The Doors "Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968" (2024 Record Store Day release)

For Record Store Day 2024, Rhino Records is issuing a previously unreleased live album from The Doors, in both CD and LP formats. Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968 will be limited to 6,000 vinyl 3-LP sets (pressed in light-blue translucent vinyl), and 8,000 double-CD sets. The album documents two live shows performed on that day at that concert hall in Sweden, recorded for a radio broadcast.

The documented concerts were performed during the final date of the band's only European Tour. The recordings have been used for bootlegs many times, but this is the first time the concert is receiving an official release. The sound quality on the unofficial releases was often quite good; if it has been cleaned up further for this official release, then it may end up sounding great. Musically, it sometimes sounds as though the Doors were tailoring their act just a bit to adjust their music for the tastes of European audiences.

The earlier show of the day is the one featured on the first LP in the vinyl RSD set. After an expectedly intense "Five To One" at the beginning, there are a number of surprises to be found here, including an unusual live performance of "Love Street", as well as two passages from the "Celebration of the Lizard" performance piece ("A Little Game", "The Hill Dwellers"), theatrical psych-outs which were also performed on the band's Live at the Hollywood Bowl recording. Even the familiar songs sometimes come across with a slightly different ambience than usual; the long jams on "Light My Fire", "The Unknown Soldier", and "When The Music's Over" seem altered from their usual states in a way that tailored them to their audience in Sweden.

(Note: The two encores from that show appear to be omitted from this RSD set. The first of those, the snarling blues number "Woman Is A Devil", is our loss. On the other hand, "Rock Is Dead", a never-ending, self-indulgent medley/parody of early rock and roll songs, would simply have been a waste of space).

As much as there is to enjoy about the earlier show of the date, the later one (captured on the second and third LP of the vinyl issue) is even better, with another unusual song performance ("You're Lost Little Girl"), another bizarre "Celebration Of The Lizard" passage ("Wake Up!"), and a few unexpected covers. "Mack The Knife" is incorporated into "Alabama Song" for something of a Kurt Weill medley, ending with a startling guitar bridge that manages to lead it right into the Willie Dixon blues song "Back Door Man". The band's rendition of Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)" is notably different from that of the Beatles. Ray Manzarek's keyboard sound continues to sound tailored for the European audience during "Alabama Song" and "When The Music's Over", though Robby Krieger adds some surprisingly rough guitar edges to the latter song. Jim Morrison's voice sometimes sounds distant -- at least on unofficial releases of the recordings -- but his performance is solid on tracks such as "Light My Fire", "Love Me Two Times" and the gentler "You're Lost Little Girl". He engaged in a bit of wild improv at the end of "Five To One", and let out some maniacal laughter during "Back Door Man" -- could there have been a full moon outside during the later show? An almost-15-minute, for-fans-only performance of "The End" appears to take up the whole final side of the 3-LP set, but aside from that, Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968 promises to be a good addition to the collections of those types of Doors fans.

It seems that the Doors and company are working hard to have the band's remaining unreleased recordings released officially, especially when a Record Store Day comes around. How many more Doors concerts remain in the vaults, waiting to see the light of day? Time may soon tell.

The Doors "Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968" (Rhino) 2024

Track Listing:

1. Introduction
2. Five To One
3. Love Street
4. Love Me Two Times
5. When The Music's Over
6. A Little Game
7. The Hill Dwellers
8. Light My Fire / Persian Night
9. The Unknown Soldier

Late Show:

10. Five To One
11. Mack The Knife
12. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)
13. Back Door Man
14. You're Lost Little Girl
15. Love Me Two Times
16. When The Music's Over
17. Wild Child
18. Money (That's What I Want)
19. Wake Up!
20. Light My Fire
21. The End