Live At The Matrix
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Product Description

The Doors were still working on arrangements and feeling out their moves when they played the Matrix Club in San Francisco for four nights in March, 1967- just two months after the release of their revolutionary self-titled debut album. These two seminal gigs were captured on tape but were previously unreleased until this new two disc set. 'Live at the Matrix' features over two hours of performances from the legendary band led by lead singer Jim Morrison.

Customer Reviews:

  • Only took 40 years to release rubbish versions
    The reviews say it all here---this is not the 'official definitive' Doors release of the Matrix shows. In fact, as someone pointed out, the original shows were recorded by the club owner Peter Abram, though not for a live album (this was early in their time). Apparently, this release is not sourced from those tapes, which is the first problem.

    The other problem, as is painfully clear to anyone familiar with the bootleg releases of the four Matrix shows (over two separate days), the track listing on this release makes absolutely no sense.

    This is a very lame attempt to beat the bootleggers on this one, who have literally released better product years and years ago (Oil Well release, KTS boxset, etc, etc). While The Doors have released some superb material of late (the uncut Absolutely Live shows, among others), this is a return to the more traditional mode of doctoring live material. The sound here is inferior to the better bootlegs. The tracks are all over the place on this one.

    The music is excellent...the versions of these songs are fresh as this is the band in all their early glory. Plenty of blues, plenty of atmosphere. It's a shame that nobody can just get a straight release of the Abram tapes...so stick to the bootlegs, which may be easier to find than ever (if you don't want the actual, original discs). It's easy to be excited that these shows have finally been released 'officially', this is a shame and recommended only for the completist fanatic. All others, might be best to stick with one of the Bright Midnight releases (Pittsburgh, Detroit, etc).

    And the cover art on this is even worse than the horrific liner notes the bootleggers would release....more info
  • To paraphrase the Sex Pistols...
    Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's The Doors! Who gives a rip if these aren't the master or first generation recordings of these shows. Leave that crap between the parties that actually have skin in the game. It's still a snapshot in time of a band at a very nascent, but very experimental and hungry stage, and it floored me. It's like whining about your favorite author being in a ragged old paperback instead of a collector's edition slick covered hardback. It's contents are still the same, so enjoy the f'ing thing. Seriously, some people have too much time on their hands. Get this version or get some bootleg version. Either way, just enjoy....more info
  • Don't Support A Product Which Cheats the True Owner
    Jeff Jampol and the Doors Management, as well as whoever else at Elektra Records and Warner Music Group, have done a shameful thing by releasing this subpar quality CD. While the original masters were safely in the hands of the original owner for all these years, The Doors and their management never even attempted to contact him to work out some agreement for the usage of the tapes.

    Don't support a greedy management that has no respect for those who were actually responsible for preserving such historical musical performances!!!...more info
  • Not ONE concert -- culled from four shows, this is still worth owning!
    In March 1967, the little known band, The Doors, played four shows at the tiny Matrix club in San Francisco, which was kind of the official "home" club of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, etc. I've got two of the four shows on CDR, and the audio quality is decent.

    This two-CD compilation reports it is culled from 12 sets performed over 5 nights by The Doors. Well, they only played four shows and each show consisted of three sets, so they really performed four times, not the 12 the reviews here make it appear.

    Regardless, it's all here -- a snapshot of The Doors in the spring of '67 just a couple of months before "Light My Fire" took off as a single and forever changed the fates of Morrison, Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore. The performances here are casual and intimate, since the Matrix was a TINY club. On the CDRs I have of the March 7 and March 10 shows, you can hear a smattering of audience clapping in the background of the soundboards. That's been edited out of these two CDs.

    The arrangement of the tunes is really nice, and one gets the illusion this is one show, even though it's culled from four nights. My one complaint with the download is that it doesn't come with any kind of folder. I haven't seen the actual CD, but I'd kind of like to know from which night each of these songs came.

    Other than that small complaint, I have to say that considering The Doors were a relatively unknown band at the timee, and the recordings weren't made by a recording engineer with an eye toward releasing the performances as a "live" LP, the audio quality is very, very good. It's certainly better than what I have on the two shows (each of which is three CDRs in length), though what I have is very listenable. For those who aren't into trading live music, I highly recommend this! I bought it, even though I have most (if not all) the sonogs my my two shows from that run. Still, it's fun to hear The Doors play in a casual environment, and it's almost worth it to listen to Light My Fire without the classic Manzarek organ solo that leads to the beginning of the song.

    There's a great The End and When the Music's Over, the two monolithic classics from the early Doors. There are also some great covers, such as I'm a King Bee and the encore, Van Morrison & Them's classic G.L.O.R.I.A.
    It's nice to listen to a Doors release in which Morrison isn't doing his Lizard King persona and isn't obviously drunk as a skunk. The songs are tight and the sequencing is great for a compilation.

    For any fan of live music, and especially for fans of The Doors, this is essential owning. You won't be disappointed....more info
  • BETTER TO WAIT FOR THE REAL THING
    Rather than strike a deal with the original taper who owns the nearly pristine originals of these recordings (samples of which can be found on most Doors chatrooms and forums), the band and Rhino decided to master this from poorly duped bootlegs that have been available for years. If the difference in quality wasn't so striking, this might be worthwhile for the Doors performance. However, once you hear how good the original sounds, you will find the comparison, as one fan recently posted to a forum "The difference between being in the Matrix listening to the band, or standing outside the club with the door closed!" Still not convinced? Here are some more quotes -

    "WOW! Night and day! What a humongous difference in quality, the official sample sounds awful by comparison."

    "The official release is embarrassing compared to that mp3 sample."

    "I want my money back. I feel like an idiot for paying $25 for this. Unbelievable that they had the nerve to state 'the tapes we used were the original, first-generation copies'."...more info
  • Opened Doors
    Doors opened the next room to rock. Poetry paired with emphasized organ, eclectic electric guitar, and steady drums, no bass player!? A lead singer that embodied late '60's and the future.

    The Doors were an LA phenomenom Sunset Strip club band, making the scene, driving teens crazy with sexual agnst and provocative performances. They recorded their first LP late 1966 and had a local top 40 hit with "Break on Through". It wasn't until the summer of '67 that the Doors truly broke on through with one of the greatest rock songs ever, "Light My Fire" It lit the airwaves and made "The Doors" one of the best selling LPs of all time.

    This 2 CD set is live Doors at the Matrix, a small club in San Francisco. The Matrix was intimate, small room, and at the apothesis of SF. It was partially owned by Jefferson Airplane founder, Marty Balin, and held gigs by seminal SF bands like Great Society, Big Brother/Holding Co., etc.

    History/Rumor has it that when these recordings of the Doors were made in March 1967, that only 10 or so people were in the club. It sounds like that. However, it should be noted that the Doors were not some audition band, they had a local hit and a released LP.

    Listening to this oft-bootlegged set of this Matrix set sounds contradictory to "The Doors", their initial LP,released late 1966, one of the best produced, finest performances ever. Here, the Doors sound exploratory, loose, even tenatative on what were already signature songs.

    What a difference! The live performances have a thrill, an up-there, I see! mistakes and takes ya back! The set list has most of all of "The Doors" and the elementary hints of the next LP soon to be recorded/released a few months later. The first glimpse of "When the Music's Over" and "People are Strange", a work in progress.

    The sound is fine, particularly for a decades old beat-up tape from a long-closed nightclub. It sounds best really loud. Keep that in mind..


    ...more info
  • Not worth it
    The lineage of this recording is questionable, and it shows. Many of the tracks are hissy, and contain artifacts that are present in bootlegs of this material that have been circulating for years. It's also a shame that the guy who made (and owns) the master recording, Mr. Peter Abram, is not credited. Why would the Doors management bury their head(s) on these issues and release this in its present form? ...more info
  • Avoid This Shameful Cash Grab!
    Messrs Manzarek, Kreiger, Densmore and Jampol should be ashamed of their unethical claim that this release uses "first generation tapes". It is nothing more than an official bootleg using disparate and subpar tapes when they in fact knew all along better quality (re: master) tapes existed and who possessed them. Jim Morrison is rolling over in his grave at this cash grab!!...more info
  • Oh Well
    I would love to hear the first generation tapes but really, the cd doesn't sound that bad. Based on comments here I expected it to sound like the band was playing underwater. The guy who recorded it did a great job.

    As to the issue of releasing cleaned up bootlegs, well, whoever owns the master tapes does not own the performance. The Doors have every right to release their music from whatever source they choose. Once stuff gets bootlegged, the owner of the masters loses lots of clout. I am surprised the band didn't pony up for the tapes though. It's not as if they can't afford it and you'd think they would want their archive to be best possible. It's for the ages right guys? I doubt Neil Young would release something like this....more info
  • This CD is a disgrace
    This CD is a scam,

    Peter Abrams, who made the original recording and currently still owns the master tapes has tried to come to an agreement with The Doors to get this show released.
    They never came to an agreement because surviving The Doors are too greedy.
    What they did is cleaned up vastly inferior copies of the master tapes. The tapes used for this release are NOT first generation copies like the Doors claim. That is a factual lie so as a consumer you are being ripped off.
    Buyer beware !

    ...more info
  • Oh Well
    I would love to hear the first generation tapes but really, the cd doesn't sound that bad. Based on comments here I expected it to sound like the band was playing underwater. The guy who recorded it did a great job.

    As to the issue of releasing cleaned up bootlegs, well, whoever owns the master tapes does not own the performance. The Doors have every right to release their music from whatever source they choose. Once stuff gets bootlegged, the owner of the masters loses lots of clout. I am surprised the band didn't pony up for the tapes though. It's not as if they can't afford it and you'd think they would want their archive to be best possible. It's for the ages right guys? I doubt Neil Young would release something like this....more info
  • One Voice for the Rarity Benefit of This CD
    "Live at the Matrix" allows listeners to hear The Doors at an earlier time (March 1967) than the years spanned by their other live CDs (save the Columbia demo tapes of 1965). Within a smaller venue -- a San Francisco club -- they play 14 songs that were on their breathtaking first two albums. In evaluating this CD, I do not wish to engage in this comment board's debates on copyright ownership and deficient sound. I also note that one of the less-discussed topics on this board is the more subdued nature of some songs on this CD. But my view is, forget all that. I value this CD not only as a best-you-can-get recording of The Doors before they became famous, but as a place to find songs they rarely played in concert.

    In the Doors' other live performances, certain songs tended to consistently dominate. Have we not heard the "Backdoor Man"/"Alabama Song"/"Five to One" Medley often enough? And ditto "The End" and "When the Music's Over"? It seems that after they became big the Doors rarely performed "Twentieth Century Fox," "Summer's Almost Gone," "Unhappy Girl," "People Are Strange," "My Eyes Have Seen You," and "I Can't See Your Face in My Mind," to which listeners are given a rare audience here. The reason was probably that they were not that effective in larger venues. The Doors did not play "Take It As It Comes" or "Strange Days" either; note that these are unfortunately two songs missed by this set. As for "Summer's Almost Gone," bear witness in March 1967 that it was not a pop song written when the group allegedly became more commercial with "Waiting for the Sun." Like "Hello I Love You," not performed here, it stemmed from Jim's early days on Venice Beach. Both were on the 1965 Columbia demo tapes

    There is some really good stuff here. The Bach-like organ solo on "The Crystal Ship" is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard, even more beautiful than the piano on the studio cut. And to hear a speedy version of "I Can't See Your Face in My Mind"! The group actually sounds very mature as they dish out this hard-driven version that has a hint of LA theater and lounge music, sort of an inversion of Morrison Hotel's "The Spy." Further, check out that expanded minor organ intro in "Unhappy Girl." Finally, "Light My Fire" sounds more like the studio cut (always better than live versions) than any other version I know. In some of The Doors' live performances of this classic, Ray's organ/keyboards have a drier, sometimes fuzzy and off-key sound, but here the sound is clean and streaming. Add to all this several covers of well-known rockers and you get a CD worth having.
    ...more info
  • Live At The Matrix
    The sound on this is just beat.Looks like Rhino has put it to us again....more info
  • Sub-par sound
    What many reviewers are complaining about regarding the sound quality is true. For this CD the sound quality is okay at best, and at times pretty bad.

    Excellent sounding master tapes of The Matix concerts exist, but they were not used on this CD.

    It is heartbreaking to hear clips of the original master tapes, the sound for those are incredibly good.
    ...more info
  • Break On Through
    This is an "edited" version of a multi-CD set of the complete show. I am not as critical on that point, since some fans may not want to invest a multi-set for whatever reason.

    The performances is of the band about one month after the release of its first studio album - The Doors - but months before the controversial appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which set pop culture on fire. This is as essential as - for example - The Beatles - Live In Hamburg, 1962 - since it chronicles an important band at a point before it became trapped in the destructive elements of international rock stardom.

    When everything clicked, The Doors was as great a live band as any from the 1960s. This club gig shows why....more info
  • Great CD
    This is a really good cd in all respects, the sound is exceptional for a live recording from the 60's.
    I disagree with the reviewers who state that this is for die hard fans. Listen to the second cd, it's unbelievable....more info
  • a big disappointment
    Please keep in mind...I LOVE LIVE CDS and I LOVE THE DOORS music....that being said, this cd is a major disppointment.....I (like other Doors fans) have heard boots of these shows (more complete 4 cd versions too) and they sound terrific compared to this official release (the performances are cool...i cant complain about that)...i mean does remastered mean ray manzarek did some tribal dance in the control room as the tape played....if anything, they denegraded the sound on this tape....just a shame.....while i would rate the perfomace a 4 out of 5 im just tired of the doors weak product...cheesy packaging....poor sound....edited incomplete shows....enough already...plus at a high price in these times...its just not worth it...more info
  • Please don't buy this RIP OFF!!!!
    This album is one of the biggest scam jobs I've ever seen/heard from a band of the Doors status. Instead of providing their loyal fans with Peter Abram's beautiful sounding master recordings, we get this. Doh! Sure looks like money is more important to them then their own legacy, or their fans. Sad and pathetic. These amazing performances need to be documented for future generations complete and in the best sound quality possible.

    To hear a comparison between the master sound recording and this poor release, please check out the 'Live at the Matrix 1967' wikipedia page for a sound sample. If you're as disgusted by what you hear as I was, hit them where it hurts! Their Wallet! If enough people boycot this release, they may have no choice but to obtain the master recordings. Doors fans and music lovers deserve better!!...more info
  • Instant Classic from greatest band ever
    Why do people hate the doors? Ok, i get it the quality on this cd isn't stellar, but its still the doors! the doors are the greatest band ever. you may argue that its the Beatles or the Stones but in my (and a few of you out there) opinion the doors beat those brits with a stick made of symbolism....more info
  • enjoyed it!
    If your a fan of the doors,you'll like this release.It's from a early time in there career, before they made it big, March 67. The music is good and you'll hear the doors like you never heard them before. There's a big stink about this release because it was not sourced from the master tapes,which are owned by peter abrams blah blah and blah.Like I said, if your a fan of the doors you will like this release....more info
  • Tell all the people that you see...this was a poorly handled release
    I'm a monster Doors fan. I've bought just about everything they've ever released and never regretted it. I bought The Matrix show 'cause I've had the bootlegs for years, loved the performances and looked forward to this official release. I realize now that I was swept up in the hype of press releases. The Doors should have purchased the original master tapes from Peter Abram and released the shows as good as they can sound and as complete as they could be. I've heard clips from the masters and they clearly sound better. Disappointing. At least they could have given the guy who originally recorded the shows an honorable mention in the liner notes, no? People Are Strange indeed.

    I hope that somehow, someway, these shows will still see a proper release. ...more info
  • Poor sounding live release!
    The doors used inferior sounding tracks and some tracks from bootleg sources on this release. It's too bad the doors decided to use inferior sounding tracks and not purchase the original masters from Pete Abram who recorded the shows at The Matrix. In addition, this is basically a 2 CD set with a mixture of songs from both the 3/7 and 3/10 shows. A compilation of songs that are out of order! This release is a major disappointment. Stay away from this one. Thumbs down....more info
  • Yet another lie from the Doors....
    How many times can they issue product they claim to be new, rare, unreleased or something else...when in fact it's all the same old, same old.

    I can forgive the Doors issuing Absolutely Live on CD when it already existed on the IN Concert CD. I can forgive them calling a disc Live in New York when one song is from Los Angeles. I can forgive them for putting a disc called Band Favorites of studio songs which we all own anyway.

    I cannot forgive them for this mess. Sure it's great to hear this...but my Mp3 boot sounds better. They blatantly lied about this release. I bought all the Doors recordings up til now...even the 12 disc Box that came with 6 DVD-A...that was awesome...but i digress...this was a blatant lie. It remains to this day the only disc i have returned to Amazon based on quality. Yes, I know it's a boot but they promised it was better, clearer and i thought it was from the master tapes as it stated. It was not. How much money do the Doors want? Makes me wonder what Morrison would think about this? Is Densmore part of this too?...more info
  • I think I know what they might have been thinking?
    The only thing I can think of is that new listeners/younger first timers hearing the Doors have an advantage over us old hard-liners.
    I have owned The Matrix Tapes (2 Disc) on Swingin' Pig Records for about 18 years and have listened to it once maybe twice. The reason being is it is such a bad recording it is very difficult to take listening to even though I believe it is un-cut and un-edited. I purchased this recording of those nights and was surprised to be able to hear it, even though if these were first-generation recordings as the packaging says they should sound better than they do.
    I guess the surviving Doors may have been thinking that this recording would be interesting for new Doors listeners due to the time and place they were recorded and so for that reason alone I would give it a 3rd star - why they didn't release this as an unedited set who knows - I think that might be one of those questions for the ages.
    If this is any indication of the past releases of the Doors recordings - it will probably be re-released again as have their original albums numerous times - maybe we'll have another opportunity to pay $20 plus for a re-mastered version of this show with 2 bonus tracks.
    What's next Rhino? - The best suggestion I would give to them is to try to reproduce "The Stages" box-set - in my opinion that is THE best package of Doors material authorized or not.
    I really liked the album cover and the photos on the inside - that would also be a plus as far as the star ratings go as well. ...more info
  • A Very Painful One Star For What Could Have Been A Historical Release
    This is the first official live release of the Doors in their prime. All the other cd's are from 1970 and by that time Jim Morrison was going into half drunken poetic recitals during the songs and they had clearly passed their live prime (though there were some good songs from then). But in 1967 the Doors were in another realm live. Next to the Velvets, this is about the only group that had a darker element to the sound. And you get to hear the full version of "the End" with the oedipal sequence and some bizzare lyrical improvisations intact. Apart from a few blues covers the Doors weren't "just starting out". This is the Doors at their best live.
    Sadly, because of the sound quality, as the other reviews detailed I can only rate this one star. Its lousy. I've heard the "concert issues" of them and they are far better. The surviving members of the Doors could and should have released the original masters. Not only for the listener but to honor Jim Morrison. You can grasp what the Doors sounded like live during their prime era which influenced punk, proto-punk and goth. But the sound quality is abyssymal. They need to reissue the original master tapes to the public or at least as penance allow the next winner of "American Idol" to be the lead singer for the "Doors of the 21st Century". Take your pick. Just not this release until they get it right. Jim Morrison would agree. ...more info
  • This is just a tiny part of the performance
    The Matrix was a tiny club in San Francisco (NOT L.A.) where up-and-coming bands would find a supportive audience. I've got both shows from March of '67 on tape and one on CD (three CDs...). If you want to catch PART of the 3-10-67 show, this is OK, especially since it's relatively inexpensive. But try and get the six-CD set if you can. It's fun hearing the small smattering of applause as the audience listens to a band whose fame had not yet exploded. Light My Fire's release a couple of months after these Matrix shows would change the band forever, and the intimate nature of the Matrix captures the band doing a relaxed, loose couple of three-set shows. I hope the "official" bootlegs series gets around to releasing these two Matrix shows. I just got Live in Boston (early and late shows) and it's great. For a taste, this is OK. But, really, find the whole show if you can......more info
  • Yet another lie from the Doors....
    How many times can they issue product they claim to be new, rare, unreleased or something else...when in fact it's all the same old, same old.

    I can forgive the Doors issuing Absolutely Live on CD when it already existed on the IN Concert CD. I can forgive them calling a disc Live in New York when one song is from Los Angeles. I can forgive them for putting a disc called Band Favorites of studio songs which we all own anyway.

    I cannot forgive them for this mess. Sure it's great to hear this...but my Mp3 boot sounds better. They blatantly lied about this release. I bought all the Doors recordings up til now...even the 12 disc Box that came with 6 DVD-A...that was awesome...but i digress...this was a blatant lie. It remains to this day the only disc i have returned to Amazon based on quality. Yes, I know it's a boot but they promised it was better, clearer and i thought it was from the master tapes as it stated. It was not. How much money do the Doors want? Makes me wonder what Morrison would think about this? Is Densmore part of this too?...more info
  • Forget about this one--bad sound and too short!!
    Even though this was recorded in 1967 the sound mix was terrible. I have heard other live recordings from this era that are a lot better. The cd is too short and from I hear is that the whole concert was not included on this cd--what a rip!!! The vocals are not clear at times and the guitar solos are toned down as well as Rays keyboard parts. No linear notes are included either. Collectors stay away from this mono muffled recording--I wish I did. ...more info
  • 3rd Generation Tape Sources, Out of Sequence & Incomplete
    The Doors and Warner Music Group issued a press release to promote this CD, stating: "Restored and carefully mastered from first generation tapes acquired by Elektra Records and The Doors 40 years ago, these historic shows never sounded better."

    However, at least 4 tracks here were sourced from 3rd generation or higher bootlegs. The remaining songs were mastered from an edited 2nd generation 1/4" reel to reel copy of a cassette dub made from the master reels.

    Neither the Doors, nor their corporate record label Warner Music Group (aka the Rhino and Elektra imprints) own the original master recordings.

    The master tapes are owned by Peter Abram, who had the foresight to record the band at The Matrix (with the band's permission)--more than two years before Elektra and Paul Rothchild got around to recording The Doors in a live setting at The Aquarius theater in 1969.

    These legendary 1967 live tapes were well engineered by the young Abram and find the rock band at the peak of their prowess as an improvisatory unit.

    However, the tapes Warner Music Group has published on this 2 CD rip off are vastly inferior to the master tapes, brief samples of which are circulating on the Internet with Peter's permission for comparison purposes.

    Some fans may choose to believe that Abram is being greedy by asking for cash for his tapes. However, The Doors manager Jeff Jampool has publicly stated the Doors' policy about acquiring live tapes is that they will only provide a small royalty based on sales.

    According to Abram, he wasn't even approached to sell his tapes to the Doors for this release. And what about all those bootlegs on the market? According to Abram, all bootlegs derive from the missing first generation cassette copies in the Doors archive, which vanished in the 1970s.

    The fans get a sonically subpar, incomplete product. The legality of this release is suspect since Peter owns the master tapes. Peter Abram receives zero money from this product, even though he owns the master sound recording. Meanwhile, your purchase of this material will make Warner Music Group and The Doors a little bit wealthier.

    And this is the same rock band that recently sued itself for $5million dollars over issues of "integrity."

    By the way, how much money was cover designer Stanley Mouse paid for his Matrix album cover art, while they guy that actually recorded the show--on his own nickel and made this cash cow possible for The Doors--doesn't even receive a credit as recording engineer in the liner notes?...more info
  • DO NOT BUY
    This CD is such a mess one hardly knows where to start!

    The reason why I am giving this product a bad review is simply because it is NOT what it says it is. This CD is NOT first generation tapes acquired by The Doors.

    This CD is just a cleaned-up-in-the-studio copy of the tape from which all the Matrix bootlegs come from, plus some tracks lifted straight off the actual bootlegs. The hiss levels vary dramatically from one track to the next, exposing the fact that this is just a collection of different sub-par sources.

    The fact that The Doors and their management lie to their fans like this is a real disgrace, and shame on them for advertising this CD as quality "first generation" product when IT IS NOT. It is just a rip-off, plain and simple.

    This material has been out there for years. Don't waste your money on an incomplete, out-of-sequence copy of a bootleg....more info