The Doors Classics
Elektra LP (May 1985)

Anniversary of a classic. A retro review.
1985 - 2020.
Live Aid - COVID-19.
Two cornerstones in recent history everyone old enough will remember and never forget.
This to illustrate how long this album has been around for...

For my 10th Birthday, in 1986, my old elementary school friend was going to buy me a present. "Are there any Doors records you don't own yet?".
I'll never forget the playground conversation that day. I refused, he insisted... I didn't really need this, and I told my friend so, because by this
time I had collected most of the albums and there was nothing new on it... Nevertheless, needless to say, I was blown away and over the moon
by his gesture. It's in my collection still, and meets up with my record player every now and again.

A bit of an oddball perhaps in the world of all things Greatest Hits, Best Of, Platinum Collection, Archives and so on. The world of compilation albums.
"The Doors Classics" is not about the chart topping hits, neither does it focus on what the public at large would tag as the best songs, or the best known
ones for that matter. Not a career overview and no collection of rarities... There's no concept at all really. These are classic songs by a classic band,
final stop. Pointless? Perhaps so, especially in our modern day and age where everything's online and up for grabs on YouTube, Spotify, Amazon et al.
We need to go back to 1985 to understand why the record company felt the need for this.

The 1980s had started with a huge renewed interest in the Doors, with the inclusion of "The End" in the movie "Apocalypse Now" by Francis Ford
Coppola. And then there was the first ever Jim Morrison biography: "No One Here Gets Out Alive", by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman.
Followed shortly by the Doors' debut home video, "A Tribute to Jim Morrison". Suddenly the band appeared to be more popular and in higher
demand than ever before. Added to this successful wave was the 1980 "Greatest Hits" compilation, succeeded by a first opening of the vaults
with 1983's "Alive, She Cried". Both did very well on the charts. Two years later, mid decade, with interest in the Doors perhaps declining a bit,
Elektra Records was not about to let their initial flagship slip into oblivion. Hence a second home video release, "Dance On Fire", and indeed,
"The Doors Classics".

So far never released on CD officially, "The Doors Classics" stands as an interesting selection of both the best and the greatest,
mixed with some high end deep cuts. So here's the tracklisting. It's easy and fun to pour the songs into a Spotify playlist for example,
to get the feel and flow of this longplayer. The featured "Roadhouse Blues", by the way, is the well known and much used live version
that first appeared on "An American Prayer", later on "The Doors In Concert", and so on...

Strange Days
Love Her Madly
Waiting for the Sun
My Eyes Have Seen You
Wild Child
The Crystal Ship
Five to One

Roadhouse Blues (Live)
Land Ho!
I Can't See Your Face in My Mind
Peace Frog
The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)
The Unknown Soldier

Note the absence of hits like "Light My Fire" and "Riders on the Storm", and of further compilation standards like "The End".
Unusual indeed.

Kevin Chiotis for the Doors Quarterly Magazine Online - May 2020