Strange Days

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Strange Days
Studio album by The Doors
Released September 25, 1967
Recorded May – August 1967 at Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, CA
Genre Psychedelic rock, acid rock
Length 35:25
Label Elektra
Producer Paul A. Rothchild
The Doors chronology
The Doors
(1967)
Strange Days
(1967)
Waiting for the Sun
(1968)
Singles from Strange Days
  1. "People Are Strange"/"Unhappy Girl"
    Released: September 1967
  2. "Love Me Two Times"/"Moonlight Drive"
    Released: November 1967
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Slant 4.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone (positive)[3]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide 5/5 stars[4]

Strange Days is the second album by American rock band The Doors, released in September 1967.[5] It was a commercial success, initially earning a gold record and reaching #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album also yielded two top 30 hits and eventually a platinum certification. Despite all this, the album's producer, Paul Rothchild, considered it a commercial failure: "We all thought it was the best album. Significantly, it was also the one with the weakest sales. We were confident it was going to be bigger than anything The Beatles had done. But, there was no single. The record died on us."[6]

Strange Days consists of songs that were written in 1965–66 but which did not make it onto their debut album, such as "Moonlight Drive," which was one of the first songs written by Jim Morrison. A demo of the song was recorded in 1965 and a proper studio version was recorded for their debut album but was not used. In 1967, a final version was recorded and released on this album. Strange Days contains some of the Doors' most psychedelic songs. "Strange Days," "People Are Strange," "Love Me Two Times" and "When the Music's Over" are all considered classics within the Doors' canon. The album has sold over 9 million copies.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Strange Days reached #3 in the US in November 1967, while the Doors' debut was still sitting in the top ten after nearly a year since its release. "People Are Strange" reached #12 on the US chart, and "Love Me Two Times" followed it, going to #25, thus proving the band's staying power after the runaway success of their debut. In the UK, they had yet to score a big hit single and Strange Days became one of two Doors studio albums not to chart, despite subsequent strong sales. Music critic Robert Christgau called the album "muscular but misshapen" in a 1968 column for Esquire, but went on to write that the Doors had come "from nowhere to reign as America's heaviest group."[7] In 2003, Strange Days ranked at #407 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time."[8]

Artwork[edit]

Unlike all of the band's other studio albums made with Jim Morrison, the album cover of Strange Days does not feature a group shot of the band, due to Morrison's refusal to appear on the cover. Instead, Joel Brodsky decided to photograph a group of street performers in New York. The location of the photograph is at Sniffen Court, a residential alley off of East 36th Street between Lexington and Third Avenue in Manhattan. The availability of such performers pictured was low, so Brodsky's assistant stood in as a juggler while a random cab driver was paid $5 to pose playing the trumpet. Twin dwarfs were hired, with one appearing on the front cover and one appearing on the back cover, which showed another shot of the alley. However, a group shot of the band does appear on a poster in the background of both shots, bearing captions of the band and album name. (The same photograph previously appeared on the back cover of the band's debut album.) Because of the subtlety of the artist and album title, most record stores put stickers across the cover to help customers identify it more clearly.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Strange Days"   3:11
2. "You're Lost Little Girl"   3:03
3. "Love Me Two Times"   3:18
4. "Unhappy Girl"   2:02
5. "Horse Latitudes"   1:37
6. "Moonlight Drive"   3:05
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "People Are Strange"   2:13
8. "My Eyes Have Seen You"   2:32
9. "I Can't See Your Face in My Mind"   3:26
10. "When the Music's Over"   10:58

Personnel[edit]

The Doors
Additional musicians
Technical staff and artwork

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1967 Pop Albums 3

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1967 "People Are Strange"
B-side: "Unhappy Girl"
Pop Singles 12
1967 "Love Me Two Times"
B-side: "Moonlight Drive"
Pop Singles 25

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,000,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[12] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[13] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[14] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic Review
  2. ^ Slant Magazine Review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone (November 23, 1967). "Strange Days | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 109.
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ BAM interview with Paul Rothchild; July 3rd, 1981
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (May 1968). "Columns". Esquire. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ "407) Strange Days : Rolling Stone". November 1, 2003. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Classic Album covers : Strange Days – The Doors". Nevermindthebuspass.com. February 2, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  10. ^ "CLASSIC TRACKS: 'Strange Days' "
  11. ^ "American album certifications – The Doors – Strange Days". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  12. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Doors – Strange Days". Music Canada. 
  13. ^ "French album certifications – Doors – Strange Days" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select DOORS and click OK
  14. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (The Doors; 'Strange Days')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  15. ^ "British album certifications – Doors – Strange Days". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Strange Days in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go

External links[edit]