Top 10 Doors Songs

Doors Songs

Photo:By Elektra Records-Joel Brodsky (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Top 10 Doors Songs list is another one of those songs lists that can change every day. The band recorded so many classic rock songs that it is really impossible to just pick ten.  However, if we only had enough space on our hard drive, blank CD, or god forbid our 60 minute BASF cassette tape, then these are the songs we would burn. So many lists feature “Light My Fire,” as the number one song. While it may have been their biggest selling single and their breakout song that launched their career, we feel it’s not really symbolic of the Jim Morrison persona that captivated hardcore Doors fans. There has never been anyone like Jim Morrison in rock and roll history. One can not even imagine what Jim Morrison would have continued to contribute to Rock and Roll had he not died at such a young age.

The Top 10 Doors Songs

# 10 – Back Door Man

Opening the Top 10 Doors Songs list is the first song to appear on side two of the debut Doors album. The song was originally written by Willie Dixon and Chester Burnett. Jim Morrison’s opening growl at the start of the song was the perfect introduction to the world that a new rock and roll star, or should we say god, had been born.

The song is fueled by Ray Manzarek’s  blues organ riff that carries Morrison’s angry vocal home. Morrison would become known to deliver great lines that bled and oozed into counterculture sayings. If you were a big Doors fan, it may be difficult to count the amount of times while eating some Kentucky Fried, you probably sputtered out the memorable line  “I eat more chicken any man ever seen.” Come on you know you did!

# 9 – Love Me Two Times

The Doors song “Love Me Two Times,” opens with a great blues guitar riff just baked in 1960’s psychedelia. Jim Morrison’s sly blues vocal is eventually greeted  by Ray Manzarek’s  harpsichord sounding solo. The groove speaks for itself. The song was released in 1967 on the Strange Days LP. It was composed by Robby Krieger.

“Love Me Two Times,” appeared as the third track on side one. It was the second single released from the album. The song reached number twenty five on the Billboard Top 100 Charts. The song has been covered by many rock and roll legends. The great band Aerosmith covered the song for the Air America Soundtrack in 1990. One of classicrockhistory.com’s favorite artists Joan Jett also covered the song in 1990 on her album The Hit List.

# 8 – Peace Frog

The pure sound of sixties funk and blues defines the sound of “Peace Frog.” Throw in the lyricism and poetry of Mr Jim Morrison and you have one of the best Doors Songs in their catalog. The song was released on the Morrison Hotel album in 1970. It appeared as the third song on the Hard Rock Cafe side. It was written by Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger.  The song references the arrest of Jim Morrison in the city of New Haven, Connecticut. The song rarely makes Top 10 Doors Songs lists, but the groove is just too good for us not to take it along.

# 7 – The Soft Parade

Fans of the Doors have often debated the meaning behind Morrison’ poetic line in the middle of  “The Soft Parade.” “We Can Whip The Horses Eyes,”  Was there meaning behind Morrison’s lyricism or was Morrison just delivering poetic ideas that he knew would be forever open to interpretation? No matter the meaning or the intention, “The Soft Parade,” stands as one of the most interesting Doors Songs in their catalog. It was issued on the album The Soft Parade in 1969. It was the album’s closing song and had the longest track time of any song on the record.

# 6 – Moonlight Drive

The eeriness of the opening guitar lines to “Moonlight Drive,” precede one of the most haunting romantic groove ballads off any Doors album. The song “Moonlight Drive,” closed the Strange Days album that was released in 1969. The song was also released as the B side to the “Love Me Two Times,” single. There is nothing better than discovering the B side is sometimes more interesting than the A side of the single. Although in this particular situation, the A side was also a pretty magnificent piece of rock and roll music.

# 5 – The End

Out of all the Doors Songs in the top 10 list, “The End,” may be the most important because of the role the song played in the Doors revival of the 1980’s The song was featured prominently in the Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse NowThe film was released in 1979. The song “The End,” played in the background while actor Martin Sheen’s boat cruises up the river in Vietnam. Sheen’s character had orders to kill a renegade America general played by Marlon Brando.

The use of the Doors music “The End,” in the scene was so effective that it fueled a renewed interest in the music of The Doors. Instantly, Doors Songs began to garnish more radio play and album sales increased dramatically. Tribute bands began to form as a whole new generation began to discover the music of the Doors. Many journalists argued that The Doors were more popular in 1980 than they had been 10 years earlier when they were still recording. In the nineties, Nirvana covered the song “The End,” in a very eerie tribute.

# 4 – Riders on the Storm

The haunting Doors song “Riders on the Storm,” has challenged keyboard players over the past forty years in learning the descending Ray Manzarek Fender Rhodes opening solo. Some of the greatest Doors Songs evoked a sound that lent itself to imagery bound only by the imaginative spirits of the listener. The song was released on the Doors album L.A. Woman in 1971  The eeriness of the song is only further enhanced by the fact that it was placed as the last song on the final Doors album.

# 3 – L.A. Woman

The second song on the top 10 Doors Songs list hailed from the final Doors album of the same title. The Doors track “L.A. Woman,” displayed a sound that provided evidence that the band may have been heading into a new direction. In 1971, the soul of the sixties still dominated pop culture in the United States. The Vietnam War raged on and politics still played a prominent role in the lyrical ideas of many rock artists. However, one can hear a change a coming in the sound of popular music.The L.A. Woman album served as a window as to what may have been.

# 2 – Break On Through (to the other side)

The Doors song “Break on Through (to the other side) was the opening track on the Doors first album. The classic Doors song was also the first single of the band’s career. It was released in 1967. The song failed to chart that high on the Billboard Charts as the band was still not well known. However, the opening bossa nova jazz drum groove is unexpectedly met with a dark bluesy Ray Manzarek keyboard lick.The riff is suddenly doubled by Robby Krieger’s gritty guitar. And then its hello Jim!

The song has been featured in many films over the past forty years including Forest Gump, Jarhead, Minions, and Monster Inc. It is easily one of the most popular Doors Songs since its initial release in the late nineteen sixties.

 # 1 – Roadhouse Blues

No other song in the Doors catalog embodies the passion, grit, sexuality, darkness, and blues infused mystical vocals of Jim Morrison than “Roadhouse Blues.” If you don’t get how important this song is to the legacy of the Doors, than you need to take a closer listen. The song was released on the Morrison Hotel album.It was the opening track on the album that was released in 1971. The writing credit has been given entirely to Jim Morrison. Lonnie Mack played bass on the track “Roadhouse Blues.” Also credited on the track as the harmonica player was John Sebastian. The song was not released as a single from the Morrison Hotel album. However, a live version of  “Roadhouse Blues,” was released as a single of the American Prayer album in 1979. The song has been by Deep Purple and Blue Oyster Cult.

Rock and Roll careers are not built on hits singles, but rather a sound and intent that distinguishes the artist from all others. The song “Roadhouse Blues,” defines what separated the Doors from all other rock artists. The hardcore blues guitar line played by Robby Krieger shines on “Roadhouse Blues.” more than any other Doors song. The piano comps of Ray Manzarek compliment Krieger’s lick in the most perfect fashion. But it’s Jim Morrison’s vocal performance on “Roadhouse Blues,” that cements the recording as Number One on the Top 10 Doors Songs list.

Morrison sings his greatest line when he shouts in the middle of the song, “Well I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer.”  The printing of the lyrics does not do the meaning justice. When you hear Jim Morrison sing those words you are listening to the ultimate sound of rebellion. It is Morrison declaring that he did not believe, or cared in convention. It was what fueled the legacy of a man who pushed himself beyond the boundaries that a human body could take.

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