Perceiving the Doors

In the sixties songs developed a profundity which was quite unlike anything known in modern popular music. The words were in some case not only graphic but also poetic. Bob Dylan was an earlier example, choosing part of his stage name from Dylan Thomas, and occasionally there was good poetry in rock songs. 

The most poetic songs were written by The Doors. The songs were often pretentious but this happens when poets experiment until they find the right tone. Sometimes the songs are simply not very good, again another feature of creativity. Much of what the Romantic Poets wrote is pure twaddle, but among the rubbish there are genuine beautiful works of poetic art.

So it was with the Doors. I first heard about them at University in the sixties and Jim Morrison’s style, message and words struck a resonant chord with me and most of my friends. The magic of some of the words of the songs is interred with them, unlike the magic of words in some popular songs which becomes pleasant in the way that an oft repeated ritual is pleasing.

After the Doors most words in popular songs became less poetic, and more idiomatic. With most songs the music dominates the words, and the words simply act as a filler, a sing along facility. With the Doors songs the words are primal.

One Response

  1. You took me along to a posh kid’s room on G floor who had a Decca autochange record player, solidly placed on a very large cardboard box.

    He put on ‘The Doors’ on the tall thin spindle and dropped the steady arm over the LP then flicked the play lever. The arm dropped onto the record with a thump.

    Then, the first bass notes of Break on through (to the other side) exploded out of the cardboard box and I was hooked.

    Strange Day(s), today Amazon sent me my “Best of the Doors” but… surround sound. Pity Amazon can’t supply some of the that original thrill too.

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