Sound — 8
The Doors are considered by many to be one of the most important artists in rock history. At a time when 'flower power' had become the rage, they emerged as the opposite; as the yin to the now popular yang. While teenyboppers screamed for the Beatles and the Stones, The Doors were a band for the thinkers. Their music was melancholy; Krieger's guitar playing a subtle blend of classical and blues; Densmore's unpredictable drumming switching from a laid back, jazzy style, sometimes emulating rythms from such diverse influences as brazilian music, to a sudden explosion of sound; Manzarek's organ a haunting, droning cry and Morrison's voice, a soft, Sinatra like baritone, an aggresive growl, and at times a painful cry, as he recited the philosophical poetry that was his lyrics. This album contains 34, digitally remastered examples of such music, and while it cannot provide for you the same experience as one of their studio albums, I have to say, every track is gold.
Lyrics — 10
Jim Morrison was an outstanding songwriter. His lyrics had a certain relevance that will never fade, a relevance to life, not to the times. His style was derivative of poets such as William Blake and Arthur Rimbaud, but the themes of his songs were often philosophical, inspired by the works of Nietzsche. Like many aspects of his life, Morrison attempted to push what was acceptable in lyrics to the limit, without losing any depth to what he was singing. Many people would say that he achieved this goal in the 11 minute epic 'The End', in which he incorporated lyrics related to the oedipal complex. In my opinion however, Morrison's greatest lyrical achievment was in 'People Are Strange', a song that observes how obscure the world can seem when you question why things are the way they are.
Overall Impression — 7
In my opinion, it truly is the very best of The Doors. If it is a greatest hits you are looking for, you need not look any further. I also feel however, that their is a certain experience in listening to a Doors album, especially their eponymous debut, that a compilation simply cannot bring. Their is something about the way the tracks fit together on their albums that just takes you to another place. Listening to this in a sense is like reading individual chapters of lots of different stories, without ever finishing one whole book. I'm sure that listeners will love all of the songs, but I'm also sure that any Doors fan would recommend listening to their original albums, from start to finish, in order to fully appreciate their music.