The Doors – Golden Album (Rhino Reds Vinyl Review)

The 1960s is probably one of the most significant decades in modern civilized history. A period where The Vietnam War boiling over, there was turmoil and division all around. A time where protest was predominant, of course the angst in the air bled through into the art… especially the music. That in mind, perhaps one of the most impactful bands to emerge in Rock-n-Roll music were The Doors. A band formed in Southern California back in 1965, the combination of their highly competent music skills with Lead Vocalist/Lyricist Jim Morrison are two of the key reasons The Doors are one of American Rock-n-Roll’s best ensembles ever.

A bold statement, it is hard to argue, because The Doors directly influenced American culture in a big way with their music. In fact, in the decades to follow The Doors remain relevant, becoming the fascination of many young music fans in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and beyond. Is it the romance with something nostalgic, or far more in-depth? In truth, it may have begun for some outside the ‘60s era as a simple curiosity, but it quickly blossomed into full blown enthrallment with the music of The Doors.

All these ideas laid out, The Doors’ impact also went beyond American borders as they reached European markets, and yes, the Eastern world which included Japan. Turning on the world, in 1968, at The Doors’ peak popularity, Elektra released what is called the Golden Album. Exclusively to Japan, the album was a compilation of twelve Doors’ tracks which gave listeners a full scope of their talents. Including the more mainstream hits of this era, but also some lesser explored recordings, it is a rather flawless collection. A rare import to this point in history, it is now a part of Rhino’s 45th anniversary in 2023, and the label is making the Golden Album available for the first time ever worldwide.

Released on July 28, 2023, the reissue is a part of label’s Rhino Reds; a new series of limited-edition reissues pressed on custom “Rhino Red ” vinyl. So, what does this special release encompass? Well, to start it is limited to 5,000 copies worldwide and is going retail for $34.98 exclusively at The Doors and Rhino web stores only. Two important factors when seeking out a copy, the release comes in a deluxe gatefold jacket with a tipped-in multi-page insert including lyrics to all twelve songs. Additionally, there is a picture sleeve for the bonus 7″ (33 1/3 rpm) of five tracks (“Hello, I Love You,” “Strange Days,” “The Unknown Soldier,” “Light My Fire,” “People Are Strange”) which is also included.

Altogether, it is a beautiful presentation of a rare, old import that Doors fans of all types will want to add to their collection. True, there are no tracks included on this compilation that you have not heard or may not own already, but it is a lovely piece to have due its historic significance, quality pressing, and high-end sound quality. Well worth seeking out, Cryptic Rock gives Rhino Reds’ release of The Doors’ Golden Album 5 out of 5 stars.

The Doors – Golden Album / Rhino Reds Vinyl (2023)

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