Friday, September 12, 2014

Doors -- "Break on Through (To the Other Side)" (1967)

Arms that chain
Eyes that lie
Break on through to the other side

"Break On Through (To the Other Side)" is one of the four songs that is combined in the Go Home Productions mashup, "(I Am The) Trampolene (To the Other Side)."  As I noted in my post about that mashup, "Break On Through" is the first track on the first Doors album, The Doors.  

Click here to read that post.

Here's the cover of The Doors:

Are you familiar with The Cat Doors album?

It was the Doors' first single as well, although it didn't sell for diddley-squat.  The follow-up single did a little better -- it was called "Light My Fire," and a few of you might remember it.

(By the way, a BYU professor figured out a few years ago that the album version of "Light My Fire" had a slower tempo than it should have.  He noted that the sheet music and all the live recordings of "Break on Through" were in the key of A, while the album version was in A-flat.  So when it was time for the 40th anniversary version of the album, the engineers sped "Light My Fire" up by about 3.5% to get the key up to A.)  

Jim Morrison
About halfway through "Break On Through," Jim Morrison repeats the line "She gets high" four times.  The suits at Elektra Records had the word "high" deleted from the original recording -- they were no doubt shocked to find a drug reference in a Doors song (zut alors!) -- but recent re-releases of the album include "high."

At about 1:20 of the "Break On Through" video embedded below, you'll see that Morrison didn't vocalize "high" when that video was recorded.

This famous photo of Jim Morrison reminds me of the joke about the husband who walks through the room while his wife is glued to the TV, watching her favorite soap opera.  After checking the show out for a couple of minutes, he asks, "Why is the surgeon operating with his shirt off?"

The 2 or 3 lines IT wizards produced this mock-up of what Jim Morrison might look like if he were still alive today:

The previous 2 or 3 lines introduced you to Julian Cope, whose "Trampolene" is also featured prominently in "(I Am The) Trampolene (To The Other Side)."  Mr. Cope -- whose eyes must be a very, very deep shade of brown -- has something to say about just about any topic you can think of.  Not surprisingly, he has a lot to say about Jim Morrison and the Doors:

Jim Morrison is a hero to me and should be a hero to anyone who loves rock'n'roll.  He was a God of the 20th century.  He was the most exceptional rock'n'roller of all time and paved the way for Iggy, Ozzy, Patti and every other shamanic weirdo – hell, he was chosen as a drinking partner by Gene Vincent.  Nuff said.  

No rock‘n’roll writer could ever have foreseen the music of the Doors and NO-ONE could have thought of juxtaposing a shamanic Death God baritone with the Las Vegas Basement sound that Manzarek, Kreiger and Densmore pumped out. It was more garage-y than any garage band, trashed forerunners such as the Seeds and Music Machine, took more risks than any previous rock band had ever dared, and pushed performance to the edge of its limits. 

While the Velvet Underground hid behind light projections, 4/4 noise and appealed to arthouses, the Doors took shamanism into arenas – and Jim bared his soul and his arse to people expecting Top 40 hits.  I tried this in 1981 with the Teardrop Explodes and got mercilessly panned – Jim did it 12 years earlier and got death for his pains.  

People tend to take Jim Morrison and the Doors for granted because they got so big, and that's dangerous – never overlook the Doors. They are worth re-visiting again and again and again.  Their music is shocking far beyond the noise of Krautrock and the Detroit bands, whom I adore without qualification, because the Doors also took silence to its limits, and in front of straight teenagers, too.  For that alone, they advanced the stomping heathen cause several light years in 6 splendid albums.  

No rock‘n’roll writer understands Jim, because they are so jealous that he was loose beyond the bounds of practicality and more beautiful than a man had a right to be.  So they cloud the issue and call him a bad poet, even though he was the first rock‘n’roll poet to dare to be that (Lennon cloaked his muse in Goon Show cop-outs as a defence) and managed to confront the whole of society through a medium such as rock‘n’roll, which most intellectuals still ridiculed as Kiddies’ Music. . . . 

Jim Morrison and the Doors are still my heroes and I think of Jim at least once a day.  And often with tears streaming down my face.

Here's "Break On Through (To the Other Side)" -- with all drug references included, so don't play it in front of the kiddies:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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