Happy 50th: The Doors, ABSOLUTELY LIVE
50 years ago this month, The Doors released the first live album of their career and the only one to be released during Jim Morrison’s lifetime.
Recorded predominantly at the Felt Forum in New York City on January 17 and 18, 1970, but with scattered tracks from the band’s 1970 shows in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, plus their July 1969 performance at the Aquarius Theater in Hollywood, ABSOLUTELY LIVE was produced by longtime Doors collaborator Paul A. Rothchild, who once claimed that “there must be 2,000 edits on that album,” owing to his painstaking efforts to put together the ultimate Doors concert. (30 years later, all of the shows utilized to construct ABSOLUTELY LIVE were released individually.)
Arguably the biggest selling point of the album at the time of its release was the inclusion of “Celebration of the Lizard,” which had failed to materialize properly as a studio track but remained part of the band’s live sets, but there were several songs which had never before appeared on a Doors album up to that point. Oddly, however, ABSOLUTELY LIVE was not a huge seller: although it climbed to #8 on the Billboard 200 and ultimately went gold, it only sold about half as many copies as WAITING FOR THE SUN, the studio album that preceded it. Nonetheless, it remains a fan favorite and serves as a solid document of the Doors concert experience, just as Rothchild intended.