Absolutely Live (The Doors album)

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Absolutely Live
Live album by The Doors
Released 20 July 1970
Recorded July 1969–May 1970
Genre Psychedelic rock, acid rock, blues rock
Length 77:02
Label Elektra
Producer Paul A. Rothchild
The Doors chronology
Morrison Hotel
Absolutely Live
CD Reissue cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[3]
Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music 2/5 stars[4]

Absolutely Live is the first live album released by American rock band The Doors in July 1970.

In 1991, Absolutely Live and 1983's Alive, She Cried were repackaged and released as a two-disc set entitled In Concert, with the addition of one track from 1978's An American Prayer and two from 1987's Live at the Hollywood Bowl.

The album was subsequently issued by itself as a single disc set by Elektra in 1996 with new artwork different from the original LP. Until 2012 was not re-issued in the original double vinyl format.

Live recording details[edit]

Many shows were recorded during the 1970 tour to create the Absolutely Live album. The Doors' producer and longtime collaborator Paul A. Rothchild claimed to have painstakingly edited the album from many different shows to create one cohesive concert. According to Rotchild's words, the best part of a song from the Detroit show may have been spliced together with another part of the same song from the Boston show, trying to create "the ultimate concert." Rothchild has said, "I couldn't get complete takes of a lot of songs, so sometimes I'd cut from Detroit to Philadelphia in midsong. There must be 2,000 edits on that album."[5]

Despite this claim, the Bright Midnight record company (Rhino/Elektra/Warner group) started to publish all the uncut masters of all the shows recorded for Absolutely Live tour (July 1969 – June 1970: Aquarius Theatre 1969, 8 CDs; Live in New York 1970, 6 CDs; Boston 1970, 3 CDs; Philadelphia 1970, 2 CDs, Pittsburgh 1970, 1 CD, Detroit 1970, 2 CDs) definitely proving Rotchild to be wrong, in fact of a total of 20 songs of the original Absolutely Live album, only two have cuts: on Back Door Man (from Felt Forum, 18 January 1970, second show) a cut of "Love Hides" comes from Philadelphia, 1 May 1970 (very few others professionally recorded versions of Love Hides were available, for this reason Rothchild decided to include it) and on "Five to One" (from Felt Forum, 17–18 January 1970) only a cut of one of Jim’s flamboyant screams was added from the other show of the same Felt Forum venue (18 January 1970, first show).

Official audio professional proofs show that less than 5 major cuts were done on Absolutely Live album. These recorded audio proofs, from officially available CDs, allow matching of each song on the Absolutely Live album to each recorded concert, showing that Rothchild's claim of multiple edits to songs for cohesiveness is totally untrue. These are the real sources of each song, proving that no major cut or edit was actually done on songs:

1) House Announcer - Philadelphia '70 2) Who Do You Love? - Felt Forum Jan 17th '70 early show 3) Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) - Felt Forum Jan 17th '70 early show 4) Back Door Man - Felt Forum Jan 18th '70 late show 5) Love Hides - Philadelphia '70 6) Five to One - Felt Forum 18th late show plus Felt Forum Jan 17th late show 7) Build Me a Woman - Felt Forum Jan 17th late show (partially censored) 8) When the Music's Over - Felt Forum 17th late show 9) Close to You - spoken intro Pittsburgh '70 ; song from Felt Forum Jan 18th late show 10) Universal Mind - Aquarius '69 2nd show 11) Petition the Lord with Prayer - Felt Forum 18th late show 12) Dead Cats, Dead Rats - Detroit '70 13) Break on Through - Detroit '70 14) Celebration of the Lizard - Aquarius '69 first show 15) Soul Kitchen - Aquarius 2nd show (the stage final spoken words by manager inviting everyone to the rockfest and headshops from Felt Forum 18th early show)

The album marks the first release of the complete Celebration of the Lizard sequence, albeit in a live version.

Track listing[edit]

Original vinyl release[edit]

Side one (side time 19:17)
  1. "Who Do You Love?" (McDaniel
  2. Medley:
Side two (side time 18:33)
  1. "Build Me a Woman" (Morrison) 
  2. "When the Music's Over" (The Doors) 
Side three (side time 18:00)
  1. "Close to You" (Dixon)[1] 
  2. "Universal Mind" (The Doors) 
  3. "Break On Through (to the Other Side), #2" (Morrison) 
Side four (side time 21:52)
  1. "Celebration of the Lizard" (Morrison) 
    • "Lions in the Street" – 1:14
    • "Wake Up!" – 1:24
    • "A Little Game" – 1:10
    • "The Hill Dwellers" – 2:35
    • "Not to Touch the Earth" – 4:19
    • "Names of the Kingdom" – 1:24
    • "The Palace of Exile" – 2:25
  2. "Soul Kitchen" (Morrison) 

1996 CD reissue[edit]

  1. "House Announcer" – 2:40
  2. "Who Do You Love?" (Diddley) – 6:03
  3. Medley:
    • "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" (Brecht, Weill) – 1:51
    • "Back Door Man" (Dixon, Burnett) – 2:22
    • "Love Hides" (Morrison) – 1:49
    • "Five to One" (Morrison) – 4:35
  4. "Build Me a Woman" (Morrison) – 3:33
  5. "When the Music's Over" (The Doors) – 16:16
  6. "Close to You" (Dixon)[1] – 4:04
  7. "Universal Mind" (The Doors) – 4:55
  8. "Petition the Lord with Prayer" (Morrison) – 0:53
  9. Medley:
    • "Dead Cats, Dead Rats" (The Doors) – 1:54
    • "Break On Through (to the Other Side) No. 2" (Morrison) – 4:41
  10. "Celebration of the Lizard" (Morrison) 
    • "Lions in the Street"
    • "Wake Up!"
    • "A Little Game"
    • "The Hill Dwellers"
    • "Not To Touch The Earth"
    • "Names of the Kingdom"
    • "The Palace of Exile"
  11. "Soul Kitchen" (Morrison) – 7:11


Remote recording facilities provided by: Fedco Audio Labs, and Wally Heider Recording.


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[6] 31


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[7] Gold 500,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[8] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[9] Gold 100,000*
Australia (ARIA)[10] Gold 35,000^

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


  1. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie (2011). "Absolutely Live – The Doors | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "The Doors: Absolutely Live!". robertchristgau.com. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Doors: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on January 13, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Doors Absolutely Live". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ BAM interview with Paul Rothchild; 3 July 1981
  6. ^ "Top 40 album-, DVD- és válogatáslemez-lista – {{{year}}}. {{{week}}}. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. LightMedia.
  7. ^ "American album certifications – The Doors – Absolutely Live". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  8. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Doors – Absolutely Live". Music Canada. 
  9. ^ "French album certifications – Doors – Absolutely Live" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select DOORS and click OK
  10. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 

External links[edit]