Today marks the 50th anniversary of The Doors‘ classic song “Hello, I Love You” reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Doors guitarist Robby Krieger says the success of “Hello, I Love You” was “definitely unexpected,” because fans at the time were down on the band.
The song, which was written by singer Jim Morrison, appeared on the band’s third album, 1968’s Waiting for the Sun. Around that time, Krieger recalls, fans were criticizing the Doors because they felt “When the Music’s Over,” from their second album, sounded too much like “The End” from the group’s debut.
The Doors also were accused of copying the melody of The Kinks‘ 1964 hit “All Day and All of the Night” for “Hello, I Love You,” something Krieger insists wasn’t intentional.
“We never even thought of The Kinks when we came up with that [melody] line,” Robby says. “And even [Kinks frontman] Ray Davies later said, ‘There’s no way they copied that.'”
But Krieger admits The Doors were guilty of copying the drumbeat of the song from Cream‘s “Sunshine of Your Love.” Robby notes that he suggested that Densmore add heavy tom-toms to the beat, similar to what Ginger Baker played on his group’s famous tune.
Krieger tells ABC Radio that he feels that drum part, along with his own fuzz-heavy guitar line, helped make “Hello, I Love You” a hit. It spent two weeks atop the Hot 100 and was The Doors’ second and final #1 hit on that chart.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary, a seven-inch vinyl single featuring rare mono mixes of “Hello, I Love You” and “Love Street” — the original single’s B-side — is being released today.
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.