Robby Krieger

Versions/Robby Krieger

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Although the same basic band plays on the two Robby (aka Robbie) Krieger instrumental albums combined on this disc, they take two different approaches. Former Doors member Krieger is the guitarist, of course, accompanied by former Mothers of Invention keyboard player Don Preston, Arthur Barrow on bass, and usually Bruce Gary on drums. The songs making up 1982's Versions, as the title implies, largely are covers of familiar tunes, starting with the Pretenders' "Tattooed Love Boys" and including treatments of the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" and the Four Tops' "Reach Out (I'll Be There)." The two other surviving Doors, keyboard player Ray Manzarek and drummer John Densmore, join Krieger on a version of the Doors song "Crystal Ship" as well as a Krieger original, "Her Majesty." Whether originals or covers, the tunes on Versions are tightly played interpretations. The five remaining numbers, making up the 1985 album Robby Krieger, are much more exploratory. All are originals featuring the Krieger/Preston/Barrow/Gary lineup, and for this album they are really a band playing jazz-rock fusion. "Noisuf," which stretches out to almost 15 minutes, is the most loosely structured, leaving room for everything from a drum solo to a quote from "My Sharona," but all the tracks are structures for the band to improvise within. Having been prepared by the more familiar tunes on Versions, the listener may be ready to follow Krieger and company into the universe on Robby Krieger. But it will help to be more of a fusion fan than a Doors fan for most of the album.

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