Trey’s Tunes


Trey Boore

The Doors first album debuted some of their biggest hits. It was released in January, 1967.

Trey Boore, Reporter

The Doors was not a band I had grown up listening to. In fact, for a while, I wasn’t a huge fan of them in general. I had always been somewhat familiar with a few of their songs, but I never really got into them that much. It wasn’t until I heard the song “Peace Frog,” which was on their fifth studio album released in 1970. The guitar riff is by far the thing that stuck out to me the most. I liked its quick, upbeat and funky groove it had going on. This really got me searching for more like it. During this search, I found myself diving into their first album which is self titled “The Doors.” I noticed that what I found myself not previously liking was the keys. Growing up in the modern world today, it’s not something that’s heard super often in music. After getting used to the use of the keyboard and understanding the true musicianship and talent behind it, my fire was lit. 

To open up the start of something new and never heard of before, the first track is “Break on Through (To the Other Side).” This fast paced song is not only one of my favorite Doors songs, but is also a phenomenal start to an album. The drums are quick and jazzy and the riff has a spinning feeling to it if that makes sense. Though it’s only two minutes and 28 seconds, they manage to pack it all into a heavy-ish driving classic. 

“Soul Kitchen”. It features that very distinct Doors sound beginning with Ray Manzarek on keys. It has a nice groovy feel to it and I could definitely see myself walking down the street to this song. For each chorus, everything picks up to a much higher energy than previous. I like the little snare fills that transition between the parts—especially when the guitar solo comes which doesn’t skip a beat. 

Next up is “Crystal Ship.” This is another decently short song, but it has a nice soft feel to it. It is pretty much a sad love song written and sung in the fantastic Jim Morrison style. Though some points feel like it might pick up into something bigger, it remains this quiet and relaxing tempo. 

“Twentieth Century Fox.” This is another one of the first songs I really got into by The Doors. I like that it never feels like it slows down too much and there are no bad changes throughout the song. The chorus is definitely one of my favorite parts. The feeling of two stomps followed by “She’s a twentieth century fox”  will always have me singing along. 

The fifth song on the LP (long-playing record) is “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar).” Truthfully, this is probably my least favorite song on the album; however, that doesn’t mean it is bad. It is originally a cover of a German Opera song called “The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahogany” and is said to relate to Jim Morrison’s drug and alcohol problems over the years. Regardless after listening to the original song, I can say that I definitely like The Doors take on it much more. 

Finally, for the psychedelic Stairway To Heaven many know and love, “Light My Fire”. I honestly do not know if there is a single thing I dislike about this song. As simple as a single note on the snare drum, it kicks off my favorite keyboard riff to ever be written. When I first heard of this song, it reminded me of a ringtone, but the most catchy ringtone I’ve ever heard of. I really split this song up into four main parts. Beginning verse and chorus, keyboard solo, guitar solo then ending verse and chorus. The beginning introduces just what this song has to offer. Perfectly arranged structure instrumental and vocal wise. The lyrics don’t overdo themselves: hey leave some room for the amazing talent each member of this band has. The keys and guitar correlate with each other to add the extra energy and emotion to the song. John Densmore on drums pulls everything back together which allows a clean and amazing transition back into that catchy riff and verse. Right back where it started, it does not get old but instead gets progressively louder and the vocals of Jim Morrison raise that energy ever higher. This is one of the few songs I can listen to on repeat because I discover something new about it each time. 

To follow is “Back Door Man.” This song starts off in the classic Robby Krieger style that I find so unique. Followed is a short Jim Morrison scream that is also one of my favorite things about the singer. It progressively gets louder and picks up as the tune moves along and Jim really delivers that angry yelling sound. I did not know this previously but after doing some research, this song is actually a cover, originally done by Willie Dixon in the early 60s. Many artists have covered it since, but I personally enjoy the Doors version the best. 

The eighth song on this LP is “I Looked at You.” As Densmore lays down a little groove on the high hat, it queues the rest of the band. This is another very short song, a little over two minutes. It has a nice quicker tempo to it and isn’t super complex. The lyrics pretty much repeat themselves but it doesn’t feel repetitive. A cool feature to this song is they create the effect like the ending, and when all goes silent, it’s led in by “and we’re on our way,” which brings the chorus back one more time. 

“End of the Night,” has a very dreamy feel to it. It’s soft and the guitar effects, along with the slide, really give it that psychedelic calming feel. This moody ballad was some of Jim’s earlier work before Krieger joined the Doors but it would not be the same without him. 

Next is “Take It as It Comes.” I would recommend this song for people wanting to get into The Doors because it displays exactly who they are in a quick and breezy fashion. I can imagine a swoosh of air when the chorus kicks in and as usual, it is very catchy. This is definitely the type of song that I’d see as the music for an action movie trailer. It’s full of suspense and action and is a great tune. 

Finally, to end off this legendary debut album, what better song name would work than, “The End”? This song is a whopping 11 minutes and 43 seconds long. The first lyrics are “This is the end,” Though, the actual meaning of the track is a bit darker. This is a very progressive song which changes multiple times between the instrumentals, especially the vocals. In the beginning, there is a bit of tambourine and other soft percussion instruments that I may not be aware of at first. But it really is just an experience to listen to this whole song the entire way through and let the raw musical talent take over the mind. 55 years later, this debut album still holds up as one of the favorites in Trey’s Tunes.