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riders on the storm

Written by Morrison / Krieger / Manzarek / Densmore

Doors Music Company/Sharandall Music

"One of the highlights of the last days of recording was having keyboardist Peter Vettese drop by to play on a final track. Peter last played with Simple Minds over two decades ago, it was fantastic to have his talents back. It felt like we were working on Real Life once again in fact. I cannot tell you how much I admire Vettese's work, especially on that album/track." - Jim, 19th September 2014

JK: Riders On The Storm, again it just, just as we were coming towards the end of the summer dates there, we've got this song Ghostdancing, and it breaks down and quite often we improvise different things. I guess that day I had been listening to The Doors and it came down and Charlie had the chord and it must've been the first chord and I thought "OK, I can sing Riders." So as soon as I said that word, the place exploded. I just sang "Riders On The Storm, Riders On The Storm" and it was like about 60,000 people went "Yes" and I was like "I dunno the rest of the words!" But so I did it the next night, and the next night, and by the end of the week it was part of the ritual now. It had gone that far. So we thought "Let's make this the cover for next year." And as it's going to be our cover for the next year, let's stick it on the record, so that people, when they come to the show, will know it. If they don't already know it, most of them will. But done our way. And we decided to be a bit sassy with it, no point in doing a Doors version, because there's only one Doors. I think what we did was the Frankie Goes To Hollywood version of it [laughs], kind of supercharged and souped-up and it's a bit camp and all that. And it'll go down a storm.

Martin Hanlin
The Real McCoy
KX 93.5

"It was the last song that we did of the whole album. It was the final moment, like that last day of school when you take your games in. Jim had phoned me up and said 'We did this song live. Sort of accidentally live as a jam' and he really wanted to do it. Simon Hayward (who does an electro set with Jim and Charlie), put together the original arrangement which I took on and developed. There was no real back story about choosing that particular song, it just kind of rocked. I did the guitars on Riders On The Storm very much like a Jeff Beck edit, if you listen you’ll hear the way the parts chip all the way through, because Charlie just played tons of mad stuff all over it. And then the other thing was, that historically, Peter Vettese had worked with the band on an album with Steve Lipson. Peter is a sublime keyboard player, so Jim really wanted to get him in to do his thing. Up until that point there weren’t any guest musicians at all on the album, just me, Gavin, Jim and Charlie working on the record with parts we’d either inherited from the band or writers, and stuff that we had all contributed. So it was a fun session that we did together and it was really great. We got a Wurly in and Peter came in and I ended up editing between Peter Vettese and Charlie. Because this track came in so late and we had to deliver the album, we could have done with a bit more time to nail the definitive mix, but I like the madness of the end result." - Andy Wright, September 2016

"No Halloween show for Simple Minds tonight. Had it been the case though, perhaps it would have been more than appropriate for us to crank out our mid '80's live classic Ghostdancing. (Corny! I know.) Nevertheless, that tune is surely due a resurrection at some point must be over a decade since we last included it in a set-list."

"All of which had me thinking about how common is to to hear about a song that is described as having a "haunting melody." I can think of plenty that would fit the description. However, if under pressure to chose one above all else, it is likely that I would chose from any number of Doors songs ultimately settling on Riders On The Storm."

"Various factors lay behind my decision. Starting with the thunderclap and distant sound of hissing rain, leading to the one of the most brooding bass moves in rock history, the song is only a few seconds in but already in our mind we can feel a desolate landscape. A dream within a dream - from there the nightmare is set to begin - with vocalist, Jim Morrison's almost spoken lyrics - part whispered, barely sung, inheriting the character of the "killer" that he goes on to detail with more depth as the second verse progresses."

"Oppressive to the core, the only sonic release available, being the beauty from Ray Manzarek's (Fender Rodes) dancing piano notes that flicker like distant lights amid surrounding darkness. And yet, it is still a most beautiful song. The movement of the music sway's, (rather than rocks) trancelike throughout, incorporating a delicate almost childlike lilt as it moves towards the chorus. Delicate, yet downright creepy. The echoing guitars complete that picture."

"Surprisingly to me, Morrison finds the need to offer hope. (Despite the world weary demeanour in his sweet, sensual voice that makes me think of Pontious Pilate?) Romantic to the very end, much in the fashion of an earlier too young, dead bird. None other than Lord Byron: 'Flamboyant, notorious, mad, bad, and dangerous to know."'

"Riders On The Storm was the last song recorded by the members of the Doors and Morrison's last recorded song to be released in his lifetime. The single was released in 1971, shortly before Morrison's death." - Jim, 31st October 2018

Riders on the storm.
Riders on the storm.
Into this house we're born.
Into this world we're thrown.
Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan.
Riders on the storm.

There's a killer on the road.
His brain is squirming like a toad.
Take a long holiday.
Let your children play.
If you give this man a ride, sweet memory will die.
Killer on the road, yeah.

Girl, you gotta love your man.
Girl, you gotta love your man.
Take him by the hand.
Make him understand.
The world on you depends, our life will never end.
Gotta love your man, yeah.

Riders on the storm.
Riders on the storm.
Into this house we're born.
Into this world we're thrown.
Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan.
Riders on the storm.

Riders on the storm.
Riders on the storm.
Riders on the storm.
Riders on the storm.

Album Version (3:46)
Produced by Andy Wright, Gavin Goldberg and Simple Minds
Mixed by Gavin Goldberg
Assisted by Lewis Chapman
Additional Programming and Keyboards by Simon Hayward
Wurlitzer Piano by Peter Vettese

Big Music German Promo CD Big Music French Promo CDs Big Music Promo CD Big Music Limited Edition Deluxe CD Big Music Promo CD Big Music Promo CD Rejuvenaton 2001-2014 CD/DVD Box Big Music Deluxe CD

Live Version (February-May 2015) (4:18)
Recorded: Big Music Tour 2015
Recorded By: Olivier Gerard
Mixed By: Olivier Gerard at Jet Studios

Live Big Music Tour 2015

Chris Evans, BBC Radio Two: 26th September 2014 (Acoustic version)

Live Version (7th April 2015) (4:28)
Recorded: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK

Big Music YouTube

live history
Greatest Hits + Summer Tour: 2014
Big Music European Tour: 2015
Big Music Summer Tour: 2015