The Doors Albums Ranked

Doors Albums

Photo: Electra Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Doors Albums Ranked article looks at one of the greatest rock bands to come out of the 1960s. Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore formed a band unlike any group that had come before and any group that had ever tried to follow. The Doors were unique in so many ways. The poetry, the vocals, and the mystique behind their lead singer, Jim Morrison, helped define the Doors as one of the leading bands of the counterculture of the 1960s. Yet, it was the powerful music on their brilliant albums that cemented their legacy in the Story of Classic Rock. Our Doors albums list presents all six of their fantastic albums.

# 6 – Waiting For The Sun

We open our Doors albums ranked list with the band’s third studio album, Waiting For The Sun. The album was released on July 3rd, 1968. Waiting For The Sun would be the only Doors album to hit number one on the Billboard Top 200 album charts. Two singles were released from the album. The first single was entitled “The Unknown Soldier.” The album’s second single was a far bigger hit than the “Unknown Soldier,” entitled “Hello, I Love You.” It’s a song that would become an all-time Doors fan’s favorite. The album received mixed reviews when it was first released. It’s not the best Doors album, but there were so many great tracks on the record, including “Love Street, “Spanish Caravan,” another fan favorite entitled “Five To One,” and our favorite song on the album called “Summer’s Almost Gone.”

# 5 – The Soft Parade

Continuing with our ranked list of Doors albums, we present the incredible album The Soft Parade. Released as The Doors’ fourth studio album, The Soft Parade hit the stores on July 18th, 1969. It was a summer that anyone who grew up in the ’60s will never forget. Man landed on the moon for the first time, the greatest concert of all time occurred in Woodstock, New York, the New York Mets won their first World Series and New York Jets won their only Super Bowl. Sorry, we’re from New York here at classicrockhistory.com

The Soft Parade was a great Doors album. Every Doors album released while Jim Morrison was still alive was great. Highlights from The Soft Parade included one of our favorite Doors singles of all time in the excellent track “Touch Me,” complete with that massive horn section. Four singles in all were released from the album, including the second single entitled “Wishful Sinful,” which was released in March of 1969, “Tell All The People, released in June of 1969, and the final single from the album entitled “Running Blue,” released in August of 1969. The first three singles from the record were released before the album. The Soft Parade album was released in a nice hard cardboard gatefold album jacket.

# 4 – Strange Days

Strange Days had that album cover you couldn’t stop staring at while writing your stories about what was happening there. The Doors album Strange Days was released on September 15th, 1967. It was the band’s second album. Strange Days was a fabulous record that presented a mixture of so many different styles of rock and roll, including psychedelic, acid, pop, and just straight-ahead rock and roll. Jim Morrison and the band were on fire on this record. There were so many classic Doors songs released on this album. As far as singles go, only two were released. The first single was the extraordinary tale entitled “People Are Strange.” A song that hit number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was loved more in Canada, where it hit number one. The second single released from the Strange Days album was “Love Me Two Times.” It’s one of the all-time great Doors singles.

Like many other Doors fans, our favorite track on the record was the closing song on side one, “Moonlight Drive.” And everybody got into the album closer to the 11-minute track “When the Music’s Over.” Of course, it was also the second song on side one, “You’re Lost Little Girl,” which was almost as haunting as Jim Morrison has ever sounded.

# 3 – Morrison Hotel

Continuing with our Doors albums ranked list, we turn to one of the most powerful and most loved Doors albums of all time called Morrison Hotel. You know you loved this album. You know you played it almost every day when it first came out. What a great album title and a perfect album cover. The Morrison Hotel album was released on February 9th, 1970. It was a successful album on the Billboard Top 200, which peaked at number four. The album opens with what we picked as our favorite Doors song on our top 10 Door songs list, entitled “Roadhouse Blues.” Morrison Hotel was not an album filled with singles; it was just an album filled with great songs, every single one. Some of the ones that really stood  out were the tracks “Waiting for the Sun, Land Ho!,  Indian Summer,” and the fan-favorite “Peace Frog.”

# 2 – L.A. Woman

The last two albums to appear on our Doors albums ranked list also happened to be the band’s first and final albums, which is somewhat interesting to us. At number two is the great record L.A. Woman. The L.A. Woman album was released on April 19th, 1971. It stands as the Doors’ final studio album released when Jim Morrison was still alive. Sadly, Jim Morrison passed away three months after L.A. Woman was released.

Three of the greatest Door songs ever recorded were released on the L.A. Woman album. The first one is the album’s debut single, which was released before the record entitled “Love Her Madly.” It’s a song with a great bass line played by Jerry Scheff. The song hit number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second classic Door song released on the L.A. Woman album was the seven-minute song “Riders on the Storm.” It was a song with an opening keyboard line that was not the easiest to play for most keyboardists. It was the dreamiest Jim Morrison song ever released. They cut the song down to four and a half minutes for the single version, which proved somewhat successful because it was a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

The third great song on the “L.A. Woman” album was an extended track coming in at almost 8 minutes, one of the band’s finest moments on vinyl. If we had to pick a driving song, it would be “L.A. Woman.” The Doors didn’t often do cover songs on their albums, but they did a great version of a John Lee Hooker song called “Crawling King Snake” on the L.A. Woman album

# 1 – The Doors

We close out our Doors albums list, which we believe is the best Doors album ever released. It was their debut album, released in 1967, titled The Doors. The album was released on January 4th, 1967. Only two singles were released from the album, but you can bet your rock and roll shoes and your old pipe full of you-know-what that this album was more than just about singles. The album’s opening track Break On Through (To the Other Side)” introduced us all to the Doors. The song said so much in 2 minutes and 25 seconds. It was also released as the first single from the record. Interestingly, that song was released as a single because it wasn’t a pop song; it was a ferocious rock and roll tune that instantly defined what the Doors were all about. However, the second single released on the album, “Light My Fire,” stood as the perfect pop-rock single and one of the best ever.

The song “Light My Fire” would become the band’s first and only number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the US Cash Box Top 100. The Irish loved the song, too, because it hit number one in Ireland and just missed the number one spot in Canada, where it hit number two.

But putting those two singles aside, let’s look at the rest of the album. You had “Soul Kitchen” in the number two spot, followed by “The Crystal Ship” and 2″0th Century Fox” at number four, followed by “Alabama Song,” right before the final track on side one entitled Light My Fire. What an opening side!

The second side opened up with “Back Door Man,” written by Willie Dixon. That song was followed by ” I Looked at You, End Of The Night, Take It As It Comes and the stunning final song on the album entitled “The End.” An 11-minute masterpiece that became even more popular 10 years later when it was featured in the film Apocalypse Now starring Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen. The debut Doors album is one of the greatest rock and roll albums ever.

Top Doors Albums Ranked article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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  1. Avatar Howard Alperin May 15, 2024

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