"Attempt to listen to these songs with ears unburdened by the clichés of would-be Topanga shamans you may have encountered. Even if your adolescence was spent locked inside a bedroom with the Morrison-as-Young-Lion poster taped to the wall, you can still hear new things upon close inspection: the little bossa nova break inspired by Stan Getz and João Gilberto that percolates between the verses on “Break On Through”; Densmore’s jazzy octopus drums as the track detonates into the chorus; the serrated razor blades embedded in Morrison’s larynx when he lights into that growl (imagine a 22-year-old able to sing like that today); the breakdown at the end, built for delirious freeway sprints in the dead hours of the a.m. To hear it in 1967 must’ve offered a sense of possibility, the pristine ambition that the world could be remade in a more righteous and equitable way. The Doors now occupy a similar space as one of their heroes, Kerouac, and his hero, Dean Moriarty—Western kinsmen of the sun. For many of their listeners, they serve as a gateway to a world of influences, from French surrealism to the sweltering Chicago blues, from the modal genius of John Coltrane to German expressionism, from Sophocles to William Blake. They exist to get you to the starting point, and wherever the path diverges from there is on you."