Riders on the Storm
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|"Riders on the Storm"|
|Single by The Doors|
|from the album L.A. Woman|
|The Doors singles chronology|
"Riders on the Storm" is a song by American psychedelic rock band the Doors. It was released as the second single from their sixth studio album and last with singer Jim Morrison, L.A. Woman, in June 1971. It reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., #22 on the UK Singles Chart and #7 in the Netherlands.
Background and composition
"Riders on the Storm" is a psychedelic rock song. According to guitarist Robby Krieger and keyboardist Ray Manzarek, it was inspired by the country song "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend," written by Stan Jones and popularized by Vaughn Monroe. Portions of the song's lyrics were allegedly inspired by spree killer Billy Cook, whom Morrison referenced in a 1970 interview with The Village Voice, citing Cook as an inspiration for his short film HWY: An American Pastoral. Cook had killed six people, including a young family, while hitchhiking to California.
The song's title echoes the American poet Hart Crane's poem "Praise for an Urn," which includes the line, "Delicate riders of the storm." Crane died in 1932 and Morrison was known to be a fan of his poetry.
"Riders on the Storm" is played in the E Dorian mode, and incorporates recordings of rain and thunder, along with Ray Manzarek's Fender Rhodes electric piano playing, which emulates the sound of rain.
It is popularly believed that "Riders on the Storm" is the song that longtime Doors producer Paul A. Rothchild disparaged as "cocktail music", precipitating his departure from the L.A. Woman sessions, as corroborated by guitarist Robby Krieger. Rothchild himself denied this claim, stating that he actually applied this moniker to "Love Her Madly". Following Rothchild's departure, longtime engineer Bruce Botnick was selected to take over production duties, alongside the Doors themselves.
"Riders on the Storm" was recorded at the Doors Workshop in December 1970 with the assistance of Botnick. Morrison recorded his main vocals and then whispered the lyrics over them to create an echo effect. This was the last song recorded by all four members of the Doors, as well as Morrison's last recorded song to be released in his lifetime. The single was released in June of 1971, entering the Billboard Hot 100 the week ending July 3, 1971, the same week that Morrison died.
Speaking with Krieger and Manzarek, the philosopher Thomas Vollmer argues that the line "Into this world we're thrown" recalls Heidegger's concept of thrownness (human existence as a basic state). In 1963 at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Jim Morrison heard an influential lecture for him, in which were discussed the philosophers who critically dealt with the philosophical tradition, including Friedrich Nietzsche and also Martin Heidegger.
The song was only performed live on two occasions, during the short-lived L.A. Woman Tour: once at the Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas, Texas, on December 11, 1970 (at both the early and late shows), and again the following night at the Warehouse in New Orleans, Louisiana. These were The Doors' last public performances with Jim Morrison, and Manzarek stated that the performances of the song were "magic". The New Orleans performance was only the second date of the tour, but also the last, as the tour was cancelled after this concert.
According to the book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio by Richard Neer, legendary overnight disc jockey Alison Steele, during her tenure at New York City's WNEW-FM throughout most of the 1970s, would always play this song on Monday nights if it was raining in the city.
Ray Manzarek and guitarist Roy Rogers covered this song as an instrumental duet on their 2008 album Ballads Before the Rain.
In November 2009, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame under the category Rock (track).
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
sales+streaming figures based on certification alone
Annabel Lamb version
|"Riders on the Storm"|
|Single by Annabel Lamb|
|from the album Once Bitten|
|Released||August 25, 1983|
|Format||7" single, 12" single|
|Producer(s)||David Anderle, Wally Brill|
|Annabel Lamb singles chronology|
- Riders On The Storm - 3:58
- No Cure - 4:50
- Riders On The Storm - 6:00
- Riders On The Storm (Dub Version) - 5:36
- No Cure - 4:50
- Riders On The Storm (Specially Remixed Dance Version) - 5:36
- Riders On The Storm (Dub Version) - 6:00
|UK Singles Chart||27|
|Swedish Singles Chart||18|
Other Cover versions
- Cameo covered the song in 1990 as an homage to Jim Morrison's influence on the band.
- New age/electronica music group Dancing Fantasy released a cover on their 1991 album California Grooves.
- Creed covered the song in 2000 for the album Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors and also performed the song live at Woodstock 1999 alongside Robby Krieger.
- Nightmares on Wax remixed the song for the limited edition of The Best of The Doors in 2000. Three other remixes, by Baez & Cornell, Ibizarre and SpaceBats, appear on the bonus CD.
- Yonderboi used a sample of the song for his track "Riders on the Storm/Pink Solidism," released on his 2000 album Shallow And Profound.
- Escape with Romeo covered the song on their 2001 album Come Here White Light.
- Incubus has been known to perform the song in a medley with "Are You In?" during their live shows.
- Living Legends sampled the song in their track "War Games," from their 2001 album Almost Famous.
- Wednesday 13 covered the song with altered lyrics and a new chorus, retitling it "Welcome to the Strange," released on the 2000 Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 album Songs from the Recently Deceased.
- Señor Coconut plays a merengue remix of this song on the 2003 album Fiesta Songs.
- Snoop Dogg covered the song for the 2004 game, Need for Speed: Underground 2, in a remixed version produced by Fredwreck. The cover was dubbed over the original track.
- "Rapture Riders," a 2005 officially-released mashup version of the song produced by Go Home Productions, featured Jim Morrison's vocal combined with music and vocals from Blondie's 1981 single "Rapture."
- Bob Sinclar used a small but highly recognizable portion of "Riders on the Storm" for his song "For You," released on his 2006 album Western Dream.
- Ray Manzarek & Bal collaborated on an electronic jazz version for their 2006 album Atonal Head.
- Dezperadoz covered the song in 2008 for the album An Eye for an Eye.
- The Jacka sampled most of the song in 2008 for the single "Storm," featuring Cormega, for his album Tear Gas.
- Infected Mushroom remixed the song for the 2009 album Legend of the Black Shawarma.
- Carlos Santana covered the song on his 2010 album Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time. This version features Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park) on lead vocals and the Doors' own Ray Manzarek reprising his role on keyboards. The lyric "sweet family will die" is changed to "sweet memory will die."
- Wolfmother covered the song live from 2010 to 2011, blending it with their own "White Unicorn."
- Megan Washington's cover of the song was featured in a trailer for season six of the Lifetime series Army Wives in 2012.
- Simple Minds included a cover of the song on the deluxe edition of their album Big Music in 2014.
- Kamyaniy Gist covered this song in Ukrainian for their album 70/80 in 2015.
- Lisa Bassenge covered the song for her 2015 album Canyon Songs.
- Jazz vocalist Kama Ruby covered this song as a mash-up with Stan Jones' "Ghost Riders in the Sky" for her 2017 album Mind's Eye.
- "Forty years on, Jim Morrison cult thrives at Paris cemetery". The Independent. July 1, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
... The Doors, who broke fresh ground in psychedelic rock with such hits as 'Riders on the Storm,'...
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It peaked at a respectable No. 14 shortly after Morrison died in July 1971.
- "'Riders On The Storm' | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – The Doors – Riders on the Storm" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- "Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???". The Electronic Piano Forum. April 25, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
- Riordan, James; Prochnicky, Jerry (2006). "Break On Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison". First Harper. pp. 420–423. ISBN 978-0-688-11915-7. Missing or empty
- (in German) Gerstenmeyer, Heinz (2001). The Doors - Sounds for Your Soul - Die Musik Der Doors. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-521-89615-3. ISBN 3-83112057-9.
- Critchley, Simon (June 29, 2009). "Being and Time, part 4: Thrown into this world". The Guardian. Manchester. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
As Jim Morrison intoned many decades ago, 'Into this world we're thrown'. Thrownness (Geworfenheit).
- Korstvedt, Benjamin M. (2010). Listening for Utopia in Ernst Bloch's Musical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-521-89615-3. ISBN 0-52189615-0.
- Bloch, Ernst (1954). The Principle of Hope. 1. p. 3.
[Hope] will not tolerate a dog's life which feels itself only passively thrown into What Is, which is not seen through, even wretchedly recognized.In German: "Sie erträgt kein Hundeleben, das sich ins Seiende nur passiv geworfen fühlt, in undurchschautes, gar jämmerlich anerkanntes."
- Densmore, John (1990). Riders on the storm: my life with Jim Morrison and the Doors (1st ed.). New York City: Delacorte Press. ISBN 978-0-385-30033-9. ISBN 0-38530033-6.
- Staff, IGN (October 22, 2010). "The Doors Most Loved Songs Kick Off Rock Band 3 DLC". IGN. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Snider, Mike (June 10, 2010). "Rock Band 3: What's New, What's Notable". USA Today. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Musicline.de – The Doors Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Doors" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 75.
- "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles". Cashbox Magazine, Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Riders on the Storm". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "British single certifications – Doors – Riders on the Storm". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 1, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Riders on the Storm in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- Official Top 100, 11-17 September 1983.
- "California Grooves 1991:Album". Answers.com. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- "Consequence of Sound Presents…Best Fest Covers - Cover Me". Covermesongs.com. 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
- ""Big Music (Deluxe Edition)" von Simple Minds auf Apple Music".
- "Rock Classics". Webcache.googleusercontent.com.
- Kama Ruby; Albums and Theatre Projects – Kama Ruby- Singer, Actor, Wellness Practitioner. Retrieved April 18, 2018.