Friday, January 16, 2009

The Doors - Alive She Cried

I believe that this is the band’s first posthumous live release and while it is not as strong and consistent as some of the others, this has some high points, as well. This includes some sound check recordings, such as the lascivious take on Them’s “Gloria” that opens this record.

“Light My Fire” is live in front of an audience and it remains pretty close to the original, outside of the solo sections. Ray throws in some beautifully discordant moments and plays with the themes from the record a bit more freely and Jim throws in some poetry in the middle but then they return to the meat of the song for the last verse and ending.

An unusual addition is a hyper-drive version of “You Make Me Real”, certainly not one of their better known numbers. They are just weird in this outing on “Texas Radio and the Big Beat” which loses most of its structure and becomes a slow, meandering recitation. But, “Love Me Two Times” is pretty solid and pretty damn close to the original.

Surprisingly, John Sebastian joins the group on stage on harmonica for the blues number “Little Red Rooster”. Kreiger’s unique style of slide guitar is highlighted on this one and Ray takes a solo but Sebastian remains in the background the entire time. Good, slithering take on this, though.

The finale here is supposedly the first song that Manzarek ever heard Morrison sing, “Moonlight Drive”. This is fairly straight-forward, as well. I’m not sure when these recordings were done, but either these were early takes before they started experimenting too much on stage or these tunes just happened to not be their “jam” songs! Still good stuff, though.

There are definite points of interest throughout this one, but not enough surprises to make it one of the better live releases by these cats. More for fans, I’d say.