Album: The Doors, Live at the Matrix 1967 (Rhino)

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The Independent Culture

An artist's early death usually ensures that all their recorded performances are released in some form.

Something like that happened with Jim Morrison, though not all his shows with The Doors are quite as interesting as this, recorded at a tiny San Francisco club shortly before the release of their debut album. It captures the band trying out extra verses for "The End" and "When the Music's Over", and relaxing on covers of things like "Crawling King Snake", "Money", "Gloria" and a pretty tedious jazz instrumental run through "Summertime". Caught before adulation turned Morrison into some kind of monster, his more unassuming presence is a pointed contrast with the melodrama of performances such as those at Newhaven and Miami that got him arrested and cemented his legend. Spread over two CDs, the band's repertoire is drawn from the material that made up most of their first two albums – including "Light My Fire", "Break On Through" and "People Are Strange" – and presents the distinctive interplay between Robbie Krieger's waspish slide guitar, Ray Manzarek's organ parts and John Densmore's jazzy drumming, already developing into one of rock's more formidable units.

Download this: 'Break On Through', 'The Crystal Ship', 'The End', 'People Are Strange'

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