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The Doors - An American Prayer CD (album) cover

AN AMERICAN PRAYER

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.15 | 75 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The poetry for this album was recorded by Jim Morrison alone (but with only the recording engineers) in a professional recording studio in his last birthday (8-December- 1970). I don`t know the reason why Morrison recorded his poetry. What was his original objective? Did he have in mind that the other members of The Doors were going to be involved some day adding the background music?

Anyway, Densmore, Krieger and Manzarek did it. They knew about the tapes and they had in mind to release them on an album. For this, they composed and recorded background music for Morrison`s recorded poetry. They also edited and used in the same way old Doors` songs. They also added a live version of "Roadhouse Blues", which also was released as a single. Maybe they included the live recording to please the record label`s desire for a single. Maybe the label knew that the inclusion of a live recording of "Roadhouse Blues" could be a "commercial trick" to have more old Doors`fans to buy the album.

I think that this album was one of the first on which a band used previously recorded parts from a defunct member to add their contributions for an album and bring the band "together in the studio". The Beatles did it in the `90s with "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love", but The Doors released a full album done this way. The Doors Trio said that it was difficult to record this album and that it took them a lot of time to design the way the album was going to be presented.

The new music is very good, very well played and arranged, still showing in 1978 that the trio of musicians were very good by themselves without Morrison.But the main focus in this album is Morrison`s poetry, which sometimes is mysterious, sometimes is sad, sometimes is very critical (the lines about the military themes are particularly very good, critical and sad at the same time), irreverent and obscene ("Lament") and funny. The "An American Prayer" poem, IMO, shows Morrison`s vision of some things in his country, sounding sometimes like being disappointed, and the final part of this poem is very good, with The Doors Trio playing a very good arrangement of Albinoni`s "Adagio".

The live version of "Roadhouse Blues" (also included years later in the "In Concert" 2 CD set) is very good, and particularly funny after the song is finished, because Morrison, sounding drunk, stoned (or maybe being both things) says to the audience:"Do you believe in Astrology?" Some female fans sound excited by this. Morrison then says "I`m a Sagitarius...the most important sign of all", or something like that. In the end, he says to the audience: "Anyway, I don`t believe in that. It is b***t, and now I`m going away before this place is destroyed", or something like that. This shows how good Morrison was communicating with and manipulating audiences. The trio said in interviews that they included this live recording in the album"to show a part of Morrison`s public life on stage".

The cover design of the L.P. included "an 8-page illustrated libretto", as a sticker in the front cover said, also saying "contains poetry of an explicit nature", maybe warning some listeners about the content of some parts of the poetry. The libretto was illustrated with photos of The Doors, of Morrison, and also with some drawings done by Morrison himself, some of them of sexual themes.

Guillermo | 3/5 |

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