The Doors – “The End”
Clocking in at over 11 minutes, this dark, majestic odyssey of a song is regarded by many as The Doors’ masterpiece. In 1979 (almost 10 years after composer Jim Morrison died under mysterious circumstances), it rose to still greater fame when it was used in the opening credits of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now—a frightening film that suited the song perfectly. With hypnotically chanted lyrics (“lost in a Roman wilderness of pain/and all the children are insane”) and evocative poetry (“the killer awoke before dawn/he put his boots on/”) the song’s meaning is both allegorical and shrouded. It could be about anything, any event in time, and anybody—and that’s what makes it so chilling.