A true 60s milestone,
This review is from: Strange Days (Audio CD)
I bought this album because I was a huge Doors fan in my teenage years and this was my favourite Doors album of all. I was really hoping they had done a decent job of remastering it for the digital age. My yardstick is the remasters of the Rolling Stones albums which are incredibly good. When I first owned this LP it was a vinyl copy that I found used in a store that sold musical equipment.
The moment I found that record will always stay with me. I lifted it off the shelf and stared at the cover. I couldn't see the name of the band or the album but I was gripped by the image of the cavorting circus people on the cover. Then I saw the poster on the wall. It was a real feeling of falling through the rabbit hole. A fabulous trick and it remains one of the all-time great record cover designs. The album still had its original paper inner sleeve, with a very cool black and white pic of the band, so I think that album was pretty old and maybe even an original pressing. I wish to god I still had it today. In any event, even on my crappy old record player this record sounded stunning and I was soon sucked into the carnival-esque world of the Doors. Strange Days became one of my all-time favourite records and I got more and more into late 60s and early 70s music, which to my mind was WAY better than the pap being played on the radios those days (early 80s).
In any event I was pretty stoked to see that this record and other Doors albums had been remastered (or remixed rather) and re-released later on. I had to pick up a copy. What's truly awesome is that the music has lost none of its power over the years. It's still as unique and haunting as it was all those years ago. I busted this out and listened to it again with the recent death of Ray Manzerek and boy did it take me back. I'm really glad I discovered The Doors when I was a teenager. Best time of your life to get into them I reckon. Some cynics might dismiss this music now as being 'too druggy' or overly mystical but I don't get that at all. Most of these songs are love songs. Jim always got attention for other reasons, but the guy could write a song too. Particular favourites are Strange Days (of course), You're Lost Little Girl, My Eyes Have Seen You and Unhappy Girl.
Of course, When the Music's Over is pretty amazing too, but it's these little simple songs that work best for me. The Doors were, after all, a pop band, albeit a dark and twisted pop band. If you think I'm smoking something saying that, listen again. Yes they were fantastically gothic in many ways but this is pop music. Nothing wrong with that! Not the way they made it anyway...
Just a note on the remixes. It certainly sounds good enough on my stereo. I wish I could do a comparison with that early vinyl copy I owned but unfortunately it has long since disappeared. I'm just glad they took the effort to revisit these recordings and make them available to music lovers of the digital age.