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A magically restored psychedelic masterpiece

The Doors - "Live At The Bowl 68"
DVD Review

(Eagle Rock Entertainment)
4 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
October 31, 2012
The Doors

Review by Andy Argyrakis

Out of all The Doors' concerts, its July 5, 1968 appearance at Hollywood Bowl is largely regarded as its best. Thankfully, the entire performance was persevered on audio and video, though until this year's Blu-Ray and DVD release, it was limited to the technologies of inferior formats. Now magically restored, the footage looks like something from the modern day, even if the music is clearly a product of the psychedelic era. Nonetheless, the foursome's ferocious blues-inspired rock n' roll sounds absolutely spectacular as late great front man Jim Morrison leaps off the screen with his smoky singing, spastic movements and spontaneous banter.

From strictly a musical perspective, "When The Music's Over," "Back Door Man" and "Light My Fire" are runaway highlights, while "The End" finds the group grooving spontaneously as the singer humorously but competently navigates his way through an acid trip. However, the real reason to rejoice comes in the first ever concert inclusions of "Hello, I Love You," "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" and "Spanish Caravan," all of which originally suffered technical difficulties, but were meticulously corrected for this edition.

Bonus features also abound, from insightful interviews with surviving members Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore about the day itself, plus period television appearances or videos of songs like "Wild Child," "Light My Fire" and "Gloria." It's more than enough for those who owned the VHS version to upgrade, while also serving as the ideal chance to introduce The Doors to younger viewers looking to be enthralled by the group's experimental genius.

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