Felt Forum Box Set
Posted 26 January 2010 - 03:18 AM
Posted 04 February 2010 - 02:54 AM
Steve Seachrist reviews Doors Felt Forum Boxed Set
February 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm by Steve Seachrist
A mere 40 years ago, The Doors recorded a series of four concerts in New York City. The idea was to capture enough material to edit into a live album. The resulting record, disingenuously titled Absolutely Live, was ultimately drawn from a far wider selection of recordings. Now we get to hear something considerably more absolute. Every note of all four concerts, plus virtually all between-song banter and crowd chatter, is included in the Live in New York six-CD box set. You might think so much live Doors would be an overdose of reality. In fact, it is a revelation to witness this spectacle in its entirety.
You see, besides being a professional band of hit-making stars, the Doors were also an outfit that played what they felt at each moment, results be damned. They could be jammy, tight, faithful to the hits, or downright dismissive of them. Most of this diversity can be credited to one Mr. Jim Morrison — that sometimes loved, sometimes loathed representative of rock music excess. Lots of people probably believe he simply pictured himself as some kind of Serious Rock God. This is clearly untrue once you hear these recordings. Morrison is by turns funny, maniacal, irreverent, menacing, contrite and nearly always entertaining. At the mere age of 26, he is a master of leading the band and controlling the crowd, but he is also transparently human and therefore fallible. He is the flawed American frontman for the ages. Elvis was The King, but Jim was The Lizard King. Which would you rather be? Eddie Vedder knows the answer.
Removing Morrison from the equation for a moment, this band is a stripped-down rock miracle. They read each other almost supernaturally, shifting from flavor to flavor during improvisational segments, and without obvious cues. Don’t forget that Ray Manzarek is capably playing all of the basslines with his left hand while going much farther afield with his right. Robbie Krieger moves effortlessly through various scales and modes, and brings electricity exactly when it is needed. The drums are entirely sympathetic as manned by John Densmore. (He current stands as the lone holdout to the total exploitation of Doors songs used as soundtracks to TV commercials.)
Take a look at the setlists from each show included in this box. “Roadhouse Blues” opens each concert, and how different could that song be from show to show, you may ask? The answer is: very much. The first show understandably begins somewhat sedately. The song is delivered pretty much like what you’d hear on the studio album. By the second show (later the same night) the song has both loosened in its groove and become focused in its delivery of the goods. The final version (on Disc 5, on which all the songs share a sense of unglued, urgent finality) features an extended speaking-in-tongues interlude that goes, I quote: “Getcher koo-ka, cock-a-chee-chon-bown. Ong-cong-deet-don-chee-chong-a-die, nie-cha-kika-kon-on-chonka-poo. Oke-a-koke-koke-chee-chaw-lau. Ow-doe-peek-o-doe-cho-ga-meepa-chee-cho-ka-papa-oo-dah. Waaaaalll, right.” What’s not to love about that? And this is just the first song of the final, and by far most raucous of the four shows.
The box is loaded with lots of other odd surprises, too. While each of the four shows have a roughly similar outline in terms of song selection, the variances are many. You’ll hear one-off performances (”Love Hides,” “Wild Child” and several others), different segues within the medley pieces, one very rare reading of “Celebration of the Lizard,” and an extended segment of blues songs in the final show where John Sebastian joins in on harmonica and Dallas Taylor plays drums. Morrison’s voice is shot by the end but he soldiers on, happily delivering a completely improvised version of “Gloria” to cap the proceedings. (It’s not the version heard on Alive, She Cried — it’s actually weirder and better.) According to the liner notes, the band retired to an expensive record-company party afterward, where street people invited by Morrison mingled with the band and their handlers. This also purports to be the last of the professionally-recorded archival releases from this pioneering band. We’ll see about that.
Edited by Shebang, 04 February 2010 - 02:55 AM.
Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:16 AM
And I may be wrong as everyone.
I have done a complete comparison between the release and the circulating pieces - audience, MP3 for the 17 early and old release like Abs. Live, Alive She Cried, BMA sample Live in America and the 97 Boxset.
17 early :
- RHB, SOF, FTO, SK & beginning of LMF are OK with the circulating MP3 versions
- Money is the same than the "Abs. Live Outtkes" bootleg version
- BOT is exactly the same than the sampler,
- PF / BS are the same than the 97 Boxset but I don't think they were overdubbed,
- AS & WDYL are the same than the AL versions except a spoken part after WDYL "I want to die for the music" but I am under the impression it's not Jim's voice, may be a studio edit. AS & WDYL were cut from the master.
- LLRR doesn't include Alive She Cried overdubs
- BDM & most of LMF didn't circulate.
17 late :
- RHB, BOT, SOF, CKS, AS, BDM & The End are the same than the audience recording
- the first 1:10 of FTO is OK, after it's edited and mixed with other shows, FTO is cut from the master
- the first 2:14 of BMW are edited, the rest is OK, it is also cut from the master
- WDYL is OK with the circulating MP3, this one had slight cuts
- WTMO is the same than the Abs. Live version except 18s at 9:28 cut on AL. I'm under the impression it has some edits, the "Get the singer..." at 9:28 sounds very near the one of 18 late during the encores tunings, unfortunately WTMO is cut from the master.
- WC, LMF & SK didn't circulate.
18 early :
All the show is OK with the audience recording except
- a few edits in the intro and the tuning after Money
- edits in FTO, the first 10s are from Abs. Live so are the "Get together..." before the final which is neither exacty right.
- notice that the audience recording has several cuts in RHB, AS false start, MLD-HL & LMF (about 1:05 at about 6:00).
18 late :
- some edits in the intro,
- RHB, PF, AS & BDM are OK with the audience recording
- FTO is OK with the audience recording except the final word "Time" which is missing, FTO is cut from the master
- COTL is OK with the audience recording
- the first 30s of BMW are from the 17 late, the rest is OK, BMW is cut from the master
- WTMO & SK are OK with the audience recording
- some edits in Petition
- LMF is OK with the audience recording. I'm just under the impression that the cymbal knock just at the beginning sounds for my ears from another show.
- "Only when the moon..." is from Pitts, the intro to CTY is missing
- CTY is the same than the Abs. Live version except about 10s at 3:13 which were cut in AL, CTY is cut from the master
- Gloria is OK with the audience recording
- special mention for RM, GTNY & MMG which are basically the same than the audience recording except the John Sebastian overdubs.
I made a comparison very carefuly between the audience and the overdubbed and I have to say John Sebastian's work is absolutely perfect, each note is the same, great job, it's not an overdub it's a restoration.
For the hard lovers of an absolute fidelity with the original performance it's possible to make a matrix between the new release and the audience recordings.
I've done it and the result is quite good except FTO from the 18 early, even the 1st gen of the audience recording has a sound very hard to approach from the SBD one.
The only unknown part in all the FF performance is the intro to CTY, possibly some part is the end of the tuning of the WTMO/AL version.
It would be great if Bruce could find this piece in some place of the archive, may be the 2 tracks if it still exists.
Please Jeff, is there any chance to get a download of this snippet one day ?
And once more this release is a great team work. Thank you and have a merry Chistmas.
Posted 24 February 2010 - 04:01 PM
Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:10 AM
Posted 11 April 2010 - 11:12 PM
Not yet - we're all in full-on film opening mode right now!
Posted 18 March 2012 - 03:14 PM
Edited by The Royal Sperm, 18 March 2012 - 03:23 PM.
Posted 18 March 2012 - 07:13 PM
Posted 19 March 2012 - 02:11 AM
the jewel cases are the Promo UK cds of the box set!
not listened yet, my turntable isn't functional right now, i'm looking for a turntable doctor!
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