Doors fans will want to put aside some coin for the first-ever release of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's last filmed concert “The Doors Live at the Isle of Wight 1970.” The highly anticipated live set will hit shelves in multiple formats on Feb.23 via Eagle Rock.
For diehard Doors fans the concert is a must-have, but even casual fans with an interest in the music and culture of the late 60s will find The Door's performance at this historic event fascinating. The film captures the legendary Los Angeles rockers' entire one-hour set, which was held on the final day of the massive U.K. festival on Aug. 30, 1970, before an estimated audience of 700,000 spectators.
Unlike director Murray Lerner's 1997 documentary film “Message to Love: The Isle of Wight 1970 ,” which only features two songs from The Door's set, the 2018 release contains the "Light My Fire" hitmaker's entire one hour performance. The original footage has undergone color correction and been remastered in 5.1 Dolby Digital sound by longtime Doors sound technician and co-producer Bruce Botnick.
The color restoration helps offset some of the original filming issues, especially the poor lighting, which occurred due to frontman Jim Morrison's refusal to allow movie spotlights. The original setlist order has also been creatively shuffled to open with “Roadhouse Blues” while the opening credits role, because visual footage of The Door's performance was not filmed for this song.
Instrumentally,The Doors put in a strong performance with keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger, providing brilliant improvisations, backed by the powerhouse drumming of John Densmore. Compared to his early days, Morrison's performance is subdued. But the world weary Lizard King, whose life would come to an abrupt and tragic end at the age of 27 the following year, remains the primary focus of attention even though he barely moves a muscle during the entire set.
Bonuses include a 17-minute featurette, "This is the End," which features modern interviews with Krieger and Densmore conducted by Lerner. Also included, is an archival interview with the late Ray Manzarek from 2002. Fans can check out the official film trailer above.