The Doors: A Billboard Chart History
Following the death of Doors keyboardist and founding member Ray Manzarek, Billboard looks back on the legendary rock band's chart legacy. Manzarek died Monday at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany. He was 74.
The Doors was one of the most successful bands on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the late 1960s and early 1970s, racking up seven top 10 releases between 1967 and 1971.
The quartet's self-titled debut album was released on Elektra Records in 1967 and went on to spend two weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart (blocked only by the Beatles' No. 1 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"). "The Doors" spent a lengthy 121 weeks on the Billboard 200, spinning off the smash hit single "Light My Fire." The track spent three weeks lodged at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking the first of 16 Hot 100 hits for the band.
The Doors would return to No. 1 on the Hot 100 the following year with "Hello, I Love You," from its album, "Waiting for the Sun.” The latter was the group's only chart-topper on the Billboard 200, spending four non-consecutive weeks atop the list in September and October of 1968.
Following the 1971 death of the act’s lead singer, Jim Morrison, the Doors’ chart fortunes diminished, though they continued to chart further albums. Three more studio sets were released after Morrison's passing, including one with music set to Morrison's previously recorded spoken-word poetry.
In 1985, more than a decade after Morrison's death, one of the biggest-selling greatest hits albums was released: "The Best of the Doors." The double album, containing 18 previously released tracks, reached No. 32 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1988 and has spent more than 300 weeks on Billboard Pop Catalog Albums chart. The set has gone on to earn a diamond award by the Recording Industry Association of America, certifying sales of 10 million copies in the United States.
Continuing interest in the Doors' music kept the band hot on the charts in the years since, with the soundtrack to the Oliver Stone film "The Doors" hitting No. 8 in 1991. The mostly-hits soundtrack was the first top 10 set for the band since 1971's "13" reached No. 9.
Since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991, the Doors have sold 16.9 million albums and 4.8 million song downloads in the United States.
Outside of the Doors, Manzarek charted two albums as a solo artist: once in 1975 with "The Whole Thing Started With Rock & Roll Now It's Out of Control" and then most recently in 2011 with his blues effort "Translucent Blues." The former set hit No. 150 on the Billboard 200 chart, while the 2011 album -- a collaboration with Roy Rogers -- debuted and peaked at No. 6 on the Blues Albums chart.