The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s because of Morrison’s cryptic lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona, and the group was widely regarded as representative of the counterculture of the 1960s.
The Doors achieved national recognition after signing with Elektra Records in 1967. Their self-titled debut album featured their breakthrough single “Light My Fire” and became one of the best-selling debut albums of all time. The magazine Rolling Stone described them as “the most electrifying band in rock history”. Following this success, the band released eight more studio albums before Morrison’s death in 1971 at the age of 27. These albums, including Strange Days (1967) and Waiting for the Sun (1968), found success with their unique blend of psychedelic rock, blues rock, and acid rock.
The Doors are one of the best-selling bands of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and their recordings have been placed on several lists of Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 1993, they were ranked number 41 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list. The original four members were inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.
The Doors were the first American band to accumulate eight consecutive gold and platinum LPs. According to the RIAA, they have sold 33 million records in the US, and their debut album is one of the best-selling debut albums of all time. In 2015, a poll of critics and artists conducted by Rolling Stone ranked The Doors as number 50 on its list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
1. Morrison was inspired by Beat Generation writers such as Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.
2. The name “The Doors” was chosen by Morrison, who was fascinated by the Egyptian stories of Isis and Osiris.
3. The band’s self-titled debut album was released on January 4, 1967. It went to number one on the Billboard album chart and featured their first hit single, “Light My Fire”.
4. Morrison was arrested for indecent exposure during a performance in New Haven, Connecticut in December 1967. He spent part of 1968 in jail due to this incident.
5. The band’s third studio album, Waiting For the Sun (1968), marked a change in direction as they incorporated brass instruments into their music, but it also became their biggest album commercially, reaching number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and selling over five million copies.
6. Their fourth studio album, The Soft Parade (1969), featured even more orchestral arrangements and horn sections than its predecessor.
7. The band began to experience problems when Morrison started using heroin. He was arrested on December 9, 1970 for indecent exposure and public obscenity during a concert in Miami.
8. Morrison died of heart failure in Paris on July 3, 1971 at the age of 27. His death marked the end of The Doors as a creative unit, though they would continue with two more albums without him before disbanding later that same year.
9. In 2002, Manzarek and Krieger formed a new version of The Doors called “The Doors of the 21st Century”, with Ian Astbury (of The Cult) on vocals and Robby Krieger’s son Waylon behind the drums, but this new incarnation only lasted until 2013.
10. The Doors were one of the most influential and controversial rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to Morrison’s enigmatic persona and the group’s unique blend of psychedelic rock, blues-rock, and acid rock. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.