Five to One

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"Five to One"
Song by The Doors from the album Waiting for the Sun
Released July 13, 1968
Recorded February–May 1968
Genre Psychedelic rock, acid rock, hard rock [1]
Length 4:24
Label Elektra
Writer Jim Morrison
Robby Krieger
Ray Manzarek
John Densmore
Producer Paul Rothchild
Waiting for the Sun track listing
Yes, the River Knows
(10)
"Five to One"
(11)

"Five to One" is a song by The Doors, from their 1968 album Waiting for the Sun.

Origin[edit]

Part of the song ("Your ballroom days are over baby/Night is drawing near/Shadows of the evening/crawl across the years"), was seemingly lifted from the 19th-century hymnal and bedtime rhyme "Now the Day is Over" ("Now the day is over/Night is drawing nigh/Shadows of the evening/Steal across the sky") by Morrison.[2] Similarly, Morrison quoted the "Christian child's prayer" in a live version of "Soul Kitchen" sung in 1969[3] and also altered the children's rhyme "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over The candlestick" to suit part of his poem An American Prayer ("Words dissemble/Words be quick/Words resemble walking sticks").[4] Morrison was possibly referring to a Dylan Thomas story entitled The Fight in Thomas' Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog,[5] where the central character reads from a poem called Warp ("[...] Five into one, the one made of five into one, early/Suns distorted too late.")

Public performances[edit]

The song's most famous performance was at the 1969 Miami concert at the Dinner Key Auditorium. Towards the end of the performance, a drunken Morrison declared the audience "idiots" and "slaves". The concert would end with Morrison being accused of "attempting to incite a riot" among the concert goers, resulting in his arrest, and later conviction, for indecent exposure. This performance can be heard on Disc 1 of The Doors: Box Set and is depicted in Oliver Stone's film The Doors.

During the reunion of the original lineup of The Doors sans Jim Morrison on VH1 Storytellers, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots took up vocals. Before the performance Robby Krieger said Weiland was one of the few frontmen who could "fill Jim's leather pants". Scott said that "Five to One" was what inspired him to begin a career in rock music.

Cover versions[edit]

Yuya Uchida & The Flowers recorded what is possibly the first cover in 1968 for their album Challenge! although it was not released until the remaster in 2007. Marilyn Manson released a studio cover of the song, while Velvet Revolver and the Russian band Splean (Russian: Сплин) have covered it live. The guitar solo on Pearl Jam's "Alive" was based on Ace Frehley's guitar solo on the Kiss song "She", which was in turn based on Robby Krieger's solo in "Five to One".[6] Kanye West sampled "Five to One" to create the beat for Jay-Z's diss song of Nas and Mobb Deep called "Takeover". In 2011, American band Make Love and War released their remake of the song to coincide with the peak of Arab Spring, with a video portraying images of toppled and at-risk Middle East dictators, as well as footage of past and present popular uprisings.[7]

Oasis released a song named "Waiting for the Rapture" (on 2008's Dig Out Your Soul) which is very similar to "Five to One".

Appearances in Other Media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Five to One review". Matthew Greenwald. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Now the Day is Over". Encyclopedia-titanica.org. 2005-10-12. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "An American Prayer (Ii) Lyrics - The Doors". Actionext.com. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  5. ^ "BBC Wales - Arts - Dylan Thomas - Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog". Bbc.co.uk. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  6. ^ Gilbert, Jeff. "Prime Cuts: Mike McCready - The Best of Pearl Jam!". Guitar School. May 1995.
  7. ^ "Five To One by Make Love AND War". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 

External links[edit]