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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 May 2007
The Doors are one of the groups I loved as a student and young man though they have rarely been on my playlist over the past few years as I approach middle age. I imagine that this is the case for many other music fans as Jim Morrison's driven pursuit of hedonism, rebelliousness and somewhat pretentious poetry are really the preserve of the young. Indeed, The Doors are still worshipped by many youngsters today - more than virtually any other band of their generation.

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the beginning of their brief recording career, their six studio albums have been remixed and re-released. A new compilation has also been brought out in two formats - a "light" option featuring their best and most famous tracks on one CD and heavier dish with two CDs and a DVD. The light option is fine for me thanks but many thanks for giving us the choice...

But does the single CD include the right tracks? Mostly yes, but not totally. All present and correct are Morrison's statement of intent Break On Through (To The Other side), the haunting Riders On The Storm and funky Peace Frog, a song that doesn't always make it onto a Doors' compilation. Further highlights for me include the full version of Light My Fire, brassy Touch Me, delicate Love Street and psychedelic Strange Days with its fabulous chorus chordal sequence which makes this listener think about jumping around the room. Only he doesn't...

On the downside; there are, at seven, far too many tracks from the band's slightly over-rated debut album. Surely Soul Kitchen and the pedestrian Back Door Man should have been replaced by Waiting For The Sun and Spanish Caravan. Of the band's two most lengthy epics, the exclusion of the 10 minute When The Music's Over was probably the correct decision given the lack of space on a single CD though surely we should have had the full, still shocking version of The End rather than an edit version from Apocalypse Now which only includes half the song. All justified quibbles though overall the track selection is good and if you or I disagree any more then maybe we should be considering the two CD version instead...

Listening to these songs again, many for the first time in a few years, it's not difficult to see why The Doors are still seen as a major, iconic group in rock history. Supporting Jim Morrison's vocals, lyrics and attitude, we have Ray Manazarek's prostigious, defining keyboard talents, Robby Krieger's fluid guitar-work and John Densmore's often jazzy drums. Crucially, these three gifted musicians knew when not to play and leave space for the atmosphere to flourish as much as when to demonstrate their considerable musical chops.

The Doors' legacy has of course been enhanced by Jim Morrison's tragic yet not surprising early death. Jim may be forever young and have a special appeal to the youthful, though there's still more than enough here to appreciate as you get older. The Very Best Of The Doors is an excellent compilation giving this almost middle-aged fan licence to re-explore some of the best music made by this incredible and distinctive band. Welcome back!
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on 29 June 2007
The truth is, all of The Door's albums are worth owning and because each album was so different in style, it is important to purchase each one seperately to understand the true artistic diversity of the band. However in terms of packaging and tracklisting, this is the best compilation ever. The 40th anniversary remixes have noticible clarity over the previous CD releases, although it is disc 2 that sees some of the most noticable improvements. Love her madly and hello I love you are subtly different as are riders on on the storm and others although it is these former two that are superior through enchancement.

The running order on the first disc is little different from the previous best of, but disc 2 is nicely balanced with all the up-tempo pop of "the soft parade" mated to the single waiting for the sun and the opener from Morrison Hotel finally being more aptly placed as a rip-roaring finale. This is a great compilation, and even if you own all the albums, is just about different to warrant a purchase, especially for a car journey.
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on 30 May 2008
Do not fall for the gimmickry of the 40th anniversary remixes. If there is one band that never needed a remix, it is The Doors. Here they have been tampered with to suit the bland tastes of the general 21st century consumer- to specify- a lot of the atmospheric reverb has been taken off, the drums sound flat. Even the keys sound fake, because the digital software Botsky has used evidently cannot handle depth, or whatever. If you are used to the original recordings, you will notice the change immediately- since I picked this compilation up in a hurry, (yes, ok, I should have noticed the massive sticker) it was not a change I was prepared for.
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on 13 March 2010
about the remastering???, butchering of the marvelous Spanish caravan: Where is the marvelous organ-solo of Manzarek??? Completely mixed away in the background. Thanks God I still have the old version. The rest of the songs are beautifull remastered so what the hell happened to Spanish caravan?
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on 10 June 2009
I played The Doors a lot back in my (distant) youth and while I didn't have a full set, I had most of the definitive albums - on tape cassette!

Twenty years on and that collection has long since disappeared, so rather than rebuilding the collection by buying lots of albums, or agonising about which selected albums to go for, I got this one. It's got all the best, most well known songs and then some.

"The Best Of XXX" albums are always a bit of a cop out, but let's face it. Given a choice between buying five or six albums or one album with 34 songs, some of us will just go for the easy way out.

The Doors were an iconic band and this is a jolly fine record of a distinguished career.

"Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding. Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind."
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on 17 May 2012
Having lost my original copy of The Doors Greatest Hits I recently purchased a copy of this album and I have to say it is even better than the orignal having been digitally remastered and a few extra tracks - I love it and can't stop playing it
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on 14 April 2014
I'm glad I decided to listen to this on Spotify before purchasing, because there is now no need for me to waste my money. I love 'The Best Of The Doors', but as a relatively old CD the mastering is a bit timid - it doesn't sound bad, just doesn't use the full dynamic range of the CD and has quite a bit of hiss, so I thought it would probably be worth investing in a remaster. It probably still would, but this certainly isn't the remaster that's worth investing in! Every track has been remixed, radically changing the sound and 'feel' of most songs... whole instrumental and vocal parts that were not in the original song suddenly appear, whilst others that were once prominent are relegated to the background. Instruments have significantly different tones and timbres, the percussion seems completely different in places... if you've never heard The Doors before you will probably still come away from this compilation thinking "Wow, they were a great band", but if you're at all familiar with the original sound then the differences here will be jarring and distracting.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the original mixes, and they are a piece of history - a part of our cultural heritage. This compilation is an inexplicable betrayal of that legacy. Avoid.
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on 14 November 2014
I don't really know much about The Doors so I'll skip the history lesson. All I know is I heard 'Break on Through' and 'The End' (from the 'Apocalypse Now' film) liked them and decided to try them out.
At 20 tracks, it's a pretty comprehensive collection that encompasses a large variety of material, from the straight-up rock of 'Break on Through,' the psychedelic 'Light My Fire' through to some great weirdness like 'Love Street,' The Doors seemed to be able to turn their hand at more or less anything and with great success!
The production / remastering is excellent, and manages to capture the character of the original recordings whilst also boosting the EQ and overall volume. I normally find CD versions of 60's/70's albums to sound quite lo-fi, quiet and muddy compared to more modern recordings.
It's not all perfect though, there are a few stinkers here and there and I think it's fair to say that the first 10 tracks (on the whole) are generally stronger than the latter 10. 'Alabama Song' is pretty lazy and sounds very half-assed in my opinion whilst the stop-start, disjointed 'The Unknown Soldier' serves as little more than a prelude to 'The End.'
Overall, a very enjoyable 'Best Of' that covers their most obvious hits and a great introduction to the band, it's certainly made me appreciate the band and I will no doubt check out their back catalogue.
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on 24 May 2012
I bought this CD for my boyfriend who is a major fan of The Doors, and he absolutely loved it, even though he had several of the songs from the CD already. It is a very good compilation of their work, and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of The Doors.
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I bought this for my Husband as he is a long time Doors fan but I slipped up in that I thought this was a totally different album from one of his other Door's albums:- The Best of the Doors. It turns out that this album has the same songs on as The Best of album albeit with some extra's so slightly disappointed but that falls to my fault and not the album's. The album has a good range of some of the doors more famous songs along with some of the more unknown but I do agree with some of the other reviews posted in that the drums etc appear to have been quietened down.
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