Light My Fire:
A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors

Various Artists

Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors is an all-star tribute to the quintessential 60s pioneering rock L.A. quintet. Multi-instrumentalist superstar producer Billy Sherwood has once again gathered the amazing and famous here, including Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Steve Morse, Elliot Easton, Steve Howe, Ian Gillan and Leslie West, for a cool 16-song collection.

“L.A. Woman” sees Jimi Jaminson from Survivor delivering his best Jim Morrison with a cool groove set up by former Yes man Patrick Moraz’s lilting keys and the solid guitar work from Wishbone Ash’s Ted Turner. “Roadhouse Blues” has the unbeatable Mountain man Leslie West leading the way with some slide, a growling vocal and that distinct guitar tone. Brian Auger is along as well with some blaring organ work.

Not that the players are reimagining anything as these tunes are pretty much as you know them, but for something like “Riders On The Storm,” the playing is just so freaking good, it can’t be ignored. Joe Lynn Turner delivers clear rich vocal, while Tony Kaye rolls his organ under some amazing Steve Cropper pull-offs and flicks. Given its own delineated track, “Intro (People Are Strange)” sees Keith Emerson on piano and a good amount of synth at the end that turns into some speedy arpeggiating that will remind ELP fans of a snippet from early times. It’s hard for me to do much else but gush when hearing Emerson, but here really he is in such fine jazz form. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter adds some well-placed acoustic guitar noodling while Joel Druckman from John Fahey adds subtle bass. This instrumental is a wonderful opening to David Johansen and Billy Sherwood rolling through the actual “People Are Strange.”

It’s wonderful to hear the expressive Graham Bonnet biting the lyrics on “The Soft Parade.” Todd Rundgren steps up with a few guitar pull-offs on “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)” for a loose country-like recreation that feature Geoff Downes’s light touches on organ. Cars guitarist Elliot Easton’s expert classical guitar playing gives “Spanish Caravan” a real kick.

“Light My Fire” features Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan on vocals with Rick Wakeman plucking through the distinctive organ section and guitarist Steve Howe providing both a flappy electric rhythm and the extended middle lead section, which compliments Wakeman’s snyth lead. Sherwood says, "The Doors' music will live on forever, and it's my hope that we've paid tribute to the band in the highest way possible." One spin through of Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors, and it's difficult not to agree.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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