- by New Deal democrat
Here is a song you have probably never heard. To appreciate it, I suggest minimizing the screen while you listen, or at least scroll down so that the video doesn't show....
Sounds pretty cool, like Santana or the Grateful Dead, doesn't it? So long as you are not fixated on the missing famous vocalist, this is a great song.
And of course, that's the problem. I mentioned a while back that as a kid, I was a big fan of the Doors. Not "Jim Morrison and the Doors," as deejays often said - and still say - like the other three guys were only there for back-up, but "the Doors." Most of the group's singles, including the iconic "LIght My Fire", weren't Morrison's songs at all, but were composed by guitarist Robby Krieger (in Light My Fire, aside from vocals, Morrison's contribution was the second verse). And what would the group's legacy be without the lengthy keyboard solos on Light My Fire or Riders on the Storm? Truth be told, when I listened to their albums for the first time way back when, it was Manzarek's keyboards, not Morrison's vocals, that hooked my attention. Manzarek may just be the most overlooked musician in the history of rock'n'roll.
"Ships with Sails" showcases just how good the three musicians were. At the same time, you can't help wondering how big a hit this would have been had Morrison survived to sing it. All of the songs on "Other Voices" were probably originally written for Morrison's voice. Krieger's bittersweet guitar at the end of "Ships with Sails" seems like an exclamation point on that loss.
Surprisingly, if you take a look at Rolling Stone magazine's list of the best singers in rock'n'roll, Morrison only comes in at number 47 - despite having a voice as emotionally evocative as Sinatra's. Maybe that's because. just as with the adolescent poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, so I outgrew the demonic and foreboding aura that centered on Morrison.
And what about the other 3 guys? Krieger and Densmore also make the list, in the 90s, as guitarist and drummer, respectively. And Manzarek? Rolling Stone lists him as the number 4 keyboardist of all time. So maybe he's not so overlooked after all.
Have a nice weekend. See you on Monday.