The Doors featuring the late Jim Morrison were a famous rock band that in early 1980 music fans in my high school had heard of. Most knew them for the song Light My Fire which received heavy FM radio airplay, and maybe one or two other songs that were on the radio such as Break On Through or Love Me Two Times. But to say The Doors were popular then would be an exaggeration.

They were known, but Morrison was dead, the band was over and everyone pretty much had moved on from them.

Suddenly though, a strange thing happened. A biography about the life of Jim Morrison came out in June of 1980 and captured the interest of music fans young and old. It was called No One Here Gets Out Alive, and it became an immediate NY Times best seller. But that’s not the strange thing.

The strange thing is that No One Here Gets Out Alive was such a hit among teenagers, that suburban high school students all over the country could be spotted carrying the book around with them wherever they went, including high school. Teachers couldn’t get half their students to read Hamlet or Brave New World, but the book about Jim Morrison was.a hit!

What followed the release of No One Here Gets Out Alive was a full blown Doors revival. As the book topped the best seller’s list, their music topped the album charts and no fewer than a dozen of their songs started to get round the clock radio play. By 1981, the book had sold well over a million copies, and 10 years after the death of Jim Morrison, The Doors had become more popular than ever before.

Ranking The Doors

To rank The Doors albums and publish the list is pretty much creating a temporary document that could change at any moment. They made 6 studio albums, and every single one of them is good. Not only do they all have their share of hits, but each Doors album also has some fantastic deep cuts. If you haven’t listened to The Doors in a long time, you might want to give them a listen especially for those deep cuts which may sound virtually new to you.

6. Morrison Hotel: As I said above, every Doors album is good and that includes Morrison Hotel. Most people would rank this one higher, I know, but for me this album has the fewest number of songs that really grab me.

5. Waiting for the Sun: It has my all time favorite Doors song on it, called 5 to 1 but a few songs like Love Street and Unknown Soldier that many really like, but were never my favorites.

4. The Soft Parade: In addition to Sherman’s Blues, one of the great deep cut type Doors songs many people don’t know, this album also has my favorite Doors epic; The Soft Parade. From the opening yelling intro that leads into a Frank Zappa-esque interlude which transitions to a trippy segment where the monk bought lunch, The Soft Parade’s title track is one of the strangest yet most wonderful songs the Doors ever made. And while they made some great epic songs such as The End and When The Music’s Over, this one stands above them all to me.

3. Strange Days: There are some who say this album was created with leftover from The Doors’ debut album and it shows. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I know that I think this a great album and one that, on another day in a different mood, could easily move up to the #2 spot on my list. It has People Are Strange, Love Me Two Times, Moonlight Drive and a bunch of other songs that lean a little to the psychedelic side perhaps, but really really good.

2. The Doors – This is one of the best debut albums ever made. With Light My Fire, Break On Through and Back Door Man this album has some of The Doors’ biggest radio hits. It also has other hits that you’ve probably heard plenty of times. If there’s anything bad at all about The Doors debut. It’s that it has so many hits on it, the album suffers some from being over played. But that doesn’t make it any less great.

1. L.A. Woman – Released less than 3 months before Jim Morrison died, LA Woman is The Doors at their most bluesy. Because of the bluesy nature, this album sometimes draws a love/hate response from Doors fans. It has my 2nd favorite Doors song, The WASP, as well as Riders On The Storm, the title track and Love Her Madly to name a few. Of all The Doors albums, this is the one that I can come closest to listening to from start to finish.

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