3 CD set. Cheapest I can find it.
The Doors: Jim Morrison (vocals); Robby Krieger (guitar); Ray Manzarek (keyboards); John Densmore (drums).
Recording information: 1970.
1970 was a transitional year for the Doors, and the band was in an odd spot. Arguably the first group to ascend the pop charts powered by underground menace, their first few records had revolutionized the music industry. This was Morrison's and the band's greatest accomplishment, but as the lysergic haze of the '60s grew into the narcotic and booze-soaked '70s, the band could no longer lay claim to the subterranean energy that made their initial music so riveting. They attempted famously to reclaim their swagger by going back to their roots as a blues band. The problem was, an excellent cover of Willie Dixon's "Back Door Man" notwithstanding, the blues were never the band's calling card.
Rhino's new three disc collection LIVE IN BOSTON features two complete sets from Friday April 10, 1970 at the Boston Arena and captures the moment just before the Doors turned their mystical psych circus into a full blown blooze review. As a historical document, LIVE IN BOSTON is unflinching, presenting a decidedly warts-and-all view across 46 tracks. With Ray Manzarek's polychromatic organ, Robbie Krieger's no-frills guitar lines, and Jon Densmore's Latin-inflected percussion, the band ably follows Morrison through every far-flung inspiration. The covers are many, as an epic "Light My Fire" alone touches upon "Fever," "Summertime," and "St. James Infirmary Blues" before returning to its familiar chorus. The show, of course, belongs to Morrison who seems stuck between shaman-poet and Brechtian comic instigator. Indeed one of the primary attractions of LIVE IN BOSTON is the banter. With more skits than an Outkast record--including idiotic stoner ramblings, inspired period pieces, and wry self-parodies--this set proves that even at his most bloviated, Morrison could be an inspired and often hilarious performer who knew how to push a crowd's buttons. It was worth the price of admission for Doors fans in 1970 and given the staid contemporary relationship between rock performers and audiences, it still resonates today.