Rock Is Rock: A Discussion Of A Doors Song

by Paul Williams, Crawdaddy Magazine

Very few people have the balls to talk about rock 'n' roll anymore. Revolver made it difficult. Between the Buttons, Smile, and The Doors LP are making it impossible. "Pop" music is definable only by pointing at a current chart; The Doors are not "pop," they are simply modern music. The term applied not because rock has achieved the high standards of mainstream music, but conversely because rock has ABSORBED mainstream music, has become the leader, the arbiter of quality, the music of today. The Doors, Brian Wilson, The Stones are modern music, and contemporary "jazz" and "classical" composers must try to measure up.

The Doors is an album of magnitude. Thanks to the calm surefootedness of the group, the producer, the record company, there are no flaws; The Doors have been delivered to the public full-grown (by current standards) and are still growing (standards change). Gestation may have been long and painful; no one cares. The birth of the group is in this album, and it's as good as anything in rock. The awesome fact about the Doors is that they will improve.

This album is too good to be "explained," note by note, song by song; that sort of thing could only be boring, since the sophomoric cognitive "review" must be immediately compared to the far - more - than - mere - communicative level of the work of art itself, the album. Knowing that my reader is able to stop after any word I write and listen to all of Light My Fire before he reads the next word, I should feel pretty foolish offering him a merely textual description of the buildup of erotic pressure in the performance. Is there really any point in saying something like "The instrumental in Light My Fire builds at the end into a truly visual orgasm in sound" when the reader can at any time put the album onto even the crummiest phonograph and experience the orgasm himself?

Copyright 2003 by Paul Williams/

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