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The Doors' Self-Titled Debut: For The Record
Young, beastly, psychedelic, and at full strength in 1967, the rock band the Doors released their self-titled debut on Jan. 4. That summer in July, the song "Light My Fire" made it to No. 1 on the Hot 100, and by September the album was No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The album that prevented The Doors from reaching No. 1? Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Both albums are now in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, records of an incredible era when some members of the flower generation escaped into dreams, stretching the boundaries of what rock music could be.
In 2007 on the 40th anniversary of their epic debut, the Doors received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Doors "remained a band of intelligent, eclectic, adventurous musicians," Ben Fong-Torres wrote in tribute to them that year. "They resisted rules, trends and, sometimes, even law and order. They were unpredictable, both in the studio and on stage. The result was the kind of rock that means the most, that has impact, that endures."
Like Mick Jagger and Elvis Presley, The Doors' lead singer and lyricist Jim Morrison offered a visual icon and a musical attitude that stood, and moved, for rock and roll. Unfortunately, Morrison's issues with substance abuse and excess seem to have contributed to his premature death of heart failure in 1971. Morrison was buried days later at Paris' Père Lachaise Cemetery in the Poets' Corner, and tourists continue to visit his grave to mourn Morrison's loss.
At the 22nd GRAMMY Awards the album An American Prayer was nominated for Best Spoken Word, Documentary Or Drama Recording. The band's surviving members prepared the compilation including his final poetry session before he died, leading to Morrison's sole GRAMMY nomination.
Guitarist Robby Krieger's 2010 Singularity was nominated at the 53rd GRAMMY Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Although the surviving trio continued to release albums together for a few years after Morrison's death, they soon disbanded. Drummer John Densmore supported Morrison's estate and artistic wishes in fighting to prevent commercial licensing of the group's music and logo. Ray Manzarek was the organist whose classic keyboard playing haunts the memories of most Americans; he passed away in 2013.
Producer Paul Rothchild and GRAMMY winning engineer Bruce Botnick recorded the album in just six days. Its hit "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" became a rock classic and the extravagant, 11-minute "The End" was a self-indulgent but rich demonstration of how rock could be used to act out drama. Rolling Stone ranked The Doors No. 42 of their 500 greatest albums of all time.
The track "Light My Fire" was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1998, followed by the entire album The Doors in 2002.