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"The Doors - Perception"
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Rhino Home Video
Genre: Music
Release:
11/27/06
Special Features: Video clips, 5.1 mixes of each and every Doors album released during the band's lifetime
Review:

For a band that had such a short career The Doors continue to fascinate the American public. Perhaps it has to do with Jim Morrison's frequently over blown lyrically obsessions but it probably has more to do with the insistently catchy and innovative music that the band created. Part Velvet Underground and parts Beatles, The Doors only recorded six studio albums and a live album ("Other Voices" and "Full Circle" were issued after Morrison's death as was "An American Prayer". The latter however had Morrison reciting poetry to new backing provided by the rest of the band) before the band imploded and Morrison headed to France where he drank himself to death. This collection takes the band's back catalog (much as Rhino did the Talking Heads back catalog) and upgrades the music with both new CD remasters and 5.1 Dolby Audio remasters (luckily on separate discs unlike the very flawed Dual Disc set for Talking Heads that Rhino issued and still hasn't corrected their problems with). The audio side includes the band's original albums supplemented by outtakes from the same time frame. The DVD includes 5.1 (remixes done by lone time engineer Bruce Botnick (original producer Paul Rothchild died about five years ago and Botnick acted as producer on only one Doors album "L.A. Woman" because Rothchild was disenchanted with the band). Each disc replicates the original artwork where possible and there are new linear notes by a number of noted rock critics. ***

Many of the "new" songs here were originally available on Rhino's "Essential Rarities" release of a couple of years back. For disclosure purposes I suppose I should report that I won one of the Jim Morrison Memorial Awards way back when at UCLA film school. ---

Image & Sound:

First off to the sound portion of this since this is primarily about the music. The remixes in 5.1 sound fine I should note, however, that the older the recordings the less stellar they sometimes sound (and trust me on this the first two Doors albums are essential with the rest of their catalog falling into place neatly behind). The biggest difference for fans is the release of the band's first album remastered at the proper speed. Since this is arguably the band's best album that makes this essential for many fans by itself. The CD audio quality sounds very good here but they sounded that way on the previously reissued remasters. ***

The video clips are of varying quality due to the source material (some from very old analog videotape) but all are welcome additions to any Doors fan's collection. ---

Special Features:

The discs are housed in digipak holders with the CD facing the DVD-Audio disc. We get bonus tracks for every album of varying quality. Some of the tracks are incomplete while others provide only fragments for what the final scope of the previously unreleased (or released but sold separately) songs. The wonderful looking box is a special feature by itself housing the set in a looking-glass box. ---

Final Words:

Although this is hardly essential for many Doors fans hardcore fans would do well to upgrade to this set despite the sticker shock for all 14 discs. If you've purchased these before (as many fans have) I'd suggest seeing if you can hear a copy prior to purchasing it to see if it will make a difference for you. It is a very good Christmas gift for this popular American band.

 

 
 
 
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