Album review: THE DOORS – Other Voices/Full Circle (reissue)

THE DOORS - Other Voices/Full Circle (reissue)

Rhino [Release date 04.09.15] 2-CD

After Jim Morrison’s death in July 1971, and without their charismatic frontman, the writing was on the wall for the remaining members of The Doors.  But in the 2 years before they called it a day, they released two albums – Other Voices was recorded between June and August 1971 and released in October 1971, and Full Circle recorded early in 1972 and released in August 1972.

Until now, they’ve not been widely unavailable on CD.  This 2-CD release, re-mastered by The Doors and Love producer Bruce Botnick from the original tapes, and including liner notes by Rolling Stone editor David Fricke plus a rare B-side – ‘Treetrunk’ – puts that right.
But isn’t The Doors, without Morrison, unthinkable?

The speed with which both albums were put out suggests much thought wasn’t given to grieving, and neither release made so much as a ripple on this side of the pond.  Even at home, they didn’t fare much better especially the more experimental Full Circle.

Thoughts of replacing Morrison were quickly discarded with Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger taking on vocals alongside their keyboard and guitar duties, and on both releases a number bassists guested alongside drummer John Densmore.

Frankly, although it must be said the particularly impressive remastering makes these recordings sound like they were recorded yesterday, the vocals – particularly on Other Voices – are not the greatest – ‘Variety Is The Spice Of Life’, for example, sounding far too like Chas and Dave for comfort.  The musicianship on both releases is, however, faultless, and while Other Voices treads familiar Doors territory, Full Circle sees the band starting to explore new ground with growing confidence.

Both albums are, of course, products of their time and at times, both echoing former glories and crying out for the presence of Morrison (‘Ships w/ Sails’, being a prime example).  Neither is now going to be regarded a ‘classic’, but for those with more than a passing interest in The Doors, they certainly merit exploration.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 22 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 24 November 2020

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)

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