THE DOORS – Live At The Bowl ‘68

January 01, 1970



The Doors’ classic Hollywood Bowl concert from July of ’68 has
surfaced previously in myriad forms both official and bootleg; Elektra issued
the 7-song mini-album Live at the
Hollywood Bowl
in ’87, with underground entrepreneurs offering the entire
show at various points in time, and the concert’s also been issued and reissued
on VHS and DVD. But this new iteration found longtime engineer Bruce Botnick
painstakingly correcting earlier flaws to arrive at the most faithful, most
complete and best sounding Bowl show ever. (His liner notes – which have been a
consistent highlight of recent Doors vault releases – detail some of the
challenges involved in making the recording, such as the fact that the Bowl
insisted on the band playing in no excess of 75db. What, were the neighbors


And while at this point there’s such a wealth of live Doors audio/video
in official circulation that even the most devoted fan might shrug over yet
another release, in 1968 the band was hitting one of its live peaks. As Botnick
further explains, the Doors were eager to get a solid performance on tape and
were therefore mindful that this evening they definitely needed to be at the
top of their game. Jim Morrison, in a rare moment of personal restraint, opted
to drop acid midway through the show rather than early, resulting in a
razor-sharp delivery on his part that only began to, er, turn cosmic towards the end of the gig.


And sure, all the familiar touchstones are here, from extemporaneous
Morrison poetry to tautly-woven pop hits to free-flowing instrumental
interludes, and the accumulation of time and media has rendered as cliché
certain aspects of the Doorsian drama. But even in 2012 it’s still possible to
be thrilled by, say, the Lizard King’s bawdy blues roar in “Back Door Man” or
the hypnotic modal riffing that snakes through “The End.” Speaking as a longtime
Doors aficionado who’s heard more than a few Doors concert recordings over the
years, Live At The Bowl ’68 stands as
both a crucial documentation of the band and a damn fine-sounding live album,


Renew this fan’s
subscription to the resurrection.



DOWNLOAD: “Spanish Caravan,” “The End” -FRED MILLS

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