The Doors peak to No.1 with the smash hit “Hello, I Love You” in 1968

Photo: Paul Ferrara

The song was also The Doors breakthrough into the European market

The Doors peak to No.1 with the smash hit “Hello, I Love You” in 1968

Written by Jim Morrison in 1965 (credited to The Doors) as one of the six demos the early line up of The Doors did for Aura Records which earned them a very brief signing with Columbia Records (most of the record companies rejected the band due to thinking they sounded too weird and had no commercial potential), “Hello, I Love You”, released in June 1968, became one of The Doors biggest hits and their first international No.1. Initially, “Hello, I Love You” was not considered to be recorded for the band’s third album “Waiting For The Sun”, however, the troubled recording sessions during the spring of 1968, due to Morrison’s drug and drinking habit was making it harder for the band to complete songs. One afternoon, while drummer John Densmore was considering leaving the band, they looked at Morrison’s poems to try to find something they could record. One of the poems, “Hello I Love You”, had been written one afternoon, while Morrison and Ray Manzarek watched an African-american girl walking on the beach. The band re-worked the song, totally transforming the early 1965 demo version, into a Psychedelic Rock structure. Later, Ray Davies of The Kinks would make allegations that the song’s musical structure was stolen from The Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night”. This has been denied by the band over the years, and guitarist Robby Krieger even claimed that the song’s vibe was taken from Cream’s song “Sunshine of Your Love”. Despite that, The Kinks sued The Doors, reaching an out-of-court settlement with The Doors. In 1968, already one of the top bands in the U.S and owning the 1967 smash hit “Light My Fire”, The Doors hadn’t yet fully break into the European market, but with “Hello, I Love You”, they finally did. The song reached No.1 on August 2, 1968 on the U.S Hot 100, selling over a million copies in the U.S. alone, it also went No.1 in Canada and peaked to 15 in the U.K, charting also across Europe. This gave opportunity for The Doors to go on their first (and only) European Tour in September 1968. A quite interesting fact about the U.S single release of “Hello, I Love You” (backed with “Love Street”), is that it was promoted as the first rock 45 rpm record in stereo. It includes a long musical sweep about 1:20 into the song, starting at the left channel and panning across into the right channel, in a very ostentatious demonstration of stereo effect.

Watch The Doors performing “Hello, I Love You” in Frankfurt, Germany, 1968 for the German TV show 4-3-2-1 Hot and Sweet

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