Rhino/Elektra RecordsToday marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Doors‘ self-titled debut album. The influential record introduced the world to the dark poetry and powerful voice of Jim Morrison and the dynamic jazz- and blues-infused music of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore. It included such enduring tunes as “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” “Twentieth Century Fox,” “The End” and the band’s chart-topping signature song, “Light My Fire.”

Densmore tells ABC Radio that while recording The Doors, he couldn’t have predicted the impact the album would have on the rock world, although he did sense the music they were making was special.

“I knew ‘Light My Fire’ was really catchy and I loved the solos in the middle, ’cause it was like jazz, which is where I came from,” he explains. “I also knew ‘The End’ was serious epic Morrison. Whether the people would connect, I didn’t know that.”

The 72-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also remembers that The Doors initially felt awkward working in the studio, but with guidance from producer Paul Rothchild, the band inevitably “got into the groove.”

In addition, Densmore recalls that the band’s Oedipal-themed epic “The End” came together in one or two takes, and they “had candles lit [and] tried to create a ritual in the studio” while recording the track.

The Doors peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200, and has sold more than four million copies in the U.S.

As previously reported, Los Angeles will proclaim today “Day of The Doors” at a ceremony held in the city’s Venice neighborhood, where Morrison and Manzerak first discussed forming a band during a beach hang-out in 1965. Densmore, Krieger and family members of the late Morrison and Manzarek will attend the event, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. PT.

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