Other Voices (The Doors album)

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Other Voices
The Doors - Other Voices.jpg
Studio album by The Doors
Released October 18, 1971 (1971-10-18)
Recorded June–August 1971 using 8-track recording console
Genre Rock
Length 39:42
Label Elektra
Producer The Doors,
Bruce Botnick
The Doors chronology
L.A. Woman
(1971)
Other Voices
(1971)
Full Circle
(1972)
Singles from Other Voices
  1. "Tightrope Ride"
    Released: 1971
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C+[2]
Classic Rock 4/10[3]
PopMatters 5/10 stars[4]
Record Collector 3/5 stars[5]
(combined score for Other Voices
and Full Circle)
Sputnikmusic 2.5/5[6]
Starpulse 4.5/5 stars[7]

Other Voices is the seventh studio album by The Doors, released in October 1971. It was the first album released by the band following the death of the lead singer Jim Morrison.

Recording and composition[edit]

The Doors recorded Other Voices in the same rehearsal space as they had recorded the hit album L.A. Woman (called the Workshop, a two-story building at 8512 Santa Monica Boulevard), with Botnick telling Uncut in 2011, "We made it in the same place, in exactly the same way. We figured if it worked once, it would work twice."[this quote needs a citation] Keyboardist Ray Manzarek and Krieger took Morrison's place as lead singers. The song "Down on the Farm" was allegedly already written at the time of the recording of L.A. Woman but Morrison did not want to include it. Manzarek and Krieger harmonize on the track. In his AllMusic review of the album, Linsay Planer observes that, while for many fans the Doors essentially died with Morrison in 1971, "there is an organic flow that had spilled over from the L.A. Woman album. Another undeniable plus to Other Voices is that after being relegated as sidemen, each of the players is given an outlet for their songs and underutilized talents."[this quote needs a citation] With Morrison's bluesy baritone out of the picture, the band felt free to explore many of the jazz and Latin influences that had always been part of their sound. Manzarek contributes three songs, all tributes to Morrison: "In the Eye of the Sun", "Tightrope Ride", and "Hang On To Your Life", the latter two songs co-written with Krieger. "Tightrope Ride", which references the recently deceased Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones, would be the only post-Morrison Doors song to be included on the group's 1997 rarities retrospective Box Set. In its liner notes Densmore comments, "My interpretation of the lyrical sub-text is Ray's sadness over Jim's demise. I love the track on this one. We over-dubbed me on top of myself – two drummers before the Allman Brothers!" In his 2015 article "Weird Scenes Beyond the Goldmine", Uncut writer Tom Pinnock observes that the hard boogie-blues of both "In the Eye of the Sun" and "Tightrope Ride" would have slotted in nicely on L.A. Woman but "Ship W/ Sails" is Other Voices' clear highlight, "a skillful melding of Latin and jazz that had been hinted at the band's previous work." Reminiscent of the band's final hit "Riders on the Storm", the song features percussion from Francisco Aguabella, who also contributes to "Hang On To Your Life." The upbeat "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned" recalls Morrison's absurd humor but, as noted by AllMusic, it is "undoubtedly a reflection of both where Krieger – the song's author – as well as the survivors of the emotionally frazzled '60s collective heads were at. The mixing of ennui with an underlying paranoia provides a fascinating contrast."[this quote needs a citation]

Reception[edit]

Other Voices was released three months after Morrison's death (remarkably, "Riders on the Storm" was still on the charts) and reached #31 on the Billboard chart. As Uncut put it in 2011, "Reviews were encouragingly non-hostile; the trio played Carnegie Hall to some acclaim; and Holzman remembers Other Voices selling 400,000 copies...but the package somehow couldn't withstand the glaring absence of Morrison from the picture."[this quote needs a citation] Engineer Bruce Botnick was unimpressed, telling the same magazine in 2015, "I didn't think it was very strong...It wasn't bad, it just wasn't dangerous anymore. One of the legs of the table was missing. How could it not seem like that?"[this quote needs a citation] AllMusic praises the band's "charge forward in pure power trio mode with plenty of interaction between the primary participants – most notably Krieger's fiery fretwork and Manzarek's authoritative vocals."[this quote needs a citation] Sputnikmusic takes a dim view of the album, charging that it "crumbles under a style where playing safe is an absolute must. No more had experimentation or a memorable rhythm played its part, and in their places arrived bland songwriting."[this quote needs a citation]

Later releases[edit]

The album was not released on CD until October 23, 2006, by the Timeless Holland label, along with the final Doors album, Full Circle. For years the Doors largely disregarded the last two studio albums that were recorded without Morrison, and had no plans of reissuing the albums on CD. At the time, the Doors stated that they were not in possession of the master tapes, but remastered material from both the albums has appeared on various compilations, most notably the 1997 Box Set and the 2000 compilation The Best of the Doors. On September 27, 2011, The Doors finally gave Other Voices (along with Full Circle) its first official reissue, though made available only via digital download at sites such as the iTunes Store, Amazon.com and eMusic. The original master tapes were confirmed to have been used in these reissues.[8] On May 29, 2015 it was announced that Other Voices would be re-released on CD and 180-gram vinyl.[9]

Track listing[edit]

While Other Voices' inside gatefold cover states "All songs written by Krieger, Densmore, Manzarek", a lyric sheet was included with early LP editions of the album that listed individual writing credits, and some early versions of the LP include these credits on the LP record labels as well. These individual credits are listed below.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "In the Eye of the Sun"   Ray Manzarek 4:48
2. "Variety Is the Spice of Life"   Robby Krieger 2:50
3. "Ships w/ Sails"   Krieger/John Densmore 7:38
4. "Tightrope Ride"   Manzarek/Krieger 4:15
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Down on the Farm"   Krieger 4:15
6. "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned"   Krieger 3:55
7. "Wandering Musician"   Krieger 6:25
8. "Hang On to Your Life"   Manzarek/Krieger 5:36

Personnel[edit]

The Doors

Additional personnel

  • Jack Conrad – bass on "In the Eye of the Sun", "Variety Is the Spice of Life" and "Tightrope Ride"
  • Jerry Scheff – bass on "Down On The Farm", "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned" and "Wandering Musician"
  • Wolfgang Melz – bass on "Hang on to Your Life"
  • Ray Neapolitan – bass on "Ships w/Sails"
  • Willie Ruff – acoustic bass on "Ships w/Sails"
  • Francisco Aguabellapercussion on "Ships w/Sails" and "Hang on to Your Life"
  • Emil Richardsmarimba on "Down on the Farm"

Chart information[edit]

Album

Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1971 Pop Albums 31[citation needed]
Singles
Year Single Chart Position
1971 "Tightrope Ride"
B-side: "Variety is the Spice of Life"
The Billboard Hot 100 71[10]
1971 "Ships with Sails"
B-side: "In the Eye of the Sun"
Pop Singles ?

Production[edit]

  • Producers – The Doors, Bruce Botnick
  • Engineer – Bruce Botnick
  • Cover photo – Ron Raffaelli

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lindsay Planer. "Other Voices". AllMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Album: The Doors: Other Voices". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  3. ^ Barton, Geoff (August 2015). "The Doors Full Circle / Other Voices". Classic Rock. p. 105. 
  4. ^ Schonbeck, Carl (February 13, 2012). "The Doors: Other Voices and Full Circle". PopMatters. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ Bell, Max (September 2015). "The Doors – Other Voices/Full Circle". Record Collector. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Davis, Robert (June 15, 2014). "The Doors – Other Voices (album review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Other Voices Album Review, Songs, Ratings". Starpulse.com. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  8. ^ http://www.thefreedomman.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3896&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight= OV/FC Master Tape Discussion
  9. ^ "The Doors' Two Post-Jim Morrison Albums Set for Reissue". Rolling Stone. 
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Hot 100 Annual 1955–2005. Menomonee Falls: Record Research, 2006.