All my best wishes are just lies
The mandatory original songs on greatest hits compilations have a horrible reputation. They’re widely considered to be half-arsed outtakes or quick fart-outs to just fill a contract and move on. Songs the band forget they’ve ever even written. And this is accurate sometimes. However, that reputation sadly tends to tarnish the image of those that don’t deserve it.
Door to the River should have never been greatest hits filler (nor the other new song on Forever Delayed). It’s true it’s an outtake – if I recall right it was originally written during the Know Your Enemy sessions. It’s however one of those cases where it was an outtake because of style and not quality.
Door to the River is one of Manics’ most beautiful songs. The ethereal, dreamy atmosphere perfectly works with the weary melancholy of the song. The mellow verses launch into a beautifully soaring chorus filled with hope inside sadness. Futuristic synth noises and echoing keyboards merge with majestic strings. It’s one of Nicky’s greatest lyrics – dealing with mortality and passing away to the uncertain unknown – and James’ greatest vocals. It’s one of the band’s greatest songs in general.
This could have been a hit single or this could have been a fantastic album centrepiece. Now it resides as compilation filler, ignored by most – until they hear it that is. Sadly, I don’t think anything will save it from being ignored by the band – after all, it’s just greatest hits filler.
The inspiration comes from a Willem de Kooning painting of the same name.