- An outstanding copy of the 1983 release of The Doors’ second official live album, with seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on both sides
- Exceptionally quiet vinyl too – Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus on both sides – they don’t come quieter in our experience
- This pressing has the kind of powerful low end that lets the wild music of the live Doors really take off
- “Gloria” and “Little Red Rooster,” in particular, sound exceptionally good – big, lively and immediate
- Recorded at concerts from 1968 to 1970 in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Boston and Copenhagen
The recordings here come from different concerts, so naturally some songs sound better than others. “Gloria” and “Little Red Rooster” are probably the best sounding songs on here, and that works out well because The Doors are on fire for those two numbers!
Many copies we played lacked bass in a big way, but this one’s got a strong bottom end that lets the music work. The sound is richer and fuller than most of what we heard elsewhere. Many copies were so clean that they sounded like CDs.
This pressing really communicates the energy of a Doors concert, which is exactly what we want from a live album. The clarity, presence, transparency, and energy are all outstanding on this original pressing.
What The Best Sides Of Alive, She Cried 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 even as late as 1983
- 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’re Listening For on Alive, She Cried
- 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.
Size and Space
One of the qualities that we don’t talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record’s presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small — they don’t extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don’t seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies — my notes for these copies often read “BIG and BOLD” — create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They’re not brighter, they’re not more aggressive, they’re not hyped-up in any way, they’re just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings just plain rock harder. When you hear a copy do what this copy can, it’s an entirely different — and dare I say unforgettable — listening experience.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.
Light My Fire
You Make Me Real
Texas Radio & The Big Beat
Love Me Two Times
Little Red Rooster
For the first 17 years of their history, the only official live Doors album was Absolutely Live, which had its virtues — especially as it captured elements of their harder, more ambitious repertoire — but also left more casual fans rather cold, owing to the absence of any of their biggest hits. Alive, She Cried helped solve that problem, including as it did a concert version of “Light My Fire” and also adding a legendary concert piece — their rendition of Van Morrison’s mid-’60s Them-era classic “Gloria” — to the Doors’ official Elektra Records discography.