One of several concerts from which 1970s official live Doors album Absolutely Live was sourced is offered in its entirety on this double-CD, Live in Philadelphia, of a May 1, 1970 show, available through the Internet only. Like Absolutely Live, it finds the band in a loosey-goosey state that drifts close to sloppiness, albeit with an engaging tipsy humor. Except for a few obligatory staples ("Light My Fire," "Break on Through," "Roadhouse Blues"), the group seemed determined not to play overly familiar tunes, even reaching back on occasion to their bar band days as a poor man's Rolling Stones for B.B. King ("Rock Me Baby"), Elvis Presley ("Mystery Train"), and Chuck Berry ("Carol") covers. Most of the tracks are previously unreleased, and it's not all hits or covers, the set list including such relatively little-traveled songs as "Ship of Fools," "Universal Mind," and "Maggie M'Gill." Certainly Jim Morrison's in a lewd 'n' bluesy mood, and for a guy with obscenity charges hanging over his head (from the group's infamous 1969 Miami concert), he lets it all hang out with surprisingly graphic recklessness on "Rock Me Baby" -- could anyone have doubted what "you feel so wet...let me slide inside" really meant? In common with most of the limited-edition releases the Doors have made available from their archive, this isn't up to the standards of their official catalog, even the relatively loose ones of Absolutely Live. But it's a good souvenir for committed fans, with much better sound than the usual bootlegs of the Doors from this era, though it's curious that the material is split into a lengthy 76-minute CD on disc one, and a mere 26-minute CD on disc two.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2