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4 key records from the crates of Australia’s biggest Doors fan

You won’t find a bigger Doors diehard than Rich in your town – probably not even Australia. In his tribute band Unlocking The Doors he takes on the idolised character of Jim Morrison, and it’s uncanny how well he pulls it off.

In light of his band’s tour and our general love for all things The Doors, we asked Rich to share a few key records from his vinyl collection.

unlocking the doors the soft parade

Unlocking The Doors are one of the best tribute bands in Australia right now. As their singer’s record collection would evidence, they’re also some of the biggest Doors fans.

Strange Days – Monarch Original Gold Label

Elektra Records had a number of factories pressing vinyl records for them, and there are certain factories that are renowned for having the best sound installed into their grooves. The one at the top of the list is Monarch Record Mfg. Co. in Los Angeles California.

I have an original Gold Label pressing of Strange Days from Monarch and it sounds really spooky and haunting. Jim’s voice is a little more baritone and mature on this album, he was really coming about with his sound and the songs were getting extremely complex!

The Doors – Gold Stamp

The self-titled album is a monster still today. Only recorded on a 4-track system, the engineer (Bruce Botnick) captured a huge live sound (evident only on early pressings from certain plants AND I HAVE ONE!!!) and a tripped out Jim gave the performance of his life.

My 2nd pressing, Gold Stamp as it’s known, sounds like all four members are right there in the room with you. It really is impressive how vinyl does this, there is no substitute.

Waiting For The Sun – Sonic Recording Group Ochre Label

My favourite lyrical album is Waiting For The Sun. The words are so beautiful and flowing with the music, almost a cross between jazz and classical playings. It’s a sit down and turn the lights off album.

I have a 2nd pressing Ochre Label from Sonic Recording Group of Holbrook in NY and the sound of Jim’s crooner voice is just intoxicating with the lyrics. Even his drunk and stoned version of Five to One throws so much emotion and swagger into the mix.

The Soft Parade – Columbia Records Big Red E

The most musical and sometimes labelled ‘frustrating’ album is the fourth release The Soft Parade. Relationships were on the rocks, Jim was boozing heavily and becoming difficult to work with, while the producer was insisting on nothing short of perfection every take.

It took its toll, but the result is a stage sound of beautiful string and horn arrangements melted into a formula that the four members of The Doors had constructed over 3 short years… it’s a MASTERPIECE in my eyes.

Blues, jazz, classical, bluegrass, folk, psychedelia… it’s got it all! This one is my best sounding Doors vinyl. An original Big Red E pressing from Columbia Records Terre Haute plant. The horns are MASSIVE and every instrument crystal clear!

My dream would be to perform a live concert of the entire album with full strings and horns for the 50th Anniversary in July 2019… just saying…

Catch Unlocking The Doors on the remainder of their August tour:

August 10th – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave (Melbourne)
August 18th – City Diggers, Wollongong (Autism Fundraiser)
August 24th – Central Hotel, Shellharbour
August 25th – Leadbelly, Newtown
September 7th – Brass Monkey, Cronulla

Tickets and info here.