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Various Artists

Light My Fire - A Classic Rock Salute To the Doors

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve always been a big fan of the Doors. I’m also a huge fan of many of the musicians here. For that reason I expected to like this. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a great set. It’s not all prog rock, but given the number of prog musicians here and the amount of it that is, I’ve included it in that section of Music Street Journal. There’s nothing here that really misses the mark. There are a few particularly magical moments, too. That makes this a winner.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
L.A. Woman

The vocals on the opener are handled by Jimi Jamison from Survivor. Ted Turner of Wishbone Ash fame plays the guitar and Patrick Moraz (formerly of both Yes and the Moody Blues) is the keyboardist. There is almost a jazz vibe to this, but with a straight ahead hard rock sound, too. The combination is good. The extended instrumental section works really well.

Love Me Two Times
Former Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm handles the lead vocals. Focus’ Thijs van Leer plays keyboards here. Larry Coryell is the guitarist. I love the bluesier take on this thing. I also love some of the keyboard work on this thing. It’s got some great moments.
Roadhouse Blues
Some harmonica (courtesy of Rod Piazza) is added to the mix on this one, bringing more of a full on blues treatment. Since Leslie West is handling guitar on this, it seems obvious to state that the guitar is great, but it is. Brian Auger plays Hammond B-3 on this tune.
Love Her Madly
I love the hard rocking, psychedelic rock vibe here. Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge fame provides both the organ playing and the vocals. Uriah Heep’s Mick Box is the guitarist on this.
Riders on the Storm
I absolutely love this song. It’s got a bit of a different vibe from the Doors version. It’s at once more rocking and more proggy. It’s one of the highlights here for sure. The instrumental section is both proggy and psychedelic. Joe Lynn Turner (of Rainbow fame) is the singer. Tony Kaye, formerly of Yes handles the keyboard. The guitar is courtesy of Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MGs.
The Crystal Ship
The featured musicians on this include Edgar Winter (vocals) and Chris Spedding (guitar). Trippy and proggy, this is a bit odd. It’s also cool.
Intro (People Are Strange)
The first section of this is a piano solo, delivered by none other than Keith Emerson. Some killer acoustic guitar (played by Jeff “Skunk” Baxter) enters after a time. There’s a real ELP turned fusion vibe on this in  a lot of ways. Emerson’s synthesizer takes over at the end.
People Are Strange
Billy Sherwood plays Guitar, piano and synthesizers on this piece. David Johansen of New York Dolls fame handles the vocals. There’s a bit of alternative rock vibe to this thing. There’s a weird psychedelic rock edge with some hints of space.
Touch Me
This powerhouse is great. It’s proggy and yet fairly faithful. The instrumental section later in the piece is prog awesomeness. Of course, with a lineup like this, how could you expect anything but greatness? I mean, you’ve got Steve Morse on guitar, Jordan Rudess on keyboards and Nik Turner on saxophone, what’s not to like?
The Soft Parade
The featured musicians here include Graham Bonnet of Rainbow fame, Christopher North of Ambrosia and Steve Hillage. The first portion of this has a real prog meets dreamy psychedelic element to it. They fire out into something I’d call lounge lizard progressive rock from there. It keeps getting changed as they move forward. It’s all prog, but there are a lot of variations. It’s a real prog powerhouse and one of the highlights of the set.
Hello, I Love You
Although there are some proggier shifts, this has a killer hard rocking fairly straightforward sound and works really well. Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep fame provides vocals and organ and Roye Albrighton (Nektar) handles the guitar.
Spanish Caravan
One of the more fully prog songs here, this has some Spanish guitar (as is appropriate). It also has a lot of magic. The arrangement is just very cool. Eric Martin (of Mr. Big) fame is the singer here while Elliot Easton of the Cars handles the guitar.
Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)
Todd Rundgren is the singer on this one. Bouncy and fun, this has a lot of the playful element of the original. Still, it gets a shift toward prog rock from there. I love the keyboard sounds (provided by Geoff Downes of Yes, Asia and Buggles fame) on this. There’s almost a Hawaiian guitar element to it, too. Captain Beefheart’s guitarist Zoot Horn Rollo is also featured here.
Break On Through (To the Other Side)
I love this rendition. It just plain rocks. The vocals and guitar are both handled by Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad fame. Ten Years After keyboardist Chuck Churchill is also included in the list of musicians on this song. This might not be the proggiest thing here, but it’s quite cool.
Light My Fire

Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Rick Wakeman (Yes) & Steve Howe (Yes) – With Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe both jamming on this, it’s obvious that it will be magic and it is. I am not as blown away by Ian Gillan’s vocal performance, though. It’s good, but it’s just not up to the standard I expect of him. The extensive instrumental section on this is just amazing. That by itself is worth the price of admission here. This is definitely my favorite piece on the disc.

The End
The musicians on this track include Pat Travers and Jimmy Greenspoon (of Three Dog Night fame). This is another favorite. It’s a powerhouse jam that manages to take the original and move it into both more rocking and proggier directions. It’s a killer tune and really the only choice for closer.

 

 
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