This single-disc live compilation has also been issued as The Bright Midnight Records Sampler. However, both titles contain the exact same music. In their attempts to quash inferior-sounding bootlegs and provide Doors fans with previously unavailable recordings, the three surviving bandmembers, as well as manager Danny Sugerman and original sound engineer Bruce Botnick, formed Bright Midnight -- a subsidiary of and distributed by Rhino Records. This disc contains a sampling from the various titles on the label and includes some peak moments from shows destined for complete release. A majority of these tracks are derived from the same cache of professionally documented concerts compiled for the Absolutely Live double LP in 1970, thus explaining the stellar sound quality. Additionally, none of these recordings were issued in any form prior to Bright Midnight Records -- even within the often over-zealous circles of tape collectors. This begs the question: Where have they been hiding? Initially, the tapes were in the care of the Doors' producer, Paul Rothchild. After his passing they were discovered when bandmembers rummaged through available tapes to use on The Doors Box Set. Though these performances only span the course of a year, the sampler includes live versions of material from all six Doors studio albums with Jim Morrison. It seems a bit disproportionate, however, that over half the songs from The Doors debut disc are included, while Waiting for the Sun and Soft Parade are meagerly represented. The set's outstanding state-of-the art sound, atomic energy levels, and intense musicality match, if not exceed, the material ultimately chosen for Absolutely Live. Standouts include "Touch Me," "Break on Through (To the Other Side)," and the "Love Me Two Times" suite. Likewise it is interesting to note that these shows were performed in the wake of the March 1969 Miami incident, after which the Doors were in essence blacklisted all across the U.S.A. As interested parties will note, the seamy, crucial, manic nature of a Doors concert is revealed for generations wondering if the truth can live up to the hype.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer