Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Some Very Rare Singles By The Doors

Of course, The Doors once had some mega-hits such as "Light My Fire", "Hello, I Love You" and "Touch Me" as well as moderately big sellers such as "Riders On The Storm" and more. However, many discographies of The Doors, including the one on Wikipedia seem to miss a few rare singles by The Doors that sold very few copies and didn't even get top 100 sales status. One of the rarest is the single version of "Ships W/Sails" from the album OTHER VOICES, released after the death of former lead singer Jim Morrison. "Ships W/Sails" was an epic type tune somewhat similar to "Light My Fire" in it's ambition. The album version of the song, which was considerably longer than the edited single version even includes a lengthy instrumental section that is somewhat on the order of the long version of "Light My Fire". This single sold very poorly and is one of the most rare items by The Doors ever released. A picture sleeve version is especially rare. The single was backed with the B side, "In The Eye Of The Sun", which was the opening track form OTHER VOICES. If you can even find a copy of this rare single, then you are indeed a very lucky person.

Equally rare is "The Piano Bird" single backed with "Good Rockin" from the second and last album by The Doors without Jim Morrison. "The Piano Bird" was a decidedly jazzy sounding tune with Ray Manzarek on vocals. It was actually a very good song, but just real untop 40like in it's style. And the B side, "Good Rockin" was the old Roy Brown tune with Ray Manzarek channeling the boogie woogie hard rocking keyboard style of Jerry Lee Lewis as well as he could. It was a great song that just never caught on.

"The Mosquito", backed with the B side, "It Slipped My Mind", in the U.S., marked the only single by The Doors ever released with guitarist Robbie Krieger on vocals on both songs. Both songs were very good in their ways and somewhat comic and mirthful. However, the single version of "The Mosquito" features one of the most radical editing jobs ever done on a single ever. The tape of the song was incredibly chopped to pieces and spliced together. The edited version of the song is so radical that it is a must own item for collectors of rarity items by The Doors. In Spain, "The Mosquito" which is partially sung in Spanish, was released as "El Mosquito" but backed with the more common Doors single, "Get Up And Dance" which got a little bit of radio play on some FM stations as a single.

After two albums with only moderate sales, and very weak action for most singles except for "Get Up And Dance", The Doors called it quits as a band for a number of years while Ray Manzarek attempted two solo albums including THE GOLDEN SCARAB which was dark, mysterious and Doorslike in many ways, and THE WHOLE THING STARTED WITH ROCK AND ROLL. Guitarist Robbie Krieger and Drummer John Densmore went in another direction starting a new band, The Butts Band, and only issued two albums, THE BUTTS BAND and HEAR AND NOW. Interestingly, both albums have a whole different line-up of musicians supporting Krieger and Densmore. In later years, the surviving members of The Doors cooperated on many projects, until relations between John Densmore and Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek became strained by a lawsuit over the use of classic songs by The Doors in ads such Cadillac's interest in "Break On Through" and use of The Doors name by Krieger and Manzarek for a revival band effort with a new lead singer who acted Morrison-like.