The Doors - The Very Best of The Doors

2007-05-04 16:51
If the sight of this CD on the shelves gives you an overwhelming sense of deja vu, fair enough. The black and white, bare-chested cover picture is from the same shoot as the one they used on the 1990s double-CD collection. And as the liner notes of the album unselfconsciously admit, The Doors make a comeback every decade (when Warner / Gallo release another collection with slightly new songs, invariably labelled "Remastered by [someone important]".)

2007's 40th Anniversary collection is remastered (surprise!) This time by Bruce Botnick, who was the Doors' sound engineer and producer during their short but famous career as the dark side of the 70s rock scene. No folk and flowers party, Jim and the boys were wild, sexual and surreal. Evil-Elvis poster boy and natural vocalist Jim Morrison wrote the lyrics and sang while the tight band - and in particular keyboardist Ray Manzarek - wove the whole thing together in a web of keys and tight rhythms.

The one-CD collection features almost exactly the same tracks as the previous double CD collection with one extra song added and four songs more than the 2003 collection of the same name and different cover design.

The Very Best of the Doors (2007) is likely to elicit a groan of recognition from fans who bought the first compilation on vinyl in the 1980s, another from those who discovered the band after the biopic came out, and smartass comments from Ray Manzarek supporters. However, this collection is still probably the best out there (so far). The production exposes new nuances in the vocals. The mix is updated and balanced. The song selection is the best chosen and ordered. Basically, this is your chance to hear the songs with new ears. So if nostalgia gets the better of you, you pick it up for your iPod when the next one comes out and this one goes on sale.

What? You don't know The Doors? Where have you been? It's high time you found out. Get hold of a copy as soon as you can.

- Jean Barker
Does that guy with the bare chest and the long hair look familiar? Didn't you - or your grandpa - just buy this collection in 2003? Not quite. This is the new one, and unfortunately for your wallet it really is the best so far.

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