Thursday, December 07, 2006

Muchacha Motorista's back with another great music review, so break on through to the other side with her now, won't you?

The Doors - Perception
CD/DVD Box Set review by Muchacha Motorista

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. --William Blake

"Perception". All right--great title for a Doors 12-disc box set (6 CDs and 6 DVDs) containing each of their classic studio albums and more. I’ll give them that right away. As most mild-to-extreme Doors fans know, Jim Morrison was a fan of Aldous Huxley and came up with the band name based on Huxley’s mescaline-inspired book The Doors of Perception. And as for the concept of having the box cover look like a door--it's cute, though not overly imaginative.

Before I delve into this review, I must note that I was sent for review the sampler for The Doors Perception box set...not the actual box set itself. So this review will focus on the 21-song sampler, particularly the bonus tracks included. After all, no one really needs a review of “People Are Strange” directly from the Strange Days album at this point anyway.

“Moonlight Drive (Version 2)” is a bonus track for the album The Doors. It’s haunting, with an unexpected vibrancy. Nothing enchanting here, but an interesting listen especially due to the unsettled feeling of the song. “Not To Touch the Earth (Take 2)” has a fun intro with the band getting 'hold of the tempo for the song. “Roadhouse Blues (11/5/69, Takes 13-15)” is a particularly fascinating track, with three practice starts to the song. “Orange County Suite,” with its lumbering music and droning vocals, didn’t grab my fancy, however.

“Touch Me (Take 3)” isn’t much different that what you’ll find on the 1969 album Soft Parade, but I can’t help mentioning it because I adore it so completely. This song is fantastic, romantic and sexy without being sappy. Even the horns in the background edge away from peppy when dancing around Jim Morrison’s confident voice. As the song builds in intensity, the tension follows, achingly. What can I say; this song’s as much of a turn on as any Barry White song. Ahh.

Now, of course you can hear “Break on Through” or “Love Me Two Times” on almost any Doors compilation album, but you probably won’t hear Jim Morrison say “she gets high,” edited out of the original release of “Break on Through” because it was thought that the word “high” would reduce air play. And you won’t hear the studio producer’s demand that they will record on three and to count it down louder, at the front of “Love Me Two Times.” You will in these versions, and the result is surprisingly tasty.

I admit that I was somewhat skeptical going into this review, as I am about most box sets, which consist of the “same stuff in different packaging” (this is certainly not the first box set from The Doors), but I think I can see what’s special about this one--these little extras; these little surprises. After all, now we finally get to learn that what “she gets” is “high.”

So, with that in mind, I’ll say I’m really curious about the box set. But with the $100+ price tag, I’m not curious enough to try it out. If you’ve got the cash to spare and you’re a die-hard Doors fan, this might be for you. Or if you don’t have the cash but Santa wants a Christmas wish list ASAP and you want to try something different, you may want to direct Santa to Amazon.com. However, if you’re a mild fan and don’t care to listen to a barrage of different takes and re-masterings of the same songs again and again, pick up a few individual Doors CDs to fill out your collection (be sure you have The Doors and Waiting for the Sun at the very least!) and call it a night.


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