Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Doors - Unauthorised - The Lizard King Vol.3 (1993) Bootleg

(U.S 1965–1973)
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This CD is part of the famous 'Vancouver concert' featuring the Doors playing alongside the great Albert King. This release is available with varying covers, in this case with a big red stamp across Jim's picture saying Unauthorised, and they call the series 'The Unauthorised Recordings'.
Further more, these Unauthorised Recordings are also available from another company called Joker Productions - with the same track listing but different photos (The Doors - Live Vol.3, Joker Productions JOK-004-C). If you have the Joker release then you don't need this one.
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Live In Vancouver
On 6 June 1970, The Doors played the Vancouver PNE Arena in Vancouver, BC, and as two onstage microphones captured the performance on a reel-to-reel tape recorder, the band churned out a mostly blues-soaked set, during which they were joined by guitar legend Albert King on four songs.

The show, which featured 17-minute versions of both Light My Life and The End, has been released as a two-CD package called, appropriately enough, The Doors Live In Vancouver, 1970. For guitar fans and blues aficionados, the appearance of King on the songs Little Red Rooster, Who Do You Love (listen below), Rock Me and Money is reason enough to purchase the set. And they'd get little argument from keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who remembers the night as "one of the better gigs."

Recalling the performance during an interview with the Vancouver Sun, Manzarek said, "It was exciting. Albert King was going to be playing the blues with Robby Krieger, while Jim Morrison sings." Going into greater detail, the keyboardist remembered, "A large audience, lights shining in my eyes, can't see the audience... The Doors are excited because Albert King is coming onstage, so we played great. Then Albert comes on, and we played even better. We played dark and deep and funky. Morrison was just transfixed by Albert King's manual dexterity and adroitness on the guitar, so he was in blues-boy heaven.

Jim Morrison & Albert King At Vancouver 1970
"We were all blues boys. We had all gone to the south side of Chicago, which appeared magically in Vancouver, Canada. And we're playing the blues. We're a blues band on the south side of Chicago playing with Albert King. Great night, absolutely great, had a fine time."

When asked if the band rehearsed with Albert King, Manzarek laughed and said, "Hell no! Are you kidding. What are we playing? The blues...is no problem." [Extract from Musicradar.com]

Albert King opened for The Doors in Vancouver on June 6, 1970. The Doors asked him to jam with them on four blues standards, and they were only months away from starting the recording of “L.A. Woman” in the fall of that year. From the versions of the songs The Doors played “Live in Vancouver” it seems they already had the blues on their minds.

There was some experimenting going on in Vancouver. The Doors seemed to be pushing the limits of rock or at least stretching the limits between rock and the blues. At first it sounds like the Vancouver show is more sedate (not sedated) than the Felt Forum shows a few months prior.  Upon a closer listening you can see The Doors were going for more of a bluesy feeling than a hard rock sound, and this explains why Morrison, in introducing Albert King, gives a quick tutorial to the audience about the two main indigenous forms of American music — blues and country — coming together in rock ‘n’ roll. He‘s tipping the audience off as to what they’re doing.

Albert King & Jim Morrison Backstage
The instrumentals in most of the songs highlight the bluesy feeling, as in “Five to One” and “Light My Fire.” While they didn’t change the song substantially, during the instrumental of “Light My Fire” Morrison comes in using “St. James Infirmary” as a starting point and slips in some bucolic, blues-tinged imagery from “Porgy and Bess” to highlight the bluesier aspects of The Doors’ usual repertoire: “the fish were jumping, and the cotton is high.” What band today of the same caliber as The Doors would or could risk such onstage experimentation?

That’s not to say The Doors didn’t delve into their psychedelic roots, as they played “When The Music’s Over” and an interesting rendition of “The End.”  Early in their career The Doors were interested in dissonance for their experimental journeys, but in Vancouver they show that assonance had taken over their experimental interest. “The End” in Vancouver is a mature rendering of that song; it isn’t as frantic as earlier versions, The Doors let it play out like a noir film, with Morrison stacking the familiar images upon each other until the dramatic crashing climax, creating a movie for the mind of the audience.

Albert King played four songs with the band onstage, “Little Red Rooster,” “Money,” “Rock Me,” and “Who Do You Love.” King’s solos on these songs, like the rest of the CD, don’t display a lot of unnecessary pyrotechnics but are solid playing all the way through.

The Doors on stage at the Pacific National Exhibition Coliseum, Vancouver

I’ve been to a lot of rock concerts and listened to a lot of live albums, but none of those seem to have the context or coherence that The Doors were able to imbue into their best shows, and this is one of their best.

These Bright Midnight releases are great for fans like me who didn’t have the connections to get bootlegs but still longed to hear the shows they’ve long heard about. The Bright Midnight releases are like raiding The Doors’ archives without having to worry about the quality; the sound is crisp and clear. The liner notes give you some background, right from The Doors’ own pens that’s more reliable than second generation legend. This bootleg release of “The Doors Live in Vancouver” will make a nice addition to your collection. [Extract from The Doors Examiner. Originally published in 'The Doors Examined' by Jim Cherry. 2013]
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Ripped from CD to MP3 (320kps), this bootleg recording is excellent quality and covers some of the best concerts played by the Doors over a three year period. Full album artwork (the usual fireman red covers) are included along with covers for alternative bootleg releases.
Sources: Pacific National Exhibition Coliseum, Vancouver, Canada, June 6th, 1970. Not the complete show.
Known as the 'Lizard King' because of the leather pants that he wore during his concert performances, this Vol.3 bootleg release highlights why Jim Morrison and the Doors were considered to be one of the biggest acts of the late 60's and 70's.
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Track Listing
01. Roadhouse Blues  5:57 (Vancouver, 6th Jun 1970)
02. Back Door Man  2:31  (Vancouver, 6th Jun 1970)
03. Five To One  6:10  (Vancouver, 6th Jun 1970)
04. Money (That's What I Want)  2:59  (Vancouver, 6th Jun 1970)
05. Rock Me Baby  6:41  (Vancouver 6th Jun 1970)
06. Little Red Rooster 6:32  (Vancouver, 6th Jun 1970)
07. Who Do You Love?  8:09  (Vancouver, 6th Jun 1970)
08. (Medley)  17:52  (Vancouver, 6th Jun 1970)
    Light My Fire
    Fever
    Summertime
    St. James Infirmary
09. The End  16:39  (Vancouver, 6th Jun 1970)
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