10 Worst Doors Songs
The Doors packed a lot of great music into six albums and five short years. But working at the speed they did -- two albums in 1967 and one every year after that through 1971, plus a consistent touring and promotional schedule -- a few less-than-stellar tracks were bound to see the light of day, as you'll see on our list of the 10 Worst Doors Songs. We didn't include anything from the albums the band released after Jim Morrison's death in 1971, including two records made without the singer and the many live and previously unreleased tracks that have come out over the past 40-plus years.
The Doors' second album, 'Strange Days,' is an adventurous ride most of the way, a swirling carnival of sounds that takes some sharp detours. But it loses direction by the end, and on the LP's penultimate track, 'I Can't See Your Face in My Mind' -- a dull, tentative ballad that falls somewhere between the lounge and bad trip -- the group sounds stifled and bored.
'The Soft Parade' was mired in horns, strings and Jim Morrison's boozing, which kept him away from much of the record's conception. As a result, guitarist Robby Krieger wrote almost half of the songs, even taking lead vocals on one. But Morrison's 'Easy Ride,' a lazy throwaway that clocks in at less than three minutes, crashes the hardest, with simplistic rhymes, a fluttering rhythm and an overwrought vocal.
The Doors' final album with Jim Morrison is one of their best, a back-to-basics blues record that swerves close to art-rock at times. But not every track works (see No. 6 on our list of the 10 Worst Doors Songs for another example). The plodding 'Cars Hiss by My Window' takes a rudimentary blues foundation and rides it for four straight minutes. They outgrew this type of bar-band snoozefest long ago.
The Doors took some tentative steps back toward their roots on 'Morrison Hotel.' They'd get even closer on their next record, 'L.A. Woman,' but the bluesy weight of 'The Spy' showed they still had a way to go. The song sounds more like a work in progress, or even a casual jam the group would play during breaks between sessions, than a finished piece.
Jim Morrison died three months after 'L.A. Woman''s release, securing his legacy as rock's eternal sexy dead star. And for most of the album, he coyly (and sometimes blatantly) feeds into the legend. But 'L'America' is one of the band's most self-indulgent songs, marching along to a military rhythm that's supposed to wink at some bigger message. Just don't look too hard; it's a cluttered mess.
'Waiting for the Sun' is the Doors' only No. 1 album, but it also happens to include some of the band's most sluggish work (three of its cuts show up on our list of the 10 Worst Doors Songs). After two successful LPs, they were on top of the world when they made their 1968 hit and free to indulge their many whims, like this dreamy ballad featuring Jim Morrison at his creakiest and crooniest.
A self-satisfied bit of whimsy from 'Waiting for the Sun,' 'Wintertime Love' gallops along at a waltz-like pace for reasons unknown. It's over in less than two minutes, but that doesn't make those 114 seconds of a 20th century rock band playing 18th century parlor orchestra any more tolerable. "You are so warm, my wintertime love, to me," Morrison sings. Blech.
After the horns and strings pileup on 'The Soft Parade,' the Doors, for the most part, cut back on the musical excess for their fifth album. But Jim Morrison's smoky, and often dreary, croon is on full display on 'Blue Sunday,' overshadowing the subtle playing by the rest of the band. Or maybe the song is so sleepy that they're hardly putting in the effort. Either way, it's lounge music disguised as rock profundity.
'Indian Summer' sounds like 'The End,' one of the Doors' all-time best songs. But it's missing the drama, the relevance, the danger and that whole killing-your-father-and-banging-your-mom part. In other words, it's really boring and goes nowhere. Thankfully, it's not nearly as long as the epic 'The End,' clocking in at less than three minutes. Still, they're a really long and boring three minutes.
It's like nobody had the balls to tell the Doors "no" when they made their third album. How else to explain duds like 'Summer's Almost Gone,' 'Wintertime Love' and 'Yes, the River Knows'? The last one is especially stinky, with Jim Morrison doing double duty, applying both his super-serious voice and quasi-poetic lyrics to the song. And that guitar solo sounds like it came from a junior-high jazz assembly. They had to be joking, right? Right?