I can't think of a better way for people to be introduced to the Doors or baby boomers that never got around to buying the Doors on CD, or people who've scratched up their other "best-ofs".
Over the past few years, more 2 CD "greatest hits" sets have been coming out in a slimmer package and for lower prices as well.
I thought "Very Best of the Doors" was pretty good, but where that one has 19 songs,"Legacy" has a staggering 34(!), which is half of EVERYTHING they put out on their 6 studio albums.
Unlike "Very Best", this one is in chronological order.
Considering that their debut is their most popular, 8 tracks are pulled from it, "End of the Night", "I Looked at You", and "End of the Night" left off (which I didn't really miss to begin with). The really cool part in this is that "Break on Through" no longer has "She gets...she gets" but "she gets high" (which most radio stations now play, if you were wondering where this version was, now you know..although "The Doors" CD might have also been restored in the newer remastering as well...) and "The End" have been restored the "Mother, I want to..." part. They didn't make a fuss about restoring it, but it's really a shock to the senses when you first hear it after being used to hearing it the same way for years.
Tracks 9-14 is from "Strange Days", which were more or less the songs left off the debut, released later in the year. The strongest tracks made it, although I missed "You're Lost Little Girl". But "Moonlight Drive" made it on here where it didn't make it on "Very Best Of".
Tracks 15-19 from "Waiting For The Sun" are next, again containing the stronger tracks of that album, although I think "Love Street" or "Summer's Almost Gone" should've been on instead of "Not To Touch the Earth" because it winds up being redundant. It's a very "ballady" album, but "Unknown Soldier" and "Five To One" are the most political the Doors have ever been.
Tracks 20-23 are pulled off of "Soft Parade"... "Tell All The People" I felt could've been left off of there to make room for "The Soft Parade" or "Shaman's Blues". But "Touch Me", "Wild Child" and "Wishful Sinful" make it worthwhile nonetheless.
Tracks 24-27 are from "Morrison Hotel", a strong album in itself, and "Roadhouse Blues", "Waiting for the Sun", and "Peace Frog" are included. The whole thing is good though..
Tracks 28-32 are from the final studio album Jim did with them, "L.A. Woman". Outside of the obvious hits, they included "WASP" and "Changeling". Again, a strong album from beginning to end that could've included just about anything from there like "L'America" or the John Lee Hooker cover "Crawling King Snake". Definitely a far more "blues" sounding album than they were in the beginning.
Pretty exhausting collection overall, but they didn't stop there. As if the remastered sound and restoring the songs to the original way they were supposed to be, you also get a couple of "extras".
Van Morrison's "Gloria" from "Alive She Cried" could be seen as the bridge between rock and punk... also included is the never before released studio version "Celebration of the Lizard". They could've gone with "I Will Never Be Untrue" or "Orange County Suite" or any number of rare tracks, but because "Celebration" loomed large in their concerts and hadn't been released, it makes sense to put it in their "Legacy", but the length alone was reason enough that they never put it out back then (although "Absolutely Live" had it on there).
If this one gets repeated listens and you want to get more, I'd suggest buying the following:
"The Doors Collection" on DVD. It's an excellent video companion to "Legacy" on CD, between the promo videos, TV appearances, and concerts included as well as commentary by the band members.
Get "In Concert" as the live companion to "Legacy". What "Legacy" captures in the studio, "In Concert" captures them out on the road. The band have also put out their own "bootlegs" they sell online that might be worth checking out if you're looking for more.
Either get the original 6 CDs individually plus the "Essential Rarities" CD or get the "Complete Studio Recordings", which contain some rare tracks as well as the 6 studio CDs plus "Essential Rarities". It's probably cheaper to get the box set...
The next step would be to buy the "No One Here Gets Out Alive" book written by the late Danny Sugerman (I'd also recommend getting his "Wonderland Avenue" which talks about the excesses of the 70s in L.A.) and watch Oliver Stone's "Doors" film to see and read about the mythic side of Morrison.
Ray Manzarek and John Densmore both wrote bios about their time in the Doors, both very different in tone.
And there are the poetry books by Morrison available in paperback "The Lords and New Creatures", "Wilderness", and "The American Night". The "American Prayer" CD is more of a spoken word with the Doors playing music in the back than anything else and belongs outside of the Doors repertoire.
And as I said earlier, there are official Doors websites where you can find "offically sanctioned" rare and unreleased recordings, but that's more of interest for those that have everything by them.
Hope I opened a few "doors" for some of you...