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Other Voices / Full Circle
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The Full Circle CD will include a rare bonus track, Treetrunk, which was the B-side to the 1972 'Get Up And Dance' single. The track has only been previously available on the original 7" single, and the CD singles boxset our friends at Warner Music Japan released in 2013.
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.....but they did! These two albums are a snapshot of a band in transition. A band that could do well enough without their handsome bohemian mascot. Just one listen to "Get Up And Dance" and you'll realize that this is the little band that could. Unfortunately, the general public disagreed so off these fine collections of music went into the bargain bins of the world, hardly ever to be picked up and played and its too bad because they were worth a few listens,even for the casual Doors fan. My only wish with this is that the original Full Circle LP release had a record slip that when you put it on your turntable and activated it, it would revolve around to show the album cover in motion; similar to a flip book.
Other Voices was recorded in early autumn of '71 at the Doors' Workshop[where L.A. Woman was recorded]featuring seven outside musicians-two percussionists and five bassists. Among the bassists featured are Jack Conrad[on "In The Eye Of The Sun", "Variety Is The Spice Of Life" and "Tightrope Ride"]; Jerry Scheff(who was Elvis Presley's bassist at the time and was employed on the L.A. Woman album)[on "Down On The Farm", "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned" and "Wandering Musician"]; Wolfgang Metz[on "Hang On To Your Life"]; Ray Neapolitan(electric bass) and Willie Ruff(acoustic bass)[both on "Ships w/ Sails"]. Francisco Aguabella plays percussion on "Ships w/ Sails" and "Hang On To Your Life" and Emil Richards plays marimba on "Down On The Farm". My favorite songs on here are "Tightrope Ride", sung by Manzarek dedicated to both Jim Morrison and Rolling Stones' original co-founder Brian Jones, who is mentioned in the song and shares the same death date as Morrison(July 3rd)two years apart of one another and are both members of the 27 club, no-less, "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned", sung by Krieger in his Dylanesque voice which would have been great for Morrison to sing hadn't he gone so soon, and the other Krieger-sung original "Variety Is The Spice Of Life".
Full Circle on the other hand was quite different from previous Doors albums. This marked the first and only time that female singers were used to provide background among them were Melissa Mackay, Venetta Fields and Clydie King[The last two had previously sung on the Rolling Stones' Exile On Main St. album and Ms. King would later sing with(as well as had a relationship with) Bob Dylan]. This was also the weakest charted Doors album ever(peaking at 33). Of the other supporting musicians featured here are percussionists Bobbye Hall[Who also played with Bob Dylan in the late '70s] and Chico Batera. both are featured on "The Piano Bird" and "The Peking King And The New York Queen" while "Verdilac" features only Ms. Hall. Charles Lloyd adds jazzy touches to "Verdilac"(Tenor sax) and "The Piano Bird"(Flute). Like the previous album, Jack Conrad is again employed on bass[on "4 Billion Souls", "Good Rockin'" "The Piano Bird" and "The Peking King And The New York Queen". Former Flying Burrito Brothers bassist Chris Ethridge plays on "Get Up And Dance". The bass talents of Carole King's husband Charles Larkey appears on "Verdilac" and "The Piano Bird" while James Taylor's bassist Leland Sklar plays on "Hardwood Floor", "The Mosquito" and "It Slipped My Mind". My favorites here are "Get Up And Dance", "Good Rockin'" and "The Mosquito"[The first two sung by Manzarek and the remainder by Krieger]. For Doors fanatics it would be impossible to note that in the bridge of "The Mosquito", instrumentally speaking, sounds reminiscent of the climax of the previously unreleased Doors opus "Rock Is Dead" when you think of it.
These two albums are just evidential proof of what The Doors could have been had they carried on but then again came to their senses when they couldn't succeed without the presence of Morrison for better or worse. I previously had these on vinyl so for any other Doors fanatic I wouldn't hesitate to get these albums on CD and lastly, worth mentioning is the bonus track on Full Circle is the B-side "Treetrunk". So get them while you can.