the song cycle. Great album cuts like “I Looked at You,” ” End of the Night” and “Take it as it Comes,” and of course the epic “The End” reminded me of how much I love and appreciate these psychedelic blues pioneers.
There are so many shitty-sounding versions of this record that I consider it a crime against humanity. Every vinyl copy I’ve ever owned made me question my phono preamp (‘is there something wrong with this thing?’). And most CDs I’ve purchased sound so thin and shrill that they’re essentially unlistenable. This 50th anniversary remaster from Rhino Records restores my faith. It’s got some actual balls on a decent hifi rig and it has nice balance and separation in the soundstage on headphones.
Rhino have done well with the all-important sonics, but this has got to be the most low-key package for a 50th anniversary reissue. Spartan.