Ray Manzarek's second solo album

The second solo album from Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, titled The Whole Thing Started With Rock & Roll Now It's Out of Control, is being released on CD for the first time today. The album was originally released in 1974, and was the follow-up to his 1974 solo debut The Golden Scarab. The reissue label is Lemon Records, who also reissued The Golden Scarab last year.

The Whole Thing Started With Rock & Roll Now It's out of Control is a good title wasted on a mostly dull album. It does have its admirers among Doors connoisseurs, but I am not one of them. On this album, Manzarek avoided most of the quirkiness of The Golden Scarab and reverted to standard singer-songwriterism. Its sound alternates between awkward funk and Elton John-like piano-based rock, and it usually misses the mark on both counts. Manzarek's vocals are stilted at best, and strained at worst. Even the instrumentation is nothing special here. One of the high points is "Bicentennial Blues", which recycles the instrumental from "Light My Fire". One of the low points is "Perfumed Garden", which incorporates the sound of a woman moaning. Don't kid yourself, Ray; there's nothing orgasmic about this album.

A few points of interest for buffs: "I Wake Up Screaming" features a brief moment of poetry reading from a then-unknown Patti Smith. The song "Begin The World Again" was sampled by the rap group Blackalicious for their song "Clockwork"; maybe they thought the song's funk was genuine.

Rarebird's Doors Reviews