The Doors were one of those groundbreaking 60's bands that straddled the line between rock and psychedelia, yet ultimately probably paved the way for some of the proto-prog acts that burst onto the scene a few short years after they made their debut. Originally released in 1967, Strange Days was The Doors' sophomore platter, and features a handful of very strong songs, a few of which became hit singles and radio staples ("Love Me Two Times", "People Are Strange" ) and some others perfect examples of how adventurous and experimental the band was at the time. The discography of this band always needed a remaster treatment, so it's about time that Elektra Records, in conjunction with Rhino, have finally reissued the entire catalog with remixed sound, bonus tracks, and stacked booklets filled with photos, lyrics, essays, and other pertinent album information.
All of these remasters have been remixed by Bruce Botnick (their original engineer) and the band, and they really sound great. Besides making the overall sound clearer and crisper, upon going over the original multi-track recordings, certain vocal bits, guitar parts, and organ/piano passages that weren't used originally are dropped in here and there, giving some of the songs a fuller sound than what you might be used to. They are not instantly heard, but you will have to listen to these songs a few times, and preferably on headphones, to really hear these little nuances.
As for the songs themselves, if you are already familiar with Strange Days, you are probably well aware of how this album is really a landmark of psychedelic, or "acid-rock" based on not only the lyrics of Jim Morrison, but the trippy sound effects and instrumentation by the rest of the band. The title track is a haunting rock track, dripping with eerie effects and Morrison's creepy vocals, and other mysterious songs like "You're Lost Little Girl", "Horse Lattitudes", and "Moonlight Drive", show just how classy yet different this band really was compared to other popular acts of the era. Pop ditties like "Love Me Too Times" and "My Eyes Have Seen You" have that certain radio appeal, as does "People Are Strange", although the latter is one hell of a cunning melody with some tricky instrumental passages from guitarist Robbie Krieger and keyboard player Ray Manzarek. The tour-de-force here is the 11 minute epic "When the Music's Over", a sort of sequel to "The End" from their debut, and a real great song of pure psychedelia, with Morrison drawing the listener in with his mesmerizing and poetic delivery and the rest of the band dazzling with sophisticated tapestries of sound.
The bonus tracks here are basically uneventful and not even worth mentioning, but overall this is a great presentation of a classic album in the history of rock music.
1. Strange Days
2. You're Lost Little Girl
3. Love Me Two Times
4. Unhappy Girl
5. Horse Latitudes
6. Moonlight Drive
7. People Are Strange
8. My Eyes Have Seen You
9. I Can't See Your Face In My Mind
10. When The Music's Over
11. People Are Strange (False Starts & Dialogue) (Bonus)
12. Love Me Two Times (Take 3) (Bonus)