1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear – The Doors’ Full Circle


1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear

#26: The Doors – Full Circle (1972)

MATT KELLY casts his withering gaze at the second and final post-Jim Morrison album and isn’t in the least bit  impressed.

The Doors, 1967: This is the end

My only friend, the end

I’ll never look into your eyes again


The Doors, 1972: *cod Mexican accent*

No me moleste mosquito!

Let me eat my burrito!


With a name that is a flagrant lie, Full Circle sees the band forgetting their roots and identity as they chase novelty pop success.

That they kept the name The Doors after Jim died suggests they wanted to continue making work in that vein, something that would appeal to established fans. Instead, we get naive, trashy rock like ‘Get Up And Dance’ and ‘Hardwood Floor’, this light, tacky, desperately cheerful sound completely unrecognisable from what the band was.

Even worse than 1971’s Other Voices, Krieger’s cornball tendencies seem to have infected Manzarek as he delivers material like the cliched, unconvincing ’50s rock of ‘Good Rocking’, which has nothing to say.


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But amazingly it gets worse when he does have something to say – the album’s ambitious proggy number ‘The Peking King And The New York Queen’ about cultural crossover is AWFUL. Terrible lyrics, creatively bankrupt music, it’s just depressing.

And we haven’t even mentioned ‘Verdilac’, the song about a Hungarian vampire posing as a ’70s pimp. Admittedly, songs like ‘Verdilac’ and ‘The Mosquito’ do feature some nice funk and fusion instrumental passages, but the shittiness of the vocal and chorus sections casts a pall over everything.

A creative and commercial failure, Full Circle spelt the end for the Doors. Drummer John Densmore, who agrees about this record and its betrayal of the band’s core values, not only left the group but successfully worked to prevent Krieger and Manzarek from continuing to release material under the name. (Densmore made an exception for 1978’s odds and ends release American Prayer because it was built around recordings of Morrison reading his poetry, and therefore deemed it to reflect The Doors’ spirit.)

I do have to say Full Circle is very well engineered though – even with all that’s going on sonically, you can still clearly hear every nuance of Morrison spinning in his grave.

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Matthew Kelly is the most important person in the music industry – the type of obsessive nerd without whom it would have no reason to produce box sets and nine-hour long documentaries.

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