The tour documentary is, in the music industry’s current era, one of the most overused recordings released by record labels and their roster of acts each year. Next to those “making of the record documentaries” and singles collections that so many acts and labels like to call “greatest hits” records, the tour documentary has over the years become overly abundant that it has largely lost any importance that it might have previously had within the music industry. The end result of so many labels and acts releasing tour documentaries is that the documentaries in question have become relatively bland and useless. This is especially the case being that the world now lives in an era in which social media dominates almost every avenue of everyday life. By comparison, bands that laid the groundwork for today’s music industry didn’t have any of today’s technology. So the only glimpse that audiences had at said acts was the occasional live show that audiences could attend when said acts came to their towns. That makes the rare documentaries released today on said acts all the more valuable for audiences. Eagle Rock Entertainment released one of those important and valuable rarities late last month in the form of The Doors’ Feat of Friends. Feast of Friends was produced by and about The Doors. It was also the only tour documentary ever produced by the band itself. The catch is that it was never actually fully completed. Until now, Feast of Friends has never been officially released to the public for purchase. That within itself is a major reason for audiences to pick up this documentary. It’s just one reason for audiences to check it out, too. The amount of material presented to audiences within the documentary is just as important to the whole. And last but not least of all is the quality of the footage itself throughout the presentation. Considering how many decades have passed since the video presented in Feast of Friends was originally recorded. But it looks surprisingly clean in its transfer from its masters. Together with the documentary’s content and the fact that it has never before been released, it becomes a presentation that any fan of The Doors and any music historian will want to add to their collection.
One of the main reasons that today’s tour documentaries and making of presentations have become so annoying and useless is the fact that there are so many of them. More often than not, many of the pieces that make up that mass are “documentaries” that have been released more than once over the years. Given some might not have been. But there are those that have been released and re-issued more than once. Eagle Rock Entertainment’s release of The Doors’ Feast of Friends is the first time ever that this documentary has seen the light of day since its original recording during the band’s 1968 tour. That means that at least the primary feature material contained within this Blu-ray is material that has not been seen before. Given, there is one piece that looks like it was taken from the band’s 1968 show at the Hollywood Bowl. And “The Doors Are Open” has been previously released, too. It was released on DVD in 2002. But other than that, the material presented in this documentary is material that has not been seen before by audiences. That means that there is nothing to which this release can be compared in terms of The Doors’ previous releases. That in itself is plenty of reason for any music historian and fan of The Doors to pick up this recording. It also leads to another reason that audiences will appreciate Feast of Friends. That second reason that audiences will appreciate Feast of Friends is its very breadth of material.
The fact that Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recent release of Feast of Friends marks the first time that the documentary has been released to the public for purchase is reason enough for any music historian or Doors fan to pick up this recording. The amount of never before seen material that is shared throughout the recording is even more reason for audiences to check it out. Audiences get to see the primary presentation after which the Blu-ray is titled for the first time. Audiences get to see another side of Jim Morrison especially through the course of this feature. They get to see his more well-known enigmatic side. But they also get to see a more laid back Jim Morrison, playing a piano backstage at one of the band’s gigs. They get to see him with his band mates and all of their friends and family at a lake, just enjoying time together. They also see early on a man who was obviously a reluctant celebrity despite his ability to connect with the band’s fans on and off stage. It is truly an interesting juxtaposition to see. And it’s not all that audiences will enjoy seeing, either in this presentation. Also included with Eagle Rock’s new release of Feast of Friends is a rather interesting look at the band from across the pond in the feature “The Doors Are Open.” This feature does has actually been released before. It does quite the job of juxtaposing the band’s concert footage against all of the unrest running through America at the time. There is also an impressive concert feature in the presentation’s closer “The End.” It shows the band’s performance of what is one of its greatest songs of all time in ‘The End.’ It is complemented by the inclusion of interviews with John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, and Danny Sugerman. Whether or not audiences are familiar with the Doors, the collective material featured throughout this Blu-ray is material that will enlighten and entertain anyone with any interest in classic rock and the foundations of today’s rock world. It is most definitely a collection of material that makes the presentation in whole well worth the watch.
The material culled for Feast of Friends will definitely enlighten and entertain audiences regardless of their familiarity with the Doors or even the history of classic rock in general. That Feast of Friends has never been released before, and that over ten years have passed since “The Doors Are Open” was last released makes this collection even more worth the watch for any true fan of The Doors and any music historian. As important as all of this is to the success and enjoyment of The Doors: Feast of Friends none of it would mean anything without the work of those charged with restoring the footage for its presentation here. In watching the Blu-ray in whole, it is obvious that while some of the material has been previously released, painstaking efforts were taken to ensure that Feast Of Friends maintained the high standard set by Eagle Rock with each and every one of its releases, whether it be a live concert recording or documentary. There are those Blu-rays out there that present classic concerts and movies in which the footage obviously hasn’t been touched. And those releases look awful to say the least. This Blu-ray however, is not on that level, thankfully. It maintains Eagle Rock’s high standard quite well. And because of that, it leaves no doubt in any viewer’s mind that Feast of Friends is indeed a feast for the eyes and ears of any Doors fan and music historian.
The Doors: Feast of Friends is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:
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