In last week's SNJ I mentioned The Doors' first album as an example of the dark side of hippie romanticism. When I wrote that, I was operating strictly from memory. I hadn't heard it for perhaps forty years, aside from the occasional presence of a greatly abridged "Light My Fire" on the radio. Well, I just finished listening to it, closely, from start to finish, and...goodness gracious, what a darkly brilliant piece of work it is.
I wasn't much taken with it at the time--I thought it a little pompous and overblown--and I wonder if that wasn't by the grace of God. Had I followed where it beckoned and pointed, I might not have returned at all. It's a very seductive combination of the desire for transcendence and the simple love, or lust, for pleasure, and it doesn't distinguish genuine transcendence from death. Musically and lyrically, it's simply amazing for most of its 45 minutes—very alluring fleurs du mal, to say the least:The days are bright and filled with pain
Enclose me in your gentle rain
Et effing cetera. Wow...I think I'll listen to some Bach now.