"Break On Through (To the Other Side)" is a song by The Doors from their debut album, The Doors. It was the first single released by the band and was unsuccessful compared with later hits, reaching only number 126[1] in the United States. Despite this, it became a concert staple and remains one of the band's signature and most popular songs.

Twenty-four years after its original US release, "Break On Through" became a minor hit in the UK, peaking at number 64 in the singles chart.


 [hide*1 Overview


The song also appears as track one on the band's debut album. Elektra Records' censors objected to the drug use implied by the repeated line "she gets high". The original album version and all reissues until the 1990s have the word "high" deleted, with Morrison singing "she gets" four times before a final wail. Live versions and more recent remastered releases have the full line restored. Regardless, classic rock radio stations, the iTunes release and most compilations continue to use the censored version, as it is the version most familiar to listeners.

Musical structure and composition[edit]Edit

The song is in 4/4 time and quite fast-paced.

It begins with a bossa nova drum groove similar[original research?] to the opening phrases played by Billy Higgins on Dexter Gordon's "Soy Califa", in which a clave pattern is played as a rim click underneath a driving ride cymbal pattern. John Densmore appreciated the new (at the time) bossa nova craze coming from Brazil, so he decided to use it in the song.[2] Robby Krieger has stated that he took the idea for the guitar riff from Paul Butterfield's version of the song "Shake Your Moneymaker" (originally byblues guitarist Elmore James).[2]

Later, a disjointed quirky organ solo is played quite similar to the introduction of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say",[3] which has a few intentional misplaced notes in it. The bassline, similar to a typical bass line used in bossa nova, continues almost unhindered all of the way through the song.



Stone Temple Pilots covered the song for The Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate. Mexican hard rock band La Cuca has done a cover as a hidden track in their albumLa Racha. Heavy metal supergroup, Adrenaline Mob also covered it on their EP Coverta.

When the Doors were featured on an episode of VH1 Storytellers, various guest singers filled in for Jim Morrison. Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland filled in and sang "Break On Through", along with the song he said inspired him to rock, "Five to One".

Serbian rock band Night Shift covered the song in 2002 on their debut album Undercovers.

American new wave band Blondie performed the song several times during their 1997-1999 comeback tours. They used it as opener of their first two comeback shows.[4]

British rock band Bush covered the song in a studio version never released, but widely available online.[citation needed]

Marc Ribot's three man jazz punk combo Ceramic Dog covered it on their album "Party Intellectuals."

Appearances in media[edit]Edit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.