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SoundTRAX: "The Doors"

Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison of The Doors
Elektra Records
Tri-Star Pictures

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

57 years ago today The Doors released their self-titled debut album. So why not take a look at Oliver Stone's 1991 biopic of the band?

Where Ollie goes, naturally, controversy follows. He's infamous for taking more than one liberty with the facts in his films, and this one is no exception.

Even band members Robby Krieger and John Densmore, who were credited as "advisors" for the movie, said Stone would listen to their advice but then go ahead and do whatever he wanted. Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek was quoted as saying, "It's not Jim Morrison, it's Oliver Stone in leather pants."

The one thing nearly everyone agreed on, though, was that the casting of Val Kilmer as Morrison was indeed the right choice. He nails the mannerisms and the swagger.

It's a solid cast altogether, with Meg Ryan as Morrison's girlfriend and muse, Pamela Courson, plus Kevin Dillon, Kyle MachLachlan, and Frank Whaley as Densmore, Manzarek and Krieger, respectively. There's also the ever-bizarre Crispin Glover portraying a decidedly creepy Andy Warhol, plus cameos from Stone himself as a film professor and Densmore as a studio engineer. You may also spot quick appearances by Sky Saxon of The Seeds and The Animals' Eric Burdon.

As for the soundtrack, even though Kilmer sings as Morrison in the movie, none of his vocals appear on the compilation, so Doors purists need not worry. To keep things eclectic, you also get The Velvet Underground's "Heroin" as well as German composer Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."

But for today's SoundTRAX selection it clearly has to be a Doors song, right?

In honor of the band's self-titled debut album turning 57 today, it's the band The Doors— from the movie of the same name— and "The End."

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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