Song of the Week – Break on Through, The Doors


album_large_86_4e3a4db5a58a2Today’s SotW will recognize another important milestone in Rock history – The Doors’ self-titled debut was released 50 years ago this month. Most rock fans agree that it is one of the best and most influential albums ever released.

In the summer of ’66 The Doors were “discovered” by Elektra Records producer Paul Rothchild during the band’s residency at LA’s Whiskey A-Go-Go. He was impressed with the rock and roll stew they concocted – Ray Manzarek’s classically influenced psychedelic keys, Robbie Krieger’s jazzy guitar runs, John Densmore’s Latin influenced drumming and, of course, Jim Morrison’s charismatic baritone vocals and poetic lyrics.

The SotW is the lead track, “Break on Through.”

“Break on Through” was the lead single from the album but flopped as it stalled at #126 on the singles chart. It wasn’t until an edited 3 minute version of “Light My Fire” (shortened from the 7 minute album cut) was released and reached #1 in the Summer of Love that people started to pay attention to The Doors and their album.

It is common knowledge that The Doors took their name is tribute to Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception – an essay documenting his experiences on mescaline. “Break on Through” then is the perfect salute to lead off The Doors’ classic album.

Check out the complete track list:

Break On Through (To The Other Side) 2:25
Soul Kitchen 3:30
The Crystal Ship 2:30
Twentieth Century Fox 2:30
Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) 3:15
Light My Fire 6:50
Back Door Man 3:30
I Looked At You 2:18
End Of The Night 2:49
Take It As It Comes 2:13
The End 11:35

An eclectic mix of styles and not a dud in the bunch.

The Doors was recognized by Rolling Stone as #42 in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Mojo has included it in their list of the Greatest Albums of All Time as well.

It is hard to disagree.

Enjoy… until next week.

5 thoughts on “Song of the Week – Break on Through, The Doors


  2. I don’t know if I really consider the Doors a great band, but they certainly produced two Epic albums: The Doors, and LA Woman.

    My older brother always used to rag on me and the music i listen(ed) too, and I remember vividly having a gift certificate to Tower records in 1967, enough for three albums.

    At the time I was a Junior in high school, and Peter a Freshman at Berkeley. We discussed what albums to buy, since our collection was joint, and whatever else, Peter said I MUST get the debut album by the band Every Mother’s Son (who had a hit with “Come Down to My Boat Baby”), so I did. But, the other two albums–my choice–were The Doors and Moby Grape’s first.

    Fuck you Peter.

    Here is what he thought would be timeless:

  3. I stole my copy of The Doors first album from Macy’s, the flagship emporium of that brand new shopping concept in 1967, the Mall. I remember being electrified by Light My Fire when it was a huge hit that past summer, and the album lived up to all my hopes. But after that they never made another great album and I most definitely include LA Woman in that judgment. I never could stand either “Love Her Madly” with its skating rink organ, or “Riders on the Storm” with its lame attempt at menace. I think the closest they came was Morrison Hotel, because it was rootsy/bluesy and light on the “I am the lizard king” “poetry.” Their proper and honorable place in history is “great singles band.”

  4. I saw that clip of Every Mother’s Son when it came out. We tried to cover the song in our 6th grade band which was named, I shit you not, The Mother’s Image. There is, alas, no surviving evidence of that musical endeavor. I was kicked out of the band because I wasn’t cute enough. Those 6th grade girls were brutal critics.

    • I loved Light My Fire, the flame building long version, but the whole first album is magic and great and was to a little boy who was growing up but didn’t know how. My funny story involves my reading habits. About that time I was crazy for Charlie Brown comics, and would go to the local book store and buy a book of Charlie Brown comics, read them in about an hour and bring them back for exchange. Why? Because I had no idea.

      On one visit to the store, which was called Paperbacks Etc., my mother, who was concerned I was wasting my educational opportunities, pointed out this book that inspired the band name of the Doors, who I loved. Which was, no snare (or bass drum) necessary, Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception.

      I then read Huxley’s book and mescaline came soon after. And so I broke on through, and still love her madly.

      Greil Marcus’s book about the Doors is really great. After the initial rush, I listened as a pop hound, but Marcus gets into the dark places and stories, and listens deeply into the archival recordings. If you don’t believe a band deserves deep listening you might find it silly, but the Doors were a band that persisted through all sorts of conflicts in terms of personnel, interests, aesthetics, and values, because they all saw that they were better together than they would ever be alone.

      Even with, I’m the Lizard King. I can do anything.

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