The 15 Best Songs by The Doors

The Doors debut album cover 1967

The Doors were unlike any other U.S. classic rock act of the 1960s. There was their instrumental make up, first of all: They bucked the default setting of lead guitar-rhythm guitar-bass-drums, instead featuring Robby Krieger on guitar, Ray Manzarek on organ and John Densmore on drums. There was also a dark undertow to the music, a darkness that remained even as the Doors left behind the psychedelia of 1967 for the raw blues of 1970. Finally, they were blessed — and cursed — by having one of the most charismatic lead singers in rock, Jim Morrison.

In his prime, the self-proclaimed Lizard King showed off his handsome face and lean physique in a famous series of shots where he posed bare-chested or by wrapping himself in skin-tight black leather. But his determination to explore every byway of the road of excess led not to the expected palace of wisdom but an early death at age 27 (officially due to a heart attack, though drugs likely played a factor). Doors songs probed the mysteries of sex and death, and Morrison seemed to embody both of those primal forces, becoming a rock ‘n’ roll casualty to boot, himself. Spanning the range of those forces, here are the 15 best songs by The Doors.

15. “Hello, I Love You” 

Here’s a song that starts out as a jaunty pop ditty, with Morrison teasingly trying to attract the attention of his object of desire (even as he pokes fun at his own ambitions with lyrics like, “Do you hope to make her see you, fool?”). But by the end, he’s screaming in the frustration of one whose passion has been unreciprocated. It gives a harsher edge to what might otherwise have been just another slice of light-hearted teeny pop. Many thought the fuzz-toned melody was inspired by the Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night,” but Krieger told Guitar World otherwise: “I told John [Densmore] to play something like ‘Sunshine of Your Love.’ So, we ripped off the Cream, not the Kinks.”

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Retrieved on 30 December 2018 from

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