50 years ago, an album emerged that helped a Los Angeles band break on through to the other side of success and led a lot of listeners to find their perceptions of rock and roll changed forever. Recorded during the last days of August 1966, The Doors was preceded in its release by "Break On Through (To the Other Side)," a single which failed to capture the interest of listeners or record buyers in any significant way, stalling at #126 in Billboard's Bubbling Under chart without ever finding its way onto the Hot 100.
For some labels, this level of commercial response would've been enough for The Doors to be shown the door, but Elektra Records were used to having a roster of artists who found cult success rather than mass acceptance. In the case of The Doors, however, their former status changed abruptly to the latter with the release of "Light My Fire" as a single: the song soon went to No. 1, turning Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, and Robby Krieger into superstars.
Over the years, just about every song on The Doors has earned some degree of popularity, thanks to the variety of inclusions on various compilations over the years: in addition to the two singles, "Crystal Ship" and the band's cover of Willie Dixon's "Back Door Man" featured on The Doors' first best-of collection (13), "Take It As It Comes" turned up on the next one (Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine), the 1973 single-LP greatest-hits set threw in "Soul Kitchen," and between the original release and CD reissue of the 1985 double-disc compilation The Best of The Doors, you get "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" and "The End."
Even "Twentieth Century Fox" got a little bit of added exposure in 1989 when The Escape Club covered it for The Wonder Years: Music from the Emmy-Award Winning Show & Its Era. Over the years, The Doors has sold over 20 million copies, regularly appearing in the upper reaches of best-of lists, and when it was remastered and reissued in 2007, the album officially became the band's most commercially-successful studio effort. Even though Morrison and Manzarek are no longer with us, it's clear that The Doors remain a force to be reckoned with.
1. Break On Through (To The Other Side)
2. Soul Kitchen
3. The Crystal Ship
4. Twentieth Century Fox
5. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)
6. Light My Fire
7. Back Door Man
8. I Looked At You
9. End Of The Night
10. Take It As It Comes
11. The End