Generally, I’m not much of a fan of greatest hits compilations. I see little value in stripping songs from the context of their albums.
But when you’re dealing with a catalogue as varied and inconsistent as The Doors’, a bird’s eye view can be a valuable thing.
Weird Scenes From Inside the Gold Mine is the first Doors compilation to be released after Jim Morrison’s death. As such, it plays sort of like a celebration of the eccentric frontman’s contributions.
Instead of culling from their hit singles, like most compilations, the disc leans heavy on his brand of acid-fueled mysticism. For example: “Horse Latitudes” is here. “Touch Me” is not. This is also probably the only Doors compilation in history to exclude the evergreen classic “Light My Fire.”
The songs aren’t organized in any sort order, barring the first side, which features one song from each of their Morrison-led albums in order of release. But after that, the order is a free for all. Songs are culled from the albums without regard to release date. It’s telling, however, that of the 22 tracks, only two are from The Soft Parade.
But for the lack of chronology, it’s obvious that a lot of care went into selecting the tracklist. Even with its disparate selections, the compilation maintains a certain cohesion. While it’s 99-minute running time (I’m not joking) might be a bit heavy for casual listening, it’s maybe the best overview of the Doors’ career ever put in a single release.
And that cover is just badass.