[sic] Magazine

The Doors – Perception

How many times has The Doors body of work been issued, re-issued, re-released, and remixed? Too many. Despite just six studio albums released in Morrisons lifetime, there have been approximately 17 ‘Best of’ compilations, around 26 warts’n’all live albums (ranging from the splendid to the humiliating), four box sets, a slew of bafflingly pointless remixes, and yet still some of the important work remains hidden.

‘Perception’ at least is a step – mostly – in the right direction. As far as a place to start with The Doors this is almost everything you need in one place. Each of the original six studio albums is presented in a remastered form, alongside 20 or so additional tracks. In addition, on the box set, each album is also presented 5.1 remixed form (that is, recreated from the original masters to take into account the new range of the format instead of the relatively squashed restrictions of a groove cut into 30cms of vinyl), alongside a handful of promotional films.

At first sight, this set has everything… but it doesn’t. 1970’s ‘Absolutely Live’ – now reformatted for compact disc as ‘In Concert’ with extra songs – is absent, as are the 20 or so alternate versions and live cuts from 1997’s Box Set for which this is plenty of space on the discs. Given the miserly extras on the final album, it’s also surprising that the final Jim Morrison Doors recording – a version of ‘Crawling King Snake’ – is also only on the DVD portion. The spartan visual area of two songs per disc offers some startling omissions as a multitude of television and concert performances are absent, though these are all available elsewhere on numerous compilations.

In the end, ‘Perception’ is the place to be if you want all The Doors albums in one, affordable place. There are a myriad of other choices to be made – I would recommend the 1991 ‘In Concert’ set and 1978’s posthumous ‘American Prayer’ as bookends – and after that, you’re lost in the jungle of endless compilations and live releases. Start here. And if you want to go further, the world is your oyster.



For more from Mark, please visit The Final Word