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Review: The Doors R-Evolution DVD

The Doors R-Evolution DVD contains an overview of 40-plus years of Doors archival footage-much it rarely seen since it first aired.
Image courtesy of Kayos Productions. Copyright 2014.

The Doors R-Evolution DVD


"This poet who was full of lyrics. That was the magical ingredient!"-John Densmore, describing Jim Morrison

Of the countless bands that arose from the Los Angeles music scene of the 1960s, The Doors created what is arguably one of the most awe-inspiring, totally original and uniquely poetic bodies of work.

What they were able to accomplish becomes even more astonishing when one considers what a short period of time the band had together, before its “magical ingredient”-Jim Morrison-left the band and Los Angeles itself for Paris, France…never to return.

Today, more than forty years after the band’s “poet full of lyrics” suddenly abandoned The Doors and effectively put an end to what remains one of the greatest bands in the history of rock, countless artists continue to marvel at how The Doors created music that, amongst its most striking qualities, sets itself apart in its effective use of silence.

New York Dolls founder Rick Rivets is among those artists whose work was strongly influenced by the music of The Doors. Sitting with Examiner on a cold winter’s afternoon here in New York City, Rivets fondly recalled the band that he is quick to describe as “One of the greatest live bands I’ve ever seen.” Rivets described that unique Doors sound thusly:
“Unlike so many other bands from that era, The Doors were a quiet band. You had to hear them perform live to really appreciate that aspect about their sound.”

Recalled Rivets: “They would come onstage, and for several dramatic minutes there would be dead silence. Then the music would begin with a single sound: Densmore performing a soft, jazz-influenced beat upon his cymbals, using his drumsticks with such delicacy that you’d swear he was using a brush, but he wasn’t! His touch, tone and timing were just amazing to listen to!"

Rivets takes particular delight in remembering what a powerful performer Jim Morrison was, and how his performance was shaped as much by what you didn’t hear as by what you did. Rivets: “God! Those incredible moments of total silence when Jim Morrison was performing, not just singing. There would be this dead silence-you couldn’t even hear the audience breathing-as Morrison would speak so softly you had to almost strain your ears to understand him. Jim would take these long, dramatic pauses, as the song would build in intensity. Jim Morrison made the silence of those dramatic moments as much a part of the band’s unique sound as was Manzarek’s driving organ, Densmore’s jazz-influenced drumming and Robby’s Spanish/Flamenco-inspired guitar work were a part of that sound too!”

However, as anyone can attest to who witnessed the band’s musical evolution from its beginning in Venice Beach to its triumph on the stage of The Ed Sullivan Show, the band are today equally remembered-and highly lauded-for their courageous and singular undertaking of their breaking away from the tight-fisted constraints that were typical of late sixties television.

Result: the band achieved the creative freedom and power to both shape and dictate not just how it appeared onstage, but more important, how the band were portrayed onscreen. In an age where rock icons like Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones found their movements restricted and their lyrics edited by television’s strict rules of “propriety” it took a band with a potent mix of strong-willed conviction and the fearless determination to steer itself on its own independent course, to finally break on through those constraints. It took The Doors.

With the DVD release of The Doors R-Evolution, one can witness this overall evolution that The Doors undertook in freeing the band from those very constraints/restrictions of 1960s television; constraints that had held previous bands and performers back from achieving what The Doors ultimately accomplished.

With brilliant, restored audio that will surely enhance your personal enjoyment of that unique "Doors sound", this collection is noteworthy as much for what it doesn’t include, such as the band’s historic Ed Sullivan Show performance (“Light My Fire”), as for what it does include: rare footage such as The Doors’ performance of “People Are Strange” from the Murray The K In New York program, originally aired back in September 1967.

Although this DVD collection is by no means a “complete” collection of this seminal band’s history on film, this is nonetheless an essential must-have for every Doors fan who wants to possess a comprehensive overview of the band’s ever changing, ever-evolving visual image throughout its short but quite prodigious lifespan.

From lip-synched performances on long-forgotten, teen-oriented television programs like “Malibu U” from 1967 to experimental, imaginative films of the band’s own creation, this is sure to be a sheer delight to the eyes and ears of every Doors fan, especially since much of this has rarely been seen since it was originally aired more than forty years ago.

Be looking for my exciting, insightful interview with Doors drummer John Densmore,
coming soon to Examiner!

The Doors R-Evolution DVD Track Listing: (Full Details Below)

1) Break On Through (To The Other Side) 2) Break On Through (To The Other Side) 3) The Crystal Ship 4) Light My Fire 5) Light My Fire 6) People Are Strange 7) Moonlight Drive 8) Unknown Soldier 9) Hello, I Love You 10) Touch Me 11) Wild Child 12) Roadhouse Blues 13) Crawling King Snake 14) The Changeling 15) Gloria 16) People Are Strange 17) Strange Days 18) L.A. Woman 19) Ghost Song

1) Break On Through (To The Other Side)
Music Film January 1967

2) Break On Through (To The Other Side)
From Shebang aired early 1967

3) The Crystal Ship
From American Bandstand aired July 1967

4) Light My Fire
From American Bandstand aired July 1967

5) Light My Fire
From Malibu U aired August 1967

6) People Are Strange
From Murray The K In New York aired September 1967

7) Moonlight Drive
From The Jonathan Winters Show aired December 1967

8) Unknown Soldier
Music Film February 1968

9) Hello, I Love You
From Musik Für Junge Leute: 4-3-2-1 Hot And Sweet aired September 1968

10) Touch Me
From The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour aired December 1968

11) Wild Child
Music Film July 1969

12) Roadhouse Blues
Music Film February 1970

13) Crawling King Snake
From GTK (Get To Know) aired March 1971

14) The Changeling
Music Film April 1971

15) Gloria
Music Film October 1983

16) People Are Strange
Music Film 1984

17) Strange Days
Music Film 1980s

18) L.A. Woman
Music Film 1985

19) Ghost Song
Music Film 1995

Special Note: For both the North American and European markets, this release is
available in four different formats/versions. But only the Deluxe Set contains the
outstanding 40 page book which features a fabulous “scrap book” style presenting
of every single track, including the song lyrics, the background info, stunning photos
and more! This Deluxe Set is now available in both the DVD and Blu-ray formats.

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