Aside from being reissued on limited edition midnight blue vinyl, this remains the “organic documentary” that The Doors and producer Paul A. Rothchild envisaged.
Recorded at various East Coast venues and two Monday night shows at the Aquarius Theatre in Los Angeles between August 1969 and June ’70, Absolutely Live captured The Doors on the rebound from Jim Morrison’s Miami bust, right before they recorded Morrison Hotel.
It remains captivating with the band’s technical excellence highlighted by a rough R&B approach in places as they ditch psychedelia and give Jim his head on spectacular versions of When The Music’s Over and the Alabama Song medley, climaxing in a crunching Five To One.
The real draws here are the otherwise unreleased material. Bo Diddley’s Who Do You Love sets that scene, but Love Hides and the moody Universal Mind, where Morrison confronts his public image, are key songs. Best of all is the Dead Cats, Dead Rats rap, which addresses the Days Of Rage riots that ripped through Chicago.
The Celebration Of The Lizard finally appears and proves to be a transcendent performance art marvel. The only downside is Ray Manzarek’s boisterous take on Willie Dixon’s Close To You. The rest is peachy, though. Give the singer some.