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The Doors

Live in Europe 1968 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Previously out of print and just reissued by Eagle Entertainment, this DVD is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, the performances here are magical, psychedelic Doors extravaganza. Just the thrill of seeing these live excursions is awesome. Still, the sound quality is, at best, marginal at times, and, at worst, atrocious. The video is generally good, but in black and white.

The video commentary by Grace Slick and Paul Kantner, who with their band Jefferson Airplane joined the Doors on this tour, is quite cool, though, and adds a lot to the experience. A bonus here for someone, like me, is a huge fan of the Oliver Stone film is the inclusion of the scene where the band introduce themselves to the camera while coming to Europe. Stone got it close, but it's interesting to see how reality and fictionalized reality mix. There are a number of intriguing short clips interspersed in the commentary section. This DVD ends with clips of the remaining members of the Doors joining fans at Morrison's gravesite in a tribute.

When this DVD works well, it still only hits part way, but a lot of that is the lack of available technology at the time. These performances are irreplaceable, though, and just having them is a great thing. It's just a shame they weren't captured better.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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