The Doors – Live at the Hollywood Bowl

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  • Two amazing sides each earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades; exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Both sides here are full-bodied, rich and Tubey Magical with plenty of extension on both ends
  • This is actually a pretty darn good live rock recording, with sound that’s quite lively and engaging — especially for 1968
  • “Like Alive, She Cried, it covered ground that was missed by Absolutely Live, most notably familiar fare such as “Moonlight Drive” and “Unknown Soldier”…” – All Music

This vintage Elektra pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1987
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We Listen For on Live at the Hollywood Bowl

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Wake Up
Light My Fire

Side Two

Unknown Soldier
A Little Game
The Hill Dwellers
Spanish Caravan

AMG  Review

Live at the Hollywood Bowl was one of a brace of official live Doors recordings that began circulating around in the 1980s, and had the distinction of being captured on film as well. Like Alive, She Cried, it covered ground that was missed by Absolutely Live, most notably familiar fare such as “Moonlight Drive” and “Unknown Soldier”…

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