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Classic Album Review: Various Artists | Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors

The surviving bandmembers lend a hand on this hit-and-miss tribute album.

This album came out two decades ago. Here’s what I had to say about it back then (with some minor editing):


The Immaculate concept: In a twist on the cliche tribute-album formula, the acts reworking Doors classics here do so not only with the band’s approval, but with their participation.

That’s right, it’s The Doors paying tribute to themselves — which is about all they’ve been doing since Jim Morrison croaked anyway, so what the hell. In fact, sometimes it’s just what this album needs. Let’s face it, if anyone knows the keyboard line to Break on Through, it’s Ray Manzarek. And when he plays it on Stone Temple Pilots’ darkly funky version, it’s a perfect bridge between the hippie-rock ’60s and the alt-rock ’90s. If only it all meshed so smoothly. Even the input of Manzarek, guitarist Robbie Krieger and drummer John Densmore can’t help acts like Creed (Riders on the Storm), Days of the New (L.A. Woman, The End), Aerosmith (Love me Two Times) and Ian Astbury (Wild Child, Touch Me) rise above their karaoke-bar renditions. And what business do Smash Mouth (Peace Frog) have even being here? My favourite moment belongs to William S. Burroughs, reading Is Everybody In? in his crackling-dry junkie twang. He embodied Morrison’s decadent rebellion better than anybody — and his track is one of this album’s few authentically immaculate moments.