“There are things known
and there are things unknown
and in between are the doors.” – Jim Morrison
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger. The band took its name from the title of Aldous Huxley‘s book The Doors of Perception, which itself was a reference to a William Blake quotation, from his famous work The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.” They were among the most controversial, influential and unique rock acts of the 1960s and beyond, mostly because of Morrison’s wild, poetic lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona. After Morrison’s death in 1971, the remaining members continued as a trio until finally disbanding in 1973.
They were signed to Elektra Records in 1966. The 1967 release of The Doors was the first in a series of top ten albums in the United States, followed by Strange Days (1967), Waiting for the Sun (1968), The Soft Parade (1969), Morrison Hotel (1970), Absolutely Live (1970) and L.A. Woman (1971), with 21 Gold, 14 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.
Although the Doors’ active career ended in 1973, their popularity has persisted. According to the RIAA, they have sold 36.6 million certified units in the US and over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. The Doors has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 41st on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Doors were the first American band to accumulate eight consecutive gold and platinum LPs.
Three of the band’s studio albums, The Doors (1967), L.A. Woman (1971), and Strange Days (1967), were featured in the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, at positions 42, 362 and 407 respectively.
The band, their work, and Morrison’s celebrity continue to be considered inexorably embedded within the larger counterculture of the 1960s.
In 1993, The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.