"When the Music's Over" is a song written and performed by American rock band The Doors, featured on their second 1967 album Strange Days. At almost eleven minutes long, the song is their third longest recorded work, behind "The End", at 11:42, and "Celebration of the Lizard", at 17:01. When the band originally recorded the song, Jim Morrison did not show up for the session, so the band recorded it with Ray Manzarek singing. Morrison recorded his vocals the next day.
A 16:16 version appears on The Doors' 1970 album Absolutely Live.
The song starts out with a jazzy riff featuring Ray Manzarek on organ and John Densmore on drums. At the beginning, Morrison says, "Yeah, come on", to add to the feel of the intro. The organ figure at the start is almost identical to one used in "Soul Kitchen" from the previous album. The band kicks in to start the first verse, which repeats twice before Morrison sings the chorus. A guitar solo by Robby Krieger then commences, which lasts 44 seconds. Another song from the first album is recalled when Morrison sings, "Turn out the lights"—it is performed in the same way as the lyric "End of the night" is on the track of the same name. The song's volume gradually decreases as a poem begins. This very quiet portion of the song, which lasts about four minutes, features Morrison singing over a quiet bass line from Manzarek, soft guitar by Krieger, and drums by Densmore. The poem portion is occasionally sparked from loud bursts from Densmore's drums. The song is almost silent when the famous lyric "We want the world and we want it now!" is declared by all four band members; a drum roll crescendo then begins, and the song abruptly kicks into gear again as Morrison screams out the rest of the lyrics. The final one and a half minutes is the first verse of the song sung once again.
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