Just weeks before their second single, “Light My Fire,” began its ascent to the top of the charts, The Doors played a two-night stand at The Matrix, a small San Francisco nightclub owned by the Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin. The place was nearly empty both nights, so Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, and Ray Manzarek took a rare opportunity to improvise and experiment. The 2-CD set LIVE AT THE MATRIX, the latest in the acclaimed series of previously unreleased Doors concerts from Rhino and Bright Midnight Archives, presents over two hours of music from these fabled performances, recorded on March 7 and 10, 1967,
While recent live Doors titles from Rhino and Bright Midnight have spotlighted the band's final tour before Morrison's death, LIVE AT THE MATRIX reaches back to their earliest days - and to shows that have been widely bootlegged but never officially issued. The new collection - featuring cover art by legendary San Francisco artist Stanley Mouse - was restored and meticulously mastered from first-generation tapes acquired by Elektra Records and The Doors 40 years ago. “This is probably the closest we've come to a true document of The Doors without constraints,” says Bruce Botnick, the album's producer and the band's longtime co-producer and engineer.
On Disc One, the band performs much of its self-titled 1967 debut LP, released only two months prior to the Matrix shows. Highlights include expanded versions of “The End” and “Back Door Man,” “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar),” “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” and Allen Toussaint's “Get Out Of My Life, Woman,” which has never appeared on any previous Doors albums. Disc Two offers a glimpse of the band mapping out its future, working out early versions of several songs from upcoming albums: "Crawling King Snake" (LA Woman); "Summer's Almost Gone" (Waiting For The Sun); and nearly half of the songs from The Doors' second album, Strange Days.
On November 22, 2008, recording engineer Peter Abram revealed in an online posting the equipment he used to record The Doors at The Matrix. "I used an Akai tape recorder (tubes), 4 Calrad mics on the stage and a Calrad mic mixer on the instrumental channel. On the vocal channel: a Knight mixer with 3 Electrovoice 676 and Shure mics. The Calrad mics that I used on the instrumental track were model DM-21" said Abram. The original master 1/4 track stereo tapes were recorded at 7.5 ips on Abram's Akai reel-to-reel vacuum tube tape recorder.
*These songs are features on Strange Nights of Stone Digital Download*