You know, sometimes you just got to give it up to some of the great artists that have gone before, and come clean with the fact that are amazing, and you need to listen. Need, because it just is food to keep your soul going. And such is the case with a seminal band like The Doors. The Doors captivated audiences playing shows in the Los Angeles area before recording their debut album in 1966. This continued until 1973, when the band broke up following the 1971 death of singer Jim Morrison. In reality, guitarist and vocalist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, and drummer John Desnmore continues playing together until 1973, when they all decided to seek out other projects. But long before that, they played several shows at The Matrix, a club in San Fransisco, in early March of 1967. These are the earliest recordings known of the band, and are treasured by he fans of the band.
Soul Kitchen is the second track off their self-titled debut, and was credited to be written by the band, like most of the early songs. The sound is so 60s rock you could identify the period in the first two bars of music. And, of course, the sexy growl of Morrison's vocals.
While it never made it to a studio album, The Doors' cover of Gloria, the great song by the Irish band Them, is fairly amazing. Of course, when you are starting with a song written by a great writer like Van Morrison, that is a healthy start. The Doors would often play it live, and when they were in the mood for a good jam, they could be playing for 15 to 20 minutes. This began when The Doors were opening for Them at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in LA.
The last song on the A side of the debut record was another big hit for the band. Light My Fire made it's way up the Billboard Hot 100, all the way to the top spot for three weeks in 1967. A year later, it was once again on the chart when it was recorded by guitarist Jose Feliciano, which made it into the Top 100, to #89. The incredible song was written by The Doors, and remained a standard part of the set list whenever they played.
The band also recorded a song composed by George Gershwin for his 1935 musical, Porgy & Bess. The group performed Summertime as an instrumental, jamming on it. It was part of two separate live recordings made by The Doors. And you could tell in both the band loved the music they were playing.
You can purchase The Doors: Live at The Matrix on iTunes and Amazon.