Many of the countless Doors live albums are far from essential, but this one feels genuinely important. The recently discovered 1966 audience recording from a gig at the Los Angeles club London Fog captures the band in their lesser-known embryonic period. Their sound is already in place and Jim Morrison is on the verge of becoming the Lizard King, using the near-empty Sunset Strip venue to develop the necessary stagecraft to get his mojo rising.
The various covers range from smouldering, sensual blues (BB King’s Rock Me) to raw, roughhouse rockers (Big Joe Williams’ Baby Please Don’t Go). The two originals – a tightly wound, thrillingly focused You Make Me Real and a particularly ominous, spooked and spooky Strange Days – may be respectively two and four years away from their studio versions, but already sound eerily fully formed. Throughout, disinterested audience chatter and the chink of glasses belies the fact that within months, the London Fog’s unknown house band would be among the hottest groups in the world.
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