Been Down So Long
Inspired by Richard Farina's 1966 novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me. Farina died in a motorcycle accident 2 days after it was published.
This is a cover of a German opera song written in 1929 by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. It was used in a controversial 1930 German operetta called The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahogany. The Doors got the idea for this from an album of German songs their keyboard player, Ray Manzarek, had. A verse was omitted from the 1929 original. It started: "Show me the place to the next little dollar."
Break On Through
Jim Morrison got some of the lyrics from John Rechy's 1963 book "City of Night.". The guitar melody was inspired by Paul Butterfield's "Shake Your Money Maker."
End Of The Night
Some of the lyrics were inspired by the French novel Journey To The End Of The Night. The song is about a journey into the unknown. The line, "Realms of bliss, realms of light, some are borne to sweet delight, some are borne to sweet delight, some are borne to the endless night." is taken almost verbatim from the poem Auguries Of Innocence by William Blake.
Five To One
Jim Morrison was so drunk when he recorded this song, he needed help from the studio staff on when to begin singing. If you listen closely, you can hear someone in the background say "One more time" before Jim starts his first verse. Jay-Z sampled this on his 2000 song "Takeover." The track was produced by Kanye West, who often uses old rock or R&B songs in rap records.
Hello I Love You
The music is similar to The Kinks' "All Day And All Of The Night." The Doors had to pay royalties from the British single to The Kinks after Ray Davies sued them. The R.E.M. song "Pop Song '89" is a play on this. Instead of talking about sex, they talk to the girl about politics and the weather.
18th Century sailors would throw horses overboard when they sailed into these "horse latitudes" in order to lighten the load and conserve food and water. Written by Jim Morrison in high school when he saw a paperback cover of horses being thrown off a boat. Some of the odd sound effects were created by dropping a coke bottle in a garbage can, beating coconut shells on a tile floor, and having people scream in a studio. The first part of the song is from a nostradamus prophecy.
Morrison recorded his vocals in the studio bathroom to get a fuller sound. He spent a lot of time in there anyway because of all the beer he drank during the sessions.
Light My Fire
The chord progression was inspired by John Coltrane's "My Favourite Things," a version of which Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music. This was the last song Morrison performed live. It was a show at The Warehouse in New Orleans.
Love Her Madly
Written by Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger. It is about the numerous times his girlfriend threatened to leave him.
Love Me Two Times
Guitarist Robbie Krieger wrote the lyrics. They are about The Doors going on the road and American soldiers going to Vietnam. Continues the theme on Strange Days of an uncertain future. It continues the story of the estranged lover from "You're Lost Little Girl.". Through most of the song, Jim Morrison left off the "s" in "two times," creating a double meaning to the phrase. Presents sex as a way to survive in strange times.
Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger came up with the guitar riff. The lyrics were based on 2 of Jim Morrison's poems, one called "Abortion Stories," which is where the bloody images came from. The lyric "Blood in the streets of the town of Chicago" refers to the 1968 democratic convention. The lyric "Blood in the streets of the town of New Haven" refers to Morrison's arrest in New Haven in 1967. Police were called when Morrison was seen getting intimate with a young girl before the show. An officer confronted Morrison, who was arrested on stage after he exposed himself and went on a rant against the police.
People Are Strange
Jim Morrison was depressed. He went to Robbie Krieger's house, they went to a canyon to watch a sunset, at which time Jim realized he was depressed because "if you're strange, people are strange." He then wrote the rest of the lyrics.
Riders On The Storm
This was the last song Jim Morrison recorded. He went to France and died a few weeks later. The single was released in June, 1971, shortly before Morrison's death. If you listen closely, you can hear Jim Morrison whispering the lyrics over his own singing. This causes a kind of creepy effect. This evolved out of a jam session when the band was messing around with "Ghost Riders In The Sky," a cowboy song by Stan Jones.
Ray Manzarek used the electric piano to create the effect of rain.
John Sebastian from the Lovin' Spoonful played harmonica. He is identified on the album as "G. Puglese" because he was afraid to be identified with The Doors in light of Morrison's arrest in Miami.
A tribute to Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash on Dec 10, 1967. The Doors were scheduled to play with Redding at Winterland in San Francisco on Dec 26-28, 1967.
In addition to writing this, Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger sang lead. It is one of the few Doors songs where Jim Morrison is not the primary vocalist. Morrison was abusing alcohol during most of the recording of this album. Since songs like this involved a lot of instruments and took a while to record, Morrison had a lot of time to get drunk. As a result, he didn't contribute much to it.
This was recorded with the lights off and only one candle burning next to Morrison.
The Unknown Soldier
This is an antiwar song, but not specifically about the Vietnam War, which was going on at the time. Morrison directed the promotional film, which featured The Doors acting out the firing squad sequence. In the film, Morrison is executed and blood spews from his mouth. It also contained images from the Vietnam War.
Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger wrote this as "Hit Me," based on fights he had with his girlfriend. In a rare show of restraint, Jim Morrison insisted on changing it to "Touch Me.". At the end of the song, Morrison chants "Stronger than dirt!" The line is from an Ajax commercial where a white knight rides around destroying dirt. Many critics claimed this was a sellout, as the horn and string sections were not typical of The Doors. The band admitted they were trying to broaden their audience and achieve commercial success with this album (the soft parade), which they did.
Waiting For The Sun (I LOVE THIS SONG, probably in a very
This is about the quest for the American Dream, which is never attained. "Waiting For The Sun" is the title of The Doors third album, and they tried to record it in those sessions, but didn't like how it came out. They brought it back 2 years later for their fifth album, Morrison Hotel.