ARTIST: The Doors
TITLE: Strange Days
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #3
SINGLES: People Are Strange (#12), Love Me Two Times (#25)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Strange Days, Moonlight Drive, When the Music’s Ovder
LINEUP: Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Kreiger, John Densmore, Doug Lubahn
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After a smash hit, the Doors release an album closer to their true vision with fewer songs geared for the radio.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “Light My Fire” was a huge hit, of course, so radio folks may have been a little taken aback by some of the cuts on their second album.
Robby Kreiger had two somewhat traditional pop-rock songs (though “Love Me Two Times” was even more risqué than his “Light My Fire”), but “People Are Strange” (a Morrison / Kreiger collaboration) was a little more out there than the normal Top 20 hit, and “Strange Days” and “Moonlight Drive” showed Morrison’s combination of art-poetry and rock-star vibe. Plus “When the Music’s Over” is another grand opus that’s better than “The End”.
The hidden star here is bassist-for-hire Doug Lubahn, who is mixed higher this time and adds a lot to the eight tracks he’s on, especially the title track. But ee also get the first load of Jim Morrison’s horeshit in “Horse Latitudes”, which is unbearable for everyone but the most stoned.
The Doors were a good band in a fertile time for rock experimentation, but there’s nothing magical about them except their aura.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Lubahn was asked to join the band, but declined, since he was in Clear Light and didn’t want to leave that band. That may have been a mistake on his part.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, outtakes of released cuts, and just a couple.
GRADE: B+: “Horse Latitudes” is a warning for palaver to come, but most of this record is pretty solid.