The Doors

1965 Demos

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In September 1965, the Doors recorded a crude five-song demo in three hours, intended for getting a contract (which they actually got with Columbia, although nothing was recorded before it was annulled). Robby Krieger had yet to join the band at this point; present at the session were Morrison, Manzarek, and Densmore, with Manzarek's brothers Rick (guitar) and Jim (harmonica), and a forgotten female bass player. The results have been bootlegged so frequently (usually in the company of other Doors rarities) that it's useless to list a specific compilation. It won't be too hard to find one of them, though, identifiable by the inclusion of primitive versions of "Moonlight Drive," "Hello, I Love You," "Summer's Almost Gone," "My Eyes Have Seen You," and "End of the Night." Both Morrison and the band sound quite a ways from developing their sound: Morrison's vocals are far more tentative, Manzarek plays bluesy piano instead of organ, and there are hardly any guitars. Most surprisingly, "Hello, I Love You" and "My Eyes Have Seen You" are arranged in a manner that strongly recalls the early Kinks, much more so than the versions that ended up on the early Doors albums. Not a strong recording on its own merits, but a fascinating glimpse into the birth of the band.