Sonic Grade: B
We used to like the Doors First album on DCC back when it came out in the late ’90s; it sure beat the MoFi and every other pressing I had around, including the original gold label Elektra pressings. But much water has gone under that bridge. There have been countless audio revolutions, as well as the improved record cleaning technologies we tout at every turn. Without them old records just sound like old records, and the DCC pressing will be better.
But with them, and lots of other changes, the right original stomps all over the DCC.
Hey, We Was Wrong, and we’re not too proud to admit it. If you have the DCC and want to know what you’re missing, a Hot Stamper is the ticket.
It will cost you a fair bit more than the DCC, but the difference in sound should more than justify the difference in price if this is an album that is important to you.
Hot Stamper Commentary from 2007
THE BEST SOUNDING COPY OF THIS ALBUM WE’VE EVER HEARD! This Elektra Gold Label SLAUGHTERED the DCC, MURDERED the MoFi, and DECIMATED every last pressing we played it against! You aren’t going to believe all the TUBEY MAGIC on this copy!
Both sides are chock full of wonderfully grungy guitars, BIG beefy bass, and amazingly full-bodied vocals. The overall sound is open and spacious with lots of room around the instruments. This copy has the kind of presence and energy that will have you really rockin’ out! Side one rates an A+++ and side two is right behind, rating A++ – A+++. We’ve never heard a better copy and we expect that you haven’t either — it’s OUT OF THIS WORLD!
The first Doors album is without a doubt the punchiest, liveliest, most POWERFUL recording of the entire Doors catalog.
Huh? I’m guessing this statement does not comport well with your own personal experience of the album, and there’s a good reason for that: not many copies of the album have any of the above qualities in evidence. Most pressings are flat, thin, veiled, compressed, lifeless and sound just exactly the way so many old rock records sound: dead as a doornail.
But this is engineered by Bruce Botnick. The right pressings give you the kind of low-end punch and midrange presence you hear on Love’s first album (when you play the right gold label originals). Botnick did them both, and what’s even more amazing is that The Doors first is an even better recording than Love’s! All tube from start to finish, the energy captured on these Hot Stampers has to be heard to be believed. Not to mention the fact that the live-in-the-studio musicians are swimming in natural ambience, with instruments leaking from one mic to another, and every sound bouncing back and forth off the studio walls to boot.
But the thing that caught us most by surprise is how much LIFE there is in the performances on these Hot Stamper copies. Jim Morrison pulled out all the stops for songs like Backdoor Man and Break On Through; you have never heard him like this!
We Bash MOFI, Again!
For those of you with the MOFI pressing of this album be prepared to hear Jim Morrison throw the blanket off his head, come out of the closet he seems to be sitting in, the one about 20 feet behind your speakers, and step right into your living room. The MOFI simply has NO midrange. (We never missed it because we never knew it was there.)
And Now We’re Bashing DCC? Shame on Us!
Folks, our We Was Wrong section if filling up fast. We used to like the Doors First album on DCC back when it came out; it sure beat the MOFI and every other pressing I had around, including the original gold label Elektra pressings. But much water has gone under that bridge; there have been many audio revolutions , one of the most important of which is the Disc Doctor fluid we tout at every turn. Hey, without that stuff old records just sound like old records, and the DCC pressing will be better.
But with it, and lots of other changes, the right original stomps all over the DCC. Hey, we was wrong, and we’re not too proud to admit it. If you have the DCC and want to know what you’re missing, a Hot Stamper is the ticket. It will cost you a fair bit more than the DCC, but the difference in the sound more than justifies the price. Or your money back.
Just To Be Clear
Do quiet original copies of this album exist? We can’t be sure, because we sure haven’t heard one lately. Of the dozen plus Gold Label copies we played, we didn’t hear anything quieter than Mint Minus Minus. Those of you who are picky about quiet surfaces may want to stick to a CD. But those of you who are looking for heavy hitting analog tubey magic are going to find much to like here.
AMG Rave Review
“A tremendous debut album, and indeed one of the best first-time outings in rock history, introducing the band’s fusion of rock, blues, classical, jazz and poetry with a knockout punch. The lean, spidery guitar and organ riffs interweave with a hypnotic menace, providing a seductive backdrop for Jim Morrison’s captivating vocals and probing prose.” – AMG