Newly released today is The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, a box set celebrating the group's famed 1967 debut album.
The package features both the stereo and mono mixes of the album as well as a third CD recorded live at the Matrix in Los Angeles on March 7, 1967, the mono mix on vinyl and a deluxe book with new liner notes by music journalist David Fricke.
It was an auspicious debut; The Doors peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 when it was released, launching the hits "Light My Fire" and "Break On Through (To The Other Side)," and has been certified four-times platinum.
Doors guitarist Robby Krieger tells us that the new reissues, like other later versions of the album, actually sound better than the original:
"When it came out it...didn't sound that good to me, and I found out years later why. It was because when we mastered it the tape recorder had kind of, it was an old one, I guess, a Scully, and when all that tape got on to one side of the reel, which is mainly the last song of the side, the tape would slow down a little bit. And so 'Light My Fire' always sounded kinda dark and slow to me. And I found out 20 years later the thing is slowed down almost a half, a point, a half...So a lot of people, when they come to play that song with me, are like, 'Is it in A-flat or A?' It depends on what version you hear. If it was a real old one, it was A-flat. Luckily when we released it as a single we sped it up a little bit and made it sound like it should, and it sounded great."
The Doors' 50th anniversary celebration began January 4 with a Day Of The Doors celebration in Los Angeles. Krieger says the group will also be releasing its 1970 Isle of Wight concert this year, while a 50th anniversary of the Doors' second album, Strange Days, is slated for 2018.
Krieger will be playing solo dates this spring and hopes to get Doors drummer John Densmore to play some shows with him this year.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.