Legacy: The Absolute Best

The Doors

Elektra, 2003


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


For a band that only produced six studio albums, the Doors are up there with Aerosmith in the ridiculous amount of hits collections on the market. There are at least as many compilations as there are albums. But if you have to own one, pick up this one - it has the added bonus of having all the Doors you'll ever need.

That may sound like sacrilege to fans of the band, but I can't think of anything on the albums that deserves to be here. At their worst, the band's overblown poetry and cheesy keyboard riffs resulted in some horribly dated music. If you like what you hear on nbtc__dv_250 Legacy, feel free to wade through the studio releases at your own risk (although L.A. Woman remains solid throughout, the one time the band cut the bullshit and just played good rock music).

Presented chronologically, the discs give nearly equal weight to each disc. This means the first disc covers The Doors, Strange Days and Waiting For The Sun, and includes the cream -- "Light My Fire," "Break On Through," "People Are Strange," "Love Me Two Times" and "Back Door Man." Because of the extended CD format, the compilers find the best of the album cuts, which hold up as well as the hits: "Twentieth Century Fox," "The Crystal Ship," "Moonlight Drive" and "Not To Touch The Earth" are among the best.

Actually, "Earth" is part of an abandoned opus called "The Celebration Of The Lizard," which makes its appearance for the first time anywhere, in studio form, at the end of Disc 2. This is an attempt to entice longtime fans who already have everything else, but unfortunately there's a reason why the song wasn't released, or why "Earth" was the only snippet chosen -- it just doesn't hold up as a song and gets pretty tiresome.

Onward to Disc 2, which is where the band began to unravel and turn more bluesy and less psychedelic. Latter-day hits like "Touch Me," the fantastic "Riders On The Storm," "L.A. Woman," "Love Her Madly" and the unstoppable "Roadhouse Blues" are all here. These are buffered by album tracks like "You Make Me Real," "Peace Frog" and "The Changeling," one of the hardest, bluesiest songs the band ever recorded and one that should have been a hit. The disc also features a live "Gloria" from Alive, She Cried that is worth hearing.

Heard back to back, one gets an appreciation for what the Doors were trying to accomplish. A casual fan may be better off with a one-disc overview, but Legacy paints a solid picture of a great American band.

Rating: A

User Rating: A


It is good that the reviewer gives The Doors some credit here, but on the 1st two Doors albums, only "I Looked at You" can be seen as filler, unless one wants to throw in "Horse Latitudes," which is still interesting in being bizarre. "The End" and "When the Music's Over" may be overrated but can hardly be described as filler.

© 2007 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Elektra, and is used for informational purposes only.