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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Live At The Matrix
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£8.82+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 20 February 2009
Forget the churlish comments, this live recording is certainly the best that exists of The Doors, only matched by Alive She Cried, which to my knowledge, never reached CD. It is vastly superior to the leaden release with a similar name [but fewer tracks] referred to in other reviews. There are a number of songs from the first two Doors' albums here which I've never heard played live on other records e.g. Soul Kitchen and The Crystal Ship from The Doors and from Strange Days: My Eyes Have Seen You and I Can't See Your Face In My Mind, the latter a radically different treatment, losing some of the sensuality but with an appealing flavour of The Beatles' Mr Kite, which of course The Doors couldn't have known at the time [March 1967]. Similarly the version here of Summer's Almost Gone with its emphasis on Ray Manzarek's melodic organ sound is much stronger than the version that later appeared on Morrison Hotel.

What this CD confirms is that The Doors wrote all their great songs early on, and kept on playing them! And that their first two albums contain those songs. Only at the very end, on L.A.Woman did they produce anything of comparable quality, most of which was never played live because by then Jim was dead. The versions here are fresh because although the audience is seemingly non-existent, the band itself hadn't yet swallowed the rock mythology that would later almost destroy them. It also shows how lyric-driven the band were, and yet how essential was the Manzarek/Morrison axis. Anyone who saw them at the Roundhouse in London in 1968 will remember how evocative and sensually-textured Ray's organ sound was. Hear it on this record.
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on 21 November 2009
For a Doors fan this is dynamite, though I wouldnt recommend for a casual listener. If you like the sinlges, stick to the best of. But if you want to hear/know a bit more about the band, then this is a great live accompaniement. As mentioned by a few reviews, absolutely live is better quality, thought culled from various live recordings, some say 200+ for 15 odd songs and therefore not "LIVE". Still, each to their own, I'm a fan and I'm sitting here loving it!
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on 25 November 2008
I feel that a lot of the reviews for this here (and on amazon.com) are a little unfair. I bought this in my local music shop before hearing anything about it online, so thought i'd check out some online reviews while still at work in anticipation before getting home to listen to it. After the reviews, i was expecting some terribly recorded bootleg gig but i think the sound quality is fine! Its a bit too quiet, and sometimes crackly, but from a gig from 1967 i don't think its bad at all. The setlist is amazing too, (its just a shame they missed out Love Me Two Times, but i dont even know if that was made by then! And with such a vast setlist, who am i to complain?) The only reason i'm giving it 4 stars, is because i beleive that the guy who has the original recordings from this gig, isn't getting paid anyting ,or even recognized for his work. But i may be mistaken so forget that part if i am. Also the sound levels and quality could be better, but overall i would say this is a worthwhile purchase! Long live the Doors :-)
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on 28 November 2008
This 2CD set is the first official release for The Doors live performances at The Matrix on 7 and 10 March 1967. It's existed in various boot releases on vinyl and CD formats over the years, most but not all of them in rather poor, weedy sound quality.

Bruce Botnick's warning in the sleeve notes of variable sound quality here does not bode well, especially bearing in mind the very decent quality of "The Matrix Tapes" 2CD boot in 1990 on The Swinging Pig Records, which comprised exactly the same 24 tracks as this official issue (albeit in a different running order). Then again there is still hope as Bruce Botnick's sleeve notes were wrong in saying that it's amazing that Jim's "high" of the "she gets high" line fame in "Break on Through" was absent, mirroring the single release of a few months earlier. On the contrary, it's there in all its glory at 2.23 so old Brucie must be going a bit corn beef or simply hasn't listened to the song properly. Oh and by the way Bruce, you couldn't here it on the original LP version either.

The sets are in typical contemporary basic stereo (all vocals tending towards one channel and instruments towards the other). I have no problem with that and must admit to liking it as I grew up with it. Unfortunately Bruce is right about the sound quality, which is quite harsh with distorted vocals in the louder parts and a lot of hiss evident in the quieter passages. The 1990 CD sound quality is to be honest better with less hiss, no distorted vocals and more volume and punch. One wonders about the source of that release when Bruce says that for this official one the tapes used were original first-generation copies acquired 40 years ago and claims all sorts of digital trickery including "No Noise" was used to restore the sound.

Whilst the 3-way fold-out card case and 10-page booklet of this release beats the 1990 double box and no-notes 4-page booklet hands down, unlike the 1990 release, it doesn't say on which dates the individual tracks were recorded ("Get off my Life", "Close to You", "Crawling King Snake", "The Crystal Ship", "20th Century Fox", "Unhappy Girl" and "Rock me Baby" are specified as 7 March on the 1990 issue). Indeed the only mention of the dates being 7 and 10/3/67 on the new release is on a sticker on the cellophane shrink-wrap, which presumably few people will bother to keep.

The photos used in this release show the band at the Avalon but no explanation for this is given. Surely a few decent photos of the band at The Matrix could have been sourced for this release? If not, then say so!

On the positive side this is the first time I've seen the small audience and their lukewarm reaction plus Jim's regular grovelling "Thank you" at the end of tracks acknowledged. It was the total opposite of how the Matrix concerts were portrayed in "The Doors" film. Ah artistic licence!

Finally, the card sleeve is not very substantial. My copy was already creased around the CDs and slightly pock-marked on the front on postal delivery, despite being fairly well packed.

I've only just noticed that most others reviews here refer to a single CD release of some years ago (note the dates) which only featured half of the tracks on the original CD boot (which had 15). What is going on? Ah, I see that every review goes onto both CDs, old and new. Come on Amazon, get your act together and stop this happening. This is seriously bad happening on such a vast company's website!
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on 22 July 2013
It's not just because it's a document from an era, from the early age of such an explosive relevent band. Not just because the performance is remarkable. But because the recording is so roughly live, almost dirt, so you can breathe and feel like you're round the corner, listening to them since you didn't pay for the ticker or the place was packed and could not get it.
And then, suddendly, Jim takes a break, he sits down on a front table, while the band starts playing Gershwin's "SUmmertime", and it's worth the price
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on 8 May 2009
This record suffers from the same problem as many brilliant CDs, the crackle and hiss of old recording equipment. But would you really not want to listen to Robert Johnson because the sound isn't whatever they call it now, dolby stereo or whatever? Listening to this album is like being at the back of a pub where at the front there are four students showing a glimmer of genius that surprises and excites. They are the band from school you thought were pretty good but are actually liked by people who don't know them.
I highly recommend fiddling with your equalizer when listening to this and an amplifier, even a small one, makes a huge difference. It is also better listening to Morrison the acid king '67 than king drunk '70
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on 8 December 2008
first of all a warning: beware, already longer exists a totally other CD-release from the Doors of the same time: "Live at the Matrix L.A." (which I think is a bootleg). Earlier reviewers mean that one, not the brandnew (autum 2008) release of the double CD with recordings of a concert in March 1967 at the Matrix (so yee see, same band, same time, even same name of the club) but in San Francisco. It is amazing to hear this band perform in such a good mood and shape, for only a few people. The soundquality is nothing to fear, at least not by the standard of 40 years ago, combined with modern techniques. Even more amazing is the (very) long songlist. Although the Doors had released at that time only their first album titled "The Doors" and of course songs from that album appear here, the setlist consisted of a lot of songs from future studioalbums, even as far as the last one "L.A. Woman", on which the John Lee Hooker composition "Crawling King Snake" appears. Also the set consists of other songs which not will be performed anymore and a rare performance of "Woman Is A Devil" which stays a non(studio)albumtrack. I did not know this song dated from te very beginning, information on this song and why it is omitted from te regular albums is scarce. Anyway, this version varies heavily on that from the studioalbums (as far I know only nowadays available on a sampler, not even on the full Doors boxset "Perception" nor the 4-CD The Doors boxset, from which the sampler was taken but with addition of "Woman Is A Devil"). Furthermore there are some (blues/rock)classics or standards, as the like of "Who Do You Love", "I Am A King Bee", "Summertime", "Get Out Of My Life Woman" and the closer of the second disc "Gloria" (written by another Morisson, Van, no relation). So still in their predays with a long time to go the Doors had an outraged musical set, which doesn't stop to amaze and realise how they predated their future. Besides covers or more to the point Doors interpretations of well known songs, hosted by a lot of other artists, songs from the debutalbum and own compositions from albums to come is what this live-album has to offer and that is quite a lot. Musically in the first place but also history-wise. I can only recommend to give it several listenings, before judge it.
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on 10 June 2004
Long before they made their money and were tied to lenghty touring all over America and Europe, long before Jim Morrison became obsessed with shocking his audiences and causing offense, The Doors played a small club in Los Angeles called The Matrix. The sound quality of the performance is poor. This is insignificant for the real quality of the performance is immense. The vocals are taught, agonised, Dionysian ecstasy. The lyrics are dark, embrionic versions of the songs we later came to know and love. This is raw and powerful, dark and brooding, untill Morrison begins The End with "lets feed ice cream to the rats", a line so ridiculous, a juxtaposition to what we know is about to follow. This is by far the greatest live performance i have heard by The Doors; unpretensious, unpolitical and unbelievable. An unpolished gem of an album.
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on 19 August 2006
I like this album, but it's nothing but a nice bootleg. The sound is quite good, but don't expect the quality of, say, Absolutely live. The soundboard recording of this isn't great, it's a bit noisy sometimes, as if it was a superb audience recording, but without the chatting and clapping.

The performance is great, though.
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on 29 January 2004
Although the sound quality isn't what you'd get with other live albums such as Absoultely Live etc, it is still worth while getting for any Doors fan. It's from a set played in 1967 at the legendary Matrix club before th Doors had a number one.
Track listing is:
1) Back Door Man
2) Light My Fire
3) When the Music's over
4)Alabama Song
5)Break On Through
6) Fever
7)People Are Strange
8) The End
What makes this different from most other live albums is the unusual introduction to Light My Fire, it's with out the organ and starts with some of Robbie's guitar chords. All in all, it's a worth while buy for Doors fans wanting to here more from this amazing band.
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