The Doors: 10 of the best

Rock group “The Doors” pose for a promotional photos circa 1966. Left to right - Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Rock group “The Doors” pose for a promotional photos circa 1966. Left to right - Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY DAVE SIMPSON AND PUBLISHED BY THE GUARDIAN ON JUNE 17, 2015.

Few bands divide critical opinion like the Doors. For some, they dine at the top table of the critically revered, their company typified by Julie Burchill’s line that Roxy Music, at their very best, were “better than David Bowie, than the Supremes, than the Doors, than the Sex Pistols, than anyone I imagine I will ever hear”. However, especially in more recent years, the Doors have been subject of much reappraisal and opprobrium. Much reputational damage was probably done by Oliver Stone’s abysmal 1991 biopic, with Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison as a drunken caricature.

After defining the art of the rock frontman every bit as influentially as Mick Jagger, Morrison has been subsequently blamed for every leering wannabe in leather trousers. However, love or loathe him, Morrison brought theatrical excitement to 1960s rock and the Doors albums continue to sell in significant quantities.

Artists from Echo and the Bunnymen to the Stranglers to Skrillex and Chase and Status have taken something from their organ-heavy sound, while Morrison’s fusion of rock and poetry inspired Patti Smith, who paid tribute to the singer on stage in Manchester as recently as last week. 

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