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The Doors: London Fog 1966 (Rhino)

Jan. 3, 2017
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In 1966, a few doors down from the famed Whiskey a Go Go, stood a dive bar, called London Fog, where The Doors played before graduating to the Whiskey. A recently discovered reel of tape, recorded as The Doors performed at the bar, has been released in a needlessly elaborate box set that includes such “replica memorabilia” as a London Fog coaster and, more interestingly, a batch of black-and-white band photos from the period.

The main thing is the single disc of music, which shows The Doors as already proficient without reaching the brilliance shown on their debut LP, released a year after these recordings were made. Jim Morrison had already perfected his sinister growl, but Ray Manzarek sounded more like a garage band organist; drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger were good to go in this loose set of blues covers and an already well-formed version of “Strange Days.” As their earliest-known recordings, London Fog 1966 is an interesting look at the inception of a band with an enduring legacy.

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