The Doors – The Doors (1967)

3-2-11

The Doors – “The Doors” (1967)

My quest for 5.1 entertainment lead me towards the 2006 CD + DVD boxed set by The Doors “Perception” – a box that is each of their 6 x contiguous albums (all with Jim Morrison) on both CD and DVD-A formats.

Well, the big surprise here wasn’t that all of them sound pretty darned good in 5.1 – they were all mixed to 5.1 by Bruce Botnick, the original engineer.  The big surprise here is that the debut album by The Doors – much like Miles Davis “Kind Of Blue” – has run at an incorrect speed for all these years – every LP and CD edition previous to this boxed set!  That’s right!  Unbelievable.  44 years of people listening to the debut album by The Doors – at the wrong speed.

The other ‘change’ to the debut album by The Doors – in “Break On Through” – Mr. Morrison now gets to sing “She gets…”  “She gets…”  “She gets…HIGH!” – so, a whole new ballgame with this album!

I remember getting this album almost when it was new.  I think it was an LP that both my brother and sisters had in our home.  It’s reasonably easy to understand, as they were an extremely popular band, at the time.  And 44 years hence, I have several versions of this album:

CD DOORS, THE                                       ELEKTRA US           74007.2

1967 11 TRKS Paul Rothchild mastered CD

LP DOORS, THE                                       ELEKTRA JPN         P-10334E

1967 11 TRKS insert

LP DOORS, THE                                       ELEKTRA US           EKS-74007

1967 11 TRKS U.S. original issue

CD DOORS, THE (CD + DVD)                 RHINO US                R2 77645-A

1967 14 TRKS (’06 issue) (3 x bonus tracks) CD + DVD

LP DOORS, THE (MFSL)                         MOBILE FIDELITY   MFSL 1-051

1967 11 TRKS (’81 issue) 1/2 Speed Mastered

I guess what I’m really wondering about:  When Mobile Fidelity re-mastered this album in 1981 for a 1/2 speed mastered re-cut…wasn’t the speed discrepancy noticed at this time?  According to the new booklet in the CD + DVD edition, the fact that the whole album was ‘flat’ was noticed by a guy at a university, and pointed out to the band / management / engineer etc.  Bruce Botnick confirmed it – and it’s now been “corrected”.  When Paul Rothchild mastered the CD, didn’t he notice it?

So, they fixed the speed, but the lyrics back etc. – is this the regular version that they’re now selling?  I must check.  Seems silly to insist on keeping the one with the wrong speed / missing lyrics on the market.

I only learned all of this recently.  So, it is possible that you can learn something about music that you thought you knew really well.

–          Ron

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5 Responses to The Doors – The Doors (1967)

  1. Warren says:

    I bought a remastered “L.A. Woman”, and when I played the title track, there was a new (old?) prologue to the song. A brief riff on “My Country Tis of Thee”, which leads into the familiar glissando that I had heard so many time. It gives the track a nice kick. Wonder what the story is with that?

  2. Dana Madore says:

    Good call on BOTH Ron AND Warren’s parts!

  3. ronkanefiles says:

    Odd that Bruce Botnick would ‘change’ anything, actually. I can see leaving in a small bit of studio chatter on bonus tracks, but…to change (add) anything to the ‘classic’ albums…

  4. Warren says:

    The piece I heard sounded like something that was part of the original recording, not new material being added. I could defininitely see it being on of those situations where it got excised for being viewed as a “political statement”. Or maybe the lawyers told them they could not use a piece of “My Country Tis of Thee” without getting copyright clearance. There was a fair amount of paranoia going around in those days, as I recall.

    Would any of the numerous Doors books or websites shed any light on this?

  5. ronkanefiles says:

    ‘Tis possible. I have not read any Doors books lately…maybe there is a nuts & bolts one about the recordings, but…have not noticed such a book. Jac Holzman’s book was great, but not a Doors-fest as such. Will Bruce Botnick write a book?

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