The Doors - When You're Strange (Songs From The Motion Picture)
If you haven’t heard or heard of The Doors by now then there is very little chance that this soundtrack to an upcoming documentary will change that state of affairs. The film in question When You’re Strange: A Film about The Doors is, by all accounts an excellent history of one the most lauded bands of the 60s but, not having seen it yet, all I can go in is the accompanying soundtrack. This combines studio classics, live versions, band interviews and poetry readings and could easily be retitled to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
The original studio recording of classic songs such as ‘People Are Strange’ and ‘The End’ are as brilliant today as they have ever been and are obviously the good. The rough and unappealing live versions of classics like ‘Light My Fire’, that I doubt even a Doors obsessive would be interested in, are the bad. Then we come to the downright ugly, Jim Morrison’s poems as read by Johnny Depp with his dull monotone bringing nothing of value to the already ropey poetry skills of Morrison. They may work beautifully in the film but here, shorn of any context or accompanying visuals they are just painful listening and a perfect example of why the CD player’s skip button was invented.
If you do see the film and have a desire to investigate the music of The Doors, then do yourself a favour and buy one of the excellent and readily available compilations or just hang the expense and get the original albums. They will provide you with much more entertainment than this frustrating album ever can.