In a sense, the Doors were the West Coast equivalent of New York’s Velvet Underground, with the major differences defined by the way the two coastal cities functioned.
New York was cooler than cool, with an active artistic base that thrived on the underground scene, and the Velvets reflected that by offering a prismatic reflection of the decadence that defined New York nightlife. Los Angeles was sunny and obsessed with stardom, with an insatiable appetite to make everything appear to be larger than life.
The Doors reflected Los Angeles in a manner almost identical to the Velvet Underground, because the Doors offered their own reflected version of the city that spawned them. With his outsized antics, Jim Morrison behaved like a spoiled movie star, and the music captured the ennui that comes from over-obsessing on superficiality and onanism. As if to make my analogy even more accurate, the Velvet Underground wallowed in obscurity while the Doors, Morrison in particular, pushed back against the stardom that surrounded the band. They represented the apotheosis of Los Angeles culture, and their second album allowed them plenty of opportunities for self-indulgence, which the audience read as cynicism. I believe it is this dichotomy that allows “Strange Days” to retain its appeal all these years later.
Featured tracks include:
You’re Lost Little Girl
Love Me Two Times
People Are Strange
My Eyes Have Seen You
I Can’t See Your Face in My Mind
When the Music’s Over
September 1967 - Billboard Charted #3
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