The Doors’ Ray Manzarek (1939-2013): An Appreciation

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Looking back, it’s been common to equate the Doors with their vocalist and frontman Jim Morrison. Since Morrison’s death, remaining members Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore have been dogged with the observation that runs along the lines of: “It just isn’t the Doors without Jim.”

Sure, but the passing of Ray Manzarek on May 20, 2013, in Germany at the age of 74 will perhaps give some weight to the argument that the keyboardist was just as important, and that “The Doors without Ray” sound even less like the original band than “The Doors without Jim.”

As evidence, take the final two albums of the Doors’ recording career: Other Voices (1971) and Full Circle (1972).

No, they aren’t the greatest albums to ever be dismissed and/or ignored (even though Other Voices made the Top 40). But they surely make the point that a lot of the Doors’ sound was propelled by the music that went along with the singing. And when Manzarek took on the role as singer to go along with his keyboard bass and organ playing – well, you gotta admire anyone who can do that all at once.

Though they became available as downloads last year, it would be nice to see these albums reissued and remastered properly so they can take their place in the band’s canon of work. R.I.P Ray. Thanks for your contributions to the great musical event known as the Doors.

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JC Mosquito

JC Mosquito

JC Mosquito spends most of his day keeping the wolves from the door. When he's not occupied with this pastime, he's interested in all things rock and roll -- which may or may not have died back in the late 1950s, the late 1970s, or the early '90s, depending on who you believe. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
JC Mosquito
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