- THE DOORS: THE DOORS: 1967: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Doors debut album is my favorite album by them and their best album. Light My Fire was their huge break though hit going to #1 and putting The Doors on the map. It is one of the most overplayed songs ever- at this point I am ok if I never hear it again- favorite son this album- Break On Through, Soul Kitchen, The Crystal Ship, I Looked At You and The End. Rolling Stone ranked The Doors debut #42 on their 500 Greatest Albums list.
- THE DOORS: STRANGE DAYS: 1967: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The second album that The Doors released in 1967 and another winner. I like The Doors [not a favorite but I do like them} but I think they are very overrated- but I will credit three of their six albums as being stellar and this is one of them. People Are Strange and Love Me Two Times were hit singles, favorites include Strange Days, Moonlight Drive, Horse Latitudes and When The Music’s Over. It made the Rolling Stone list at #407 of 500 Greatest Albums Ever. The best album cover The Doors had.
- THE DOORS: WAITING FOR THE SUN: 1968: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I got on a roll today on The Doors so why not just continue and listen to every Doors album- their were only six of them. Maybe they should have waited a bit and came up with some more material- their third album in a year and a half- after The Doors and Strange Days this is a big disappointment. My favorites on here are the two side closers- The Unknown Soldier and Five To One. Hello, I Love You went to #1 but I am not a big fan of the song. The band sounds good on this album musically but overall a lack of quality material brings the album makes it a mediocre effort.
- THE DOORS: THE SOFT PARADE: 1969: 2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: They did have a year between albums but the material is even weaker on this album. At the suggestion of producer Paul Rothchild they added brass and string instruments- not the best idea. Jim Morrison was a mess at this point in time. This whole Jim Morrison poet thing is so overblown if he was a poet he was a piss poor poet. The best song on this album was written by Robby Krieger- Touch Me. Morrison’s song credits for this album include only 4 and one he wrote with Krieger. The Doors worst album.
- THE DOORS: MORRISON HOTEL:1970: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Somewhat rebound from The Soft Machine- they go back to their original style and drop the brass and string arrangements from The Soft Parade. Morrison was continuing his downward spiral at this point in time- 1969 was not a good year for The Lizard King and this album is merely OK-critics at the time liked it- Dave Marsh calling it The Doors best album to date. I am not sure about that.
- THE DOORS: L.A. WOMAN: 1971: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: What turned out to be their final album- Mr. Mojo Risin dying just three months after its released. A blues oriented album. Two of my favorite songs by the group are here- L.A. Woman and Riders On The Storm. The biggest hit single from this album was Love Her Madly-written by Krieger. Rolling Stone has it on their 500 Greatest Albums list at #364.
- JOE SOUTH: GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Joe South was one of the go-to songwriters for a very short period of time in the late 60’s very early 70’s- oddly it was success that seemed to at least in part due him in. He would later say that winning a Grammy for Song of the Year- for Games People Play- made him put pressure on himself to where he felt he had to come up with similar gems-that and the suicide of his brother in 1971 and a drug problem also seemed to bring his career down. A shame because there were few writing songs as great as South was when he was on a roll.
- JOE SOUTH: DON’T IT MAKE YOU WANT TO GO HOME: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The second South album in 1968- Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home the single was a hit- he had only two hits in his career but he is one of those writers who others had more success with his songs as far as hit singles- than he did. The title song- would also be covered by Elvis.
- STEVE EARLE: GUY: 2019: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Again, seeing Steve next week- going to be listening to this at least once a day until then.
- THE DECEMBERISTS: FIVE SONGS EP: 2001: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The first issue by the Portland, Oregon band- The Decemberists is this EP- which is actually six songs instead of five. Their first full album would come out the following year. Apology Song is one of their best- If I had heard this EP at the time I would have been looking forward to the bands first album.
- THE DECEMBERISTS: CASTAWAYS AND CUTOUTS: 2002: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A very strong debut album from The Decemberists- the album is full of songs about -castaways and people who just don’t fit in. Favorites songs- A Cautionary Tale, July! July!, Odalisque, The Legionnaire’s Lament. Colin Meloy’s vocals, the bands sound and the lyrics make them a very distinctive band.
- JOE SOUTH: INTROSPECT: 1968: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Joe South’s debut album is a forgotten gem- underrated classic. Maybe it is because his solo career was so short that he seems to have been forgotten. Up until this point South had been a sideman and session musician- he was a player on Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde album. This is his best album- the hit single Games People Play was a #12 on The Hot 100- and won a Grammy Award for Best Song. South’s strength was his songwriting and this album is full of great short songs- Rose Garden would become a country music classic a couple years later by Lynn Anderson and got South nominated for another Grammy for Best Song,