I was on a sort of holiday during the week, so there were no new stories. It will be interesting to see how this fact affected the statistics. But before that, let's get on with our list of the Doors' songs...
At #15 is a song from the L.A. Woman album (1971). Love Her Madly was a Robby Krieger composition that was released as the album's lead single, peaking at #11 in the US and at #3 in Canada.
The song has a loose, semi-acoustic swing and a relaxed bar-room tempo with a menacing edge. Its composer, Robby Krieger said: “I fixed on the idea of a guy whose girlfriend is his obsession but she keeps on walking out and giving him the runaround. That was me, and I wrote it for Lynn, now my wife. It was an easy-listening song – producer Paul Rothchild called it ‘cocktail music’ and walked off the L.A. Woman sessions. But Jim loved it. His favorite part was about the ‘seven horses’. He told me: ‘Put something in that makes the listener confused.’ The seven horses were like a lucky omen, and Jim always loved horse racing from his Florida days.”
Once the shock of their producer's departure had worn off, the Doors turned to engineer Bruce Botnick, whose credits included all of their previous albums, as well as the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and the Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed. With his help, the reinvigorated band vowed to co-produce their new album. Gone were the days of Rothchild's studio strictness, where it was normal to record 30 takes or spend hours on perfecting a drum sound. "Rothchild was gone, which is one reason why we had so much fun," Robbie Krieger told Guitar World in 1994. "The warden was gone."
The lyrics were born out of a particularly noisy fight between Robbie Krieger and his future wife, Lynne. "Every time we had an argument, she used to get pissed off and go out the door and slam the door so loud the house would shake," he said in Mr. Mojo Risin. But the title borrows a signature phrase from Duke Ellington, who would end every concert with the sign-off, "We love you madly." Krieger's bandmates, all well versed in jazz, got the reference.
At #14 is yet another Robby Krieger composition. Spanish Caravan appears on the album Waiting for the Sun (1968) and showcases Krieger's talents on flamenco guitar, an instrument he started playing when he was 17. The impressive intro riff was taken from "Asturias," a classical piece by Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz (1860 - 1909).
Waiting for the Sun wasn't received very well by the critics in 1968, but time has been kind to it and is now considered a great rock album. While it doesn't reach the amazing heights of their debut album (none of their albums did - in fact, only a handful of albums by other artists are on the same level as their eponymous offering), it still contains a number of remarkable songs - and Spanish Caravan is one of the best.
At #13 is Love Me Two Times, the third Krieger composition in a row. It is found in Strange Days (1967) and it's about a soldier or sailor on his last day with his girlfriend before shipping out, ostensibly to war. Manzarek described the song as "Robby's great blues/rock classic about lust and lost, or multiple orgasms, I'm not sure which."
In 1997, Krieger stated to Guitar World's Alan Paul that the musical idea for Love Me Two Times came from a lick from a Danny Kalb album. In another interview, he said that he "borrowed the lick from The Blues Project with Al Kooper. I was always stealing ideas.”
Manzarek played the final version of Love Me Two Times on a harpsichord, not a clavichord. He described the instrument as "a most elegant instrument that one does not normally associate with rock and roll." It might have been the Swinging Sixties, but this song, with its entreaty for a little extra affection before the narrator takes his leave, was deemed too controversial in some quarters and denied airplay when released as a single (which may have accounted for its only reaching #25 on the US charts). But, Love Me Two Times also had a greater resonance during the Vietnam era, when so many soldiers were leaving behind their loved ones. In a different, slower arrangement, this song could’ve been a starker blues number. As it is, Krieger’s buoyant guitar line keeps the number on a higher plane, Manzarek's harpsichord adds some different color and Morrison’s vocal underscores the rising tension by going up an octave during the final choruses.
Here's a great cover by one of our favorite artists, Joan Jett:
At #12 is a Morrison composition from Morrison Hotel (1970), called The Spy. The song celebrates Morrison's intense but troubled relationship with longtime girlfriend Pamela Courson. Originally The Spy was called Spy In The House Of Love, as shown on the Master Reel Control File, a line borrowed from A Spy in the House of Love, a novel by Anaïs Nin published in 1954.
The song's jazz feeling, mostly indebted to Krieger's excellent guitar work, combined with the slightly creepy lyrics, give the song a sense of welcome unease. Morrison's vocals are as cool as ever.
Talking about jazz... This is an alternate version, called the jazz version:
Finally for today, at #11, is the Doors' third biggest hit, as far as the US Hot 100 is concerned: Touch Me peaked at #3 in 1969. It also peaked at the very top in Canada and at #10 in Australia. It is found in The Soft Parade album (1969) and is the fourth Krieger composition out of the five songs presented today.
According to Bruce Botnick's liner notes the song was initially referred to by its various working titles; "I'm Gonna Love You," from a line in the chorus, or "Hit Me," a reference to blackjack. The opening line was originally "C'mon, hit me ... I'm not afraid," the line thus reflecting the first person vantage point of a blackjack player. Morrison reportedly changed the lyric out of concern that rowdy crowds at their live shows would mistakenly believe that "hit me" was a challenge to physically assault him.
The song is notable for its extensive usage of brass and string instruments, including a solo by featured saxophonist Curtis Amy. Ray Manzarek played harpsichord and organ on the song; he also interpolated the guitar riff from the 1967 Four Seasons song C'mon Marianne in his part. Morrison morphs into Frank Sinatra here with his god-like croon fronting a swinging big-band vibe.
Now, let's continue with the week's statistics. The fact that there were no new stories this week affected the weekly number of visits; there were half as many as last week. There will be new stories during the coming week, so I expect a new rise.
The countries that were mostly responsible for last week's rise, Greece and Cyprus, took a tumble this week: Greece fell from last week's #1 to this week's #5, while Cyprus, last week's #4, has disappeared from the weekly Top 10 altogether. Spain and Australia also had a bad week, which meant that the rest of last week's weekly Top 10 all moved up, joined by Belgium, Brazil, and the Philippines. As far as the all-time list is concerned, the United Kingdom (yet again) and Italy increased their overall percentage, France and Belgium remained steady, while the others experienced a drop.
As to which subjects dominated the week, George Maharis was a comfortable #1, last week's statistics were #2, while Laura Nyro, Billy Preston, and June Millington (Fanny) completed the Top 5.
Here are this week's Top 10 countries:
1. the United Kingdom
2. the United States
10. the Philippines
Here are the other countries that graced us with their presence since our last statistics (alphabetically): Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Happy to have you all!
And here's the all-time Top 10:
1. the United States = 41.6%
2. Greece = 9.0%
3. the United Kingdom = 8.2%
4. France = 7.4%
5. Russia = 4.5%
6. Germany = 3.9%
7. Cyprus = 1.37%
8. Italy = 1.23%
9. the United Arab Emirates = 0.66%
10. Belgium = 0.65%
That's all for today, folks. Till the next one!